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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #4101
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka?
    Location: Abandoned Cabin
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    "N-nothing! Wasn't staring at nuthin'."

    I avert my eyes quickly from the nearly naked cat-man whose half-dressed state leaves next to nothing to the imagination, just as the blood rushes to my cheeks.

    "W-we probably missed a ton! There could've been another murder! Or a crazy fight!"

    One cup for Ahti and one for me. Or rather, one cup for him and the rest of the pot for me. Couldn't find another one. It'll have to do. Come on, pour it out properly now, don't start shaking from embarrassment.

    "But it was unavoidable. We needed the sleep. You especially." I hold out the steaming cup for him to take, and indicate the location of the sugar bowl on the counter. It's not like I'm completely awake or rested, but this nap is the best I can manage today. "There's no cream so you'll have to drown it with sugar. If you're hungry there's another TV dinner in my bag." Who knew we'd actually be eating those? I just wanted to bribe that ghost, but things went completely sideways.

    As for the coffee... with a wince and a half-stifled Russian swear, the hot metal of the pot scalds my lips. I set it back down onto the counter. Maybe let it cool down a bit. Find another way to kill time.

    I sneak a glance at Ahti again. With that tight shirt on, you can practically see his abs through it... wah, stop! Higher! Look higher! I cast my eyes upwards and meet his own. Both of them. Huh.

    "Hmmmmmm?"

    I set down the pot and hop onto one of the chairs so we're closer to eye level again. Then I unceremoniously dig my fingers into Ahti's hair. Just like before. We don't have a comb here so I'll have to straighten it out to something presentable with my fingers.

    "Alright, you caught me, Scrooge, I was looking. Do you have like, an evil eye under there?" I ask the large boy as I run my fingers through his hair. "Or does it just look weird?"

  2. #4102
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Elaine's Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    I paused for a moment, surveying my friend with half-lidded eyes, elastic still hanging down out from my mouth.

    Hm.

    "Throw some make-up on and we'll pass for lesbian lovers," I grunted, turning back to the mirror with that mildly amused comment, grunting with effort as I gamely battled against the mane of hair that grow thicker and wilder with each passing day.

    "Wanna 'lastic? We'll match."

    I offered one with one hand without looking, a greenish-blue one that smelled faintly of waterlilies.

    As I did my daily affairs, I did tilt my body to catch him in my peripheral, a quiet smile coming to my face.

    "It's only natural for young men to start going through changes, you know. Don't be so self-conscious, I'll lose one of my character traits and I'll be forced to fall back on 'brash tomboy' and never get to wear anything pretty."

    It was my usual business of couching more gentle advice and reassurances behind the thin cover of vitriol and gentle self-mockery.

    I sniffed, finally beating enough of my hair into submission to tie it up into a slightly wild-looking tail, turning to him fully as I finished my work.

    "I'm no expert, but it's probably some residual side-effects from over-exposure to Big Ghost Energy," I looked him over up and down, "You've definitely shifted a bit more towards the 'dark and brooding' spectrum, just a couple more 'hm's' and 'whatevers' and you'll be a teen heartthrob in no time."

    I grinned, "Maybe even get on that calendar, hah."

    I crossed the room and fished around in my closet for the outfit of the day, peering out the mostly blinded window with one considering eye, "Schedule's free today for the most part, take care of your stuff, see how Steph's getting on, hunt down Mr. Wolfen and badger him, and..."

    A frown and twitch of anxiety, "Tonight."

    "Oh, also, gotta get the word out from what Oceandrop said yesterday, it's kind of important, but, hm, difficult to explain, I'll get some food in me and we'll pow-wow."

    As was the usual, I began half-conversing, half-thinking aloud.

    Another bad habit I'd inherited.

  3. #4103
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: End's Mercy Hospital
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    I blinked at Cesarina's voice, turning to the girl and closing my grimoire. Potemkin, as always, was predictably useless; totally uncaring of her surroundings or competency in any meaningful way. I smiled at Cesarina, my eyes flicking downwards towards her book, which made me pause. I'd never heard of it before, but my reading was largely focused on the arcane and occult. While such a book was out of the ordinary for me to see, was it all so out of the ordinary for Cesarina?

    "It is not right for I to sleep in the bed of someone injured, Cesarina. I apologize if my... restlessnes, interrupted or harmed your own." I said in a slightly sleepy tone, letting out a yawn as I stretched my back, the Executioner's coat falling off of me a bit. She continued speaking, but it was hard for me to follow, still half trapped in that realm of dreams that I was. Would that they were quieter, although they were still something out of my reach. Tossing and turning... a nightmare? But of what? Even now, as I try to grasp at what it is, I cannot recall even a frame of what it was I saw in my dreams.

    "Travis is meeting with Noah, and the Executioner serenely exited the room," I said in way of reply, rubbing my eyes. "It is to be expected."

    The words she was saying suddenly ran through my skull.

    "H-he offered it to me!" I stammered, turning away from her with a huff. "It is not as if I care overmuch about washing it! Naturally, it is only normal to wash another's things after you have used them, is it not?"

    I started to stand, grabbing the jacket with him as I did so, removing it from my person and examining it with narrowed eyes. Apart from a bit of saliva it seemed... overall relatively fine? I flapped it out a few times, before nodding at it and folding it. It would be a thing to deal with at another time.

    "I do apologize for inconveniencing you so, Cesarina," I said, not looking directly at her as I poked at one of the jacket's pockets, opening it slightly to see what was inside. "It was a... momentary flight of delusion, on my part. While I do not regret it so, the truth..."

    I smiled softly at the jacket.

    "It can often be quite a bitter thing to hear, can it not?"
    Last edited by Frantic Author; October 12th, 2021 at 06:19 PM.
    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.


  4. #4104
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitories - Elise's Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    "Ah! Good morning, Lucille," greeted Elise with as much cheer as she could muster in her current haggard state as Lucille joined her outside her dorm room door.

    The door to her dorm room opened a crack, and a suspicious eye peered out. It relaxed as it recognized the new arrivals on the other side and invited them in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel Lowgate
    "Apologies. This is your room, Elise. I should not have made you wait. Come on in. Both of you. Please."
    "Good morning, Samuel! Don't worry about it! A little caution is warranted, given our circumstances."

    I don't blame him for being a little nervous here, there's a lot of strangers, and this building was a very, very different place when he was last conscious.

    The image of the wrecked and ruined half of their dormitory that she'd explored earlier entered her mind. That strange mirror of their home that existed on the other side of that door at the end of the hall. Considering how untouched it seemed to be, even after the renovations, it probably wasn't much different from how Samuel would've remembered it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel Lowgate
    "You wouldn't happen to have any food with you, would you?"
    "Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry," apologized Elise, "You literally haven't eaten in years. I should've made sure you had a snack before I went to bed."

    Elise glanced about her room and frowned. There really wasn't much to eat here. She couldn't help but feel like she was a poor host. She didn't even own a kettle. Although she did own three containers of ice cream in the kitchen freezer, assuming none of her fellow students had poached them on her again.

    "I don't have any snacks handy, I'm afraid. I think our best bet might be to just head to the kitchen and get some breakfast there. It's close by and there's plenty to eat."

    And so, will history repeat and I spend my Saturday morning in the kitchen again?

    "Otherwise, we could go further afield. There's the school cafeteria, and Avery's Diner, which is still really good, by the way. Although, uh, they might not be great settings for the topics of our conversation."

    Prophecies, curses, complicated family history, angels, demons, monsters, lost and missing classmates, grisly local history. Several dozen questions burned at the back of Elise's mind impatiently.

    "Also, uh, if you've got any questions for us, I'll be glad to answer them too, there's a lot you really should know about our strange predicament anyway," offered Elise.

  5. #4105
    approaching euthymia Katie's Avatar
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    Lucille Faraday
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitories - Elise's Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    “Good morning, Elise,” Lucille reflexively responds back. Not that she’s surprised Elise is heading to her own room, but doesn’t it look sort of odd, if you bothered looking?

    She follows Elise into the room when Samuel welcomes them—“Good morning, Samuel.”—wondering how to put her thoughts into words, of what is important and what is superfluous. Perhaps she should have gotten her thoughts in order first.

