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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #3301
    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

    Hm. That's a distasteful message alright. The sorta message that raises goosebumps and then some, especially given what we just went through.

    But, as I brush my fingers against it...

    "Heh."

    As if we'd be scared off by something like that!

    I step back, turn, reach up, and...

    Poke, poke.

    Got yer nose, Ubon. Now turn that frown upside down.

    "Don't worry about that old message! Hasn't been touched in at least a month, and the whole wing is way dusty... clearly nobody's been to this part of the second floor in a while. It's probably a prank from way back that never got cleaned up. Maybe even one of Briggs'. Bet he was spooking everyone up and down the whole town as a teenager."

    Could always go further back, years instead of weeks, but I've already spent myself too much today and it's only going to get rougher from here.

    "Now let's leave the heavy feelings talk for later and look at this picture..." I skip around and peer at the image, under Ubon's shoulder. "Oooh, Jake hasn't aged a day. Then there's Rachel, guess they were friends... and that girl looks kinda like cotton candy-head Hisa was hanging out with earlier. Know anything about the other three? Maybe they were, like, the last class of Pinefall before it closed down?"

    Not like it matters too much, besides the grand revelation that... people of similar age in a small town are likely to have gone to school and hung out together.

    "Think some of these old students got roped in to wear the costumes for Oceandrop's miraculous marching band? Or maybe that owl you were chasing up and flew away in the middle of the night. They can be really quiet fliers. We can sniff it out later if you want, but we should check out the library first; if someone's been living in it, there's no way it'll be as dusty as here."

    That's a dangerous assumption to be making though. If the supernatural is involved, all bets are off. Creating a bit of dust using a spell or hiding someone's traces should be a piece of cake, in which case mundane investigation doesn't stand a chance... but I bet nobody would think of hiding from my nose.

    "What do you think? Stick together, go to the library? Or split up and try something else?"

    Maybe John or Ubon have something else in mind?

    While they think, I look back at the key in my hands... come to think of it, how did Ubon get her hands on this anyway?

    I look back to her, then back at the key, then back to her, then back to the key...

    Briggs... should we be feeling sorry for you right now?

  2. #3302
    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 really nice of you to be so helpful, but...I don’t want you to be getting into trouble for our sake,” I said while glancing at Rachel with half an eye, “Especially if it’s your relationship with your uncle that could be taking a blow here. So...really, best not resort to that unless it’s absolutely necessary, and...even then, maybe in a way that your uncle would not suspect you.”

    Of course, my endless curiosity and sense of urgency was telling me that it was perfectly fine to go along with the plan, but...as important it was, would I really do it if it came at the expense of someone worsening their relationship with their family?

    “There are plenty of other ways you could help, anyways.”

    “I take you were more interested in exploring around the town then? Jake said that he wasn’t really the adventurous spirit, so couldn’t get much out of him regarding that…” I said as I scratched my cheek, “But then maybe that too was just to keep us out of trouble, I suppose.”

    Little does he know that we can probably take care of ourselves just a bit better than an ordinary person...or that sharing what he knows could contribute to avoiding the tragedy looming over us.

    “Say, I heard there was a ghost at the lighthouse that you’d know about?”

    Taking a very specific jab at her, I eyed her reactions quite closely, hoping that I would not stumble on the stairs in the meantime;

    “Though, should probably keep that for later, and focus on the guests for now.”

    In the meantime, Pyry seemed to have caught up to me, and eventually decided to speak up;

    “Well, talk to her, of course,” I responded quietly, “Even if she is different it’s still her. Surely we could reason with her.”

    “If she’ll be there, that is...which I kind of doubt. I have a feeling that she wouldn’t just be sitting around in a hotel room…”


  3. #3303
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “Well, talk to her, of course. Even if she is different it’s still her. Surely we could reason with her. If she’ll be there, that is...which I kind of doubt. I have a feeling that she wouldn’t just be sitting around in a hotel room…”
    Pyry hummed quietly, looking like he wasn't so sure about that. The idea of Angelica being in the same hotel, this close, seemed to bother him more than he wanted to admit, but at the same time his face was - as always - as easy to read as yesterday's newspaper.

    "Yeah... I guess it's not likely she's still here," the boy murmured. "And even if she is... it's still Ange. We should be able to reason with her... right..."

    He didn't sound convinced.

    Or rather, it was as if he wanted to convince himself, but was failing miserably.

    Meanwhile Rachel, however, had adapted some sort of awkward cought which she used to hide her surprise.

    "G-ghost? At the lighthouse? Aha, hahaha... I-I wonder..." the woman stammered for a moment, before regaining her bearings. "I mean, ghost aren't real, in the first place. And even if he wa-- they were, I doubt it'd have anything to do with this. H-heck, I'd bet the ghost would just want to be left alone! Ahaha, haha... haaah..."

    The last parts of her forced laughter turned into a heavy sigh, as if the redhead herself realized just how awkward she was sounding. Nevertheless she soldiered onwards as the group arrived to the top of the stairs. The lobby of Owl's Nest Hotel spread before their eyes once more, as empty as ever - with the exception of a bored-looking employee currently manning the reception instead of Rachel. The only real sounds were coming from the dining room - sounds like there were some chatty groups eating dinner at the moment.

    "M-more importantly! That's a bit strange. What you just said, that is --- Oh, hey Gary. You can head out, I'll take over from here. Thanks a bunch," Rachel said, addressing the man who bid goodbye to the group and slipped away from the scene, leaving Rachel to helm the reception once more. "You know, that thing about Jake. I mean, I guess I could see him trying to get you lot to keep your noses out of trouble but..."

    Rachel sat down, and started fishing through files from the drawers. At the same time she motioned for the group to get behind the counter as well, and when they did, handed each of them one of the files. One look at them told that they were the aforementioned "books" for hotel guests, including when they had signed and when they had left. Each day was presented on one page, and each day had clearly marked arrival times of each guest, along with full name and for how long they would be staying. Same with when those guests ended up leaving. The file that Rachel handed to Hisa was marked clearly "August-September".

    "See, Jake might be a bit of a doofus, but he's always up for adventure too. Heck, he was dragged around by Remmie so much he kinda had to be," Rachel continued, searching through the cabinets for older files. "So he certainly wasn't the 'non-adventurous' type..."

    Then, pausing her search for a moment, Rachel directed a grin towards Hisa.

    "Oh and don't worry about me. Me and my uncle are always butting heads anyways. Plus if I were to help you with that stuff, well..." she cackled a bit. "... I'd definitely go about it in a sneaky way, too."

  4. #3304
    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 sighed, folding my arms once more over my chest.

    Talking to this woman-thing makes me tired and annoyed.

    Speaking of humanity in that wide, jeering sense of some snot-nose pressed up against the glass of some animal, it kinda pisses me off, y'know? Makes me want to bash your teeth in, y'know?

    But, as always, these thoughts fade into the quiet darkness of my mind, where they lay each and every day.

    "Feh."

    Still, that doesn't stop me from uttering a small noise of displeasure.

    "We all have our exits and our entrances, hm? Brought in to play out our roles and then ushered off the stage by the passing of the script."

    I can't keep the roiling anger deep in my chest out of my voice.

    "Can't say I care for my role, born from nothing, striving for nothing, achieving nothing, and dying for nothing," I smiled bitterly, "Only four ages, to the classical seven, true. But I'd make a poor pantaloon and justice both, and I see no second childhood in my future."

    A chuckle.

    "Just a bunch of fools playing against time when its sole worth is the measure of ripe and rot, absurd."

    I shook my head again, "But I indulge myself in melancholy, I apologize. Yes, whatever aid you can grant, this proud fool will accept."

    I am not terribly surprised that she's suffering from something bizarre.

