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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #3341
    Konkon Kitsune~ Kuroyuki's Avatar
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    Vier Wolff
    Location: Ghostwood National Forest
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    I watched as Caleb Montjoy stopped angrily painting on his canvas and moved his hand to face to try and cover up a snort. Was he… laughing at me? It only got worse when I heard another snort nearby. I turned my head over to hope it was Lobo Currumpaw snorting at me. No, I was wrong. It was just Aleen snorting at me as well. It’s fine you did good. The atmosphere has loosened up...

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb Montjoy
    "I-I suppose... yeah, that sounds more like you. In turn, leave the obscure fine arts references to me. That way we can, snrk, both confuse Aleen properly."
    Quote Originally Posted by Aleen
    "Y-you guys are jerks! And here I t-thought we were having a totes serious moment here!"
    I feel like I like I should be happier about this. The tense atmosphere has been dissolved and all it took was me being sheepish. Yes, I should be happy about this. I’ve fulfilled my primary objectives. All it took was some Caleb Montjoy isn’t wallowing in self-hatred and I suggested a way forward. Yet...

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb Montjoy
    "W-well, I can't help it. It's the first time I'm seeing a genuine emotion on Vier's face and... and of all things it's her being awkward after something like that. Come on, you can't say that's not little funny?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Aleen
    "Oh maaan~ V-Vier... I totes didn't know you could look that sheepish...!"
    Now Caleb Montjoy was leaning on his easel for support while he continued snorting in laughter. Aleen decided to quit hiding it period as she started giggling openly. Okay, I’m not happy. I gave them both flat stares to indicate my thoughts at their current behavior.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb Montjoy
    "Still... engineer a situation for everyone to make up, with the help of you two, huh? That's... well, I don't know how well that would go. But I like the idea... I like it a lot."
    After he gave me that genuine smile instead of his usual “cool stoic” look, I couldn’t exactly stay irritated at these two giggling idiots. I merely decided to sigh in exasperation.

    “Yeah, it would be great if you could get something planned for Saturday. Maybe something more relaxing compared to Sakura’s event would be nice… Granted that might be the introvert in me.”

  2. #3342
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Pinefall High School – Main Building (Second Floor)

    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    As we walk quietly through the dusty halls, a hand takes mine.

    It's scary, huh, Ubon? This dark place, where we can't even laugh or yell.

    I squeeze back, and respond with a whisper.

    "It's okay. We're still in the school. Right below us the teachers are drinking coffee and doing their paperwork. If it were dangerous, Briggs wouldn't have given you that key, right?"

    At least I hope not. But he might've been expecting us to get spooked.

    "If anything happens, I'll take care of it. But, Ubon, if you ever feel like you're being dragged into something you don't want, if you're ever in an uncomfortable situation... make some noise. Don't ever keep quiet and go along with it just to make others happy, okay? Humans aren't good at reading each other, so you have to spell it out sometimes."

    Our journey through the dusty second floor takes us, finally, to a door. A door with a strange symbol carved onto it, one I don't recognize in the slightest.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dove
    “It is a hexagram; an ancient Chinese symbol representing the safety and propriety of an orderly home. You can think of it as the expression of a wish, like throwing a coin into a pond, or leaving locks in the ‘Bridge of Love’ of that one Serbian town.”
    "You've been studying, huh?" What an impressive repertoire of knowledge. "Then it might be the mark of a spell for shelter... we could be dealing with a Mystic or a Mage."

    It certainly complicates things. But then, it's good to know whoever is in here isn't helpless.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dove
    “In any case, it’s not like we plan to trample and bash our way in there, right? Why don’t you ladies try calling out to her? Let her know we come in peace?”
    "E-eh."

    Wait a sec. John Dove, why are you backing out all of a sudden? Us? You want us to handle this? That's too much pressure all at once! The last time I greeted a stranger they threw a tarp on me and jumped out the window! What if something similar happens here!? Isn't it obvious that whoever is up here wants to be left alone!?

    "U-um, of course. Ahem. Let's see, just, gotta figure out what to say, uh..."

    My knuckles stretch out towards the door, about to knock, but hesitate at the last second.