    "You wouldn't happen to have any food with you, would you?"
    “Apologies, it’s quite rude of us for noticing sooner,” she says, chiding herself. Wasn’t this rather embarrassing, to think about getting answers, yet neglecting to take care of the person who can deliver them? “If you do feel like eating out, however, I can foot the bill.”

    “And as Elise mentioned, there is a lot to our situation as well. It’s difficult to believe, even for someone entrenched in the Turnside…” Lucille says, voice a bit weary. She hates to drag Samuel into their business, but the problems in Road’s End are irritatingly interwoven. “I’m afraid you aren’t going to get much rest.”
    Last edited by Katie; October 13th, 2021 at 02:56 PM.

  6. #4106
    死徒(下級)Lesser Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "I see..."

    Despite everything going according to plan, and seemingly about as well as they could have, the atmosphere still felt rather heavy as Sakura talked about the last night. So much was obvious from the inevitable frown on my face as well as I listened to her attentively, my eyes not leaving her form for a moment. It was understandable, in the end. She knew Michael quite well when he was alive, and she already had to deal with losing him once. That she was reunited with him in such a tragic way, only to be torn apart once more, and likely forever, must have only stirred up those feelings of old while also adding a bitter, sorrowful taste to the mix. I could relate to her, even, because of a certain someone, but...

    With my expression growing even darker and more serious, my eyebrows threatened to form a single, straight line as I averted my gaze momentarily, staring off towards the single stray window of the kitchen.

    No, I didn't really want to go there. I couldn't. It grew beyond me at this point, and I couldn't let it tear me apart on the inside, not while there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.

    "It must have been difficult, and it's certainly quite tragic that it had to come to this. I can only hope that you won't have to go through something like that anytime soon, if ever again."

    It took me until she finished talking, and for me to finish sorting my thoughs and shoving them back into their secluded corner before I decided to speak up. Still quite serious, but with my expression softening, I let the sympathy I felt for the other girl seep through the hastily constructed facade.

    "Yet, it's best not to lament too much over the past, especially now that it's certainly something you can put behind yourself. It will just make you lose sight and sour the time you have with those who are still there and care for you...and that only leads down a spiral of depression."

    I would know, wouldn't I?

    With my chin back on top of my palm once more, my frown was completely gone. Just like how it was obvious from Sakura's behaviour as well, I did not intend to pry regarding the matter too much either. Knowing that she was more or less okay was more than enough for me for the time being, and if she wanted to talk about it to someone at some point, there were likely better candidates for that than me.

    Yet, something else she mentioned still had me bothered. That being they met who felt to be like an Arc Relic...with how rare something like that must have been, it can't have been just a coincidence. The circumstances felt to line up as well, though it made me wonder if it really was Michael who hired them, or if it was the other way around, and they were just using Michael for their own bidding...and more than that, with Michael gone, how exactly were they going to progress with their plan yet?

    "By the sound of it, you also had a run in with the Thule Society. That thing really is like a relic, though...doesn't seem too capable of thinking on its own. More like a tool had had to be controlled and commanded."

    I shrugged in a rather meaningful way, all the while taking the matter perhaps a bit too lightly. In the end, the fact that they showed up again was quite worrying in a sense...even if I had no idea what they were up to. Not to mention that if it wasn't for our incompetence, Sakura and the others wouldn't have had to deal with that thing in the first place. Quite annoying, realizing that our mistakes would show their consequences so soon...but there was hardly anything to do about it now.

    "Also, cinnamon definitely works. I also like it with some vanilla and dried fruits, but there's always cocoa powder as well," I added with the same tone, as if the two topics were the same in gravity and importance, "Though there is a certain someone who might not quite be able to fill their stomach with just some pudding. But that's my worry, I can prepare something on the side. Along with some sandwiches for later."

  7. #4107
    Beware the Finnish Ringlets Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Prushka?
    Location: Abandoned Cabin
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Hey, Imp, what are you---!"

    Though Ahti protested having someone suddenly try to tame his hair, he did only so for a brief moment. Afterwards (perhaps satisfied by the sensation of fingers against his scalp, but refusing to show) he settled for standing there with a grumpy expression on his face, slowly sipping on his coffee. And no, he didn't even touch the coffee, much less give it a glance. From the looks of it, the white-haired boy considered such a thing an affront to coffee... or perhaps he was just disgusted by everything overly sweet.

    How were the tastebuds of cats, anyway?

    "... Ugh, watch for old scabs and scars. Those itch," Ahti grunted, letting Prushka do his thing. "There's one hidden behind my right ear that's especially annoying, so don't go scratching it."

    Well, permission seemed to be granted.

    "And my eye? Uh, yeah. It's an evil eye. Sort of. A curse is more like it, but the function's the same. Haven't needed to use it for a long while, though, so I keep it tucked away," the boy continued rather nonchalantly, fixing the eyepatch on his face. "It's something that's been in my family forever, passed down from one Jalopeura to another. Like a memento or an heirloom."

    He took a strong sip from his coffee and grimaced.

    "... Of course, I just pried it outta the socket of my old man. Like hell he would've given it to me freely," the boy added, sounding slightly bitter - or maybe it was the coffee. "Anyways, it's nothing too fancy. Better than the kade that those witches in the west like to play with, nothing as major as the Bileygr across the sea. Not that I like using it. It's like an open funnel of gas and I'm just supposed to strike a match over it. Not a nice feeling."

    Another sip.

    "--- Metaphorically speaking, of course."

    Having said that, the boy turned his one proper, ice-blue eye towards the girl fussing over his hair.

    "What about you? Don't you have anything left to you like that?" He asked, more just to make conversation than actually prodding Prushka. "Oh and grab that TV Dinner when you're done. I'm starving. You can eat the peas."

    How generous of him.




    Elaine Winters
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Elaine's Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    For a moment, Kean stayed silent. Just for a moment. He gazed at himself from the mirror, and then...

    "--- Hmh. Whatever."

    He struck a pose, bringing his hand to his head and angling his face down so that his new, longer hair framed it while the rest of his body leaned back ever-so-slightly. In other words, for just a brief moment, he became the very epitome of those brooding, dark anti-heroes that were becoming so popular these days. Considering his looks, there was even a bit of 80's dystopian cyberpunk thrown in. It truly was a new sort of sight...

    ... But that juvenile grin he had on his face rather ruined it.

    "Well...?" Kean asked, gazing at Elaine from behind his silvery bangs. "Did that make your heart throb?"

    At the very least he was taking this with humour as well, despite his clear confusion.

    "... Well, jokes aside, I think you might be right," the boy continued, adopting a more sensible stance again. "Never had ectoplasm running through my veins, and there's definitely that still in me. Though no hidden Id colouring it, so I think we don't have to worry about Michael 2.0 rearing his ugly mug any longer. Might have to check out a bit how that affects my operating system and programs but... eh, I think I can work with this."

    Having said that, he snatched the elastic from Elaine's hand and started struggling on getting his hair into some sort of ponytail.

    "Though I'd like to do away with the whole 'lesbian lovers' things. I've been called many things in my life, but I don't think I'm quite ready for that," he grunted, frowning at his own reflection. "The furthest I'm willing to go at this point is 'lovers'."

    --- Wait did he really just say that with a straight face?

    "Anyways, you're more in the loop than I am. The last day or so have been a bit of a fever dream for me, so you lead, I'll follow - and I'll trust you to bring me up to speed as well," Kean finally said, turning around and nodding like he was ready to go. "Are we gonna gather anyone else up for the morning pow-wow? Or just us two?"

    He pulled over one of his old-looking leather coats in order to hide those parts of him that didn't exactly have normal skin anymore.

    "And how do you think we'll track down Mr. Tall-Dark-And-Handsome?"




    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: End's Mercy Hospital
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Mm, that's alright, Zaza."

    Cesarina, despite the weariness and fatigue of her current situation clearly weighing down on her, managed to smile.

    "You did not force anything on me. And in all honesty, I think I much rather prefer the truth than to always be in the dark. No matter how bitter it is," the green-haired girl said, before turning her gaze towards the window as well. "I've... for the past few years, I think I have always felt that the people around me, especially my family, have been harboring some strange secrets they refuse to tell me. So, the fact that you could be honest with me, even with this situation being what it is... well, I am glad."

    Something about that seemed to amuse Potemkin, as the monochrome girl chuckled quietly to herself.

    "... In a way, I guess I am used to bitter pills to swallow. Been in enough hospitals during my lifetime, after all!"