    It would be quite shocking if it was something simple and easy to solve, rather than some bother that would gleefully tangle itself in a knotted mess.

  5. #3305
    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

    “You don’t have to come if it makes you that uncomfortable,” I said as I gave Pyry a sympathetic look, “I’d imagine it being a lot more awkward for you than it is for me...so really, just take it easy.”

    While he didn’t say it, it wasn’t exactly hard to tell how he was feeling about it - even if the exact reasons were still not easy to guess.

    “Even if she is here, and even if you want to help, there’re plenty of other things you could do in the meantime that would do us a great deal.”

    With a small grin, I bumped into him lightly as I looked up at him again;

    “Not worth doing any of this if it makes you feel so bad, y’know.”

    As we eventually reached the reception desk, Rachel handed us each books that contained the information of the guests. Almost like a calendar, broken down into days, with the arrivals and departures of different guests noted down neatly.

    Still, being a relatively light reading material, it gave a good opportunity to keep talking with Rachel while going through the names.

    “So, is this 'he who likes to be left alone' the boy who had an incident 24 years ago? Or someone else, perhaps?”

    While taking another jab at the ghost story, the topic of Jake came up again as well.

    “Really, I’m not so sure then,” I shrugged, “In the end, we live in a world where honest answers are less common than lies and attempts to bend or hide the truth, so it’s not even that big of a mystery. Though...I guess it might be worth talking to him again then.”

    Things would be too easy if everyone was always telling the truth and told everything they knew.

    “Anyways...here, I think I found her,” I pointed at one of the entries, “Room 111. Though, there’s also this…”

    My finger slowly moved onto another entry, one day later.

    “Inacio? Yesterday? I’m quite sure he was at the dorms…” I said as I glanced at the others, then at Rachel, “He is our classmate, but I can’t even guess why he’d be here. Is he still here? Do you think we could check in on him as well?”

    Of course, these two entries weren’t the only ones that caught my eyes. There was the trio of those morons as well who randomly appeared last weekend at the dorms...And Rosencrantz. The absence of Carrie’s name also told me that her break from work has likely been even longer than just a month, but could always just look further back for that later…

    “Not that it’s any of my business if he has something personal going on, but it’s just kind of weird.”

    Last edited by Cheetose; October 16th, 2020 at 02:16 PM.

  6. #3306
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: Canseliet Clinic - Inside
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THURS)
    Weather: Overcast

    Dorothy Canseliet chuckled and nodded.

    "Very well, then. Wait a moment, and I'll have her up and running... in a matter of speaking."

    With that, the inhuman doctor rose up from her chair and tip-toed over to her medicine-cabinet, starting to pull all sorts of things and all sorts of equipment from there. 17 leveled her a confused look, and one right afterwards towards Elaine, but even the tiny girl seemed to realize what was happening there. The only real choice they had here was to wait while Dorothy took care of her 'healing', and... well, in the meantime, Elaine and Kean would just have to twiddle their thumbs and wait.

    Something that the silver-haired boy, from the looks of it, was loathe to do.

    "......."

    Glancing towards Elaine, Kean nodded his head towards the door and the hallway with stairs beyond. It seemed that he wanted a moment alone with her, perhaps to speak out of earshot from the doctor while still having a visual on the little girl sitting on the bed. Of course, it could be that Canseliet's hearing was so good that going to the hallway would not be enough, but it wasn't like there was much in terms of a choice.

    So, after arriving there, Kean leaned against the wall and gave his friend a stern look.

    He was chewing on the inside of his cheek, and his left eyebrow had raised a little bit.

    After searching for the right words for a moment in awkward silence, Kean eventually went with the most obvious question, and the one that came easiest to mind.

    "... You okay, Blondie?" he asked quietly.

    It was a relatively understandable inquiry.

    "You look a little bit... on the edge."




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

    As Hisa bumped lightly into him, a sort of relieved chuckle escaped from the blonde athlete's lips. He gave a grateful look towards the girl and her words, some of the worries and fears he had immediately dissipating from his face. Indeed, it was likely that part of what had been going through his head was his own worries feeding each other, and now that outside reassurance had been given, he was able to defeat some of them. As usual, Pyry was someone directly influenced by his emotions, both in good and in bad. With a tiny sigh, Pyry nodded and lifted his hand, patting Hisa on the shoulder.

    "Nah... that's alright. If you're going, I'm going. I can't just avoid this with my tail between my legs," he replied. "Not only because I'd just be moving the problem instead of facing it, but because such cowardice would be easy to take advantage of by... others."

    He didn't say her name, but it was clear he meant Angelica.

    Perhaps this was the true nature of Pyry's odd behavior - he was afraid of Angelica.

    Or rather, the Angelica he had met back last summer, when she had left him.

    "I mean, if you can do it, I can do it," Pyry said, flashing a little grin. "And I can't let you always cover for me."

    With that, it sounded like the topic was concluded for now... though Pyry still left his hand on Hisa's shoulder, even though he had finished patting it - almost like he had found it a source of strength and warmth.

    Meanwhile, Rachel let out an awkward snort as she turned her attention away from the files for a moment.

    "T-Twenty-four years ago? I'm... ugh, seriously, this is... what sort of high schoolers even are you? You're not supposed to believe in ghosts..." Rachel grumbled, looking annoyed - though at herself, not at them. "B-bottom line, I don't think that's important. If you're that curious and really want to find out, I can introduce you later, but seriously - it's not related to this. At least, I don't think it is. That guy's too much of a chucklehead to be involved in any real mysteries."

    It sounded like Rachel had personal experience of this "chucklehead" nature and didn't think too much of it.

    "A-ny-ways! Room #111, huh? That's easy enough to check, it's in the first hotel floor, towards the back," the redhead said, switching the topics. "As for your other friend... huh. Yeah, he should be here, since there's no sign of him checking out. While we don't have exact times, this Inacio-guy's entry is the only one for that day. Which might mean he came in late, I suppose... heck - he might have even done so late at night. That, or he came in after midnight, on the night between 6th and 7th. We start marking on the next day after the date changes, after all. Hmm, I wonder..."

    While chewing on her lips, Rachel reached out to her pocket and pulled out a large keyring, twirling it around lazily in her index finger so that the keys jingled and jangled in the otherwise silent lobby.

    "Anything else? Might as well strike while the iron is hot... though for courtesy's sake, might be wiser to knock first," Rachel asked, flashing a grin at Hisa. "And who do we visit first?"

  7. #3307
    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

    “W-well, let’s start on the first floor, then we can move on from there, depending on how things go,” I answered the redhead, “I’d want to check up at least on her and Inacio...anyone else comes if those two are absent, I suppose.”

    Truly, this was a town of mysteries. Just since coming here we’ve already run into way too many things that would deserve a much deeper look, but there was so little time to do it all.

    Unless, of course, we consider the opportunity given by the looping nature of time, but that is a rather grim thought.

    I’d rather give up on all the mysteries here just to not have to live through this week again.

    As we set off, my heart felt strangely calm, considering the fact that we were about to look for Angelica. Perhaps I was just too convinced that there was no way she was going to be there? Maybe something just changed inside?

    Lost in my thoughts as we walked, I absentmindedly tracked the patterns of the tapestry on the wall with my eyes. It was quite old in style, slightly faded here and there by now, and just like the rest of the interior, it could have used some change. While everything was clean and clearly cared about, there was a weird, oppressive atmosphere created by the combination of the antique feel and the carpets that had the very distinct ‘old’ smell.

    Still, it didn’t take too long before we reached the door in question. And standing there now, I knocked on the door with modest force, mostly expecting no answer at all.


  8. #3308
    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 puffed out a breath, picking my hat off of my head.

    "Hm? Me? I'm fine, y'know, not going to just go and fall apart out of the blue, heh."

