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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #4841
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Elise-Marie Pelltier
    Location: Listening Station Sigma
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast

    "As you surmised, the lot of you - students of Pinefall - have only began to act in rather irregular ways in the last two 'weeks.' Aside from that, things were more or less what to expect from such a sorry tale," The Benefactor replied. "I've no idea what is causing it, but for example, this is the first time I am speaking to any of you regarding these things. It is... a step in the right direction, I hope."

    It was a rather roundabout way of putting things, something that Elise couldn't help but to notice. Not only that, but the another her within seemed to agree. She could feel her reflected self's suspicion regarding the hooded figure. There was much that didn't add up here, and in a ways, it almost felt like both The Benefactor and Nikolai were choosing their words carefully, even if they had said they'd provide what answers they could.

    Even if they had learned a lot, it was like some thing were still kept in the dark for a purpose. But for what purpose? The veil of secrecy that hung around Road's End was thick, even when with supposed allies.

    ... Well, perhaps that was something they couldn't dwell into right now.

    Even if "as expected from such a sorry tale" was a rather ominous way of putting it.

    "But yes. James Halloway. One of the eldest residents still alive at Road's End. Although we have a rough understanding of the current state of Road's End, we are still missing what events lead to this point. Hence..." The Benefactor paused, and Elise could practically see a fanged smile on their lips. "... I would like you to make a little excursion into their library at Owl's Nest."

    That dusty old place?

    "... More specifically, his personal one hidden in his own chambers."




    Prushka & Colton Davin
    Location: Forest Ranger's Cabin
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Arc-Relic..."

    Alpa's muttered words that followed Prushka's explanation made the room fall silent.

    "That would... make sense. A powerful thing such as that, tinged with the stench of death, fragmented but still very much potent..." The girl quietly spoke, eyeing up the black shard. "... Whichever it is, we would do well to be careful. Potent items such as that do not just appear out of nowhere. They are where they are for a reason, brought there by... well, forces beyond our understanding. Like beats of a story."

    Ahti, on the other hand, let out a quiet growl from the depths of his stomach as his one good eye glared through the thing on the table.

    "Blade that's killed hundreds, even a god..." He said, his eye narrowing. "... I've got a few guesses as to what it could be, but nothing concrete yet. But it would line up with the idea of a draugr 'containing' it for a lack of a better word."

    Surprisingly, the tall youth then reached out and patted Colt on the back. It was like a couple of hits from a wild beast, but at least he meant well.

    "Good going, dude. That puts us one step forward."

    Though this, of course, begged the question: what now? If this shard was truly the fragment of some dangerous Arc-Relic, and if there were more of these shards scattered about the town... and if each was engulfed in the stench of the laughing, grinning, one-eyed monster from the mind's eye, where did that leave them? What should be done? It wasn't like they could just leave well enough alone - as Alpa had said, things like that do not appear out of nowhere.

    Surprisingly enough, it was Ranger Savage who spoke up first.

    "If it's that dangerous, shouldn't we get a lay of the land, then? See where each one is and what we gotta do to neutralize them. We have a method, sort of, with that burial guardian stuff you mentioned..." Max nodded towards Alpa. "... So all we gotta do is find the rest. You already spoke of a few possibilities where to find one. Not to mention we have other clues too."

    She looked at Nevada and pointed at her left eye.

    "Could you handle that, Nevada? Since you've already looked into this stuff more than I have. And, hmm, let's see..."

    Her eyes drifted over to Prushka.

    "... Why not take that girl with you? She seems to have a good nose to sniffing out these things. Besides, we should move in groups - these are dangerous days."

    Nevada, in return, looked rather surprised. While the taciturn man had seemed agreeable enough to the suggestion that he'd go investigate the shards, taking Prushka and her group with him gave him a pause. There was a a momentary, wordless exchange between the duo, before the white-haired man finally relented, heaving a heavy sigh and slumping his shoulders.

    "... Fine. I'll take them with."

    Prushka didn't miss the look that Maxine threw her way afterwards - as if telling her to make use of this the best she could. Had she... purposefully set things up like this so Prushka would get to keep close to Nevada? And, most likely, to keep chipping away at that arm's-length-distance he seemed so stubborn to keep between the two of them. Indeed, if they were working together on this, it's not like the older man could ignore her...

