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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #3261
    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

    A somewhat grumpy look, one tinged with embarrassment thanks to being nuzzled so brazenly, appeared on Rachel's face as she stared at Gradient. The redhead started lifting herself up from the floor, dragging the other girl, and the rest of the group could hear the old-fashioned curses she kept mumbling under her breath... though they did seem to lack any sort of punch. If anything, the hotel heiress was simply being ornery to hide how flustered she was thanks to this sudden attack.

    "W-well, that figures. You nincompoop were always quick to disappear and offer no explanations when you showed up. I can't believe Remmie actually looked like she was having conversations with you... though knowing her, she just faked the whole thing, and you played along," Rachel grumbled once back on her feet, starting to try to pry Gradient off of herself. "Now lemme go you spider monkey! You're crushing my ribs! Listen here! Crushing! My! Ribs!"

    With each yell, Rachel punctuated it with another push, until on the final she managed to separate herself from Gradient. The strange girl staggered backwards, flailing her arms like a helicopter (and grinning cheerfully all the while), managing to catch her balance just before hitting one of the bookshelves. Rachel let out a sound that was somewhere between a groan and a sigh, and wiped the sweat from her forehead.

    "Consarn it, why are you always this difficult..." she spoke while staring at Gradient. "You could have just gave me a normal hello! I would have probably even shed a tear at such a reunion! But nooooo, you just had to make it all weird and clingy!"

    Gradient flapped her arms few times, her expression that of a child apologetic for her mischief... but her eyes clearly indicating she felt no remorse whatsoever.

    "Auuuu..."

    "Yeah yeah, whatever... so you're back, huh, you nincompoop?" Rachel asked, folding her arms across her chest and blowing some hair out of her face while trying to cling to whatever shreds of dignity she had. "Must've given Jake a heart attack with your antics, huh? Figures..."

    With that, Rachel then turned her eyes towards Hisa and the rest of the group.

    "So, uhm... right. So that's why you wanted to talk. I guess that makes sense. Especially if you talked with Jake before. He couldn't find his ass with both hands in his back pockets. But if you're with nincompoop over here, I guess that means you're fixing to figure out what the heck's going on with her, just like Remmie was... ah, darn it. Guess teens'll always be curious, huh?" Rachel said, before a hint of a grin appeared on her face. "Well, I can't blame you. I wasn't the type to go looking for strange things, but I didn't step away when we stumbled upon stuff like that back in the day. And since nincompoop over here seems so taken with you, I think I can trust you guys to be alright. Meaning I don't mind helping you out if I can."

    Gradient nodded by letting out a whistle-like holler and throwing her arms over both Hisa's and Mercedes's shoulders... and the latter looking like she wanted to strangle the girl for it.

    "So, to what extent did that sad sack Jake tell you about what happened? And what exactly do you want to know? I don't think stories about me, Max, Remmie taking Eliya here to Seattle to shop for clothes is the type of beeswax you're after. And, uh..." Rachel hesitated for a moment. "... What are you going to do with that information? Not that I don't trust you since nincompoop does, but you know..."

    Her smile became a bit complicated.

    "... I'd like to hear it with my own ears."

  2. #3262
    men are men; the best sometimes forget Katie's Avatar
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    Lucille Faraday
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    Lucille wonders where to start, now that Sakura finally asks questions. Does she start with Alexstrasza’s nature, as a predator of mankind? Or does she start with the strange events that lead to her incoherent rambling from the previous day? Is any of this proper to discuss in a bathroom? She supposes beggars cannot be choosers, with everyone out and about, doing as they please.

    “She’s right, you know. But I wonder if she’d be disgusted at the aftermath, or if Cesarina is merely her precious pet.” Lucille bitterly laughs, but there’s truly nothing humorous in that situation. No way to make it simple.

    “Now, how to explain this in a way that makes sense…” Lucille pauses, leaning against the side of the wall. As much as the supernatural is, she is not sure what triggers a person’s sense of disbelief or not. She can only hope Sakura takes her at face value.

    “Some of us, thanks to a mysterious benefactor, have memories of another time etched into our souls. More specifically, this week, up until the upcoming Sunday. That is why I knew you did some snooping around. You already told me this, back when I thought that I really could take this as a place to ‘rehabilitate.’”

    Thinking back on it, it really is amusing that she could be so naïve. How did she not see any of this coming? The fault lies in herself, for being so consumed by her own problems she failed to realize the threat until it was too late.

    “It sounds preposterous, right? But there are others who remember as well. Like Miss Lockhart, for instance. Or Hisa, or John, or Elise, or Vier, or Prushka, or Colt, or… well, you get the point. Enough people are here to validate this claim, and there are no such thing as shared coincidences in our line of business.”

    With that out of the way, she can focus on relaying the important parts of Sunday, or at least, the most relevant.

    “At any rate, that Sunday is a bloodbath. We wake up to find Cesarina’s desecrated corpse nailed to tree in the front. But the night before, Colt Davin is shot dead in the pool, presumably by Xylia. And that night, you deduce Alexstrasza is a vampire, and attack her on your own, without consulting me.”

    “Ah, but Miss Winters catches you in the act, so you die in an act of vengeance for the fallen Miss Lockhart. Or so Vier and Elise have pieced together.”

    Lucille laughs, as if it’s the funniest joke she has ever heard. What is there for her to say? Whine and complain about how Sakura wasn’t there for her? There isn’t a point. The Sakura who did those things then isn’t the same as the Sakura here now, and more importantly, she basically did that yesterday. All she can do is talk about these deaths as if they’re mere footnotes she has prepared for the upcoming test.

    “As for me, it doesn’t matter. I suppose everyone needs a reminder of their inhumanity after a while. Especially when it kills you.”

    Michael probably would hate her, wouldn’t he? For someone so exalted, she certainly can’t do anything grand. All she does is disappoint and let people die for her, like a bad omen. That Subaru was right.

    Lucille, who has ceased to look at Sakura and instead focus on the tile floor past her, suddenly refocuses her gaze to the person she is talking to. Shamefully rude of her to do that, but memories are ghosts of the mind, specters she cannot be rid of. But right, the conversation, the explanation.

    “I think that’s the gist of it, or at least, how it pertains to Alexstrasza Lockhart. You definitely have questions though, don’t you?”
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:04] <Lianru> it's ok with each stalker call I feel like we get a little closer
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:06] <Lianru> never give up

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  3. #3263
    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
    [BGM]

    Quote Originally Posted by Colt
    “But if she was so happy here, so full of love for everything in this town, then I don’t get it. What the hell drove her to need something like that?”
    The look on Frauke's face clouded over and her brow furrowed. For a moment she said nothing, perhaps searching for the right words to start with... but eventually, the shop owner simply decided to go with what first came to mind. Judging just by the atmosphere, this was not a topic that had any easy way to be talked about. Just one look at Frauke's face, and the gun in the cabinet, told as much.

    "... I don't know the details of what went down, but I do know something," Frauke said, quietly. "From what I understood, one of the kids went missing in Ghostwood... the youngest one, Nevada. He just up and vanished going after something. Who knows, maybe he wanted to impress Remington by finding some new sort of mystery? He was like a puppy dog, following her around with that pitiful look on his face, and snarling at anyone else who got too close. It was... sad, in a way. Well, whatever the reason, Nevada got lost in the forest, and Remington... she knew the woods weren't safe. She had heard of some of the monsters lurking in there. Seen some of them, too. And she knew going that deep would be dangerous."

    Almost instinctively, Frauke's eyes were drawn towards the wall of weapons, and the tiny gun cabinet where the spiral-like revolver laid.

    Resting.

    Waiting.

    As if it was listening.