    I passed my hat from hand to hand, studying the emblem on the front, feeling the nocks and cuts on the edges of the brim, in the interior, feeling the worn, faded tag of wherever this had originally come from, the writing having long since become illegible.

    "I'm pretty good at that, as you probably know, not falling apart," I looked up at him for a moment, then back down, "Reminds me of an old town hall I saw, in some long dead town out in New Mexico, exterior fine and dandy, maybe needing some paint here and there, work of an afternoon maybe, even less if you had some people who put some ass into it."

    I hung my hat from my index finger, spinning it by the brim idly, musing to myself.

    "Course, appearances are just that, y'know. Inside was rotten out, termites, rain damage, rats, rot," I waved a hand, "No saving that, you'd have to get some real miracle workers to fix that bunch of junk, and lots of cash."

    I twitched a shoulder in a shrug, "Still standing there though, like nothing's wrong, holds up against storms, wind, all sorts, unchanging and solid, apparently it's not due to come down for, shit, couple decades."

    A snort.

    "Doesn't mean you can use it for anything. It's a building, it stands there, under the sun and the wind and rain, mother nature not ripping her down, does it's job, right? But at this point, it's about all it can do, theoretically, I suppose, you could go in there, rip out the interior real good, dress it up, do a whole modern thing, but it's a sham, it all is. Like what mortician's do for corpses."

    Spin, spin, spin.

    "Get some good make-up on, so she doesn't look a corpse, a nice wig, so she'll look like how you remember, favorite clothing, so for all you know she's just having a good nap in the casket," I tugged at my cheek with one hand, "Sometimes, they go in and do up the muscles in the face, little smile on there, just peaceful, like you want her to be."

    I snickered, "Sometimes, like one time down near Nashville, the guy's a real idiot, walking fuck-up, and as they're all settled around the body, saying goodbye..."

    I stuck my tongue out, waggling it around teeth that I knew were far too sharp every single time I looked in the mirror, "Little rat comes out, squeak, squeak. So now everyone has to acknowledge that this is a fucking corpse, and the mouth smells like death, and filth and rat shit, all because someone didn't do their job and it comes crawling out of her mouth."

    The hat stops spinning, but stays on my finger.

    "She's ruined, story's over, kids are crying, everyone's pissed and sad and unhappy, Little Timmy'll think about it when he's old enough to have a boner and it'll fuck him forever, be in prison til he's in the ground."

    "But, really, the whole point was that she was ruined from the get-go. We all just pretended she wasn't, it was easier, we said. Lies."

    I sighed.

    "Lies we tell ourselves every day, wool we pull over our own eyes so we don't see scary things. 'This guy won't hurt me.' 'The children just ran away.' 'I'm not a murderer.'"

    I leaned back against the wall hard, holding up a finger "The first one's in a mental institution, assisted living, she might be able to feed herself one day."

    A second.

    "We found some of them, one got set up with some prosthetics, two got set up with the Undertakers, can't be easy to deal with having a couple decades taken from you, so I hope they're alright. The last one..."

    Silence, broken by the sound of grinding teeth.

    "A fake, stolen body, but you knew that, you were there."

    Eyes gleamed darkly.

    "But she got hers in the end, didn't she? For what it's worth."

    I shook my head, "Calmer of the Wood, my ass, just another bad memory I keep seeing."

    "Too many lies I tell myself, it gets hard to tell the truth. Maybe it's better that way, I think sometimes, the real story for me and the corpses. Let everyone else come up with their own version of what happened, none of the nasty details."

    Teeth glinted, "Just a failed vessel of some dark god, nice little label she put on there, hm? Makes it nice and neat. But there's only one person who knows what actually happened, there in the dark."

    I got to my feet.

    "Not my father, who suspects, but says nothing, because he feels like a failure, not my brothers, who look away in shame."

    My teeth grit.

    "Not the priests, who called me a monster, not good old Father Max, who was there when I was born, who told 'em to kill me right now. 'For the good of the world', looked all sad, too, the bastard, the coward."

    I laughed aloud, bitterly.

    "Back when I was real young, I admired 'em, bunch of holy warriors out to fight the good fight and a couple of smart-asses who stole some books and wanted to protect the people around 'em, all on the same side, right?"

    I waved a hand.

    "Book burnings, witch trials, Kennedy, and y'know, for being all 'pro-life', they're really into killing kids."

    There was quiet, I was breathing heavily, my eyes stung, I sniffled.

    "So, no, Keany, I'm not okay, and I haven't been for a while. Because I'm the rotted-out building, and I'm the fucked-up corpse, and I'm the murderer I look at in a mirror and tell myself I'm doing the right thing."

    "So now, I have to sit here, trying to do something for someone I don't know how to help, so I have to ask Doctor Fairyland and let her have a go at you because what the hell else can I do besides be a big dumb brute? Meanwhile, there's about five other things that are pressing down on me, and I'm freaking out because I'm falling apart at the seams because all I can think about is-"

    My jaw clenched, my breath hissed out between my teeth.

    "Is that I had a nightmare where I died, alone, sad, and meaninglessly, and the first thing I did when I woke up was go: 'Wow! I'm glad I didn't die a mindless, insane monster! Gee whizz!' Like that's the only thing I got out of it, out of a stupid-"

    I threw my hat across the hall in a gesture of mindless frustration.

    "Damn it all."

  9. #3309
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - First Floor
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Hisa's modest knock rang in the empty hallway in a rather lonely way, echoing only slightly.

    Pyry clenched one of his hand into a fist and stared at the door like a hawk, eyeing for any sort of movement - and apparently making sure that nothing would jump out from the doorway to attack the girl. Mercedes was, on the other hand, hanging back and looking carefully. She eyed the whole situation with a critical eye, trying to make sure she wouldn't miss a detail. Gradient was, of course, practically glued to Hisa and staring at the door with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. And as for Rachel... well, she stood there, arms folded across her chest, staring at the door with a raised eyebrow.

    "... Doesn't look like anyone's answering," the redhead finally said, after a minute or so of waiting and couple of further knocks from her. "Though... I'm pretty sure I can hear sounds from the inside. Just a moment guys..."

    With a singular bullet of sweat on her forehead, Rachel stepped closer and brought out the keyring she had presented earlier. After fiddling with it for a while, the young woman seemed to find the right key, as she raised it somewhat triumphantly and aimed it at the lock of the door. How she was able to deduce the correct key so quickly felt somewhat bizarre for a moment... until Hisa saw the number #111 engraved on the metal key in tiny letters.

    Surprisingly easily, the key entered into the lock without any problems. Rachel nodded to herself and turned the key in the lock slowly, producing a quiet click. After unlocking the thing, the redheaded heiress pulled on the door, and without any problems it started to open. A foreboding creak filled the hallway, and Hisa could hear both Gradient and Pyry swallow hard. Meanwhile Mercedes's eyes narrowed, and she looked as if she was preparing for either a fight or a flight.

    The door of the room #111 swung open slowly, almost dramatically.

    Beyond it... lay a simple-looking hotel room.

    A single bed to the left, made for the morning and looking rather clean. A table to the right with nothing but a desklamp on it. Window on the wall across the room, with white curtains pulled over it and covering it, and clear sounds of winds coming from that direction and with said curtains fluttering slowly. In the right corner, a television blared out some movie or another. It seemed to be some sort of black-and-white film with a old man, wielding a tommy gun for some reason, pointed it at the camera and started speaking out... loudly. As if the TV's volume had been turned up to the eleven.

    "Hold it right there!"

    Pyry tilted his head in confusion at the TV.

    "I knew it was you. I could smell ya getting off the elevator!"

    The boy, looking somewhat confused and a bit worried, turned to look at Hisa and pointed a finger at himself.