    "What about you?" Nevada's rough voice cut into the silence. "If me, her and her friends will be searching for these shards... what will you do?"

    The question was, of course, aimed at Ranger Savage - who stroked her chin, before looking straight at Colt.

    "Well... while some might argue now's not the time, in a way I feel like this would be the best time..." She started, before addressing the boy. "Say, Colt. Would you be interested in checking out a certain place? A certain house?"

    There was a hint of a smirk on her face.

    "The house were Remmie used to live, to be more precise."




    Liana Skye & Elaine Winters
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Zhou's & Yeong-Hui's Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast

    "... Right."

    Minato, as if understanding what Elaine was driving at, nodded curtly again.

    "Let me put some pants on."

    And so, he went on to do just that. Incidentally, as Elaine and Liana learned, Minato Coastrise seemed to prefer pure white briefs.

    Still, surprise knowledge aside, about 15 minutes later the group had returned back to Subaru's room. The door was kept open, and while the rest of them had piled on inside, Scottie had stayed with Yeong-Hui in the hallway. This way the younger girl would not be out of sight and thus in danger of something happening to her, but she also didn't have to see the morbid scene inside Subaru's room. Luckily, there was also something that kept their classmate quite busy and distracted at the moment.

    "Nyang-i~!"

    Poor Zee had been captured by the very affectionate Yeong-Hui, and for now, there seemed to be no escape. The looks the cat threw Liana's way while he was being petted and patted from every which direction spoke of terrible retribution.

    But, back inside...

    "Hmm."

    Minato slowly circled around Subaru's dead body. He glared at the word that had been drawn on the floor with the last of Subaru's strength. He pressed himself against the wooden panelling, getting as close of a look at the letters and the fingers as he could, before hoisting himself up once more. Then he continued, analyzing every bit of information he could muster. For but a moment, his eyes drifted over to the shrine at the wall... before he promptly shook his head, as if disregarding it.

    Finally, Minato squatted next to the body.

    "Hmm," he repeated. "This is..."

    There was a slight chill, and for a moment, Minato closed his eyes - though his eyeballs clearly moved under the eyelids. Then he opened them once more, clearly having come to some sort of conclusion.

    "... Work of a professional. No, not professional. Expert. Someone who has killed many times. And will kill again. A person... accustomed to murder," he spoke quietly, clinically, grimly. "Not a crime of passion. But of honed technique. See here?"

    He pointed towards the wound at Subaru's back.

    "Lateral stab, bypassing the wings of the shoulder blades and the ribs, practically sliding between intercostal muscles and hitting both ventricles. The fact that it hit the heart, and not the lung, is telling," he explained with that typical blunt way of his. "The ease with which the weapon entered, and exited... this isn't the first time they've done this. It's too purposeful, and difficult to occur naturally. When you stab someone in the back, most of the cases the target ends up being, as said, lung. Not the heart. So..."

    He sighed a little bit.

    "I agree with my 'partner' here," Minato said, tapping the side of his head with his finger. "Whoever did it knew exactly what they were doing."

    The boy then paused, looking at the wound again.

    "... And it's not a katana," he added, as if in an after-thought. "Here."

    He reached into his sleeve and pulled out what looked to be a thin, lacquered hairpin from his sleeve... and proceeded to push it into the stab-wound before anyone could stop him. And just as quickly as he had done it, did the young man retract the thing. He looked at the crimson liquid now covering the black surface of the long hairpin.

    "About 13.5 centimeters," he bluntly announced. "This was done with a knife, not a katana."




    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Arts Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast

    "... That's a scary thought."

    Pyry seemed to shiver a little bit, a harsh expression on his face.

    "So trying to solve this would give credence to the murderer's existence in the first place?" He asked. "That's... sounds like some sort of memetic being, trying to claw their way out of non-existence into the world of the living. Remember what that doctor mentioned? Yawning Abyss, Ginnungagap? It reminds me of that..."

    It also reminded Hisa of what she had learned of the SCARABs. More things that started to tie themselves together with faint threads.

    "But this had to be committed by someone, so..." The tall boy rubbed his chin. "Maybe it's that they're trying to sell one explanation... explanation which includes this non-existent thing, while hiding the real truth? Trying to sell to us that 2+2 = 5 while in reality it's, naturally, 4. Well... whatever the case, yeah. We'll take a look around. But carefully. Don't want to step in any metaphysical traps."