    "She barged in here, frantic and besides herself. Others had already gone ahead of her, determined to help their friend out. And then she demanded something to arm herself with, telling me she'd pay any price afterwards, as long as she could protect her friends. I... If I'm honest, I'm not absolutely sure what happened next," Frauke continued, and a pained look flashed in her eyes. "Maybe she grabbed the first gun she saw. It wasn't in that box back then, after all. Maybe I had a lapse in judgement and just assumed the worst, giving her the one thing I knew she could trust to some extent. Or maybe the gun heard her desperation and acted on its own. That's the type of gun it is. But... whatever it was, the next thing I realize, she's holding that revolver. She doesn't even ask what it does, or how it works... almost like she knows already."

    A momentary silence, almost as if guilt was eating away at the heart of the tiny shop owner.

    And it most likely was.

    "... And she was ready to pay the price, for the sake of her friends."

    Tris, who had been listening in, clenched her hand into a fist and grinded her teeth. For someone like her, hearing about someone willing to put themselves and their body on the line must have brought forth familiar feelings. After all, she was a knightess, and though they had known just a short time, it had become clear as day for Colt that she was the type to do just the same thing as Remington had done.

    "Before I can even stop her, she storms out of the store and into the rain. I couldn't even catch up to her. And then... I wanted. I waited, waited and waited. Waited till the next morning. That's when... when Tommy came over here. And he brought the gun with him. Simply slammed it onto the table and left, without saying a word. But I knew what must've happened... because I saw the seven chambers empty, and the gun gleaming like it had been painted matte black all over again," Frauke concluded her story. "Later, I heard snippets from here and there about what had happened. They encountered... something... in the forest. Something massive and full of rage. A cyclops, someone said, a giant, others spoke. Whatever it was, it was a monster. And Remington faced it alone, trying to protect her friends."

    A long, tired sigh escaped Frauke's lips.

    "... In the end, they never found Nevada. The two outsiders left. The seventh bullet, I think, was what put Samuel to the state he is now. And Remington..."

    She shook her head.

    "... She was lost to the forest too."

  4. #3264
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Faculty Office
    Phase: Evening Phase (THU)
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    "So Mr. Oceandrop is just fine with anyone visiting him? What a weird principal. They're not like that at all in the books and TV shows... and those phone numbers..."

    I quickly retrieve my notebook and jot them down to be memorized later. It's unlikely, but you never know what might come in handy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubon
    "Nope. Can't drink coffee. Would be too much and I'd fly off the handle. For realsies."
    "Hahaha - oops."

    The thought of Ubon sliding around like a monkey on roller skates after a sip of coffee shakes my hand off course. As I fix the mistake with an eraser and rewrite the number...

    "Ubon, I hear there's this magical thing called 'decaf' that makes coffee okay to drink. According to legend, it's got all of the upsides and none of the downsides. But this is a dangerous power: some people can't stand it. Back home they waged wars over decaf. Battles for control of the coffee maker, dozens of people complaining to HR that they couldn't get any work done without caffeine, staunch advocates and ardent opposition, lots of voting and yelling and inter-office rivalries... but maybe it would work for you."

    By the time I'm finished sliding the notebook back into my backpack, the conversation is winding down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronja
    "But personally, I think I can let you three know that I live just down the road from the school. In the newer residential area, before the railroad tracks. Just look for the red house on the Maple Street, you cannot miss it. Meanwhile, Ms. Costa here is my unwanted neighbour."
    I snap a lazy salute.

    "Thank you, ma'am! For the help, and, uh, the coffee... and look at it this way! You've got a neighbour you can chat and argue with over coffee and cookies, instead of a bunch of strangers that see you as an outsider. That sounds like a plus in my books!"

    And then, after lowering my arm... I gently nudge Ubon with my elbow, and whisper into her ear conspiratorially.

    "Psst. Don't worry, Ms. Costa's just messing with John. I checked; they're not interested in any of the boys here... besides Mr. Oceandrop. So you've got a clear shot."

    Does Ubon actually like John? I have no idea and it doesn't really matter: she can answer that question herself!

    Speaking of John... I glance in his direction.

    Ready to go?
    Last edited by Bloble; October 2nd, 2020 at 06:02 PM.

  5. #3265
    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 let a slight hum at the doctor's affirmation, letting my eyes trail back towards the still dazed-looking girl thoughtfully.

    Her words washed over me, and I gently picked them apart, internally translating the more medical terminology and details into something easy enough for anyone to understand.

    I'm pretty sure most people don't have neurotoxins going through their bloodstream like she's a xenomorph or something.

    Wouldn't that be cool, though? 'Oh, you're trying to get my blood? Bam! Gotcha!'

    "Wonder if that's what they were taking out of her. Home-grown sarin, straight from the tap, feh."

    I sighed.

    "Well, whatever they had her there for, it had the military's attention," I stated, producing the ID Card from my pocket, "Mcchord and something called T41 doing some sort of research on something called DDS."

    And 'Sir', ooooh. Fancy.

    "Talkin' about this McLampet guy like he's the Flower of Chivalry or something," I grunted, "Didn't think logging magnates went tilting at windmills."

    Granted, I've met some threatening windmills in my time, people make constructs out of the strangest things.

    Something tickled at the back of my mind, and I smirked at a certain memory.

    "What, he some kind of Knight of Symzonia or something? Fighting Nazis in the Hollow Earth?"

  6. #3266
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Location: Pinefall High School – Main Building (Faculty Office)
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast



    Quote Originally Posted by Suzana Costa
    “The rest is a s-e-c-r-e-t...❤~!”
    “…I see.”

    Utterly and complete disinterest, of course. It cannot be called callous, nor can it be called insulting, for John Dove is not aiming for either. Miss Suzana Costa is just wasting her effort on the least receptive target possible. If anything, it makes him wonder: she is obviously lying—if she really intended to seduce a student, she would not do it so overly, and certainly not in the presence of a straight-laced teacher like Miss Leuzinger. Then, what is the point? Is this her way to establish the hierarchy separating teachers and students, and it is he who simply cannot comprehend her logic? He considers asking, but he decides he should not stretch out this conversation any further.

    “…I shall strive to do better for the actual coursework,” he then says, as curtly as ever, carefully establishing his position as a student and nothing else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubon Sĕeklêun
    “Nope. Can't drink coffee. Would be too much and I'd fly off the handle. For realsies.”
    “Hmm. I might be irresponsible by thinking that it might be interesting to watch. Though, I believe saying that counts as what people call ‘tempting fate’, so let us not speak of the matter any further.”

    When Miss Leuzinger provides her answer to the matter of their housing and their availability on weekends, John has to restrain himself from frowning. After all, he knows that the school’s phone line is not available on Sunday—most likely due to sabotage—, so contacting them through that means is not an option.

    “…I…think I understand the circumstances, yes. Thank you nonetheless for your consideration.”

    His eyes meet Prushka’s for a moment. She is ready to go.

    “Well, with that said, I do not know about these two,” he continues, vaguely gesturing towards his two classmates while he himself leans away in an obvious gesture of imminent departure. “But I do not plan to take any more of your time. I hope you have a pleasant evening, Miss Leuzinger, Miss Costa.”

  7. #3267
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Common Room
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Secrets? How arrogant. How arrogant beyond all recognition. This is not a secret, this is my lifesblood, the only thing that keeps me honest. Magic is like a drug, yes? A vindictive and sickening thing that wreaks havoc and rampages through the world without a care for anything in the world. This is what sorcery is, what the arcane is meant to be. This is, quintessentially, a distilled essence of 'life itself as it pertains to Alexstrasza'. There is no secret here, there is no reasoning for it to be the way it is. It simply is that way.