    Ubon, what should we do? You're the popular one here, right?

    "M-maybe a two-person comedy bit? Or we could offer some Warheads... but those commercials say never to trust strangers with candy..."

  3. #3343
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Location: Pinefall High School – Main Building (Second Floor)
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast



    …what is this brat rambling about.

    The mystery child is a girl, so John handed the reins to the other two because they are also girls, and their voice would not put that child on edge to the same degree his would. However, Prushka seems hesitant, and perhaps not as socially adept as he expected. Furthermore, he does not approve of wasting time dilly-dallying.

    John Dove, for all his aura of introverted-ness and overly thoughtful nature, is in fact a man who wants to get things done.

    “Um, excuse me~” he abruptly calls out in an unnecessarily loud voice—not so loud that it’d reach downstairs, but certainly enough to make it through the door. “The scaredy-cats with me think there’s somebody in there, so just in case, may we come in, please? We’re just students looking around, I swear!”

    His voice has a hollow bubbliness that sounds utterly out-of-character for him. It is, perhaps, his reproduction of Alexstrasza Lockhart’s false color. Well, he is John Dove, so there is no embarrassment to be had.

    Turning to his adventurous companions, John wears Alexstrasza Lockhart’s slightly overstretched smile. Perhaps he is using it to say something like “you were bumbling around for too long, so don’t complain.” It is impossible for an empty man such as him to enjoy himself by doing this.

    “If we don’t get an answer, that’s gotta mean there’s nobody in there, right?” he continues, still loud enough to be heard by anybody inside. “Then we can go in no problem!”

  4. #3344
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Pinefall High School – Main Building (Second Floor)

    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    "Uwa! John, that's gross!"

    Is he in that much of a rush? No, in the first place, that's not the problem here!

    "Go back! Right now! Say something sarcastic or insulting again! That's your character type, not this!"

    The person on the other side of the door, hearing everything I say? Who cares about that? This is much more important!

    "You're mint chocolate chip, John Dove, so don't act like strawberry! Otherwise someone's gonna take a bite and make a nasty face afterwards!"

  5. #3345
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Room 111
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    “Mm, yeah...it’s just...people don’t often purposefully leave messages this way,” I said quietly as I rubbed my temples with my eyes closed, “One would need to know about my ability, and expect that I’d check it...but I guess she meets those requirements.”

    Opening half an eye, I glance at Pyry;

    “Not that she said a lot. But...now I can see why she is different, even with my own eyes. I think I know the reason for it as well, though...it’s a long story. I can explain later.”

    Stepping back to the mirror, I wiped the lipstick off of it with some swift motions, then opened the tap to wash my hands.

    “I think I have a theory about her sudden claims of…’knowing everything’ as well, and if that happens to be true, then...it’s far not as perfect as she claims it to be.”

    There was a fine line between being omniscient and being able to see into the infinite alternate histories through the world of dreams. Latter is not necessarily available at all times, nor it is quite as potent…

    “At any rate, about other certain possibilities,” I said while shaking off the remaining water off of my hands, “Maybe they are, maybe they are not. I don’t know too much about their kin beyond the obvious, nor we really have enough information to confirm it...but still, it doesn’t really change much even if they are, does it?”

    It’s not being a vampire that made one a monster, in the end. They were thinking, feeling beings, just like any of us, and thus in their case as well it was entirely within the realm of emotions and moralities to decide whether one could be considered a ‘monster’ or not.

    Except that due to stereotypes and their generally bad reputation they probably don’t really get the benefit of the doubt, regardless of how they behave.

    “Have you met any before, though?”

    My gaze was now back on Pyry, observing his expression.

    He was a mage of sorts after all, probably even deeper in the turnside than I was, and likely more exposed to things like this as well.

    “You can talk through that, if you want to,” I said, then gestured towards the door with my head, “But we should keep going in the meantime.”