    It might have been a joke, but it wasn't exactly a funny one.

    Still, while the two talked, Alexstrasza's hands rummaged quietly through the pockets of Devon's signature coat. To her surprise, the blonde girl did not find hidden weaponry or holy relics useful in combat. Instead, what the pockets were filled with were mostly... mundane items. A receipt from some roadside diner. A key to a bike's lock. A wrapper of a candy bar. Some sort of crumpled up paper note. Two pieces of gum. Couple of coins. And lastly...

    ... Was that a folded up polaroid picture in a plastic sleeve?

    Wonder what that was about?

    "Though, speaking of which, speaking of truth and what to do next... Zaza?"

    Cesarina's sudden voice called Alexstrasza back from her investigation. The girl was looking straight at her, and there was a surprisingly serious look on her face.

    "I do not think you will be finding more about what is going on by hanging out here. I mean, do not get me wrong - I appreciate you being here. But it is clear that there is a lot more going on. Something strange and big and scary is happening, and being stuck in this room like me won't help you one bit," Cesarina spoke sternly. "You already protected me for one night, and it looks like I'll be safe... for now. Especially with light out. So even if the truth can be bitter, I think you should head out and look for it in the ways only you can, instead of spending the whole day sitting in that corner."

    A somewhat calm, somewhat somber smile stayed on those lips.

    "I can also take care of myself when need be."




    Elise Pelltier & Lucille Faraday
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitories - Outside Elise's Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    The young man chuckled.

    "I think I've had quite enough of rest for one lifetime, Miss Faraday," he said, before pausing to ponder the other question. "Hmm... You know what? I haven't had anything from AD's in such a long while, I wouldn't actually mind heading there."

    A sudden smile spread to Samuel's face.

    "And if Avery really is still as good as she was back then, that'll certainly be well worth it. Maybe age has even mellowed out her temper a little bit," the boy continued with a chuckle. "So, if you two don't have anything against it, maybe we could have our breakfast there? Take a corner table. Talk while we eat. That's how we used to do it back in the day. You'd be surprised at how well-suited the place is for secret meetings."

    As the boy took a moment to get his coat and throw it on, some sort of idea seemed to dawn upon him, and a rather worried look passed by his face. Awkwardly, he ran his hand through his soft hair, mulling about whatever was bothering him... but then he simply sighed and let it go, apparently unable to come up with a good answer. Thus, instead, he turned back to the two girls.

    "I just realized. I doubt Avery has heard of my miraculous recovery yet, so going there... might be a bit of a shock. Then again. It might be that she won't even recognize me. It's... been a while," Samuel commented, before shrugging. "Ah well. We'll cross that bridge when we get there. Now, shall we be on our way? Oh, and don't worry, Miss Faraday."

    Samuel patted his jacket's pocket, which jingled quite happily.

    "I was quite good at finding lost spare change when in my... temporary body," the young man said with a slightly impish grin.




    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Sakura nearly dropped the kettle she had been handling.

    "W-wait, what?"

    It was a good thing that the older girl had pretty much gotten all the parts that required her immediate attention out of the way. That allowed her to just leave the kettle onto the stovetop and then slowly, like a slightly rusted clock, turn her body around to stare at Hisa. Sakura's eyebrows had shot towards her hairline and her eyes were wide open, as if she was unable to quite believe what she had just heard.

    Thus, curiosity and shock intermingling in her eyes, she swooped closer and sat down at the table as well. In a way she almost looked like she was ready to gossip, in another she definitely understood how serious ths revelation was.

    But was it really that weird?

    "Did... did you really just say 'Thule Society'? As in, the occultic arm of the Nazi Germany? Really? That's... wow. Those guys were from there?" Sakura asked, sounding like she had hard time believing this. "That group that had a membership list that 'read like a Who's Who of early Nazi sympathizers and leading figures in Munich', or however they claimed? I mean, I was expecting strange Turnside organizations, conspiracy theory factions, ancient magical figures and all that sort of jazz regarding this tangle of mysteries we're in, but... Nazis? Really? Nazis?"

    For a moment, the girl looked like she didn't know whether to laugh or groan.

    "I mean... then again, I'm no expert on that sorta stuff. No idea if the actual Thule Society was even in any way involved with the Turnside, or if they were just a group that skimmed the same waters we're deeply entrenched in. Would have to ask from someone who knows the history of old western Mystics," Sakura admitted, leaning back in her chair and sipping on her tea. "But if they really are that group, or at the very least say they are - even if they're just using a symbolical name - then... what does that mean? Why are they here? What are they even after?"

    Sakura rubbed her chin, thinking back to the previous night and her own encounter with the group.

    "... From what I remember, that girl said that they had been hired by Michael to help him out, but the way she spoke made it almost sound like it was a 'side-gig' of sorts. Or maybe even that she had gone off on her own, moonlighting as a hired thug. If I'm right, Michael had promised some information to them in return of helping out with the fight, but... well, before we could find out anything, things had already come to an end," the older girl explained, before finally looking at Hisa. "Still, where did you meet them? And was one of them a blonde girl with a red cloak and a mechanical red arm? That's the one we met last night, along with the undead Arc-Relic. And more importantly..."

    Sakura's eyes narrowed a little.

    "--- I don't have dried fruit, but I do have umeboshi ​- if you're brave enough to try them."

  8. #4108
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: End's Mercy Hospital
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Alright? I don't really believe it is alright Cesarina. I prod more at the coat, pulling out the packaged photograph and looking at it curiously, before peering over awkwardly at Cesarina, and her faint smile.

    Cesarina spoke of a bizarre situation, of a web made of deceit that had woven itself around her from people who she should naturally be close to - family members, even. Even something as loathsomely simple as 'honesty' was an almost foreign thing due to the nature of who she was.

    I frowned.

    "You should not be pleased overmuch, Cesarina," I said with a sigh, biting my lip as I fiddled with the photo, turning it over my knuckles, transferring it delicately from one finger to the next with the slightest aid of a faint shadow from between my fingers. "While I would agree that truth is preferable to deception, there are some deceptions that can be truly dangerous when torn away from."

    The Turnside may appear outwardly to be a savior, but it is the grandest devil to ever exist. Something so insidious and sly that it cannot be stopped, halted or even contained; it will devour those it meets with all of its warmth, enwrapping them in its arms so tightly that they may never escape. Is such a thing not horrifying? Magic, the arcane, whatever it is you wish to refer to it as - the moment you lift the veil we call reality, you are forever betrothed to it. And a more dangerous spouse has never existed.

    I blinked rapidly as Cesarina spoke of truth, and said that I should leave her alone. That one night was more then enough nights.

    I clenched my fist.

    "Truly?" I said, a discomfort stirring in my gut. "But... what of tonight? And tomorrow? And the night after that? And the nights after that one, and a hundred nights from now, or however many it is until you're able to... to leave the hospital once more?"

    Ah yes.

    I remember now. There aren't anymore nights awaiting me after this one.

    Tonight, after all, is the night I die.

    "But, I suppose that you are correct Cesarina," I said, feeling a strange thing tightening in my throat. "There are things far too mysterious to be left alone. I would not feel... just, however, leaving you entirely unguarded."

    I gave an unfavorable glance towards the inept being that called itself my familiar.

    "My dearest Potemkin," I said to her with a curtsy, smiling at the monochrome figure with bright and peering eyes, "Would you mind so terribly if I asked for your assistance in this matter? While I know you are weak of ability, I am sure you are strong of heart!"

    I paused, smiling as I brushed my thumb against my nose and gave her a brilliant V with my non-photo holding hand.

    "Also, you can just scream for me if anything goes horribly wrong! Or perhaps if anything goes horribly right."

    Actually, realistically if I gave Potemkin permission to shriek into my mind whenever she pleased, wouldn't she... wouldn't she do it all the time!? Seven choirs please, no. Absolutely not.

    I pretended that I did not have that thought in a place where Potemkin might have been able to hear it, and opened the photo that had been slipped into Devon's jacket. Naturally, I was inspecting it for clues. Information, as it were, was in short supply for me these days. I was going to have a devil of a time unravelling this when most of my allies had nary a clue about the supernatural whatsoever. Or, if they did know anything at all, they were cursed by a rather ridiculously specific and inconvenient Geass.