    "... You need to put that down, Zaza. Please."
    "...Put what down?" I asked Cesarina, tilting my head. "I'm not holding any-"

    A scream.

    A fall.

    Convulsing. Convulsing. There's a dozen and a half things that could be affecting Cesarina, but I don't know what they are. The room is free of curse traps - there are no sigils in the most obvious places. There isn't even a sense of spirits, or anything ethereal at all. This is a betrayal at the deepest, darkest, most distasteful level.

    Cesarina was betrayed by her own body. A completely normal, human condition that I cannot fix. Fire and wrath; that I can do, obviously. But this... I never cared for healing. Or for saving others. It is easier to destroy then it is to create, after all. The spirit that's lodged deep inside this unfortunate soul is one of destruction. I cannot heal another person's wounds. Such a thing is...

    Well, it's simply beyond me.

    I can't do much. I can only gently pick Cesarina up in my arms, cradling her body against mine for a moment, before smiling brightly.

    There is no point in calling for help. Even if there was a stray dog around, its desire is simply for affection, isn't it? To be cared for. We're eerily similar in that way, although we operate in entirely different manners. In the end, those who live through the looking glass truly are the monsters. We kill each other for no purpose. We inflict misfortune on the ordinary for the simple sake of being ordinary. We are an existence that stands adjacent to Gods for those below us, and yet we treat them like trash. We do not uplift. We do not nurture. We destroy.

    But magic... The arcane... It's more then just destruction. The artform of devastation, the beauty of darkness, the splendor of flames... Aren't these things to be praised in and of themselves? The existence of such wondrous things, is it not a sign that there is a beauty in this world that is more then natural? This extraordinariness, is it truly simply something to be hidden? O Father, trapped behind dark skies, is this truly what you want from me? Well, that's fine. I've always been a disappointing child, as I'm sure you're all too well aware.

    What is it, to be a sorceress? This essence, this quintessential existence, that is 'magic', is what I am. So I suppose that even now, I'll try to show you something interesting.

    Walking towards a window with Cesarina in my arms, I peered into the music room, just across the way. The light of the sun created a spot, you see. A shadow, existing quietly in the corner of the room. I smiled, and spoke.

    The words that I spoke were in a language forgotten by time and memory, and far too fast to even be understood. But when I spoke, I could feel the shadows around me twist, wrapping themselves around my arms and legs as they devoured me and Cesarina whole, slowly working their way up my body until they covered my face. It was an instant, but shadows have a feeling against your skin, like an inky sort of smoke that would fade away at a touch.

    In the blink of an eye, my body and Cesarina's emerged in the corner of the music room, where shadows trailed down the wall like roots from a tree. I promptly exited the room, carefully making sure Cesarina's head did not slam into the doorway. Then, I ran.

    I ran down the hallway, my heels screeching at the entrance corner, my voice already shouting as I kicked the door to the nurse's office.

    "P-please help! Cesarina she... She just collapsed! I don't know why!"

    Was my pain fake? Was it mimicry of what I'd seen others do? The line between fake and real blurs more and more the longer I'm here, the more my reality is forced to shift on an axis to allow for these newfound discoveries. These new concepts and ideas that I couldn't even begin to comprehend. This isn't something I was prepared for, and it send tingles down my spine to think on it too long. It's better to black it out, to crush it mercilessly, right?

    But isn't this... what I wanted? To feel things, like other people did? Ahh... Cesarina...

    This friendship of ours is starting to scare me more then I thought it would.
    in the end we will make thoughtcrime impossible, for there shall be no words to express it

    #THELEGENDNEVERDIES

    [01:05.15] <@Spinach> I can flash gang signs faster than Sasuke can perform ninjutsu and I rap like Medea's High Speed Divine Words.


  8. #3268
    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 we're going to do with the information, well..." I said as I rubbed my chin, "We're in the same town, attend the same school, have met the same weirdo girl, and know about a certain monster. I suppose it's just so that we know more, and can maybe solve this mystery?"

    Obviously, Rachel was just a normal human as well, and her reaction and view on the monster must be quite similar to Jake's. For the same reason, she'd likely be reluctant to tell about it, as she likely assumes that we're normal humans as well, and that it would be unwise to try and do something about a monster like that...

    "Honestly, Jake has barely been more than just a tease. We were scratching the surface of quite a few topics, but according to him, he is not into books, he is not interested in mysteries and adventure, and he is not too fond of talking about those times..." I continued as I crossed my arms in front of my chest, "I didn't want to call him out on it as it probably really is sort of a sensitive topic, but I could hardly believe that someone could be so disinterested..."

    As I continued, I summarized the short conversation we had with Jake for Rachel, down to most details - including the unfortunate incident in the forest.

    "...Of course, I understand if you'd rather not talk about it either, and in that case, I won't bother you with it. But I'd certainly be interested in hearing more...especially about the circumstances that lead to that certain incident."

  9. #3269
    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

    "Hah."

    Hawthorne shrugged his shoulders with a wry smirk.

    "Well, guess you have me there. I am rather suspicious," he said, without a shred of shame. "Add in a terrible habit, and hey presto - guess it makes me worth focusing on. Still, sneaking in to get a look at the high life, huh...? Well, can't blame them. Other than the McLampet manor, I'd say bossman's little club is the most opulent place around here. It even comes with an irritable little princess with an overbearing attitude and lots of demands, right?"

    Sierra frowned at the older man, answering with her mere glare. Still, she was once again holding Zee in her arms so that it's hind legs dangled in the air, squishing the cat against her body to make sure it didn't fall. From the looks of it, the girl had practically adopted the cat already... or, perhaps, resigned to be it's mode of transportation for now. And despite her earlier attitude, she didn't seem to have anything against it.

    Such was the power of cats, after all.

    "And, as for my own thoughts... well, I think they're harmless too. In their motives at least. Who knows about ability? The girl in the poofy dress certainly felt like the type who doesn't need a butler to defend herself," Hawthorne continued. "Still, I think we can leave them alone. Whatever they're after shouldn't cause problems... and if it does, I can just say to the bossman I was distracted by a pretty girl and didn't realize they'd be trouble."

    Sierra snorted loudly and rolled her eyes.

    "I'll tell Daddy, you know?" She shot back instantly. "And then you'll be in so much trouble."

    Hawthorne chuckled, once again raising his arms in a shrug.

    "Well, guess you got me there. Truth or an excuse, your dad would believe you over me any day. A too-doting parent if I've ever seen one," the man said, before glancing at Liana with a smirk. "See, he treats Sierra here like she really was a princess. Even named her after his childhood crush."

    A loud "Hmph!" emanated from Sierra, and she stomped the ground once with her feet.

    "And that's why I use 'Sierra'! That other name is too foreign, anyways!"

    The older man simply shook his head in amusement, before returning his full attention back to Liana.

    "Anyways, what now? I presume you came here for a reason other than to flirt with me," he asked with a shameless grin. "Did you really want a tour on the grounds? Or something else?"




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

    Having left the faculty office behind, the trio of students climbed the stairs back up towards the second floor. From the looks of it, neither Ms. Costa nor Ms. Leuzinger had really questioned where they were headed. Indeed, other than the curfew the students of Pinefall were given quite a lot in terms of freedom. They were allowed to roam the campus area and the town as much as they wanted, and if there was somewhere they shouldn't go, that place was clearly locked. In a place like this, one could have expected them to be stricter regarding such things, but maybe this was just Mr. Oceandrop's influence.

    ... Of course, even such restrictions as locked doors weren't enough to deter those students who had taken the time to befriend the local janitor.

    Were they caught up here, Jake Briggs would, most likely, get in trouble as well.