    "Is... is the TV talking to me?" he asked in a whisper. "Or am I just imagining it?"

    Still, aside from the oddly loud TV (and Pyry's paranoia) and the wind blowing through the window hidden by the curtains, there was nothing out of ordinary in the room... it almost looked empty, aside from the bed which had been clearly used for sleeping. Well, the bed, and the small suitcase that had been left in the other corner, as if forgotten. Yes, those two things, and...

    ... The door to the right.

    Which was closed.

    And on the other side...

    --- Sounds of running shower could be heard, along with quiet humming of a female voice.

  10. #3310
    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


    A more animated response than ever anticipated met the offer, and Colt joined Frauke in a bit of laughter. But he kept it subdued, only lightly laughing before waving the whole thing away.

    “Well, no need to worry about it, Tris. If you refuse then I won’t insist, I know how annoying excessive hospitality can be, believe me.” He gave the knight, who was now as red as a tomato and staring down at her feet a pat on the shoulder. “Not everything is for everyone, y’know. Don’t gotta apologize.”

    So saying he turned back to the grinning Frauke, who was tallying up the purchase, as well as trying to stretch her sale.

    “Well…” Colt clicked his tongue and thought about the question beyond the surface level. For a few seconds he furrowed his brows, pondering the prospect of buying more. After considering further he scratched the back of his head and sighed. “In an ideal world I wouldn’t be needing a single one of these. And I’m still hoping I won’t need them. Past that, I’m hoping I don’t need more than these.”

    Of course, such hope would be misplaced. Colt knew that he would be needing something to protect himself, but what he lacked in that department was not the tools.

    He pictured himself standing opposite of Hawthorne again, a gun in his hand, but now loaded. Finger on the trigger, eyes over the other man’s heart. Even if it’s a monster from the other side, the shape is the same as his own. He looks like a man, acts like a man, talks like a man.

    Would he be able to pull the trigger?

    … Would it even make a difference?

    "... And that's some thumb-twiddling, alright..."

    Just as quickly as those words reached his ears did his mental image evaporate into steam, like droplets of water tossed onto hot coal. Replaced by the image of the handy (heh) oddball down below, twiddling her thumbs.

    “A project, huh…? I think…” He hesitated for a bit, deliberating over his choice of words. “I think that I’ll probably be back. And when I come back, I’ll probably have a project or two to occupy those hands.”


  11. #3311
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Room 111
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    “When exactly did we ride an elevator?” I replied to the boy as I rolled my eyes, “Not that you exactly smell either. At any rate, she could have known that we were coming.”

    Turning towards what I assumed to be the bathroom, I focused for a moment before gazing past the thin wall dividing the two rooms.

    “Likely why she isn’t here now.”

    A few confident, but angry steps later I reached out to open the door, revealing what I’ve already seen to the others as well.

    “It’s just a recording, and a message,” I explained, “Quite likely meant for us. And...thinking back about it, I think I might have an idea for the place she is talking about as well.”

    Still...sunday, huh.

    That’s a bit late, don’t you think?

    Having - probably - figured out the meaning of the message, my eyes turned towards the other - rather annoying - detail on the mirror.

    Namely, the other message written on it with lipstick.

    “Who is the bigger cheater here, I wonder…” I mumbled to myself as I rubbed my temple with one hand, “I bet you left another message through that lipstick, one that you knew I could read, didn’t you…”

    Of course, she must have known. That’s why she wrote it like that in the first place, and that’s why she left it there like that.

    Still, before that…

    Spinning around my heels, I turned back towards the rest of the group, my eyes locked onto Rachel.

    “I hope you wouldn’t mind us looking at that suitcase? While it would normally probably be an invasion of privacy, I feel like that too was left there just for us.”

    Well, of course it was. If she didn’t specifically want us to look at it, she wouldn’t have left it there.

    Still, as busy as I was fuming over her little games, I couldn’t help but realize another small detail. A theory that was now growing at the back of my mind about our dear Miss Outis and a certain Little Nemo.


  12. #3312
    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


    "A well stocked kitchen? Of course I'd want to give that a try!"

    ---Even with the circumstances being what they are, the dark-haired woman can't help but smile at affirmative answer, of one of her many secondary quests perhaps finally reaching the goal?

    It's a simple joy, cooking...

    In some ways, perhaps too simple to be concerned with under these circumstances, but...

    "Back at the school, someone else took over the kitchen, so I haven't been able to use it yet..."

    She frowns in an obviously exaggerated manner, then-

    "So of course, if it's okay, I'd totally cook for you guys! Might not be world class, but love really is the secret ingredient when you get down to it! Sometimes you don't want the restaurant quality stuff, sometimes home cooking is way better, just how it is sometimes!"

    -winks at him again, arms crossed confidently.

    "Besides, I think I'm pretty good! I'm not a maid, but I'm used to cooking for other people, seeing them enjoy it is one of life's simpler pleasures."

    Of course, the conversation is not all fun and games...

    The story of a lonely child, someone with no one her age to hang around with... It's not a terribly complicated problem to have of course, not like all of the things assailing the town, but that doesn't stop it from being a problem...

    Of course, much like with the town...

    There's no easy solution, even if she takes up the role of her friend, well...

    She's still older than her, so she can't be the same-age sort of confidant, but...

    "...Part of growing up is learning you can't do it all on your own I suppose, but that's a pretty hard lesson to teach."

    Not like I have any business teaching that sort of lesson anyway, bit of a lone wolf habit myself...

    Can't have any more people getting hurt because of her after all...

    "But I don't mind hanging around with her, she seems like a fun kid, even with the spoiled princess habits."

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne
    "... It's nothing that glamorous. Or fun. Just... I had friends once. Hard to believe, yeah I know, but I did. Lots of friends," the man said, his voice more serious than it usually was - and quieter. "Well, they're not around anymore. The only one that's left is me. And even that's a bit suspect. How much of me is even left at this point, anyhow. But hey, that's life sometimes."
    As for Hawthorne's past however, or rather, the surprising answer to her question, Liana...


    "..."

    Doesn't say anything at first, indeed...

    It's a troublesome sort of admittance... It's not easy to come up with something to say in the face of a sudden confession about how all of one's old friends are gone, the sort of wording that seems to imply that they passed away some time ago, but...



    "...I don't think it's hard to believe you had a lot of friends."

    ...Again, the gentle smile.

    The thoughtful, more low-energy one.

    "You're a bit of a bully, but you're a fun bully. Don't seem like a bad guy at all, of course someone like you would have a lot of friends."

    Of course, this is simply her opinion, the opinion of someone who hasn't known him that long, but...

    Well, people were her specialty.

    Or at least she liked to think that was the case.

    "As for the question of how much is left of you... Well, that seems like a tough one to answer... But I don't think the past ever leaves you really, everyone is what they are because of their past..."

    Her gaze turns to the fountain...

    "If you're worried that you've changed too much for them to recognize you, well... If you're thinking about them fondly like this, then isn't that a sign that at least a part of you is still the same?"

    It's a bit philosophical, and in this area she struggles too, but...

    "Although... I get it I think... Sometimes I wonder how much of me is really me, you know?"

    She shakes her head, lets out a sigh, then...

    "But well, we're both still here eh? We exist. No one can deny that... So that's gotta count for something, right Mysterious Stranger? Life isn't all bad, you know?"

    ...Another wink.

    A comforting one.

    As for Zee, well...

    When presented with flowers, he does as a cat does naturally, namely...

    Stretches out his neck to sniff them suspiciously, yes...

    It's the light paranoia of a cat, one that doesn't care if they're carted around here or there, but one that also feels the need to confirm everything is safe itself...

    ...Or something like that, after all...