    ...Perhaps I should have another discussion with Johnathan Dove. He was, after all, a person on a similar wavelength to mine. His aid would be most useful, even if the last time I had spoken with him had introduced me to a scent all too eerily familiar. A scent that had made my blood run hotter in my veins, and my non-existent heart claw its way up to my throat.

    Well, no matter. A simple threat of non-existence has never stopped a mage from doing anything before. What is a mage, but pride incarnated into a person after all? The pride to stand boldly before the world, and to reject its very premise. To say that which is is not, and that which is not is.

    Oh! So that was how you opened the container. Kufufu, there was after all, no way that a lowly dog of the Church could ever compare to the wisdom of the night's most ancient and noble of creatures: the vampire!

    I fumbled with the photo for a moment as I removed it, but slowly unfolded it to reveal the image inside.
    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.


  9. #4109
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Colt Davin
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Lobby
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast


    “Nnn…”

    A weak groan accompanied a pair of eyes hesitantly opening. A short sleep following a night of paranoia, violence, rain, gunfire and anxiety did not make for good rest. Nor did the light upon his sensitive, groggy eyes make for a pleasant awakening.

    Indeed, Colt Davin was not a morning person. He woke up pitiably every day, looking more corpse than man. Normally the blaring of an alarm clock was required to cause his stone-like eyelids to budge, but perhaps it was due to nerves, perhaps it was a rare, momentous effort from his circadian rhythm, or perhaps it was just destined for him to rouse from his slumber. Whatever the cause, he woke. He blinked, as if it would make the light go away, and glanced around.

    The sight of the others sleeping so peaceably made it believable that last night was more dream than reality. But by now he had given up on those notions, there was no running from reality, however inconvenient, dangerous, and painful it was.

    Colt counted Sierra, Liana and the hardest man on earth to say anything positive about. His classmates Vier and Aleen were accounted for, along with Kajal and her brother.

    The mosquito gave a brief account of the unaccounted for, which Colt vaguely overheard from where he was resting.

    Odd.

    Cathie was nowhere to be seen, nor part of Hawthorn’s list. Had she woken up and wandered off already? She had already slept plenty more than anyone else present, so it seemed plausible. Not only that, but aside from the throbbing ache in his stomach where Kajal’s strange attack had hit him, what was the weight on his shoulder?

    Colt glanced over, finally spotting the tree that he had missed in the forest.

    The corpse came alive in that moment. The cogs which had rusted during his sleep began to turn with engineering precision.

    His thoughts raced.

    What? Since when? What do I do? Can I get up? Will I wake her up? Should I wake her up? Is this okay? Up close like this, when she’s not slamming me, she’s pretty cute… Wait, no. When and how is this going to come back to bite me? Nothing in this life is free! Good things don’t happen to me in Road’s End, not without equal or greater bad things!

    In contrast, the young man lay motionless on the couch, afraid of rousing the sleeping girl from her sleep.

    He glanced about, looking for a single answer to any of his many questions, then turned his eyes back to Cathie.

    … Whatever.

    Seeing no way out, and not wanting to wake her up unless he had to, he just gave up.

    She has to wake up eventually.

    Reaching that resolution, Colt relaxed and laid his head back into the leather. After staring for a moment at the ceiling, he closed his eyes.

    I guess if she’s still asleep once Ferguson gets back I’ll bite the bullet and wake her up…


  10. #4110
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka?
    Location: Abandoned Cabin
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    I systematically brush out the tangles in Ahti's hair as he talks, telling his story with a nonchalance that borders on the eerie. His hair is cleaner than it was yesterday, but somehow it got all messed up again. Maybe the rain wasn't very good for him. Shouldn't cats be good at grooming?

    An image of Ahti licking himself clean flashes through my mind, bringing with it an uncontrollable giggle.

    He really is dirty though. And that stuff about scars and scabs... it's true. But why would his head have those? And why would they itch? Was he really put through so much punishment? I run my fingers over the scars. Gently, so as to soothe any itching rather than agitate. Even the one behind his ear that he warned me of... I half-expect to find some kind of bump, an implanted device or item there, like you'd put in your pet to track it so it doesn't run away, but it's just healed wounds. Evidence of the hostility Ahti had to endure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahti
    "And my eye? Uh, yeah. It's an evil eye. Sort of. A curse is more like it, but the function's the same. Haven't needed to use it for a long while, though, so I keep it tucked away. It's something that's been in my family forever, passed down from one Jalopeura to another. Like a memento or an heirloom."

    "... Of course, I just pried it outta the socket of my old man. Like hell he would've given it to me freely. Anyways, it's nothing too fancy. Better than the kade that those witches in the west like to play with, nothing as major as the Bileygr across the sea. Not that I like using it. It's like an open funnel of gas and I'm just supposed to strike a match over it. Not a nice feeling."
    "So it was an evil eye, huh... and you took it from that jerk..."

    It's not difficult to picture. The young boy, now a man. Once kicked around, now doing the kicking. Reaching for an old man, knife gleaming...

    I shake my head to dispel the disturbing thought.

    "If you don't like it, and it's cursed, why don't you...?"

    That's a dumb question. Of course you'd want to hold onto it. It's something passed down through your family, after all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahti
    "What about you? Don't you have anything left to you like that?"
    "E-eh? Me?"

    Do I have anything? Have I inherited something? That's an easy one.

    "Hah, not a thing!" I cheerfully brush away the remaining tangles and knots. "Closest thing to inheritance is the Odic Stem in my head; Father helped design it, and it doesn't even work right all the time without medicine. I don't know where my genes come from. Father might've donated some of his own to the Alphabet Soup, but we never asked. Just having each other was enough." Paula Rushmore has a mother somewhere, who wants to see her. But Prushka never actually had parents in the first place. "But uh... well, Darwin got me the Dragon as a birthday present, does that count? It's pretty cool. Maybe even cooler than a magic eye."

    With that light provocation, I'm done and Ahti's hair is nice and settled. I jump off the chair, drain the coffee cup ("Ugh! This is awful!"), and then triumphantly pull the last TV Dinner from my pack.

    "It's gonna have to be a TV lunch. And a quick one, if you wanna do anything this afternoon before... y'know."

  11. #4111
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitories - Elise's Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Elise nodded in agreement with Samuel's choice of venue.

    "It's your first real meal in such a long time, it ought to be something special!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel Lowgate
    "I just realized. I doubt Avery has heard of my miraculous recovery yet, so going there... might be a bit of a shock. Then again. It might be that she won't even recognize me. It's... been a while. Ah well. We'll cross that bridge when we get there. Now, shall we be on our way? Oh, and don't worry, Miss Faraday."
    "I was a little worried about that too... you've been comatose in the hospital for seven years, there's a lot of people who'll be surprised to see you out and about again. Its bound to cause a stir, but I don't think there's any way around it."

    Elise thought about the get well card left behind by a friend of his on the nightstand beside Samuel's bed at End's Mercy Hospital. Samuel had friends who missed him. Samuel had friends who were waiting for him. Samuel had friends who believed one day he'd wake up again, and that day had come.

    "You can hardly hide away somewhere. I mean, you could, but I'm sure you'd rather not. There are people you'd like to see again, and things you'd want to do, right?"

    She considered the impending deadline. If tomorrow were anything like the last Sunday, Samuel like didn't have a lot of time to enjoy being in his own body again before disaster struck Pinefall and Road's End again.

    "Like you said, it's a bridge you've got to cross, so why not get pie while you're at it?"

    Despite her cheer, Elise frowned slightly, "Although it just might be a little awkward if anyone finds out that you were never actually discharged from the hospital..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel Lowgate
    "I was quite good at finding lost spare change when in my... temporary body."
    Elise grinned mischievously at Samuel's considerable collection of coins.

    "I'm always amazed by how much loose change people lose. I once managed to pull almost $20 out of a couch once," said Elise, beaming proudly at the memory of her finds.

  12. #4112
    Konkon Kitsune~ Kuroyuki's Avatar
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    Vier Wolff
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    I woke up from my nap to the sound of someone waking up roughly. It took a moment for me to remember the current situation. Location: Road’s End Country Club. Events… Stopped hostilities between Omkaras and current defenders. Elimination of the malicious entity after she refused to surrender… And… I started to watch over Aleen King. I’m sure anyone with medical knowledge would’ve been sufficient to watch her…

    But I felt responsible for her predicament. If I didn’t show up, if I didn’t befriend her, Aleen King wouldn’t have been in danger. Even if I assumed that the town was doomed if we didn’t fix this town before Sunday, I placed her in danger needlessly… At least… This time, she didn’t die because of my mistakes… I was thankful for the current friendly forces. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have been able to nap and I would’ve spent the time mired in my negative emotions.