    "I-it's not something interesting to watch, Johnnie," Ubon grumbled as she inserted the key to the lock of the heavy door. "I've tried coffee couple of times, but I swear... whenever I drink I feel like I'm gonna vibrate so hard I'll phase outta existence or sumthing. It's scary! And everybody else seems to move so slow! I think it kinda messes with my physiology or sumthing, fo realsies..."

    The fact that it didn't sound like a joke, and in a sense felt even plausable, was somewhat troublesome. But then again, the idea of Ubon reaching some sort of hyperspace just by drinking coffee felt frighteningly realistic. You never knew with this girl after all, and even her normal antics were... hyper, to say the least.

    Luckily this topic was set aside when there was a loud clicking sound, and the heavy door on the second floor landing creaked ajar. Ubon turned towards Prushka and John with a wide grin.

    "We're in~!"

    With that, she pulled the handle and opened the door, taking her first few, curious steps into the second floor that had been more or less blocked from the students, with Prushka and John following behind her. The trio entered, carefully, the hallways of the second floor, diving into an atmosphere of dust and darkness that seemed to almost waft out of the place now that the door had been opened. They left the school they had known behind, and entered a place that was, for a lack of a better word... almost looking like it was forgotten by time.

    If the first floor was dimly lit even with the lights on, the second floor was practically veiled in darkness. It was hard to see anything, other than the fact that this place was clearly in need of some renovation. Unlike the first floor, dust was everywhere, covering the walls and the floor, and the broken light bulbs hanging from the ceiling were useless in helping. One look ahead told that the second floor had been set in mostly the same way as the first, with a cross-shaped intersection in the middle, two corridors leading to the wings of the school and one hallway leading forward... though, instead of leading out, this one seemed to stop at a pair of heavy-duty double doors not far away from the intersection. The doors themselves looked foreboding, made of fancy wood and metal and as sturdy as doors came.

    Thick, oily shadows danced across the walls for a moment as Ubon, after everyone had gotten inside, closed the door after them. No sense in letting the teachers realize that someone had snuck up here.

    "So, uh..."

    Ubon whispered, looking at Prushka and John.

    "... Where do you think the kid is?"




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

    "Talkin' about this McLampet guy like he's the Flower of Chivalry or something. Didn't think logging magnates went tilting at windmills. What, he some kind of Knight of Symzonia or something? Fighting Nazis in the Hollow Earth?"
    Dr. Canseliet gave Elaine a very, very flat stare, almost as if asking what the blue hell the girl was even talking about.

    "... No. I respect the man. That is literally all," she replied dryly, for a moment losing her natural mischievousness. "I don't know about you humans and your crazy projects, but the last I knew, earth was neither hollow nor filled with fascists. Still, and more importantly, hm... let me see that."

    Apparently rather willing to move past the topic of Howard McLampet and what she thought about him, Dorothy took a hold of the ID Card that Elaine had fished out of her pocket. The doctor kept turning the laminated card in her hands, or rather, her sleeves, peering at it from various angles and wiggling her eyebrows at it. Seconds passed in uncomfortable silence, filled by only few "humm"s and "haah"s from the doctor. Even Kean shifted uncomfortably in his seat, trying to alleviate the awkwardness that was on the rise as the doctor kept ignoring them completely, instead focusing on the card.

    Fortunately, eventually, after almost two minutes of waiting, Dorothy finally pulled her head back.

    "Are you sure this refers to McChord? I've never heard of them being involved in medical studies or having the facilities for that. Especially if, as this card implies, the girl is a sample case of some unknown or new illness that they are studying. This... DDS. Maybe a syndrome of some sort. Very few air force bases would have the capability of studying something like that. And if the name starts with M, that shortens the list even more," Dr. Canseliet said. "As for their partner in this joint-research project, T41... Hmm..."

    With a frown on her face, Dr. Canseliet rolled her chair over to her desk, and opened one of the locked drawers. She began shifting through the papers in there, still wearing that somewhat serious expression, until eventually she found what she was looking for. That is, a rather unimportant looking piece of paper that looked like it had been a part of a journal or a diary at some point.

    After giving the page a once-over, Dorothy looked straigh at Elaine.

    "I happened to meet one of the people who came to plan the renovation and upgrade of End's Mercy few years ago. I didn't think much of it back then, but ah... perhaps it's good that I have a horrible memory when it comes to human faces. Instead, I tend to write about your other physical features," she said, tapping the paper with her finger. "For example, that this woman had a jacket that read T41 on it's sleeve. Say..."

    Her eyes narrowed.

    "--- Are you familiar with Dr. Suzume Bianchi of the Gottlieb Pharmaceutical?"




    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Common Room
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    For one horrible second, one that stretched on for far too long, it seemed as if there was no response.

    The door stayed close, and there was no sound of movement coming from the nurse's office.

    And in her arms, Alexstrasza could feel the flailing Cesarina tense up even further, her muscles acting independently of her will and forcing her body into a state that wasn't natural. At the same time one of her arms kept pounding Alexstrasza's shoulder, while one of her legs get repeatedly kicking the air with surprising amount of force. Who knew that someone who clearly wasn't used to physical labour could produce such strength? Then again, this was not something Cesarina was naturally capable of.

    No, this was the curse of her own body, and the foam pouring from her mouth was a sure sign of that.

    --- Still, no help came from the nurse's office.

    And just as that sinking realization started to set in...

    "Ms. Lockhart!"

    The door of the faculty office, the one on the other end of the corridor, had flown open and Ronja Leuzinger stepped out, eyes determined and focused and hurry in her steps. Suzana Costa watched from the doorway, alarmed and panic clear in her eyes. However, her colleague couldn't have been more different. It was like Ronja Leuzinger had shed some sort of disguise from around herself, and revealed her natural instincts once more. That focus in her was almost like the edge of a knife, and her hastened steps carried her over to the girls in just few seconds.

    "Suzana! Call that woman!" Ronja bellowed out, glancing back over her shoulder. "Now!"

    The blue-haired teacher nodded hastily, shot one more... was that a glare? A glare, towards Alexstrasza, and disappeared into the faculty office.

    Meanwhile, Ronja Leuzinger had opened the door to the nurse's office.

    "Ms. Lockhart, get her on the bed. Lay her on her side and set that pillow under her head - facing this way!" Ronja barked orders like a sergeant as she stormed into the room. "If you can, loosen or remove that necktie and open up the first few buttons - help her breathe! And do not, I repeat, do not restrain her movement! Can you do that? Yes, you can. I know you can. Do it!"

    In that moment, funnily enough, Ronja Leuzinger exhibited similar authority that few of the more respected lecturers of Scholomance did.

    "And if you can, talk to her. Calmly, peacefully," Ronja added as she opened up one of the cabinets and started pulling out various medical supplies - including hypodermic needles. "She'll respond better to her friend's voice."




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

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    "...Of course, I understand if you'd rather not talk about it either, and in that case, I won't bother you with it. But I'd certainly be interested in hearing more...especially about the circumstances that lead to that certain incident."
    Rachel sighed.

    She walked over to one of the bigger stacks of books that had been set in the corner, and after testing it out, sat on it quite nimbly. With no real chairs in this place, that was the best she could do, and the ease with which she did it showed that this wasn't the first time for the young woman. Of course, growing up in a place like this meant that she had had plenty of chances to practice. Meanwhile, Pyry leaned against one of the shelves, while Mercedes simply folded her arms and focused her full attention to the redhead. Something in the air made it clear that this time, they might be able to get a little more out of one of the alumni - at least more than Jake had given them.