    Zee is but a cat.
    Last edited by Airen; October 16th, 2020 at 09:13 PM.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  13. #3313
    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

    Despite my best efforts, I didn’t seem to raise Caleb Montjoy’s mood a single bit. If anything, his self-loathing seemed to intensify a little more as his next brush was done violently. His intense glare at his “nightmarish painting” was like he implied earlier weird considering his profession. All things considered, I could only chalk up his mood as being too self critical and unforgiving in his mistakes. I would like to think people would contemplate the result, figure out a better course action, and then move on. However, I was aware that I was different from most people in the sense that I think logically first then emotionally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb Montjoy
    "Yeah, well... in trying to fix it, I just made it worse. I wanted to let that airhead talk some sense into them, but then she flew off the handle and... I should've known something like that could happen. I roped someone else to give those I thought as arguing jerks their just desserts, thinking it'd let them feel for a moment what it's like to listen to them... and it just blew up in my face. I... it's not like I wanted that. Ubon didn't deserve that. And as annoying the others were being, neither did they. And now, the situation's even worse. And I don't know how to fix it. Because last time I tried, it got us into this mess. So instead I'm here, taking it out on my canvas."
    Quote Originally Posted by Aleen
    "Caleb... It's not the end of the world. And just worrying 'bout it yourself ain't gonna help, right?"
    I mull over Caleb Montjoy and Aleen’s words for a little bit. Was it best to suggest for him to fix the issue and cause another problem while trying to fix it? Or was it better to let him wallow in his self-loathing but the problem won’t be exacerbated further? I was leaning towards the latter when he placed it that way. However, once I thought about how horrible things ended last week…

    “As Aleen says, it’s not like you have to worry about it by yourself. As for help, you could probably get Aleen and I.” I take a quick thought about what I would do in Caleb Montjoy’s shoes. “How about this? You could try to engineer a situation to have everyone make up or something. It should go better since your intentions are good.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb Montjoy
    "Yeah. The only thing it's gotten me so far is Vier here giving an arts history lesson... to me of all people."
    I looked at Caleb Montjoy before looking away sheepishly.

    “It’s not like I was trying to insult or challenge your knowledge in art or anything... I was trying to make it super relatable to you and easy to understand… Next time, I’m just going to make obscure literature references or something.”

    My only solace was that Caleb Montjoy was getting a little back to “normal.” However, I was considering letting him wallow a bit in his self-loathing if this was how I was repaid.

  14. #3314
    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


    “And if the world tries to make it seem like you did, I will fight that whole world if I must.”
    You don’t need to, Lucille thinks, trapped in Sakura’s embrace. Her kindness is stifling, better used for someone else. It is the sort of charity that is impossible to reject without offense, the one she can’t help but detest. How can she convince Sakura that this is the wrong thing? That it’s easier not to care about her?

    The Lord has put her on this earth to die for humanity. She does not want reminders that destiny will bring the same pain she tries to spare from others. She wants to march into the fray fearless and unburdened, knowing that no one else will be hurt by her mistakes.

    The words—the protests—die in her throat, because Lucille knows they will never come to an understanding. Sakura will believe that she is correct and Lucille will believe that she is correct. It is that stubbornness that makes them weapons of the faith, after all, and Lucille knows that white lies make things less painful in the short term. She can disingenuously accept Sakura’s care because they will go nowhere if she fights it, and there are things to do, causes to die for.

    Lucille hugs her back, loosely, but her mind is not the matters of relief, but ever growing discomfort. Even if Sakura tells her they are spreading lies, it doesn’t make any sense.

    “That doesn’t explain how Subaru knew,” she says softly, voice barely a whisper. “Even if she was lying to me, how did she know?”

    She tries to think of many explanations, but the simplest is usually the best.

    “We are here because the spawn of that beast exists,” Lucille mumbles. “How—why—did it tell her those things? And when?”
    [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

  15. #3315
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Hypostatic Bar "Noumenon"
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Unknown


    Quote Originally Posted by Philoclea
    "... Well, just talk to other people. Confide in those around you, and those you feel you can trust. As it is, people cannot do everything on their own. That's why there are others. So, as cliched as it may appear initially... going out and making a few friends is always helpful. And who knows? Even the strangest, or most stand-offish of humanity can have something important to offer if they are given a chance. Though, I suppose you already have an inkling of that. Something tells me you have seen the duality of man in action, and somewhat recently... at least from your point of view."
    I certainly wouldn't have expected Souma to be a fan of medieval French poetry, that's for sure.

    "Learning that I can't deal with everything on my own is a lesson I had to learn the hard way," admitted Elise, somewhat glumly, as she thought back to most of last Sunday morning, "But it's good to be reminded of it."

    I've got Hisa and Lucille who can help me with my condition now. John too. Ehg. I've still got to talk to him about all that. I don't know how much he saw last night, but that shouldn't matter. He's my friend and he wants help me. Why is this so hard?

    "I might still be in the process of learning it..." further admitted Elise.

    If I'd learned that lesson earlier... would I still have ended up at Pinefall? From what Philoclea said, it might be possible to find out, but I'm pretty sure I don't want to know. Maybe I would be living a happy demon-free life somewhere. Or, you know, maybe I'd be dead.

    Elise took a sip from her drink as she cast that last morbid thought aside.

    Quote Originally Posted by Philoclea
    "--- As it is, we do serve something else than spirits here. We also have some macadamia nuts for those who want something salty to go with their cocktails~"
    "Well, you did give me a drink, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised to hear that you also serve nuts here," chuckled Elise.

    She swirled her glass, taking a moment to watch as the reflections of the neon lights danced in her glass. She admired the drink one last time, as the music started to fade, before taking the final sip. She carefully placed the now empty cocktail glass back on the coaster in front of her.

    "Ah! Thank you, Philoclea! That was wonderful," said Elise, "You've given me a drink, and you've given me a lot to think."

    She glanced back to the door, to her empty glass, and then back to Philoclea, "So, now what? And, uhm, do I owe you anything for the drink?"

  16. #3316
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Nurse's Office
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    I smiled like a razor.

    "Yes," I replied, curtsying slightly before the woman, "I was rather charmed when I first met Cesarina. She is, after all, my very first friend."

    I turned away from the rather rude woman towards Ronja Leuzinger.

    "To answer your question, as I'm sure my file states, I am, and have always been, blissfully unmedicated. Or perhaps the term is 'unmedicateable'? It is rather hard to tell what words mean what nowadays. But I supposed a thing like me shouldn't know anyways!"

    I gave Ronja a thumbs up and a wink, but without my trademark grin I doubt it felt the same. I was worried, obviously, about Cesarina, and about this strange woman who seems to have control over her. The timeframe is too short. If Cesarina leaves my sight for any amount of time, she could die. She could die. She could die. I won't let her, so I'll have to be around her the entire time, right? That's totally a solution! It's not because I'm scared, or lonely, or afraid! It's because... Because... um...

    It's because I like Cesarina. I want her to be safe and happy, and not a corpse murdered by a man without a face. That's the only thing that matters, right?
    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.


  17. #3317
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Room 111
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Pyry, who had sheepishly chuckled at the realization that the TV most likely wasn't talking to the lot of them (and could have just as well been left running for that specific spot considering the knack this room's occupant had for... timing). He walked over to the doorway that led to the small bathroom, and glanced at the contents. The shower still running, the pristine condition, the lipstick left on the shelf, along with the small tape-player still on (and producing that humming sound), along with the paper note that Hisa had fished from underneath it. The first message. The second message had been, indeed, written on the mirror with a lipstick, and even Pyry frowned as he saw it.

    Well now, Hisa - That's cheating, isn't it?

    "She... knew we were coming, huh?" Pyry asked, putting his hands on his hips. "Figures."