    However, that respite was coming to an end. I looked at Aleen King with several mixed emotions. Relief. Worry. Happiness. Guilt. Ease. Fear… With this many conflicting feelings, how was I supposed to react with Aleen King now? I called her my friend yet I couldn’t tell Nora Norumbega managed to sneak in and replace Aleen King without me knowing any better. If it wasn’t Liana Skye, I’m sure she would’ve gotten away with it too. I don’t know. I just don’t know. All I know is that Vier Wolff shouldn’t be with others. I’m just a horrible friend who should just be forgotten.

    I got up from my pulled up chair before Aleen King could say anything.

    “If you feel any side effects, reach out to Fyrtio or the FBI agent. They should be able to assist you.”

    I started walking away without explaining myself further. I just need to be away from everyone for the time being. So I can’t be here. I didn’t feel like staying in a room. Eventually someone would try to interact with me… So I’ll... Patrol the perimeter to familiarize myself and then settle into a hidden vantage point… That way I can avoid everyone and still be productive...

  13. #4113
    死徒(下級)Lesser Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Umeboshi is, I...I'm not sure if you're supposed to put that into rice pudding," I answered as my face scrunched up slightly just from the thought of the sour fruit, "I know that it's healthy at least, but...maybe a bit too intense for my taste buds. Unless you sweeten it up, but at that point, it really shouldn't go anywhere near the pudding."

    I couldn't help but imagine Gradient and Pyry trying to eat something like that, with reactions that brought a tiny smirk onto my face. Yet, as priceless as it might have been to see their reactions for real, it was perhaps for the best to spare them from such an experience for the time being.

    "Anyways...No, it wasn't her. It was a grim looking man with a really no-nonsense attitude...Kind of like Devon, in a sense, just even more serious. Didn't talk at all either, though I'm certain that he is an esper. Couldn't quite pinpoint what he could do, but one tends to recognize their own kind."

    There was, of course, another quite important detail. Something that I couldn't blurt out that easily, however, and as my explanation came to a halt for the moment, I found myself struggling to decide whether or not I was content with sharing something like that with Sakura. Still, finally, I leaned down to my backpack that was resting next to me on the ground, and after opening it up, I started searching around for the item in question.

    "The other one was a red haired woman with burn scars similar to mine. I think she was an esper as well, with some form of pyrokinesis as her ability," I continued while rummaging through my bag, "Though more importantly, they had that Arc Relic with them. I feel like they are...training it, or something. It seemed to be rather imperfect, but it's still a weapon, and as a living, thinking thing, it probably has the potential to evolve. What's more weird is that they were adamant on claiming that they got what they wanted, despite the fact that they had to retreat without retrieving what they said they came for..."

    Really, how was I supposed to be at peace with the fact that I just let them escape? It seemed like they were going to be a problem more than anything, and all this because I couldn't be more forceful.

    With a sigh, I shook my head slightly as I straightened my back out, my attention back on Sakura as I placed a small, round object on the table.

    "There's also this, though I've no idea what to do neither with the name nor with the affiliation. They were clearly wearing the insigna of the Thule Society on their uniforms, yet the man also carried this - and far as I know, Montauk has to do with the government, but the two organizations should not exactly be on good terms with each other."

  14. #4114
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory – Souma Nubatama’s Bedroom (Room 109)
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast



    John closes his eyes so that Souma does not seem him rolling them. For one who claims not to belong to the Turnside, Souma is as full of it as the whole lot of them.

    “…there is no real you. Is that something you want to believe, Souma, or something you need to believe?”

    John brazenly sits on the edge of Souma’s bed, making himself thoroughly at home on the Spartan room.

    “The ‘real’ you is the one you choose to show me, Nubatama. But you are rather fond of obfuscation, are you not? You called it a ‘blackjack table’. A game, and one you are so eagerly playing, more so than anybody else.”

    He shrugs.

    “So, when did you start playing? When did it become so amusing to play the game? Am I—no, were we all trapped in Souma Nubatama’s game the moment we first saw you in the bus?”

    Yes, John Dove is thoroughly playing along, as the enabler he is. Perhaps he is even having fun, the little creep.

    “Was it something that started all the way in your native Japan, or a product of your American years? You being ‘unknowable’ to me is not merely a limitation of my perception, or whatever delusions I may or may not have. We can never see more than what you are willing to show, Nubatama. That’s how this ‘communication’ thing works. So, what is it that keeps you playing this game of yours? Is it your intrinsic nature, your magnanimity, or something you need to do?”

    Stop.

    John catches himself, and if Souma looked at him, he would see a John Dove visibly disappointed at himself.

    “No, this…” he sighs, burying his forehead in his right hand. “…this is not what I came here to do. My apologies. The lack of sleep might be getting to me.”

    An admission of weakness the John Dove of the past ten years would have never voiced out loud.

    “I didn’t come here to pry into how your mind works, Souma. To be honest, you can be a victim, a psychopath, or the goddamn Mothman for all I care. It makes no difference to me.”

    Again, rambling, you deranged buffoon. Get to the point already, Dove.

    “I came here to pick your mind about what you may have seen this week, and you answered me, sparse as the answer may be. What I know is that there’re way too many people skulking around, and I don’t mean just our classmates. This place is filled with secrets and plots and, like you said, people holding their cards close. But that’s not going to last. Somebody will make a move, very soon. Perhaps it already happened, somewhere I can’t see.”

    John looks straight at Souma, hopefully projecting just how seriously he takes this entire situation.

    “What I want to know, Souma, is on what side you will be when it all comes to a head. Will you help us? Will you throw us to the wolves?”

    The corner of his lips twists in a somewhat self-deprecating sneer.

    “Or are you one of the wolves, inwardly mocking me for my stupidity?”

  15. #4115
    Beware the Finnish Ringlets Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: End's Mercy Hospital
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Potemkin cackled.

    "A-ha-ha-ha-ha~! Well, if it pleases you, oh Master And Commander, I shall do my very best to have my shriek of death reach you when a particularly strong breath from a passing nurse makes me keel over and die~!" the monochrome girl replied and took a deep, sarcastic bow. "I would like to remind you of course, oh most widest one, that I have no abilities whatsoever, so expecting me to defend this fair maiden's honor is a dream that shall never come true."

    Putting her hands on her hip, the creature then took a look at Cesarina - who stared back a little confused - and smirked.

    "... Well, I guess I do have a knack for running away. Survival is far better than fighting, anyways."

    At the very least the creature seemed to be in a good enough mood to help out... if this truly could be called "helping out".

    Cesarina, on the other hand, smiled reassuringly at Alexstrasza now, clearly having realized that her friend wasn't exactly fond of the idea of leaving her alone. That being said, it was also clear that the heiress was adamant about her decision, and firmly believed that Alexstrasza was needed elsewhere much more than just sitting around in a hospital room doing nothing.

    "Do not say it like it's the last time we'll see each other. I'll be here only a day or two more, and after that, I'll be right as rain again! This sort of stuff is an old hat for me, after all," the girl said. "A weekly thing, almost. Or monthly. Well, nevertheless, it is nothing to worry about overmuch. And if you really grow restless, you can always use a phone at school to call me here - the nurses can transfer the call to this room, after all."

    She nodded towards the white phone that hung on the wall.

    "Still, while I am stuck in bed, it is up to you to do th legwork for both of us. Whatever's really going on... it is not something we can ignore, even if one of us is bedridden. And if you can truly communicate via Potemkin here, you can pass on any information to me - I can try to help out by thinking," Cesarina said, then giggled a bit. "God knows I am not in the shape to do anything else at the moment. That being said..."

    Having realized that her friend was holding something in her hands, Cesarina raised her eyebrows.

    "What have you got there?"

    Indeed. What did Alexstrasza have?

    A photograph. A simple, old, black-and-white polaroid photograph that had been folded and opened many times, to the point that the user had put a protective plastic sleeve over it. In other words, it must have been precious to him. Something he carried with him wherever he went.

    And as the girl opened up the photograph...

    ... Huh.