    With that, Pyry gave one last pat on Hisa's shoulder before he moved onto investigate the rest of the room with the others.

    Which left Hisa with the blood on Caleb's palm and palette knife.

    She reached out to it, allowed her fingers to touch the substance as once more, her ESP flared alive. She felt the familiar sensation of blood rushing to her head as Odic Particles quietly flickered alight all around her, scattering her internal world to the outside and connecting her to the past of this substance - the moment when it had been spilt. For a moment, she felt a bit light-headed, as if the past and the present were readjusting themselves within her, pathways were connecting, her link to what had occurred was being established as she took in the information stored and then actualized within her mind's eye, and then...!

    --- Suddenly.

    She was in the headspace of someone completely else.

    The sensation was as overwhelming as the moment on the rain-slicked wall of the dormitory had been - only this time, it was even more intense. Mostly because rather than cold, emotionless killer, she was thrust into the mind and thoughts of someone whose brain was flaring with activity. It wasn't like Subaru or Gabi either. These weren't the dying moments of someone. No, Caleb, in this moment, had been very much alive. And his mind had been going hundred miles per hour.

    Hisa felt the pain in her left hand as he, she, had just stabbed the palette knife into it.

    That was the first sensation.

    And then came the thoughts. Hundreds of them. Rushing, whistling, screaming - yet all aimed at one, specific goal.

    There was panic, he knew he was going to die in mere moments. There was focus, he knew that he had to do something before his life was taken from him. There was resignation, he knew that he couldn't change the outcome. There was fear, because naturally Caleb didn't want to die. There was guilt, because he believed his thoughtless actions earlier that week had driven a rift between everyone, causing them to separate. There was self-loathing, because he in a way thought that he deserved to have such a sorry end. There was regret, because in this moment he wished he would have talked with his classmates more and gotten to know them better. There was regret, because he knew he would never have a chance now. There was regret, because he would have wanted to have more friends. There was... a lot of regret.

    But over it all... there was one emotion.

    Determination - because Caleb, even at the end of his rope, wanted to ensure that even were he to die, it would not be in way. That his death would help the others to survive.

    Hisa felt it.
    Hisa remembered it.


    First bit of help was what had been painted at the faculty office just moments ago - where those blue and white paints had served well.

    And now... came the second part. All Caleb could do.

    As he felt the sharp tip of a knife puncture his back, his powers flared alive. ESP roared and for a moment, it almost overtook him. An internal world was expanded, made real, extended beyond the physical body of Caleb Montjoy and exacted his will, his internal logic, upon the canvas before him.

    --- And as his power, within his memory, in this span of few seconds that Hisa viewed, experienced like a living book... she understood just what Caleb's ESP was.

    Manipulation of Eigenstates. Or, perhaps, selection and collapsing of eigenstates.

    Taking superposition of two or more possibilities and selecting the one that is implemented into the world around him.

    A power both powerful and not.

    Because as the fearful memory of Caleb resonated within Hisa's head told her... it was only powerful when there were more than one possibilities. If there was a chance that he could die or he could live, Caleb could always try to choose the possibility where he lived.

    But not now.

    No.

    The moment he had entered the main building, all possibilities, all eigenstates where he lived... had collapsed.

    --- He could only die. There was nothing in this world that could have changed that fact.

    And so, he didn't even try to survive.

    Instead, as he activated his power, he changed the possibility of him dying without doing anything...

    --- Into the eigenstate where he left crucial clue to his classmates.

    With a screech, the world around them changed. The killer behind him, the blade plunging into his back, the palette knife in his hand, the canvas before him, they all became a whirlwind of change, and for a moment, he couldn't see through the flurry of Odic Particles that became like a snowstorm. And yet the artist stared ahead. He forced his eyes to remain open, fought against the pain, and burned the picture before him into his retinas.

    The culprit might destroy the canvas afterwards.

    But if one of his classmates, like Prushka, could extract this memory from his corpse, then...!

    --- And thus, through his own death, he saw it.

    The clue that his final act of defiance had given him.

    Simple red words, painted with his blood, on the otherwise blank canvas.