    Even Mercedes and Rachel had to agree with that assessment. Considering the state of the room, the messages left and the preparations that had been done... the person living in this room must have known that they were coming. The Hollywood starlet even strengthened this view as she walked over to the curtains and pulled them aside, revealing a fully open window behind it. She glanced out of it, looking at the nearby trees that were well within jumping distance, and clicked her tongue.

    "Easy enough to, like, get out at a moment's notice," Mercedes agreed, though immediately narrowed her eyes at the bathroom afterwards. "Though something tells me she's been planning this for a while or whatevah..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “I hope you wouldn’t mind us looking at that suitcase? While it would normally probably be an invasion of privacy, I feel like that too was left there just for us.”
    Rachel, who had been slowly inspecting the room herself, jolted a little as she was addressed. However, after only a bit of mulling over the request, she nodded firmly, giving Hisa the green light.

    "Sure. While I wouldn't normally agree to stuff like that, this... this feels more than a little purposeful," she said, rubbing her chin and gesturing at the whole hotel room. "Would fit the mold with the Angelica I used to know, too. She was always a... strange one, no offense."

    Well, be the reason as it may, Hisa now had the permission to start going through what little stuff had been left in the hotel room. First point of interest was the suitcase that had been conspicuously left visible - to the point it was almost inviting. Walking over to the thing, Hisa saw that the suitcase wasn't a big one. It would have fit perhaps one weekend's worth of clothes and other assorted things. In other words, it was a smaller suitcase meant for a short trip. However, when she tried to lift it over to the bed so she could investigate it properly, Hisa quickly understood just how heavy the thing was. Not the contents, no. The suitcase itself was terribly heavy, to the point she had to struggle a little bit as she pulled it up.

    "Huh... sounds like metal," Pyry commented as he rapped his knuckle against the side of the suitcase, producing a blunt thud.

    The rest of the group had now gathered around the bed as well, where the suitcase stood.

    The silence that grew upon them was almost foreboding.

    One look at the suitcase's surprisingly complex lock told Hisa that it was, without a doubt, unlocked. By twisting the handle a little bit, she could open the whole thing up.

    ... And that's exactly what she did.

    With a creak, the suitcase opened up, splitting neatly in half. As the contents were revealed, to everyone's surprise a bout of dry, cold air was released from inside the thing - something that was definitely unexpected. However, as it was just cold air, it did nothing else but irritate their eyes a little bit, allowing them quickly a view of the interior of the suitcase... and what an interior it was.

    Metal something covered the whole inside of the suitcase. A machine perhaps? Almost like a mold with two parts that separated when the suitcase was closed. Only, it wasn't just metal, it was clearly a machine of some sort. Blinking lights, gauges of some sort, dials, buttons and small monitors with unknown text on them... it was like peering inside a computer, with wires and circuitry running everywhere. However, one detail of this split-open machine caught the onlooker's eyes most clearly - the reason why it had looked so much like a mold in the first place. There was a space at the center of each half, where something could be put so that when the suitcase was closed, it would remain there, snuggly fitting into its slot. As for the slot itself, that was the weirdest thing...

    --- It was clearly meant for a hand and part of the arm. Left arm, to be exact.

    "What the hell...?" Pyry muttered.

    Was this some sort of container for a spare arm? If so... what? What did this mean? Why had this been left behind? What was even the purpose of it?

    "Like, hold on a sec," Mercedes suddenly said, reaching into the slot. "Look... somebody's leaving us breadcrumbs."

    What she pulled out were crumbled up pieces of yellowed paper - stored within the slot now that whatever arm was supposed to be there, well, wasn't. There were three crumbled notes in total, and Mercedes calmly straightened out each one. Then, after looking through all of them with a quick glance, she began handing them out so that others could see them as well. One-by-one, the notes passed hands, and quickly enough everyone started to recognize the pieces of paper for what they were.

    Clippings from a newspaper. Several different ones, most likely.

    Each with a picture, a headline, and some text underneath.

    And the contents themselves were... strange, to say the least.

    Newspaper Clipping #1
    NOBEL LAUREATE REFUSES THE HONOR
    In a shocking twist to the last week's announcement of Nobel Laureate Sae Min, having been granted the prestigious award for her work in identifying, containing and understanding of behavioral imbalances during adolescent growth, alienation from society and resulting delusions, has refused the honor and the award itself. According to Doctor Min, she does not view herself worthy or needing of the award, citing that while her work has opened doors of understanding regarding the problems plaguing youth world wide, she has only began scratching the surface when it comes to resulting shared delusions. Doctor Min has refused further interviews of the subject, citing that her new project is keeping her far too busy for media appearances.

    The photo was of an easily recognized woman, Sae Min, standing behind a podium in a huge lecture hall in some university or another. Although her clothes were far more professional in nature compared to what she wore these days, that face was unmistakable.


    Newspaper Clipping #2
    SS OURANG MEDAN - FACT OR FICTION?
    As our readers well know, Government is infamous in its attempts at hiding information from those who are too wise to fall for their lies, and see through the veil of deception that they pull upon the common people. One of the more famous examples from the last century is, of course, SS Ourang Medan - the "supposedly" Dutch merchant ship whose whole crew turned up dead thanks to its mysterious gargo. Story goes that in 1948, two American vessels traveling the Straits of Malacca received a mysterious S.O.S. signal from a ship identified as Ourang Medan. The message went on to say that the whole crew had died... and moments later, the person sending the message announced that he, too, would die. Afterwards, there were no further communications from the ship, and the two vessels investigating it found nothing but a ghost ship littered with bodies which later exploded.

    Well, the story does not end there. Apparently, a survivor of Ourang Medan's crew was found on the Taongi Atoll by an Italian missionary and the natives. This German man told tales of the whole crew succumbing to 'something' and dying as a result, leaving none but him alive. According to some stories, the man then succumbed to his wounds and died, but we, dear readers, have confirmed otherwise. This German man, apparently named Hughard Lampe, was photographed only few months later Majuro - and we have the proof! Who the child with him is, however, we know not. The article continues on page 3...

    The photo that was with the nonsensical article was as strange as the writing itself. It was a blurry mess, clearly taken in a hurry, and showed a black-and-white view of a busy street in some foreign city. However, like a sore thumb, two people stuck out from within that crowd. A small child dressed in rather extravagant clothes, and a man leading her by the hand... a tall man with light-colored, wild hair and piercing eyes that sweeped the crowd. One could practically feel the crimson stare of those eyes through the photo.


    Newspaper Clipping #3
    BLACK STAIN IN THE REPUTATION OF GOTTLIEB
    In what comes as no surprise to anyone, the disappearance of their former head-research and associate, Doctor Ashley Xavier, has become something of a stumble for the otherwise rocket-like ascencion of Gottlieb Pharmaceutical. Last month, Doctor Xavier announced a short leave of absence, citing personal reasons. While the company in question was quick to explain that their head-researcher was simply taking a short vacation in the Pacific Northwest, it has become quite clear that he either has no intention of returning, or has disappeared completely. Many of Doctor Xavier's outside colleagues have reported to have lost contact with the researcher. Unsurprisingly, Gottlieb Pharmaceutical has released a statement yesterday, confirming that they, too, are unable to contact the doctor, and thus have begun extensive searches. You can read the full statement given by researcher, Doctor Shouko Hikari, on page 9...

    The photo attached to the article was a bit of a surprising one. It depicted a group of people in white labcoats who had arranged themselves for a group photo, all standing in front of a lighthouse that looked unfamiliar. Next to them was a large sign that read "Montauk Point Lighthouse". Who these people were and what that place was, however, was hard to say.





    Colt Davin
    Location: Road's End - Das Thulewerk
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Colt
    “A project, huh…? I think… I think that I’ll probably be back. And when I come back, I’ll probably have a project or two to occupy those hands.”
    Frauke, hearing that, chuckled warmly and nodded.