    The boy in the photo... even Alexstrasza recognized that almost hauntingly intense, robotic glare. That had to be Devon. But the young woman?

    The woman in that photograph...

    The one in the old, stained photograph.


    ... She looked vaguely familiar too, didn't she?



    Liana Skye & Colt Davin
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Lobby
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    "Uunn-ngyah!"

    The first sound that properly broke the silence of the lobby was, in the end, the sound of Sierra Pinkerton suddenly finding her "pillow" gone from underneath her and promptly bonking her head against the surface of the leather couch. The young girl flailed a bit, clearly somewhere between a dream and reality, before her one good eye shot open and she stared upwards with a look of confusion... only to immediately relax a bit when she saw Liana's face.

    It was then that she realized her own position, sprawled on the couch with both the vampire and the older girl gazing down at her.

    As was expected, the promptly flushed a bit red and hurried to sit up properly, trying to straighten out the wrinkles in her clothes as she did.

    "A-ah, oh, um... g-good morning, you two. It seems the night has p-passed, hasn't it!" Sierra spoke out, maybe a bit louder than she intended. "I-I'm very sorry for imposing on you like that, I didn't even realize when I had fallen asleep, and---"

    Hawthorn's cackling cut her off, and the expression on the young girl's face quickly turned into a pout.

    "H-hey, what are you laughing at! Stop it this instant!"

    Despite Sierra's protests, the older man did no such thing. Instead, he stood up from the couch as well and started putting on his long leather coat.

    "Just getting my laughs on for today, princess - that's all," Hawthorn said, before glancing at Liana. "Anyways, can you look after her while you do cook and stuff? I got few things I wanna check out before I clock out. Nothing major, and I'll try to stay within yelling distance. Shouldn't take too long either."

    He gestured vaguely towards the second floor.

    "Oh, and... keep an eye out for that one too, okay?"

    The last words were said with a more hushed voice, and Hawthorn's gaze focused onto Vier Wolff, who had also woken up... and was promptly leaving the building while the others were still talking.

    "W-wait, don't you dare run away after making fun of me!" Sierra continued to complain in the background, not noticing the massive cowlick she had acquired during the night's rest, which made her anger even more goofy than usual. "I may be a bit out of it because I've just woken up, but I know when I've been insulted, you brute!"

    Meanwhile, not too far away, it seemed that Sierra's little outburst had awoken someone else.

    Namely, Cathie Walker.

    The flame-haired girl let out a groan and started to stir, her eyes fluttering open as she blearily took in the overcast morning scenery that greeted her. She then proceeded to let out a tiny yawn that was almost like a squeak and lifted her hands, rubbing her eyes in a rather childish way. From there the girl switched to stretching, finally lifting her head from her resting place and spreading her arms so she could pop her back at the same time... and managed to bonk Colt on the side of his head while she did so.

    Clearly the early morning made her reactions slower as well, as Cathie managed to smack her lips multiple times and watch the lobby with slight confusion before it even registered to her that she had hit something. Looking somewhat curious, she looked beside her... and saw Colt there. For a moment Cathie sat there, staring at his face... and then she snorted, a slight grin rising to her groggy face.

    "Uh, sorry 'bout that. Didn't mean to slug you," the girl said, her voice sounding a bit out of it. "Oh and g'morning. Guess we both survived the night, huh? Not sure if I expected that, what with all the weirdness happening."

    Naturally, Cathie's eyes were then drawn lower, towards the shoulder she had been using as a pillow... and the drool-stain she had left on Colt's shirt. She blinked at it, taking her moment to realize it was her fault, and when she did... she grimaced.

    "Oh, shoot - didn't mean to slobber all over your clothes," the girl said and clicked her tongue. "Here, lemme see if I can..."

    She took the sleeve of her sweater and tried to wipe off the worst of the stain, not making much progress no matter the effort. Eventually she just gave up and sighed.

    "Uh... yeah, that ain't gonna work. Hold on, I think I need some coffee in me before I do anything else," she said with a giggle and flashed another tired grin at Colt. "Brain no work 100% this early, yeah?"



    Vier Wolff
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Outside
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    As Vier exited the country club, overcast skies and the hint of more rain in the future greeted her.

    It was like being stuck in an eternal autumn.

    And indeed, she more or less was.

    Giving the front yard a quick once-over, it was almost like last night's trials and trauma had been nothing but a bad dream. But once you looked closer, small signs started to pop up here and there. All the footprints in the muddy grass. The carefully-maintained rosebushes that had been stepped on and uprooted. The lack of vehicles (aside from theirs) at the parking lot. It was all there to tell that yes, despite how much one could have wanted last night to be a nightmare, it had been all too real. And now they would have to tangle with the aftermath, and whatever that meant for the whole group.

    As Vier's eyes scanned the perimeter, she saw that Ferguson was out by the gates, speaking into that dictating machine of his. The agent noticed her as well, and gave her a nod as a greeting before turning around and continuing whatever he was doing. Perhaps it was best to leave him alone - lest his eccentric ways pull Vier into whatever strange he was up to now.

    Instead, Vier started to continue with her patrol around the building, and as she rounded the corner to the west... she started hearing noises.

    Well, music to be more precise.

    It seemed that Zane was listening to radio while he was working at the shack nearby, repairing the phonelines. That much Vier could guess, considering the metal shutter was once more open, and the boy was nowhere to be seen - aside from clear electric light coming from inside. But outside of the building?

    Well, there was someone there too.

    Leaning against the wall, gazing quietly at the scenery around her.

    At least, until she noticed Vier.


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

    Fyrtio said nothing, nor did she give a gesture or a greeting.

    Instead, her single eye just locked onto Vier, as if she was watching what she was up to.




    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "......"

    Sakura was quiet as she slowly picked up the strange metal emblem from the table and let her eyes take in its details - both the symbol and the name that could be found there. She then turned the thing around, inspecting it from multiple angles, before finally turning it back around so she could read the name there one more time. And then once more. And once more. And every time she did, the frown on her face got stronger and stronger. Finally the older girl placed the emblem gently back on the table and turned her eyes back to Hisa... and worry was clear on her face.

    "... Well. That's... honestly, I don't know what to say. Other than that I take it you don't believe that to be a coincidence?" Sakura asked, glancing back at the emblem. "Yeah, I mean... when has anything been a coincidence in this town, right? Especially since... since from what you're saying, that's not the only thing about those two that catches attention, huh? Hmm..."

    The brunette went quiet, rubbing her chin and gazing down at the item in question with a deep frown on her face. It was hard to say what was going through her mind, but for once, Sakura actually let her usual disguise of a bubbly girl much younger than she actually was fall away. Instead, the sharpness in her gaze denoted some of the wisdom that had come with age.

    And when she finally opened her mouth once more, she reached out and put her hand on Hisa's shoulder, squeezing it lightly.

    "--- Still, whatever that means, just keep your mind strong and your wits about you. Coincidence or no, it's not something that you should let shake your determination, right?" Sakura said. "And if you ever need someone to talk to... well, I suppose you have quite a few who are more than happy to listen, but just know that I'm here too. I know a little what it's like to come face-to-face with nasty surprises like that."

    Letting go of Hisa's shoulder, the girl leaned backwards in her choice and took another sip of her tea, enjoying the taste and letting it calm her down once more. After all, right now there was not much either of them could do about this, aside from merely talking and exchanging ideas and theories.

    And speaking of which...

    "But I think you're right. Thule or no, whoever these people are, they seem to be heavily connected with this. And the fact that they have connection to both organization certainly muddies the waters. I could throw out a few possibilities, like the man being a double-agent, this all being a ploy of some sort, or that he was even attempting trickery, but... it's impossible to say, right? Not without more information," Sakura continued, clicking her tongue. "If anything, a good place to start would be finding someone who would know about Thule Society and what sort of people they are - or if they're even real. Or, well, if the original was - you get the idea."

    Sakura smiled a little.

    Almost mischievously.

    "And speaking of finding something, well... if you don't want to challenge the umeboshi at your breakfast, I do have a little something that I've saved for a rainy day... but you have to promise me you don't tell anyone about them - especially milady," Sakura said, wiggling her eyebrows. "They're a bit of a guilty pleasure, so having her find out about them would cause... trouble, I feel."

    The older girl then nodded towards the upper cabinets of the kitchen.