    The True Nature of the Shadow Behind Him.
    Regulation of Physical Existence.

    They can manipulate how of much them exists at any given point.


    Reading those words, many memories - these of her own - suddenly flooded into Hisa's mind. The strange shadow at night from the previous week, so weak that it was practically flimsy in its very existence. The words of Rosencrantz that had stuck with her to this day. The words of the snake with her, who told her how the culprit killed their emotions and self and became a void. And, most importantly...

    ... The reports she had read regarding Patient Zero.

    How her physical existence had become spiritual existence depending on the amount of UV-A in the world around her. Like converting one type of mass to another.

    If this was similar, as it most likely was, then...

    --- It was like an hourglass. Sand flowing from one chamber to another. The amount of sand is constant, but when one is full, the other is transparent.

    Unseen.

    Easily missed.

    So, if this clue that Caleb had left them with was right...

    --- The shadow Hisa had seen back that day wasn't just metaphorical.

    It had been the murderer, while their physical existence had at their lowest, to the point of rendering them mere shadow in the eyes of others.

  2. #4842
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
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    Vivienne Bianchi & Vier Wolff
    Location: Suzume Bianchi's House - Laboratory
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast

    >E:\>dir>Volume in drive E is MS-DOS_6>Volume Serial Number is 20D1-5OT9
    >Directory of E:\




    DOS__________<DIR>____________⊥⊥-⊥⊥-⊥⊥____6:23a
    MESSAGE_______TXT_____1689_____05-09-94____9:34a
    REVOLUTION9___WAV____1440813___27-08-94____7:02p
    TOVIVI_________AVI_____3851989___06-09-94____3:05p
    _____________4 file(s)____5294491 bytes

    ___________________19994705509 bytes free
    The computer's green light reflected off Vivienne's face as her eyes widened at the sight of the text filling up the screen. She had used these before, but she wasn't exactly the most tech-savy person -- yet it didn't take too much to understand what was going on here. There clearly was a file here that was addressed to Vivienne... and that was the most important thing she wanted to see. So... she typed in the command to access the TOVIVI AVI file. She had to wonder why such a file was here, and if her mother knew exactly that at one point, Vivienne would eventually gain access to this PC.

    She would find her answers soon...

    As for the quarrel behind, perhaps it was an interesting idea to hunker down inn this house but... setting up shop in an unknown territory? Well, it looked like Vier's experience from Last Weekend at least make her quite a bit more proactive than reactive...

  3. #4843
    Vlovle Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Forest Ranger's Cabin
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast


    "...this isn't the best time to be going on a scavenger hunt for bits of wood. We should be hunkering down together somewhere secure, not sallying out waving our tails at whoever's waiting to take a bite."

    Running around today of all days is just asking for trouble. Mr. Currumpaw is just one of the baddies running around town. There's the vampire, and some kinda impostor/murderer, and an invincible black knight, and that Shin Hsan Kra guy, just to name a few. Boss would chew me out and call me an idiot for doing something so tactically incompetent as splitting up and leaving cover while under fire like this.

    Even so... I still don't know what to do. It's a dead end. Looking for bits of this Arc Relic doesn't seem like it'd help in the slightest. There are a dozen more pressing mysteries, each of their trails hotter than this one. But maybe that's just something these two are clinging to because there's nothing else. Better to do something pointless than nothing at all. So my words won't convince them. That's all that matters, really. Because I'm not letting my brother out of my sight again.

    "But I'm guessing that's not enough to stop you, so I'll tag along. To keep lil' bro here out of trouble, if nothing else. Maybe we can bail Briggs out while we're at it. Last I saw him he was burning through all his gas riding out from school like a maniac, looking for a friend who just woke up from his seven year coma."

    My companions, however, might feel differently.

    "Alpa, you don't have to come along if you don't want to. There's probably somewhere safe to hide until this blows over."
    Last edited by Bloble; January 11th, 2024 at 02:44 PM.

  4. #4844
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Subaru's Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast


    "...A knife."

    Not the most extravagant of answers, but that was probably the point of the matter.

    "Makes sense." She says, leaning against the wall next to the door so she could keep an eye on both the inside and the outside of the room. "It's a generic weapon, something anyone could theoretically pick up and use... Good for planting seeds of doubt. After all, if anyone could do the crime, then everyone is a suspect... Seems like the killer is using that sort of logic..."