    "That sounds wunderbar. I suppose I shall be looking forward to your patronage in the future as well, then!" the small shop-owner announced as she jumped up from her seat. "Now then, just a moment as I ring you up..."

    Taking a stock of all the things that Colt was about to buy, Frauke walked over to her desk and fished out a folder from one of the drawers. Then, with a pen in hand, she started tallying up the items the boy wanted to purchase, both the ammunition and the gun itself. While she worked, the tiny shop-owner kept mumbling something under her breath in German - something that sounded very much like counting. It was somewhat strange, considering how advanced her skills as a gunsmith were, that she was still using such archaic methods, but at the same time, it also suited her a little?

    Still, while Frauke worked, both Tris and Colt were left waiting. And as they did, the blonde girl turned her attention to the boy.

    "Well, 'tis done then. Thou hath procured weaponry for thyself," Tris said somewhat proudly, and patted Colt on the shoulder. "Now then... dost thou haveth a further plan? We still hath some time left in the evening, in case thou wantedeth to do something else."

    The blonde's gaze turned slightly worried, and she glanced outside through the window, where the setting sun had started to darken the overcast sky.

    "I understandeth that thou hath many mysteries at thine lap at the momenth, so if it's something I can helpedeth with, count me in," Tris then continued, looking back at Colt. "What say thee?"

  18. #3318
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    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Hawthorne snorted.

    "I guess we're all just ships of Theseus, huh?"

    The taller man removed his gaze from the pool and instead, took in the scenery that spread before them. The garden of the country club was truly something to behold, though even with its splendor it was hard not to notice how empty it was. Indeed, looking around, the emptiness really seemed to press in from everywhere. There were no other customers or visitors in sight, and the only ones they had seen so far were 'Adelaide Cheshire' and her butler - both questionable individuals in their own right. So, excluding them, the only ones here with Liana were Hawthorne and Sierra - and Zee, of course.

    And even when Liana thought for a moment she saw someone in the middle of the distant garden, that too was quickly disproven. Looking at the shape for a moment, it quickly became apparent that the figurine standing in the center of the maze-like path through the flowerbeds was nothing but a statue. Made out of blackened marble and depicting a woman of some sort, but still very much non-living, despite that single onyx eye that gazed out.

    "Well, not that I mind. Despite what happens, we still exist, huh?" Hawthorne mused, rubbing his scruffy chin. "Parts may change, faces may change or heck, we might change as a whole but... Hah."

    Apparently, something in that whole thing amusing to Hawthorne, in a way only he really got.

    "Yeah, I suppose you're right," the man continued, looking at Liana. "More than you think. After all, it's..."

    A moment of silence.

    One that stretched a bit too long.

    ... And was eventually ended when the tall man shook his head with a lopsided grin and muttered "never mind".

    Instead he simply reached out and patted Liana on the head. Just two taps, nothing more, and then he started down the stone-paved path once more, heading towards the flowerbeds where Sierra was still introducing Zee to the wonders of botany.

    "We better hurry up," Hawthorne said, shooting a dry smirk at the girl from over his shoulder. "Before your cat gets the idea of using this garden as one hell of a litterbox."




    Vier Wolff
    Location: Ghostwood National Forest
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Vier
    “It’s not like I was trying to insult or challenge your knowledge in art or anything... I was trying to make it super relatable to you and easy to understand… Next time, I’m just going to make obscure literature references or something.”
    A momentary silence reigned on the overlook. Caleb's hands had stopped and he was staring at the painting before her. Then, in that quiet broken only by the rustling wind in the pine trees, the two girls... heard Caleb snort as he put his hand over his mouth, trying to hide the chuckle that escaped through his brooding. The awkward silence that followed right afterwards was even worse, causing Aleen to snort as well, twisting her face to stop herself from just bursting into straight up laughter in what should have been a serious situation. This just went to encourage Caleb even further, and soon enough the duo was giggling quietly like a couple of doofuses.

    Still, despite laughing, Caleb managed to compose himself long enough to shoot a sideways glance towards Vier while trying to wrestle down the smile rising to his face.

    "I-I suppose... yeah, that sounds more like you," he said with a nod. "In turn, leave the obscure fine arts references to me. That way we can, snrk, both confuse Aleen properly."

    The bluehead tried to pout in response, but only managed to let out a wheezing sound as another bout of bubbling cackling escaped from her throat.

    "Y-you guys are jerks!" She protested, not sounding the least bit offended. "And here I t-thought we were having a totes serious moment here!"

    Caleb leaned against his easel with his hand, supporting himself.

    "W-well, I can't help it," he retorted with a guffaw. "It's the first time I'm seeing a genuine emotion on Vier's face and... and of all things it's her being awkward after something like that. Come on, you can't say that's not little funny?"

    Aleen's head turned, looking straight at the expression on her friend's face...

    ... And she soon doubled over, giggling like a maniac.

    "Oh maaan~" Aleen snickered. "V-Vier... I totes didn't know you could look that sheepish...!"

    Perhaps it was just the fact that the stress of the situation was starting to be released, perhaps the two had latched onto anything stupid enough because they needed a laugh, perhaps they were just a duo of morons... whatever the case, it seemed that, at least for a moment, the seriousness had passed. Of course, that meant that Vier was now left standing there, at the overlook, with a couple of giggling weirdos who couldn't begin to control themselves. Aleen, of course, was one thing. But Caleb? That was rather unexpected, considering the boy's usual attitude.

    "Still... engineer a situation for everyone to make up, with the help of you two, huh?" Caleb eventually asked once he had gained some semblance of control. "That's... well, I don't know how well that would go. But I like the idea."

    A hint of a genuinely grateful smile peeked through his face, aimed squarely at Vier.

    "... I like it a lot."

  19. #3319
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    Lucille Faraday
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Girls' Bathroom
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucille
    “That doesn’t explain how Subaru knew. Even if she was lying to me, how did she know? We are here because the spawn of that beast exists. How—why—did it tell her those things? And when?”
    Having separated herself from Lucille, and having gathered her bearings after that bit of emotional vulnerability (including drying her eyes), Sakura started pacing around the room in slow circles. Her hands were behind her back like those of a soldier, and her eyes were narrowed and focused - akin to the steel of the blades she carried. This meant that once more, the head maid of the Faraday family had slipped back into her usual skin as the spy and assassin of the Holy Church - though one that answered first and foremost to the blonde girl in the room.

    Still, Sakura had been in this game long - and she usually had an idea or two when it came to mysteries like this.

    "If the spawn of that vampire really is here, and it is responsible for what Subaru Iburi said, then it should be our first priority to find it. The more it can turn people against you with wile lies, the more innocent bodies it has to put between us and it. I've tried to slowly test our classmates for any signs of undead nature, but so far I've only been able to do so to a few," Sakura started. "There's nothing concrete yet. And if Sunday is our time limit, then I'm not sure if we have time to take things slowly. Some risks have to be taken."

    She walked over to one of the mirrors and stared at the two girls appearing in it. Lucille could practically see the gears turning in the brunette's head as she went over options they had right now...

    ... And quickly arrived to the most obvious one.

    "--- What if we interrogate Subaru Iburi?" Sakura asked, turning around on her heels. "That would sound like the most sure-fire options right now, and fastest way to catch a trail of the spawn."




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

    Quote Originally Posted by Elise
    "So, now what? And, uhm, do I owe you anything for the drink?"
    Philoclea simply shook her head.

    "No. Your patronage is more than enough. In the end, this bar was made so that it would be of help to those who stumble through moments like these - where they can recollect their thoughts and assess their heading. A port in the turbulent sea of subconscious. So when a person finds themselves in a 'story' such as yours, we try to offer them our services," the bartender calmly explained. "As far as I understand, it is so because our Master once had to go through one themselves... and they do not wish anyone else to have to do it blindfolded."