    "Jake is... well. She took the whole situation hard. He's the type of guy who hides his face in his hands and pretends nothing ever happened, as much as he can. Because if he doesn't think about it, he doesn't feel regret or pain. I think out of all of us, he's the one that feels most guilty - because he's the one who encouraged us to go after Nevada in the first place. Did it most likely to impress Remmie, the sad sack. And because he feels guilty, he tries to hide from the world - keep up that whole act of a laidback guy who's friendly but not too friendly. So while you got it right on the money that he was lying about that stuff... I'd wager it's just because he's afraid of getting involved," Rachel explained, heaving another sigh and shrugging. "Then again, he's been acting weird lately, so maybe he's sensed something in the wind or something. He was pretty intuitive that way. In any case, I can totally see him helping just the bare minimum, because he's afraid he'll get dragged into another situation like that... and loses someone else again. It would explain why he's been keeping everyone at arm's length even more than usual."

    A dry smirk appeared on Rachel's face as she looked at the group.

    "In other words, I think he might be afraid of you guys. Because you're curious and not afraid of a mystery, and he doesn't want to become a part of another one."

    When Rachel spoke like that, it was easy enough to see. The janitor had always been a guy who stylized himself not as a big brother type of figure, but perhaps as a cool cousin that visited every few months or something. He was friendly to the students, but didn't go out of his way to interact with them, and while he helped out, he usually let the students do their own things, instead of becoming involved. Even with the test of courage, he had opted to simply stay at the campus to be the referee, rather than actively watching over the kids.

    In that sense, it was easy to imagine that laid back, goofy smile being actually a cover for someone who was afraid.

    "Still, as for me... well, I can't say I like remembering that stuff. It was a rough event in our lives, and not something any of us has come to grips with yet. But... at the same time, I do recognize that glint in your eyes. You guys are gonna keep digging whether I tell you or not, right?" Rachel asked, sounding a bit amused as she locked eyes with Hisa for a moment. "Yeah... thought so. You're in a new place, have found a mystery, and feel like you guys might have a chance of solving it. And if I don't tell you guys anything, you'll probably go traipsing in the forest or something. Better you hear it from me than endanger yourselves."

    Leaning back on her throne of books for a moment, Rachel rubbed her chin. She was clearly thinking of where to start. Meanwhile, Gradient also took a seat, though she simply sat on the floor and put her legs in the lotus stance. There was a slight possibility that this might become a longer story, after all. In a way, the library was a perfect environment for it.

    "It happened about seven years ago."

    In the end, Rachel started rather simply.

    "Our class... well, it was the ten of us from different years and a couple of outsiders... were both looking forward and cursing the upcoming graduation. After all, the oldest ones of us would be leaving the school, and we didn't know if Pinefall would even continue afterwards. There'd be less than a handful of us remaining, after all. Well, because of that, we were hanging together even more than usual - pretty much every day after school. On weekends, we always gathered together at the train station in the morning, and spent the whole day together. Only that morning, well... we were short one guy," the redhead explained. "Nevada, the shortie of our group with foul attitude and lots of anger issues didn't show up, even though we waited and waited. It wasn't until we started talking about it that Tommy cracked under the pressure. He said that the two of them had gotten into a fight the previous day, and Nevada had then rushed off, swearing he was gonna find the Devil's Dishes all on his own. Then... ah, right, sorry."

    Smirking in a bit of an apologetic way, Rachel stopped her story for a moment. She lifted her hand, and stopped it around meter and a half from above the ground.

    "Nevada was one of our group. He was this pintsized guy who looked way younger than he actually was, and had a major complex regarding that. He was also totally crushing on Remmie, so that put him at odds with Tommy all the time. They basically kept competing with each other who could catch her attention the better," Rachel explained. "Meanwhile, the Devil's Dishes is this local rumour that was a bit more of a thing back then. See, some people claimed there was an army listening post with parabolic antennae somewhere in the Ghostwood, and for us kids that was like the holy grail of local mysteries."

    Rachel chuckled and shook her head, amused by her own memories.

    "Oh, and it's a real thing. The listening post, that is," she said, before shooting a bit of a hard look on all of the group. "And it's property of the US Air Force, so don't even think about going snooping around there. They're not gonna let you off easily."

    Pyry awkwardly scratched the back of his neck. After all... it was quite possible that they'd end up 'snooping around' there at some point.

    "Well, anyways, that meant that Nevada had gone off to look for the Devil's Dishes in the Ghostwood all alone... and I shouldn't have to tell you what a bad idea that is, right?" Rachel continued. "Tommy had a near panic attack after he realized that it was mostly his fault, and that Nevada might have been out there the whole night. And things weren't helped when Jake decided to show off to Remmie as well, and started talking big about getting supplies and us going to look for Nevada, all by ourselves."

    A dry smirk, full of sarcasm, rose to Rachel's face.

    "You can imagine how well that went."




    Lucille Faraday
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Girls' Bathroom
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Sakura stayed silent.

    Silent for a long while.

    It was like her mind was trying to make sense of the absurd claims, ones that sounded like borderline madness, that came pouring out of her charge's mouth. Indeed, even for the Turnside, what Lucille had just spoken was insane. Memories of another time? Actually experiencing another timeline of sorts? That was so far in the realm of fantasy that it was no small wonder that Sakura hadn't broke into laughter yet.

    Still, what Sakura instead did was lifting her hand up... and pinching the bridge of her nose, like she could feel a migraine coming.

    Then, she heaved a sigh.

    A very long sigh.

    "Milady..."

    Sakura's stern voice broke the silence, and her eyes became focused at the blonde girl like two bullets.

    "--- That makes no sense whatsoever."

    In the end, it was no wonder that this was how Sakura reacted. She was, underneath her initial exterior, somewhat jaded individual. Not only that, but she had known Lucille for all her life, and thus, she wasn't afraid of telling it to her straight even though the girl was her employer of sorts. Thus, announcing it outright that she viewed Lucille's claims as lunacy was perfectly in line with Sakura's personality. Just like it was very much like her to put her hands on her hips in an almost frustrated manner, direct an admonishing stare at the blonde girl that demanded her to look at the brunette, and continue:

    "I am a trained kunoichi, Milady. The idea that I would act on my own, without consulting you or by your specific orders, is ridiculous."

    Well...

    Indeed, this was also very much like Sakura. Or, if anything, this was much more like Sakura than anything else.

    Getting immediately to the heart of the matter, and at no point doubting her mistress. Just one look at the brunette's face told as much. Sakura had no doubt that Lucille was telling the truth. She knew that her charge wasn't the type to come up with ridiculous lies or tall tales out of nowhere, and if she told Sakura that something like this had happened, then Sakura believed it without a question. That was just how far her trust for the girl she thought of as both her employer and her family went. Unquestionable loyalty and trust. Those were the things that Lucille Faraday had earned out of Sakura Tsukioka, and they would never change.

    Not even in a bizarre situation like this.

    "But if I did that, then something else must have been afoot, Milady. If you know it to be fact, then, hmm..." Sakura thought for a moment, before nodding to herself. "I can think of three reasons why I would act on my own, without saying anything to you. Well, in a sense four, but if you were alive at that moment, blind hatred and revenge can be ruled out as a possible motive."

    Sakura raised her right hand, and her index finger on that hand.

    "First option would be that I was under mind control. If someone were able to plant a suggestion into me, or perhaps take hold of my mind completely, it would explain why I would not discuss attacking Alexstrasza Lockhart with you, or if she even deserved to be eradicated. It could be that the person controlling me either did not know you were my liege, or they simply wanted to get rid of me without tipping you off too quickly," Sakura theorized, before raising the second finger. "Second option would be that I would know Alexstrasza Lockhart to be a threat to you, and that she would attack you soon. However, in this case the situation would have to be that I would have no method to contact you, or no time to do so. Honestly, that seems rather unlikely. If nothing else, I could send a paper raven to you."

    Then, the third finger was raised... and the expression in Sakura's eyes became harsher.