    In the end, this was just the same sort of thing as at the club, wasn't it?

    The killer was going for a certain narrative.

    She sighs, glancing at the cat that was shooting her glares of terrible retribution for it's current predicament.

    A flicker of amusement in her eyes is her only answer to it.

    She had told him earlier after all, before his kidnap by Yeong-Hui.

    He's on watch duty. Keep another eye on the agent and the kid.

    Perhaps the senses of an animal would prevail where her own would not?

    Believe in the mystery of Zee.

    "You're right about him being an expert too." She grunts. "Guildenstern —that is, our imposter— has most likely been doing stuff like this for twenty-one years now... Longer if you count the space-time prison everyone is trapped inside..."

    A pause.

    She's a little curious about the unseen 'partner' Minato had spoken of so casually, but...

    "Did you hear about last night's discussions on him, Minato?"

    Not sure how far it all spread...

    ...Now doesn't really seem like the time.

    Other mysteries could be solved after the serial killer was removed from the town's endless equations.
    Last edited by Airen; January 12th, 2024 at 08:11 AM.
    Exodus (Complete)

    Even if the author is silenced, the performance is stilled and the actors leave the stage, the story will never truly end.

    Regardless of the form it takes, as long as there are memories of it's existence, the story will continue on.

    In a small ward in the heart of a once devastated town, life carries on as it always has...

    Because of you.

    Please, remember it warmly.

    We'll continue to walk down this path for eternity.




    Mugen No Sekai

    "The Illusion Incomplete Memories Produce Are,

    Fleeting, Disappearing into the Future,

    Until the Ruins of Yesterday Overflow,

    For That Which Falls Only to Rise is Simply a--"

  5. #4845
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory – Gabi Bakhauv’s Room (1-104)
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast



    John Dove makes a point of standing on the bed to reach and pluck picture 3F off the ceiling, placing it next to the note that drew his attention to that specific image in the first place. The first thought that comes to his mind is Ubon, soaring the night skies with iridescent wings that defy description. However, the image he is looking at is, if anything, the anti-Ubon—a streak of blackness in the sky. And then there’s…

    “A deviation in celestial movements…” John muses. The writer’s (Bakhauv, he assumes) choice of words makes John think of a false canopy; a sky dome placed atop Road’s End to conceal the real sky. It might be a necessary condition to achieve the timespace prison in which they’re currently trapped.

    “But, how do you cloak the entire sky…?”

    He cannot think of any means magical or technological to achieve a feat of such magnitude. Then again…in Norse mythology, for example, the sky was crafted by Odin and his siblings out of their father’s skull. The Principle of Correspondence suggests the hypothetical possibility of a lesser effect that could project itself on an equivalent-but-vaster scale on the macrocosm. Reproducing the heavens on a smaller scale on the ground to project it onto the world as an artificial celestial sphere…he could think of a couple of formulations…

    …fascinating as it is to muse on the problem, however, John knows it is not of immediate importance and commands himself to refocus.

    “The telescope…I assume Bakhauv had it with him when he met his killer. If it wasn’t found along with his body, then…”

    If the killer felt the need to dispose of it, then…it could prove a nuisance to them. The killer had an issue with a tool to see objects very far away. Either watching the sky like Bakhauv was doing, or noticing something on the regional landscape.

    “Things that we are not meant to see…”

    The curtain. Pulling it unravels the façade built on this town.

    “And then there’s that base up the hills…the ‘Devil’s Dishes’, was it? Did they also notice this, or are they among the factions keeping it a secret?” He sighs. “Well, it’s not the time and I’m not the right person to infiltrate a government facility. And I’m sticking to my current plan.”

    He does just that, reaching for his every-present writing/drawing materials—not that he has drawn much of anything since he came to this school.

    “I’ll take note of what we saw here, and hopefully I’ll get the chance to exchange information with others at one point. But for now, I’ll go to the main building. There’s plenty to investigate there, and I’m just getting started with the library.”

    A whole bunch of documentation claimed from Mr. Oceandrop’s office and the hidden bedroom 2-121 weighs in his backpack. There’s also Remington Hartley’s book. And the persistent question lingering in John’s head: just what did Souma realize?