  6. #3346
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: Canseliet Clinic - Inside
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THURS)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Elaine
    “After all, I’m talking to you, aren’t I? I may dumb, stubborn and selfish, but if someone offers to help, I’m not so uncharitable as to turn them down.”
    Kean, having listened to the grumblings of his friend, heaved a little sigh that was both relieved and exasperated. He folded his arms, leaning against the wall. From there, he gazed at the blonde girl, clearly pondering on the words he should choose next. They had good few moments still to kill while Doctor Canseliet worked, and now that the verbal floodgates were more or less open, this was certainly one way to spend it.

    And while the silver-haired boy's expression had eased up from what it was, it didn't look like he was completely satisfied yet.

    "That's good. But... you should also know when to ask for help. Nobody can handle everything by themselves. Sure, people might get hurt if they come to help you, but that's part of our job. As you said, we get hurt so the others don't have to. We'll face the monsters under the bed so that it'll be just their imagination for others. And we're all prepared for it, because that's our lives, too. Heck, some of us were even literally created for it," Kean said, a momentary bitter smile floating on his face. "Bottom line is, Blondie, the only time I'm going to call you dumb is when you hit a stone wall by yourself, and instead of asking any of the dozen willing people around you for help, you insist on doing it alone. That'll get you nowhere."

    The boy lifted his hand up slightly, gazing down at with an odd expression.

    Partially hatred, partially broken acceptance - like he had no choice.

    "We're all tools made for different jobs. No one tool can handle every job, that's just not how this life works," the boy continued quietly. "Being hero is fine - some might call it naive, but there's nothing wrong with the aspiration itself. But even heroes need help. Even they need assistance. Somebody to watch their backs or pick them up when they fall to the ground."

    With a sigh, the hand flopped back down, against Kean's body.

    He was now simply staring at the wooden floor underneath them.

    "Not to mention, well... you say you do it so others don't have to. Yeah, like I said, so do I. But my viewpoint is a bit different in this case," Kean continued after a moment's silence. "I guess it's something you can't see, because you're too close - not even when you look into a mirror. But for me it's something very easy to notice, and something that spurs me to do what I need to do. Something to protect. Whether it's protecting people in the night, or if it's protecting little girls..."

    His eyes, equally unclouded, were locked once again to Elaine's.

    "--- So they don't get eaten by the monsters they carry within themselves."




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

    "Meep!"

    Whatever the expected response to John's shout, and the ensuing argument between him and Prushka, that was most definitely not it. While the dialogue between the two was getting more heated (or rather, Prushka's side of it was), there was sudden high-pitched yelp that echoed from the other side of the door. This was followed by what sounded awfully like someone jumping to their feet and bolting towards the other end of the room, only to end up tangled up in some sort of sheet. Soon enough another yelp resonated from within the room, followed by loud crash and clanging as furniture were knocked aside by someone falling face first into the ground.

    And what was that panicked murmuring?

    Certainly sounded like foreign language.

    With a few more crashes and bangs, whoever was on the other side of the room made it to where they had beelined towards. What followed was the sound of a closet door being thrown open, someone awkwardly climbing inside and then pulling that same door close... too hard. The door, audibly, banged against a person's forehead or face, producing a rather magnificent "Mugyuu!" sound - a rather strange exclamation of pain. Then, once more, the door closed... this time much more gently.

    After that... silence.

    Very, very awkward silence.

    "... For realsies?" Ubon asked flatly, cocking an eyebrow at both Prushka and John. "Geeze, you guys..."

    With that, she brushed past both of them and opened up the door without any hesitation, revealing the room that lay behind it.

    And indeed, it turned out to be the ruins of an old library, with bookshelves lining the walls. The books themselves looked very old and very badly damaged by weather, age and dust. There were few isles of desks and chairs in the middle, denoting perhaps a former function as a place of studying. However at the north-west corner of the room, the tables had been used to create a barrier of sorts, half-circle in shape, by turning them on their sides, with the flat of the table turned outwards. Inside that barrier was a what remained of a neatly set-up tent that someone had gotten tangled up in just moments ago.

    There were others signs of a "camp" inside the barrier as well. There was a lantern to give light, a very fluffy sleeping bag in the corner under the remains of the tent and remnants of old travel meals and wrappings from protein bars, along with a water bottles. There also seems to be a backpack set in the corner - a rather cutesy, light blue one with pink paw-print pattern across it.