    Like she found this option the most distasteful.

    "And third... well. If someone had taken either your life as hostage, or was blackmailing me with your well-being, and specifically made sure I wouldn't contact you... I could see the threat being enough to force me to act. I place your life above all else, Milady, so if you were used as a bargaining chip against me, a situation like this could arise," Sakura said coldly, matter-of-factly. "In that sense, you, milady, are my greatest weakness. No doubt would I fold like a paper lantern in a storm if someone ordered me to kill Alexstrasza Lockhart, or they would kill you."

    A small shiver seemed to pass through the brunette, as if the mere idea made her feel physically ill.

  10. #3270
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by Elise
    "A slightly unfair bonus stage, eh? That's actually kind of tempting, but running in there without my full kit seems ill-advised. Also, from my perspective, I died a few days ago, and even with a safety net, I'm not really in the mood to try that again just yet. Give me a few days. Maybe."
    Philoclea chuckled.

    "That is fine. Come whenever you are ready, if you really want to make an attempt or two," she said, nodding in agreement. "I can promise it's something that bears no connection to what you are going through now, so, ah, don't feel it's something you must do."
    Quote Originally Posted by Elise
    "Say, from your vantage point out here in the collective unconscious, you wouldn't happen to have noticed anyone wandering around freely out there?"
    Philoclea stopped cleaning the wine glass in her hands, and a slight wrinkle of a frown appeared on her face. She looked up from the counter and let her eyes wander around the room, until they finally stopped at the door that led outside... the exit that would take Elise (apparently) back to the moment she left. It was unclear if the bartender was somehow gazing through the door, or if she was expecting someone to walk through it, but whatever it was... nothing happened. In the end, the silver-haired woman simply shook her head, and returned to attend the glass.

    "Beings that are able to wander freely in here are rare and few, and even rarer are those that are interested in affairs of the conscious world. It would take someone with a considerably strong ego, one that can sustain itself even in what is essentially the muddled intelligence of all of humanity - in other words, the backstage in the theater of cognition. I can't say I know many beings like that who aren't part of the employees here," Philoclea answered slowly, choosing her words carefully. "Still, while not exactly the same, well... this place ties directly into the dreams of humanity as a whole. So if there was, for example, someone capable of controlling their dreams through their will, that could, theoretically, achieve such an effect."

    Finally satisfied, the bartender set aside the wine glass... only to grab another from the counter. Before she turned the cloth towards it, Philoclea shook her head again, and gave a husky laugh.

    "That is all I can think of, really."

    With practiced ease, she then turned her attention back to the new glass, and started drying it off. The neon lights of the room reflected off the glass, creating a visual impression of those same colours dancing around Philoclea's hands like fairies or swirling galaxies, even going as far as reflecting on her face and off her eyes as she turned her gaze towards Elise.

    "And what comes to my coworkers, our Master, or my own situation, well... that is not really important, or something I wish to discuss that much. They are either not things I should say on my own, or simply something I want to share. I apologize, and hope you do understand," Philoclea said, sounding a bit cold. "Still, it is a stance I won't budge from."

    A few seconds passed in silence...

    ... And then, warm smile replaced that coldness.

    "... But I do thank you for the compliments. It is nice to know that the care I put into my drinks is appreciated."

  11. #3271
    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


    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne
    "Anyways, what now? I presume you came here for a reason other than to flirt with me," he asked with a shameless grin. "Did you really want a tour on the grounds? Or something else?"
    "Well, I did have a few things I wanted to ask you, and I saw a few things I thought you might find interesting, but..."

    The dark-haired woman laughs, before closing one eye in a perpetual wink, training it on Hawthorne as Zee smugly cements his victory by simply basking in the unconscious affections of a noble who has not realized she has lost...

    "They can probably wait until tonight, I'd hate to get you in trouble with your boss by being a bit too much of a distraction."

    ---It's true enough, although...

    There are some topics she wants to approach that simply aren't safe for humans to hear about, Sierra hasn't shown any signs of Turnside knowledge, and thus, the things she's willing (able really) to talk about in front of her are well...

    Somewhat more limited...

    She could probably broach the topic under the guise of a story, but with all of the apparent phenomena lurking in this town...

    It was a bit of a risk.

    No reason to drag a child into any of this if she didn't have to, so...

    "But I don't really have much else to do at the moment, so if your task is taking care of Sierra, I'll help out. I for one have a soft spot for the princess types, as a Knight, it's sort of my duty to assist them, you know?"

    She winks again, first at Hawthorne, and then back at Sierra.

    "How does that sound milady?"

    She smiles.

    "...Although if you two don't have any plans for the evening, I suppose I really am a bit interested in that tour."

    Might as well see 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?



  12. #3272
    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


    "Bah, what do you know, stomping on the dreams of untold thousands of sweaty conspiracy nuts all across the world like that, shame on you!"

    Was more of a half-joke mixed with a half-remembered tidbit that blonde weirdo rattled off last time, anyway. No need to go stomping on me, you soulless freakazoid, just tryin' to lighten the mood and you have to go and ruin my fun.

    As expected, you truly are the worst.

    "'Sides, the Nazis're on the Moon, anyway, everyone knows that." I said, knowledgably.

    I grimaced, "But hey, what do I know about whatever the hell the military has or doesn't have, they got shitheads with mind-bullets and walking refrigerators with funny accents," I grumbled, kicking Kean's chair idly.

    As for the big pharma, uh...

    Hm...

    Well.

    "Doesn't ring a single bell, but it does sound vaguely familiar." I told her, then frowned, "Though, to be honest, Bianchi stands out, I'm somewhat acquainted with a girl by that name."

    Vivienne, the odd girl who communicated mostly through drawings, who I'd never personally interacted with on an individual basis, but who's last name I did remember Travis mentioning with his friend, Noah, 'Bianchi', not 'Vivienne'.

    Connection?

    Perhaps.

    The Oceandrop Foundation had provided the grants for the Hospital to update their equipment, I seemed to recall.

    Hm.

    Gottlieb, End's Mercy, T41, Oceandrop, DDS.

    They're connected in some fashion, a way I couldn't see just yet.

  13. #3273
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building
    Phase: Evening Phase (THU)
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast


    "Huhuhu... nice and dusty! What a choking hazard this air is! There's almost no way this mess would pass inspection in any public school. But with enough money a private entity can break whatever health and air quality rules they want!"

    As soon as we are through, and the door is closed, and the dark, dusty second floor is arrayed before us, I turn and test the doorknob from this side.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubon
    "... Where do you think the kid is?"
    "Her camp's in the second floor library according to Hisa, but she didn't say where that was. Maybe one of the wings. She also said the second floor has the remains of the 'first incident' that happened at Pinefall... though I don't know what that incident is. We're working with third-hand info here. Means we get to dig around ourselves."

    Finally, having 'tested' the door knob, I try it once more. It turns smoothly in my hands.

    "Oh, you should lock this behind us. If one of the teachers tries the door and it opens, Jake will get in trouble."

    The shadows on the walls crawl about in an almost nostalgic way, like inky black puddles of shifting liquid. But that nostalgia swiftly becomes anxiety as I remember just what happened the last time I saw such a shadow moving about. That night, what we saw in the hall, that knife raised in the darkness - that's not happening again. Not to my friend.

    I glance back to Ubon and give her a reassuring smile... which is then lit up in a spooky way as the newly-bought flashlight in my hand flicks on.

    "Muahahahaha. See this? No spook's gonna be sneaking up on us, and we're gonna spot any footprints or evil traps immediately. So if you're scared, you can hold my hand. But not both of them; the other one is for punching ghosts. Now..."

    The flashlight is pointed ahead, towards the intersection.