    "Top shelf, behind the bag of unhusked almonds - that's where I keep the good stuff," Sakura said, flashing her pearly whites as she grinned. "--- By which I mean a jar of dried kumquats with sugar coating."




    John Dove
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory – Souma Nubatama’s Bedroom (Room 109)
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "... That is simple. I am nothing."

    The answer was spoken in an almost monotone voice, far-removed from the previous slightly cheerful, almost lilting tone that the one-eyed boy had used. He walked over to the rack and took his towel, thoroughly drying his body without missing a spot. It was during that moment that John was able to observe that weirdly enough, aside from his hair, Souma Nubatama was... practically hairless. And not just in that way. His thighs, his arms, his chest, his back... it was all smooth, glistening, hairless. An effect that could hardly be just his physical make-up. Did he seriously shave of all his body hair aside from his hair?

    And if he did, what did that say about him?

    "'Souma Nubatama' is an abstraction. Something illusory, created by the people around him. Observed by others, who then proceed to think this is what Souma Nubatama is. But it's not. What is mistaken for cause and effect, motivation and result, is nothing but a whim. Well, most of the time. A random act by the entity they've taken to calling Souma Nubatama," the boy proceeded to explain as he walked out of the shower, dry and naked, and made his way to the single wardrobe in the room. "I will not throw you to the wolves, nor am I a wolf myself. But neither do I have any reason to help you. Do you know why?"

    Souma opened up the doors of the wardrobe and soon enough, he was pulling on a pair of clean, white, well-fitting Calvin Kleins... of the exact same make and type as the ones he had been wearing before he had taken a shower. As John looked within the wardrobe, to his surprise (or perhaps not), he saw that it was just as empty and spartan as rest of the room. There were just few black tracksuits, what appeared to be a man's yukata of similar colours, and... well. At least a dozen pair of black leather gloves, each set neatly into their own part of the shelf.

    Once he had put on his underwear, Souma immediately picked out one of the glove-pairs, and put them on.

    "I have no imagination. So in all honesty, I can't think of why I'd help you - or hinder you. It's as simple as that. Perhaps a bit disappointing," the young man spoke. "No interests. No hobbies. Barely anything I really excel at. I don't care about art, I can't immerse myself in books, TV is just noise to me... and if I am quite honest."

    He smirked as he glanced back towards the radio.

    "I don't even like music. I just know I should listen to it."

    Having said that, he started putting on his clothes - but not one of his tracksuits. Instead, he started to put on the black yukata, almost like a man putting on his Sunday best, despite the fact that it was still Saturday.

    "But, if it's simply information you want, I can prodive that. I know things I've seen. Or heard. Maybe those will be of use to you, maybe they won't. To me, it's just information," Souma continued. "You seem to care about what's happening, so I can indulge you in that regard - even though I personally don't. For me, existence is always like this. One frozen moment that flows from one end to another. It's all the same, all the time."

    Finally, Souma Nubatama turned around, and stood before John in his weekend clothes.




    "Though, coming back to what you said before... I actually met the Mothman in the past. I think."

  16. #4116
    approaching euthymia Katie's Avatar
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    Lucille Faraday
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitories - Elise's Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    Lucille resists the urge to insist on paying—at some point trying to be courteous simply becomes rude, and the more she has to interact with people the more Lucille realizes she doesn’t know where to draw the line. It’s not a large problem, however—it’s the fact Samuel has left without being discharged—but there is nothing they could do about it under the circumstances. So, instead, Lucille turns her thoughts to the topic at hand.

    “Do people really misplace their money that often?” Scrounging for change was completely alien to Lucille, naturally, and that left the question of how long Samuel had been at it while apparently comatose. She doesn’t have the full story, but she isn’t sure if she really needs it at this point.

    “Anyway, I don’t mind going to the diner. I haven’t been there at all, and it’d be nice to try something local,” Lucille says, realizing she’s spent most of her time not enjoying her time at Road’s End. Then again, with her personality, was that unexpected? Probably not.

  17. #4117
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Colt Davin
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Lobby
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast


    The morning ritual of another who seemed to have low affinity for the early hours made for an interesting spectacle. Or perhaps it was the opposite, Cathie Walker woke up quite easily, blinked away her sleepiness and stretched out the stiffness of sleep with relative ease.

    Morning person or not, the yawn that was more like a squeak was indescribably cute. Something he’d have to engrave in his memory, and maybe bring up if he ever needed powerful ammunition in a pinch.

    But then, as fate would have it, such a thought was punished by a bonk on the head as Cathie stretched out.

    "Uh, sorry 'bout that. Didn't mean to slug you. Oh and g'morning. Guess we both survived the night, huh? Not sure if I expected that, what with all the weirdness happening."

    “Mornin’. One night down,” Colt rubbed his head, which actually didn’t hurt at all. It was a gentle ‘slugging’. “A whole weekend to go.”

    "Oh, shoot - didn't mean to slobber all over your clothes. Here, lemme see if I can..."

    “Uh, what?” That caught him off guard. Slobber, drool? She drooled on him? He glanced over at the shoulder, where sure enough, there was a decent sized spot. Compared to getting soaked in the rain, shot off a bike and falling into mud, and bleeding through more holes than any man could have, the drool spot barely even registered as an issue to Colt. In the back of his head, a raspy imp’s voice pointed out that it was a cute girl’s drool. Hearing that, he almost didn’t want to clean it off. “It’s probably fine, it’s just…”

    Before he could protest in full, Cathie began to try and wipe it away with her sleeve. An effort which honestly only smudged the border of the drool on his shirt.

    "Uh... yeah, that ain't gonna work. Hold on, I think I need some coffee in me before I do anything else. Brain no work 100% this early, yeah?"

    Colt rubbed his eyes. Now that he was free of his duty as furniture, he had the mobility to try and get the sleepy eye-boogers away from the corners of his eyes.

    “Yeah… I don’t even think my noodle turns on this early. Coffee, huh? I guess you’d be the coffee type. I just need some juice. Sugary, ice cold, pulpy juice. Most importantly, sugary. This thing,” he tapped his head. “It just runs on sugar.”

    He took a look around.

    “I’m sure we can find both around here.”


  18. #4118
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory – Souma Nubatama’s Bedroom (Room 109)
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast



    And there it is.

    John does not feel the euphoria of vindication by having his suspicions proven right. There is nothing to celebrate in this scene. Souma Nubatama now presents himself as the culmination of a path John Dove could have never walked.

    A John Dove without a compass. A John Dove without Her.

    “You are not a machine that merely responds to stimuli, Souma. You are definitely something. Someone, even.”

    And so am I.

    “It was not always like that, was it? I’m almost certain you had parents at one point. Perhaps you loved them; perhaps you hated them. But there was something at one point, was there not?”

    I, too, had parents at one point. I probably loved them.

    “I get where you are coming from, though: the psychiatrist insisted I had to find ‘something to be passionate about’, whatever that means. No luck with that thus far. Books…are basically information to be absorbed.”

    The whole “absorption” thing only seems to work on occult tomes, though.

    “And music does absolutely nothing for me. But for all I know, this might just be another misdirection of yours; a ploy to get me out of your case. I mean, you claim people build their own images of ‘Souma Nubatama’, but it is just as possible that you encourage specific images through carefully chosen cues, the way I am currently seeing elements of myself in you.”

    It is what he does—what he has done for way too long—so John knows this well.

    The shorter boy stares at the owner of the bedroom for a few moments, as if silently challenging him to prove him wrong, until his expression gradually relaxes.

    “On the other hand, that kind of circular thinking will get me nowhere, and I am not the type to second-guess every single thing another person tells me. It is easier to take things at face value and adjust my conceptions upon being proven wrong.”

    A dismissive shrug. He has not forgotten that Souma was apparently in prison before becoming a Pinefall student, though.

    “In any case, right now I cannot afford to think about your interest, hobbies, passions, or lack thereof. What I know is that I want to survive whatever is happening in this town. I need to live, so that I can keep looking for the very same things you claim to lack in your life, Souma. And if you were as apathetic about everything as you claim to be, you would have allowed death to take you years ago, either in your native Japan or at the TNT Area.”

    A second shrug, this one expression something akin to resignation.

    “So please, Souma: let’s help each other stay alive. Then maybe one day you can tell me your version of what really happened at Point Pleasant. I’m sure it makes for an intriguing story. Right now, however, I would rather focus on our present situation.”