    But surprisingly enough, that wasn't the most mysterious thing about the room. No, the room (which was surprisingly warm and cozy for an abandoned library, even without any fire going on) had one other point of interest...

    --- Namely, one of the closets to the right, which was shaking ever so slightly by the nervous movements of the one hiding inside it.




    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Room 111
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Pyry nodded and gestured Hisa to take the lead. Mercedes and Gradient were already waiting in the hallway, and once everyone was out, it was time to head out towards room #401 - the alleged room of Inacio. This meant taking the stairs and heading all the way to the top floor. According to Mercedes, Rachel had already headed out there, so they should just catch up. So it was off to the cramped staircase, full of those same wooden owl-carvings that lined up the walls and made it annoyingly feel like one was being watched all the time. Gradient even got annoyed enough by their staring that she stuck her finger into one of the eyeholes, as if to check if there was someone hiding on the other side.

    Fortunately enough, it didn't look like the owl carvings had any secret rooms or passageways behind them that could be used to spy on people.

    --- Still, as the group climbed the stairs, Pyry took the moment to contact Hisa through the now almost natural-feeling mental link.

    [I haven't met vampires myself... or vampires per se, if we're completely accurate. Heck, undead and undeath are a bit different thing back where I'm from. Back home, the dead tend to be only dangerous on specific nights like Christmas, or if you go out of your way to annoy them with mockery or empty promises. Most of the times they're just a source of power for seers. But eh, I'm getting out of topic...] the boy shook his head, shooting a lopsided grin at Hisa. [While I haven't met any actual vampires myself, I did have a bit of trouble with a wurdulac that hopped the border to the east. This was some few years ago. They're... hmm, I guess you could call them lesser vampires? They're a vampiric condition born out of desperation and love. A person being abandoned by their family, their coven, their group, can become so desperate to regain that status that they can turn into such a creature, either naturally or through specific rites.]

    His eyes grew a little harsher, as if he was remembering some particularly nasty encounter with such a creature.

    [They use that vampire-esque power to turn those whose favour and love they lost before and convert them into mindless thralls who adore them, feeding off their blood and love. It's... both sad and disgusting, I guess. You could say they're creatures of pure desperation,] he further explained. [Heck, the churches to the east even sometimes accidentally create them when they banish some thaumaturgist or another - and those are particularly nasty, since they know the tricks of those who hunt them. But even them can't really hold a candle to what real vampires are.]

    As the group arrived to the fourth floor landing, they could see that Rachel was already waiting them by the first door. She was leaning on the wall, absent-mindedly looking at it with a bit of a curious look. From the outside it didn't seem like the room had anything special to it, and indeed, it didn't really differ from any other door that one could see in the corridor.

    So why had Inacio rented it out, then?

    Just to have some place to hang out outside of the dorms?

    [Actual vampire are roalty of the Turnside - in all meanings of the term. In the west, there's not one creature from folklore, myth or legends that's more famous than vampires, and that translates into their position as kings of the supernatural out here. If we go further to the east, things change of course - the cognition of people flips those titles. But out here? And especially back in Europe? Vampires are at the top of the food chain, and they know it. As much as they look like humans, make no mistake...]
    Pyry glanced seriously at Hisa, as if he was trying to drill this lesson into her head with all he head. [They are not humans. No matter how much they act like us, their thought processes, morals, ideals and sense of normalcy are just so separate from us they might as well be aliens. And I'm not saying this in the sense that they're all evil or monsters, of course not - I know better than that. Every once in a while you hear rumours of a decent vampire. But never forget...]

    It really sounded like the boy was dead serious about this.

    [No matter how much they feel like humans, at the end of the day, they aren't.]

    Timing his words pretty much perfectly, Pyry's mental message faded out when Rachel lifted her hand in a lazy greeting.

    "Oh, you came. So... what's the plan?" she asked, pointing her thumb at the door. "You guys wanna start by knocking and being polite?"

    A smirk played on her lips.
    Last edited by Verg Avesta; October 27th, 2020 at 04:04 PM.

  7. #3347
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: Canseliet Clinic - Inside
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THURS)
    Weather: Overcast


    I let the silence after my friend's last words play out, listening quietly to the idle shifts and groans of the house around us.