    "Ready to go? Last night was just a warm up. Our real test of courage starts here."

  14. #3274
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Location: Pinefall High School – Main Building (Second Floor)
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast



    Darkness and dust. A place that knows nothing else but the passage of time; isolated and abandoned by the world. They are intruders here, but the fact that this place was closed off is the problem in the first place. This whole building feels like a waste of effort. Was there really a need for it to be this large, this grand, even when it was an institution for the local students?

    It will take a while for his eyes to become accustomed to the lack of illumination, but his attention quickly sets on the great doors just ahead of them, as if wordlessly announcing their importance through their sheer bulk. Furthermore, the stairs do not continue right here, so where is the path further upstairs? To the school clock that grabs his attention every single time it enters his sight?

    If he were a different person, this would be rather vexing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prushka
    “Her camp's in the second floor library according to Hisa, but she didn't say where that was.”
    “It would make the most sense that the libraries are at the same location on both floors,” he posits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prushka
    “Oh, you should lock this behind us. If one of the teachers tries the door and it opens, Jake will get in trouble.”
    Her logic is sound, but…to one who always considers the worst-case scenario, it is not quite acceptable. What if they have to get out of here in a hurry, for whatever reason?

    “What is the likelihood that the teachers will come check that this door is properly locked before they leave for the evening?” he muses, perhaps a bit louder than he normally would when talking to himself. He ponders his options…and surrenders to his pathetic need to avoid unnecessary conflict.

    “You may lock it if you so prefer, but…” He pauses as he comes to a decision he will not share with these two girls. “…Ubon, please let Prushka hold to those keys until we leave.”

    He might be making a terrible assessment, but he believes Prushka more capable of unlocking that door in a hurry and while under pressure. If Ubon needed to flee…her superb athleticism should allow her to leap out of a window. He will have to keep an eye on the windows, though; check on the feasibility of that option.

    Himself?

    …he will figure something out if it happens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prushka
    “Ready to go? Last night was just a warm up. Our real test of courage starts here.”
    “Are you trying to gather some courage with all that talking?” John retorts. He is already walking towards those beckoning double doors, his eyes attentively looking for anything out of place around them—anything attention-grabbing. “Let’s get going; we don’t need our feet to talk.”

    And they do not have all the time in the world.

  15. #3275
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Common Room
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    "Ahh! Um... Yes!"

    I moved as fast as I could to fulfill Leuzinger's requests, shaky fingers slowly reaching towards at Cesarina's necktie as I smiled shakily at her.

    "In my old school, Cesarina," I said, biting my lip as I loosened her tie, "We had a saying. You cannot learn to perforate a pigeon from 400 meters without destroying a few trees."

    I don't think it translates very well...

    Reaching for the buttons on her shirt, I began to pop them free as the girl flailed on her side, foam seeping from her lips. This was... I had no idea. What even would cause this? Is it truly something as simple as Cesarina's own body, or is that yet another deceit?

    "I-I've really enjoyed getting to know everyone," I said it in a cheery, airy tone while my fingers clenched into my palms. "Liana and Subaru seem nice! I'm glad you have friends other then me! I don't..."

    My head drooped.

    "Seem to be doing a very good job of it..."

    I don't know what to do. I'm not suited for this at all. Everything I do seems to be 'the wrong thing to do', even if I thought it was right at the time. It's hard. I can't stand it. It feels like hives, running up and down my arms and all over my body every time I think about it. I gripped the edge of my skirt, smiling brightly at the girl laying down as she twitched.

    "I hope you'll feel better soon Cesarina! I'm sure that you'll recover with no worries, faults, or flaws at all!"

    Not like me.

    I think I'm already a bit too broken to recover, aren't I?
    in the end we will make thoughtcrime impossible, for there shall be no words to express it

    #THELEGENDNEVERDIES

    [01:05.15] <@Spinach> I can flash gang signs faster than Sasuke can perform ninjutsu and I rap like Medea's High Speed Divine Words.


  16. #3276
    men are men; the best sometimes forget Katie's Avatar
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    Lucille Faraday
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Girls' Bathroom
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    Truthfully, Sakura is right. What happened that day makes no sense. And yet, the justification she offers for her own, now hypothetical actions—they don’t make any sense to Lucille, specifically. Lucille knows logically that they make sense, but she has already given her life an immutable value. There is no reason, no reason at all, for anyone to die for her.

    There are much better causes to die for. Better people to die for.

    Still, she holds her tongue, because she does not want to get into an argument in the middle of the bathroom. And out of all of those possibilities, the third is the most likely, and she doesn't want it to be that way. Subaru’s dying words do not need validation. The past is the past, and she can only pray the only specters she will ever face are the ones that lie in her memories.

    But Lucille gets the feeling that she is very, very wrong.

    “There is—There could be—”

    The words die in her throat. They make no sense. This isn’t even a reasonable conclusion. No, she’s overthinking it.

    “Sorry. I, er, I died fighting a much… different looking Subaru than the one we have class with. And in her dying breath, she—she brought up Michael. As if she knew him.”

    She’s glad she’s in the bathroom now, because she feels like vomiting. Her side rings with a phantom pain, associated memories dredging up facts and the pain together, inseparable.

    “She said… she said he told her I abandoned him. Betrayed him—”

    Lucille stops, eyes wide, as she recollects Subaru’s words. A detail, uncaught in the heat of the moment, suddenly rings loud and clear in her brain. Unconsciously, she grips the edge of the sink, to steady herself.

    “Put him down on that road…”

    She knows the missive very well. Hunting the kin of the vampire that slew Michael Lowgate. A straightforward task that could give her some illusion of closure.

    But now, she isn’t sure of anything.
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:04] <Lianru> it's ok with each stalker call I feel like we get a little closer
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:06] <Lianru> never give up

    asians before testing week

  17. #3277
    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


    "Later, I heard snippets from here and there about what had happened. They encountered... something... in the forest. Something massive and full of rage. A cyclops, someone said, a giant, others spoke. Whatever it was, it was a monster.”


    A massive monster lurking in the forest. Memories of staring into that ominous storm ached like an old wound. An inky colossus highlighted by a single streak of lightning, its shambling, silent footsteps drawing closer from the edge of the trees. A night deafened by thunderous rainfall and raging wind, standing amongst it all a dark giant, its eyeless gaze locked onto Colt.

    “And Remington faced it alone, trying to protect her friends."

    Colt exhaled slowly.

    “I see…”

    He wanted to curse her and call her a hopeless idiot for what she’d done. If whatever she had met and face off against was the same as he’d seen that stormy night, even if it was for her friends, going to meet something like that alone...

    It wasn’t far from what he’d tried to do just last night. But luck had been on his side. If Tris hadn’t been there that night…

    "... In the end, they never found Nevada. The two outsiders left. The seventh bullet, I think, was what put Samuel to the state he is now. And Remington... She was lost to the forest too."

    … He might have met his end in the forest, clutching a gun that was not his own, facing off against a creature of darkness that towered over him.

    After a few seconds of silence Colt inhaled deeply with his nostrils. The boy ran his fingers through his hair, from his bangs to the back of his head, then exhaled from his mouth in a long sigh.

    “Thank you, Frauke. There are still so many things I’ve gotta figure out, but I appreciate this.” He looked the German woman dead in the eyes. “I really do.”

    Many questions still hung over him, haunting him. But one of those had been exorcised, its weight no longer pressing down on his shoulders. He’d still have to talk to Tommy, talk to Xylia. But he’d found an unexpectedly elucidating light in a place he never thought he would.

    “Well,” Colt forced a small smile and turned back to the boxes of Frauke’s handcrafted slugs. “I happen to know where and when a massive giant from the forest is going to be showing up in a few days.”