    No, he said as much in his final note. What John lacks is whatever Souma figured out that led him from the statements in his note to the culprit’s identity. And for once, he feels he cannot count on his more talented and skilled classmates to figure it out for him.

    Detach from the rules. Pull myself out of the game. How do I do that, Souma?

    More important than his plans, however…

    “Sakura…do you want to look for Miss Faraday?”

  6. #4846
    Elise-Marie Pelltier
    Location: Listening Station Sigma
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast


    The Owl's Nest library had long been a location that held Elise's curiosity. Vier had long ago described it as a diverse collection of books and journals with a complete and utter lack of organization. The place sounded wonderful. A browser's dream. Who knew what hidden treasures might be lost within its shelves? She'd been wanting to spend an afternoon exploring it, but given there circumstances, hadn't had the chance yet.

    Elise's eyes lit up excitedly at the revelation that there was also a second, secret library at the Owl's Nest.

    "Halloway has been keeping all the best stuff for himself!?" exclaimed Elise, with more than a little jealousy in her voice.

    The collection in public circulation sounded incredible, just what had James Halloway been cherry picking for himself? Not to mention the stuff he presumably wanted to keep private.

    "Well, that's an easy sell for me," admitted Elise, "I'd still like to check in with my friends back at Pinefall, assuming we all haven't scattered to the wind again, but I don't see any reason why we couldn't raid Halloway's library on the way back. Are you looking for something specific from his collection, or are we just looking for whatever information we can find?"

    She paused and looked over to Travis and Augusta, taking a moment to snatch another sandwich as she did so.

    "How are you feeling about this?" asked Elise before taking a bite from her sandwich.

    She turned back to The Benefactor.

    "Also, you've been around the block a few more times than we have, or at least, remember going around the block more times than we do. Any idea what challenges might be lying in wait for us there? As I recall, Prushka and Vivienne were there last week, and ran into some guy with a pair of spears who was compelled to fight them."

    Lobo, King the Currumpaw, who I'm pretty sure is supposed to be a wolf?

    "He and Pyry got into a pretty big fight after that, although I doubt that bit of history is going to repeat. I can't imagine Prushka would've wanted to stay the night there again after the last time."

  7. #4847
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Colton Davin
    Location: Forest Ranger's Cabin
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast


    Arc-Relic. That word had been tossed through the air around Colt a few times, and at this point he got the most important bit: Arc-Relics are a big deal.

    If that shard is indeed an Arc-Relic, then it meant that Colt had held in his hands a piece of a legend. An odd thought.

    Were legends so light?

    Wham, wham.

    "Good going, dude. That puts us one step forward."


    What Ahti must have considered a light pat on the back reverberated in Colt’s bones, and he almost stumbled forward from the blows.

    “Yeah… no problem.” Colt played off the fact that his back was going to be sore. “Happy to help however I can, especially if it gets us closer to some sort of plan to deal with…”

    He thought of the shadowy monster pulling the strings, lurking behind that sharp sliver of darkness.

    “That.”

    But this late into the week was there any chance of locating, gathering, and burying all the shards? According to everything he knew, this sunrise would be his last in this week. Colt felt a sinking in his stomach.

    Sunday is the deadline. If nothing changes, he’ll die. Prushka too, the little shrimp torn apart between the peril of Road’s End and the brother she’d been looking for. Both of them are meant to die before Monday and wake up to do it all over again.

    At this point… there’s only one thing to do.

    Colt recalled those words put down in Prushka’s notebook. That it isn’t okay to act assuming there’ll be a next time.

    "Well... while some might argue now's not the time, in a way I feel like this would be the best time... Say, Colt. Would you be interested in checking out a certain place? A certain house?"

    But…

    "The house were Remmie used to live, to be more precise."

    “Yeah.” He answered in an instant. “I’m very interested. I’d like that very much.”

    There has to be a next time.

    Because who knows who else is already dead, and who will die next? Losing anyone is unacceptable. Leaving this cursed week behind isn’t worth it if he has to leave anyone behind. And there’s only one thing he can do.

    Learn more about the town of Road’s end. About the people who live here. The outsiders who came here. His sister who died here.

    And learn about himself, trapped here.


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