    Then, as was my want, I broke it.

    "You know, with most people, that isn't quite so literal," I said, giving him a look of grim amusement.

    It's usually more wordplay or metaphor, not quite alluding to a not-insignificant portion of my self that identifies as a large hungry beast.

    "But that's the times we're living in, ain't it."

    I puffed out a laugh.

    "A snarky Replicant with a dumb accent givin' a depressed werewolf a pep talk," I thumped my head against the wall, "It's ridiculous."

    I shuffled in a pocket for something that wasn't there anymore, grimacing as I removed it.

    "It'd be real nice if the second star from the right was really there, wouldn't it," I mumbled, "If you just tried hard enough, willed it into existence, it'd happen."

    I sighed, smiling ruefully.

    "But, at the end of the day, this is what we've got, and we've got to live with it, hm? No matter what we're given, no matter where we came from, how we've been hurt, how we've been healed, it's just..."

    I gnawed at my lip.

    "You are who you are, and that's something no one can change."

    I folded my arms, thinking to myself, grimacing at a half-glimpsed memory of sensation, anger and grim resolve.

    "You can hold on to what you are, even if the whole world tells you to change, if you believe. And if the world tells you to stay the same, you can change, too."

    I shrugged, pushing myself off the wall.

    "Worked for me, at least."

    I walked forward a bit, slow, hesitant steps.

    "So don't go putting yourself down, Keany," I poked at his head.

    "Cause this little girl believes in you, tiny baby man."

  8. #3348
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building
    Phase: Evening Phase (THU)
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    ...well, that was something. But the door's open, and we can see within the library.

    The library that absolutely looks like someone's been living in it. Someone with really nice taste in backpacks.

    Someone who is, most definitely still in here, taking refuge in... possibly the worst hiding spot of all time.

    Oh, geeze. Keep the sympathy down, Prushka; this is your fault in the first place.

    I stride in, past Ubon and John, only stopping momentarily to raise my finger and give them both a cautioning wiggle of the eyebrows. Don't crowd, okay?

    "Remember, John. Mint chocolate chip."

    I very slowly and carefully take a dozen steps, until I'm only a few paces away from the trembling closet. Then, after brushing away some dust, I sit down with my legs crossed and stare at the closed door.

    "Um, hello? Konnichiwa? Ni hao?"

    It sounded like she got banged up. Either this place is easy to trip over, or we were the spooky ones in this situation.

    "Sorry. We didn't mean to scare you, or to barge in."

    Being on the other side of there must be terrifying. One by one, all your protections have been breached. The windows, the barriers, everything except this one thin closet door that certainly doesn't even lock from the inside. And you can't even see our faces. For all you know, we might be monsters in the shape of people.

    It's difficult to address that fear. It's not something that can or should be brushed away with a touch. Instead it should be chipped at, slowly and gently, with care taken not to hurt what it protects.

    "I'm Prushka. A Pinefall student. Is your head okay?"

  9. #3349
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    “The point wasn’t that they are not human,” I pretended to pout mentally, “But that they aren’t just mindless monsters who act solely upon instinct, nor can they be branded as immoral and evil just because they are not humans.”

    This was something that I couldn’t help but find somewhat ironic...considering that humans were perfectly capable of producing individuals who were just as rotten, malicious, cruel and evil as any one creature the supernatural side of the world could show off. They don’t even need to be cursed or be in the possession of all powerful abilities to delude themselves with a sense of superiority, or to turn against others through lot more sinister methods than just straight off trying to take someone’s life like most monsters do.

    “All I’m saying is that vampires, just like most other beings, deserve a chance too, until they prove you wrong.”

    Taking the last few steps of the stairs and closing the distance to Rachel, I glance back at Pyry for a moment;

    “But don’t worry, I’m not naive enough to be fooled, nor will I hesitate to act if anyone is to prove that they do not deserve that chance in question.”

    Having finished the thought, my eyes wander on to Rachel, then the door and, after blinking once or twice, the hotel room lying beyond it.

    A sight that practically confirmed that there was no point to knocking, but obviously, that was not something I could share.