    At that he beckoned Tris over to the selection. She had been looking them over with an understanding of the side of them he had no clue about.

    “I’m not on a vengeance ride, but if I happen to be in the right place at the right time, I want whatever gives me the best shot at giving it the best shot.”

    Normally this would be his area of expertise, but just a glance at the labels made it obvious that he was out of his element. Because when it came to these elements, he knew nothing. Fire and lightning were self-explanatory. Sanguine? Azoth? For every normal word marking a box he found another marked with a word he’d never seen before.

    “You’re an expert in killing big monsters, right Tris? What’s your suggestion for a giant all cloaked in shadows and stuff?” He picked up a slug from a box labelled with a word that felt sensical to him, holding it up between two fingers. “Light seems like a good bet.”

    He rubbed his chin with his other hand, glancing at the rest of the selection.

    “I’ll also need something for my oversized mosquito problem…”


  18. #3278
    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
    "I... I do wanna hear more about you Vier. Who you are, what you like to do, what you plan on doing after school, dreams, past, all that stuff friends know of each other. I really do. And eventually... I wanna be able to share stuff about myself too. And I know walking around here, hiking, would be a good place to do it, but… That's Caleb, you know? H-he's our classmate, and we're here to heal as a group, right? So if he's having a bad day... if he's feeling down... then we should at least try to help him, right?"
    It sounded so simple and easy for Aleen to say we were going to eventually talk about the past. However… While I was fine with her learning about Vier Wolff, I don’t want her to learn about Fähnrich der Spezialist fünfundvierzig. Just like how she didn’t want me to know she was a local for some reason. The events on Sunday would ensure that we would never end up talking about those things though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleen
    "I mean... I'd totes like someone to do that for me. Wouldn't you?"
    She started walking off ahead towards Caleb Montjoy without hesitation after giving me a warm but sad smile. I sighed because she was right. I probably wouldn’t have erased my own memories if someone tried to stop me or asked me what was wrong. However, I still don’t want to help Caleb Montjoy because of what I heard.

    “Yes… Yes I would...”

    I followed behind Aleen and tried to find where Lobo could’ve been hiding. However, as we got closer to the top, I couldn’t find where he was at. Either he figured we were coming up before we could see him and ran or he was using some form of stealth spell. The first was probably more believable seeing as how Aleen wasn’t making an effort to hide herself and he was capable of finding me in the rain. All I found up there was Caleb Montjoy and his painting. A painting not a sketch like previously. The painting itself looked nice save for one key detail. The sky was shattered like in some kind of horror film. Could this be what Muse meant by “a moment shattered?”

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb Montjoy
    "Aleen... Vier..."
    I quietly raised my hand to Caleb Montjoy to greet him. I tried to not make him more conscious of the fact that it looked like he was crying recently. If I don’t approach this correctly, Caleb Montjoy might react negatively and make it harder on Aleen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb Montjoy
    "What are you two doing here? Can't you see I'm trying to work?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Aleen
    "O-oh, um, that is..."
    I stand corrected. He was in a negative mood already. Us interrupting him talking to Lobo might be part of it and he might actually have been here away from the town to be by himself.

    “If you think we’re here to just bother you then I’m going to have to disappoint you. We were just having a nice walk through the woods and decided to see the view from the overlook since we heard it was a nice spot. Which it actually is…” I gave the view a nice appreciative whistle. “Your painting looks pretty spot on to me. What do you think Aleen?”

    Despite everything, I guess I could try cheering up Caleb Montjoy even if I don't approve of what he did last night.

  19. #3279
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Hypostatic Bar "Noumenon"
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Unknown


    Quote Originally Posted by Philoclea
    "That is fine. Come whenever you are ready, if you really want to make an attempt or two. I can promise it's something that bears no connection to what you are going through now, so, ah, don't feel it's something you must do."
    "No pressure then? That just makes it seem more fun. Is it, uh, intended to be a solo challenge, or can I bring a friend along to help?" asked Elise, "For that matter, now that the entrance is tied to that door - sorry about not inadvertently picking a nicer door that held no secrets or importance until I gave it one, by the way - can anyone come in here now if they try and open that door?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Philoclea
    "Beings that are able to wander freely in here are rare and few, and even rarer are those that are interested in affairs of the conscious world. It would take someone with a considerably strong ego, one that can sustain itself even in what is essentially the muddled intelligence of all of humanity - in other words, the backstage in the theater of cognition. I can't say I know many beings like that who aren't part of the employees here. Still, while not exactly the same, well... this place ties directly into the dreams of humanity as a whole. So if there was, for example, someone capable of controlling their dreams through their will, that could, theoretically, achieve such an effect. That is all I can think of, really."
    Elise followed Philoclea's gaze up to the door she'd entered the bar through. The door still gleaming a majestic, mysterious, and hard to define shade of indoorgo. She felt a growing sense of anticipation as she stared at the door with the bartender, half-expecting it to suddenly open and reveal another new arrival, but nothing happened.

    It would be too convenient for me if Nemo wandered in here right now by chance, wouldn't it? thought Elise with an almost disappointed sigh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Philoclea
    "And what comes to my coworkers, our Master, or my own situation, well... that is not really important, or something I wish to discuss that much. They are either not things I should say on my own, or simply something I want to share. I apologize, and hope you do understand. Still, it is a stance I won't budge from."
    Elise breathed a sigh of relief when Philoclea's warm smile returned.

    "Ah, I get that. I get that. Sorry to pry," apologized Elise, "I've been in that position too. Can't always talk about work stuff. Don't always want to talk about work stuff. Trade secrets and all that too."

    Elise took another sip from her drink and considered what Philoclea had said about wandering through the collective unconscious.

    "So, uh, I guess everything is out there then, in the collective unconscious? Huh. I guess it's just a matter of being about to sort through all the noise to find what you're looking for… and, uh, not losing yourself in the process," mused Elise, "I, uh, misplaced some memories of mine in the future that hasn't happened yet, and was hoping to get them back. Someone told me there was someone who could help me who wandered between the waking world and slumber, and walked freely through the Forest of Unconscious. I was kind of hoping they might've come through here by chance too."

    Elise paused for a moment as she watched the neon lights of the bar reflect off the wine glass Philoclea was in the process of cleaning, swirling like little galaxies.

    "So it's possible to dream oneself here too then? Theoretically anyway. I've been meaning to try and figure out lucid dreaming, but I'm guessing that controlling your dreams through will like that would be something on a whole different level?" asked Elise, "For that matter, am I really here right now? Well, I mean, obviously I am, but am I really here physically, or is this something more like a dream right now?"

  20. #3280
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Library
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    “I’ve seen what the forest is like, so it’s not exactly hard to imagine,” I said while leaning against the wall of the library, “But from what I heard, you did end up venturing into the forest, so I guess the story is far from over.”

    I guess, in a sense, it was surprising that they even got out...though it also could have been because they didn’t have the chance to go too deep before running into the monster.

    That said, a forest is still just a forest, even if it accommodates all kinds of supernatural beings. The ordinary person barely ever takes the time to wander into one and explore its secrets. For such, it remains a mysterious place, one filled with unknowns, and just like in any other case...people are afraid of what they don’t know. But once you take the time to appreciate what nature has out there to show you…

    “Though, before what, what exactly do you mean by outsiders? I assume she counts as one,” I gestured towards Gradient with my head, “But there were others, too?”

    It’s almost baffling how easy these people were to accept any random person into their group. How they didn’t even bother asking questions or trying to find out why exactly there was, say, a small girl who couldn’t speak a word and had nowhere to belong…

    Naivety, or ignorance, perhaps?

    “And what do you mean by Jake acting weird? Is he normally not the goofy, laid-back guy he is trying to be now?”


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