    It is probably a mistake to be so pragmatic and detached, but it is how it is.

    "Please tell me what you know, starting with the Ghostwood. Have you explored the forest in any capacity? Then move on to our classmates, and any suspicious behaviors you may have noticed.”
    Last edited by Daneel Rush; October 15th, 2021 at 10:03 AM.

  19. #4119
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye/Sora Hikari
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Lobby
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast


    Quote Originally Posted by Sierra
    "A-ah, oh, um... g-good morning, you two. It seems the night has p-passed, hasn't it!" Sierra spoke out, maybe a bit louder than she intended. "I-I'm very sorry for imposing on you like that, I didn't even realize when I had fallen asleep, and---"
    ---An adorable reaction.

    The tiny moment of confused flailing, the combination of relief and a flushed face when she sees her, the obvious desire to appear dignified in spite of it all...

    Yes.

    It's the perfect image of a precocious young princess, one that makes it very, very difficult for Liana to resist the urge to respond to it in some fashion that would probably not only shatter that aura of "cool big sister," she tries to give off, but also make the girl mad at her...

    Giggling?

    Being overwhelmed by the cuteness factor -as she often is in certain plush toy sections of certain stores, or when seeing particularly small animals with particularly large eyes- and going for a sudden hug? Uncontrollable doting? Sudden adoption?

    Hair ruffling?

    Cackling?

    Undignified squeeing noise?

    Picture with a camera? Log as future teasing material? No. That one's impossible.

    Much like her passing encounter with a certain baby owl in town, the young woman has not brought her camera with her; it's a mistake that's proven to be critical twice now, one she'll have to fix in the future, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne
    "Just getting my laughs on for today, princess - that's all," Hawthorn said, before glancing at Liana. "Anyways, can you look after her while you do cook and stuff? I got few things I wanna check out before I clock out. Nothing major, and I'll try to stay within yelling distance. Shouldn't take too long either."
    Thankfully, Hawthorne's cackling distracts her from the weakness to the cute-!

    "That's fine." She smiles, arm muscles straining to not ruffle a certain preteen's hair. "That was basically my plan anyway."

    She winks at the smaller girl.

    "Part of a knight's duty is escorting princesses after all~"

    ---A bit of the teasing is coming through in spite of her best efforts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne
    "Oh, and... keep an eye out for that one too, okay?"
    Of course, when it comes to Thorne's comment on Vier, well...

    "...Yeah. I'll keep an eye open, try to talk to her the next good chance I get, where it's easier to stop her from running away."

    Really, that's almost all she can do in that particular scenario. Vier never answered what was wrong with her yesterday, and while she could make some guesses at the source of the issue, they were just guesses, still...

    Might have to be more forceful than normal, if she had learned (remembered?) any lesson from last night...

    It was that keeping the kid gloves on for others sometimes hurt them more in the long run...

    Sometimes you gotta force things.

    "But putting that aside, if you're going upstairs..."

    As her eyes flicker from Vier's retreating form back to Hawthorne's face, she-

    "There should be a CD-player and walkie-talkie in the boss's bedroom, a rain-coat shoved under the bed too. Not sure if it has pockets or anything, but she went out of her way to hide it, so it might be worth bringing back with you. Be careful though, and yell if you need me, I'll come running, I promise."

    -lowers her voice to speak directly to the older man, the silliness of the past few moments replaced by a quiet sense of sincerity, a reminder that she was around to help if he needed it, a thing he seemed to forget from time to time, but...

    She doesn't know what he plans to check out, but...

    If it's important, she figures he'd tell her, and he's saying it's nothing big, so...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sierra
    "W-wait, don't you dare run away after making fun of me!" Sierra continued to complain in the background, not noticing the massive cowlick she had acquired during the night's rest, which made her anger even more goofy than usual. "I may be a bit out of it because I've just woken up, but I know when I've been insulted, you brute!"
    "It wasn't an insult."

    Of course, when Sierra speaks back up, she lets her own more pleasant nature shine back through again-!

    "The way you woke up was adorable and that's not a bad thing, cute can be weaponized~"

    Smiling brightly, the tall girl kneels down a bit, one hand naturally going out in a gentle attempt to smooth away a certain glaring imperfection in the younger girl's hair...

    "So let him run for now, alright? We can bully him into submission later, there's an incident with a cookie jar I still have to pay him back for, heh..."

    She chuckles, eyes closing for a moment as if recalling a pleasant memory, then, after standing back up to her full height and retrieving her jacket from the couch-

    "Now then, Princess Sia..."

    -she bows low, in a fashion that some might call over the top although the movement itself was remarkably butler-like, the fluidity of the pose that of someone who might just be used to behaving in that sort of way (and might actually look the part entirely if she was wearing some sort of suit) although, once again...

    She seems to be trying to assign a nickname to the girl...

    "If you would do me the honor of accompanying me to the kitchen, I'll take care of the preparations for the morning meal," a charming voice, low but warm, "If you have any special requests, now would be the time to let me know. I'll do my best to make it happen~"

    As a knightess and former caretaker, she did have some points in maid-skills, as well as confidence in those skills!

    Quote Originally Posted by Colt
    “I’m sure we can find both around here.”
    So much confidence in fact, that...

    "If you'd like, I could handle that for the two of you as well."

    She casually throws this out as an offer, before, even more casually...

    "Also, Colt... Here."

    Tossing a certain set of keys in the boy's direction.

    "Sorry for borrowing it without permission yesterday. Pretty sweet ride though, it handled quite well in the rain!"

    ...Vaguely shameless.
    Last edited by Airen; October 17th, 2021 at 04:35 AM.
    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?



  20. #4120
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Mellon's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    The pale edge twirled lazily around its axis, its form suspended mid-air for a moment, even as Anna’s fingers slid the wooden hilt into place on top of the core of the blade. Currents of crimson magical energy surrounding the newly formed blade built up to a bright flash before vanishing to the aether in a brilliant crescendo.

    The dorm-room air was thick with the scent of ozone as the blade slowly floated downwards, its mirror surface catching the errant rays of light, even as it lazily came to rest in the middle of her desk.

    Natuke pooletoobine on, aga…. Well, can’t complain too much. It’d pass the evaluation at Ecliptic, at least. Given a bit more time and materials, I could make this fully shine, but… well, considering I neither have that time nor even half of an atelier, it’ll have to do.”

    Especially considering that it wasn’t the sole focus of her night either.

    A small, unintentional, yawn escaped Anna’s lips as she felt the mental (and physical) exertion of last night wash over her.

    “Wouldn’t say no to some additional shuteye, either. Maybe the moonchildren, villains in disguise, and vampires can put their nefarious plans on hold for a day?” Her eyes took in the state of her room. “Might as well ask them to give me some time to clean up as well while I’m at it.”

    Various magical reagents were scattered all over the floor and that was just the start of it. The woodcarving of the handle alone had been a painstaking process that had taken far too much time. And she was bound to miss some of the shavings carved wood somewhere. They always got bloody everywhere. Normally, she'd just burn them with a quick spell, but... The mortar and pestle that she’d been using earlier also needed to be cleaned as well and there was that damn glass vial she broke when collecting the mildew from the stones…

    As with everything, the clean-up was by far the most annoying and unsatisfying part of any task, whether it be cooking, pottery, sewing… or crafting magical items.

    A brief moment passed, as Anna looked at the mess that covered most of her room… and promptly decided to pass the buck along to her future self.

    Well, if this prophesized impostor ends up taking my head, I’ll at least be saved from the pain of cleaning up this entire mess.

    God, what I wouldn’t give for a proper workshop. Even sitting in the woods was better in this regard. At least there no one would bitch about the mess.

    A couple of minutes, and a quick shower, later Anna made her way out of her room and into the dorm proper. Her dark sports bag swayed a bit as she made her way down the stairs towards the common room and her crimson jacket, normally draped around her shoulders, was casually slung on top of it. Not that she needed to carry that much, honestly, but from what she remembered from her first go-around… an umbrella was pretty much vital equipment for today.

    As the raven-haired girl turned the corner, she caught a glimpse of the person she was looking for.

    One of them at least.

    “Morning, Indy.” Another unintentional yawn interrupted Anna’s morning greeting. “You still in one piece, I see. Manage to get some sleep, I hope?”

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