    “Let’s knock first, then we can go in, I suppose?”

    This hotel desperately needed a video surveillance system.


  10. #3350
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Nurse's Office
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    "... Wow, that certainly sounds edgy. Are you a writer by any chance?" Noah replied in his usual nonchalant, shameless way. "Or maybe a goth, that'd certainly fit you well..."

    The worst thing about his words was that he spoke them with no apparent ill will at all, no hint of derision or mockery in his tone. This guy simply spoke such insults as if he didn't even know they were insults, caring not a little bit who or what he was speaking to. Tip-toeing over to the desk in the room after finishing his own check-up on Cesarina's feverish body, Noah started pulling open the drawers and thumbing through whatever he found inside. Files, folders, papers, forms, all sorts of things that certainly weren't for students - much less outsiders - to see.

    From the looks of it, opportunity really made a thief.

    "... But isn't that a good thing? That you're a multi-million dollar experiments?" Noah then continued, flapping his sleeve at Alexstrasza while he continued to rummage. "Should net you very good healthcare. They're not going to spare any expense to fix up you or your friend if you get a boo-boo. It's much better than what you could say for most of the other people in this country..."

    A lazy smirk rose to the boy's face as he opened the last drawer, and revealed something he had apparently been searching for. There, on top of a pile of papers, was a black strongbox with an electronic lock. He fished the thing out and shook it like it had been a Christmas present, listening to the rattling coming from inside it. Afterwards, he set the thing on the table and started randomly pressing on the buttons and thus producing electric beeps in return.

    It didn't look like he had any idea of the password, though.

    "... Oh, but..."

    Suddenly, as if realizing something, Noah turned around to look at Alexstrasza, that languid smile still floating on his face.

    "... If you carve out the eyes, how are you going to use their skulls as chalices?" he asked, sounding nothing if not serious. "The drink will just pour out of the sockets..."

    Was this boy just making fun of her at this point?

    And what was he doing with that box in the first place?




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

    In the end, finding the smoking room proved to be relatively easy. By following Alex's hunch (and possible familiarity with places like these), along with few helpful signs on the way, the duo was able to make their way through the maze of hallways that eventually ended up at the door they were looking for. On their way they passed by a dining hall, some sort of tea room, a small library which had an amazing collection of old newspapers and even a microfilm reader, what looked to be an indoor pool with a sauna attached to it, an indoors garden opening into the yard of the country club and so much more. It was truly one of those places meant to entertain many opulent guests so well they'd never even need to leave the building.

    The only thing was... they found no other guests.

    And that was enough to put even Adelaide's "butler" on the edge. His eyes had started to keep a better watch and every now and then they jumped from shadow to shadow, as if he was expecting an ambush of some sort.

    But one never came.

    Instead the two found the aforementioned heavy wooden door with a plaque that read "Smoking Room" attached to it.

    "Well... shall we, then?" Alex asked with a stern smirk and a gesture, before opening the door. "Usually it would be ladies first but... don't mind my little breach of etiquette here."

    With that, Alex brushed past Adelaide into the room that had been revealed.

    Surprisingly enough, the smoking room didn't have an oppressive stench of tobacco hanging everywhere to the point it would clog up one's nose. Instead, the smell was definitely there, but it was faint - barely noticeable. Most likely the heavy satin curtains and the leather furniture absorbed most of that smell, and there must have been plenty of air refresheners hidden here and there in the room. The room itself was divided into two areas. One right after the room, with a fireplace, three round mahogany tables with seats around them and what looked to be a whiskey shelf. The second area was separated by a short yet wide staircase from the first, and rose up so that those sitting there could gaze down on the people in the first area. This second area had large leather armchairs here and there, with bookshelves surrounded the carpeted space and creating a sort of "private club" feel.

    And luckily, the whole place was just as empty as the rooms before had been.

    "Now then..."

    Alex walked into the room and started looking around, gazing at the items forgotten on the tables and peering into the shelves to spot anything of note or of interest.

    "Shall we get to work?" he asked, flashing a grin at Adelaide. "We are on a schedule, after all."