    A mysterious smile spread to Philoclea's face as she said that, taking the empty glass that Elise had put on the coaster. Masterfully she set the glass somewhere under the counter, and soon enough Elise could hear the quiet sound of running water echo as the miniature washer started doing its job. With that done, the silver-haired woman turned her starry eyes once more towards the brunette, and nodded.

    Perhaps for a goodbye, perhaps in acknowledgment - it was hard to say.

    Just like she was hard to read as a whole.

    To the point it made one naturally question her nature as a human.

    "Now, you shall walk up those stairs and re-enter your waking world," Philoclea continued with that husky voice of hers. "This moment shall slip into the film reel of your day like an additional frame that only happened to you. And then, in the future, if you ever feel the need to visit us again..."

    Philoclea smiled at Elise warmly.

    "... You'll know where to find us."

  20. #3320
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Nurse's Office
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    "I see..."

    Murmuring those vague words, Ronja Leuzinger wrote something down on a different page of her clipboard. She occasionally glanced towards Alexstrasza, though without any hint of doubt or suspicion in her eyes. Instead, there was almost something akin to 'worry' in her gaze - something a bit unfitting for the steel-like nurse of Pinefall High. Whatever it was in the blonde girl's words that had caused such reaction was unknown, but the results spoke to themselves. Especially when Ronja Leuzinger removed the page she had been writing on from the clipboard and set it next to her, on the table, as if she was going to need that slip later.

    Meanwhile, Tiberia Stentato - the woman who barely even acknowledged Alexstrasza's existence - had walked over to the downed form of Cesarina. She leaned over the younger girl, peering down at her with an inquisitive eye. Something in the way she studied the Italian heiress was reminiscent of the study that Ms. Leuzinger had done herself. Was she another medical professional? It was hard to say, especially with the attitude that Ms. Stentato was projecting.

    If anything, she felt like and old-time noble or an aristocrat.

    Ironically making her much better fit for the corridors of Scholomance than a place like this.

    "We must move her to End's Hope tonight," Tiberia Stentato announced suddenly, turning around to face Ronja Leuzinger. "She cannot get the care she needs when in here. It is early, yes, but we better act now that the initial seizure has passed."

    Ronja frowned a little, glancing once more at Alexstrasza before looking at the green-haired woman.

    "I don't disagree with that. However..." she mulled over her words for a moment before continuing. "... Would it be alright if Ms. Lockhart accompanied her? She's extremely worried for her friend's safety, so perhaps that would put her mind at ease as well. And mine, if I'm honest."

    Tiberia scoffed and shot a dirty glare towards Alexstrasza.

    "I fail to see how that would be any help to either her or her situation," the woman coldly rebuked the attempt. "At most, she would just get in the way of the doctors when they---"

    She might have been about to say more.

    "... Eh, sounds fine to me?"

    But at that moment, a sleepy voice cut into the conversation, interrupting Tiberia Stentato completely.

    "... I mean, friendly faces do calm patients, you know...?" the lethargic male voice continued as the speaker stepped into the doorway from the shadows. "... So what's the harm in trying, yeah...?"

    Had he arrived with Ms. Stentato?

    Or was he hiding somewhere else?

    Whatever the case, Alexstrasza found herself staring at a familiar looking young man who was leaning to the doorframe, flapping his overly long sleeves lazily and gazing at the room which, before, had felt so cold after the arrival of the green-haired woman.

    In other words...

    --- For some reason, Noah Whiteknife was here.

    And he, when the other two weren't looking, gave a sly wink to Alexstrasza.




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

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

    For a moment, Kean didn't say anything. Indeed, he had no immediate words to offer in return. Who would have? It wasn't a situation anyone could just step into and immediately know what to say or what sort of advice to give - much less when it was a matter discussed between two adolescent youths, teenagers who had yet to reach full adulthood. Same was true for everyone at Pinefall. As much as they wanted to sometimes pretend they were not, they were all, in a sense, young when it came to human life. That much had been clear from Day One, when Mr. Oceandrop had given that small speech.

    But that didn't mean that they couldn't try.

    Like Kean, apparently, decided to do. His eyes shone in the dimly lit hallway as he puts his hands on his hips and hung his head for a moment, still searching for the right words to start with...

    "Look... Elaine..." Kean started, using the girl's actual name for the first time in what felt like forever. "... I can't claim to have answers for you. Someone else maybe, but out of all the people in this town I'm the last person who'd be truly able to relate with you. Or anyone else real, for that matter. From the start I was never allowed to grow up like you humans do, my purpose was always clear - always told to me and always made specific. There was no room for doubt in my life because it wasn't necessary. All I needed to know was the mission, and all I needed to have were the tools and skills to complete that mission."

    The silver-haired boy turned around and started walking down the corridor, heading towards the hat that had been thrown across the hall.

    "Every last thing about me's programmed - to the point even that slight niggling doubt in me that tells me maybe I really am sentient is probably just another batch of code. I'll never be able to understand that terrifying freedom all of you have. Doubts, fear, terrors, anger, frustration... it's never natural to me. Just something I'm supposed to feel. And my conscious mind is just an illusion to make me act like I have it," Kean continued. "So yeah... As much as I want to, I can never offer genuine advice to you. Because nothing about me is genuine. And I hate it. I loathe it. But it's something I have to live with. And I do. Despite my own existence making me want to scream, I still struggle on."

    The boy knelt to the floor momentarily, picking up the hat and dusting it off. Then he turned around, eyes locked onto Elaine's and started walking towards her.

    "--- And it doesn't show, does it? My existential dread that sticks with me 24/7. I hide it the best I can and never talk about it. Because if I did, I'd never be able to do what I need to do. Or what I want to do. Which, in this case, is helping those I can. Like that tiny girl sitting there. I know for a fact that my skills won't help in healing her. But if I hadn't gotten off my ass to help her, she'd never made it here in the first place. And the same goes for you. Who cares if you don't know how to heal her? You still saved her and brought her here, where she might get help. We work with what we have, Elaine. There's no shame in that," the boy kept going, his voice now stronger. "Except for shame we bring to ourselves? 'Big dumb brute'? Who else has called you that, other than yourself? I know you, Elaine - you have more to yourself than that. You can do a lot of things. But, most importantly..."

    Kean stopped in front of the blonde girl, eyes locked onto hers. For once, strangely enough, the usually laid-back and sarcastic boy stood with his back straight, and conviction in his eyes. It wasn't a bad look for someone like him.

    Made him look a bit taller, too.

    "... There's no shame in asking for help when we need it. Only fools don't. Fools who, for example, have five others things pressing down on them yet don't tell about it to the guy who's got their back for years now. You like to hog all your problems to yourself, so no wonder you feel like you're getting crushed by them," the boy concluded. "You're freaking out? You're falling apart from the seams? You feel like you're going crazy? Then talk to us, goddammit. Are we really that much strangers to you? We want to help you. Even if we can't completely understand, even if we have our own problems, we want to help you. I know I want to. You're not the only one who always has to help others... it goes both ways. In fact, I'm starting to think you're the only one who doesn't understand that people want to help you."

    A sigh escaped Kean's lips, and for a moment, his gaze slipped and he stared at the darkened floor.

    "Listen... you say you're a house that looks fine on the outside, but on the inside it's barren, rotten and ready to crumble? Well..."

    With a simple, efficient move, Kean reached forward and placed the hat back on Elaine's head and pulled it down so that it fit there like a glove - as it usually did. Then he let his arm fall against his body, and simply gazed at the blonde girl's face.

    "... If you keep those doors of yours locked, nobody can get inside to rebuild you where it really matters."

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