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

    Quote Originally Posted by Colt
    “One of the locals mentioned tea at a ‘Little London,’ any idea where that might be?”
    An immediate look of distaste washed over Frauke's face as she heard that question. Even Tris jumped at the sudden change in the small shop owner and her attitude. Whatever the reason, just the mention of "Little London" had soured the mood. One could only hope that it wouldn't actually affect the price that she was ringing up right at that moment. That disdain was simply so strong that it might even lead to something so petty.

    However, at the very least Frauke bothered to answer.

    "Uh... well, if you must know, that could only refer to the shop of that die Sau, Popplewell. For some reason that Miststück believes that flaunting her homeland in some sort of feverish patriotic fervor is somehow acceptable, especially out here in a foreign land!" Frauke said in a huff, clicking her tongue disapprovingly. "You can find her place a the town centrum, but mark my words - you'll find nothing of note there! Just a cranky miser who drowns her sorrows in tea and spends each morning saluting a picture of that puppet they call a queen! Hmph!"

    It was... quite the response to be sure.

    And even Tris seemed to realize the irony in what Frauke was saying, as she glanced around the workshop (especially at the PA system which had been blaring patriotic tunes of different sort not too long ago) and then back at Colt, all the while raising an eyebrow.

    Perhaps it was good that Frauke did not see that.

    "A-hem! Wie dem auch sei, here!"

    Frauke walked over to Colt and stuck out her hand, which in turn was holding a receipt.

    "The total comes down to a $1000, exactly," Frauke said, her other hand also reaching out as if waiting. "I take it you'll be paying in cash?"




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

    "... I don't get it."

    Indeed, they had been talking to a child.

    To her, topics like these must have been difficult. To a child, the world is much more black and white than to those who have more years of experience. Thus the thought of someone pretending they are happy, just for the sake of not bothering others must have been... alienating. Or at the very least something Sierra couldn't properly understand. That's why she was now gazing up at both Liana and Hawthorn with a confused look in that single working eye of hers. All the while still gently holding to the stem of one of the myriad flowers blooming around them.

    "Isn't it terribly hard to smile if things aren't alright?" Sierra continued her questioning. "At least, I don't think I could really do it... not all the time. Plus a fake smile like that just feels... I don't know... wrong?"

    Hawthorne, who had been listening from the sidelines, chuckled dryly at that and took a step forward. He reached out with his hand and tousled the girl's hair, earning himself a swat on the wrist and a wordless retort that sounded much like a cat's growl.

    "Well, it's not something you need to worry about yet, princess," Hawthorne said amusedly, rubbing his wrist. "Hopefully ever. Only those two grow up to be twisted grown-ups have to really wrestle with stuff like that."

    His sardonic grin earned a confused glare from Sierra, who was still patting down her hair after the surprise attack, trying to get it straight again. Still, at the very least it looked like the older guy had managed to ease up the melancholic atmosphere that had tried to settle over the group. Things that had been talked about were not the happiest ones, and it had started to bring down the mood as a whole.

    Thus, perhaps, Hawthorne pressed on and attempted to change the topic.

    "Still, aside from that little lady - why don't you help out our new friend a little bit? She seemed mighty interested in that statue just now, judging by the way she kept eyeballing it," the man continued, flashing that grin towards Liana. "After all, you know more about it than I do."

    Sierra blinked at Liana, looking a bit surprised.

    "You want to know about the Spade Queen?"




    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Pinefall High Old Dormitory
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Elise
    "Still, might be fun to try and have a board game night sometime. Would you be interested in something like that, Souma?"
    Souma chuckled in his usual silky, quiet way as he stood up properly and walked over into the storage room, making nary a sound as he approached Elise. For a moment it looked almost like he was making a slow beeline straight towards the girl, either about to bump into her or do something else... but instead, he simply brushed past her and stood before the shelves, gazing at the boardgames up on the high shelves. His mannerisms didn't certainly make his presence here in the shadowy room any easier to get used to, as it really felt like being in the same room with some sort of dangerous animal.

    "... Hmm. Heh."

    Souma picked up one of the games from the shelf and turned it around in his hands.

    --- Scotland Yard, of all things.

    "I suppose this could be... interesting. Being Mr. X, on the run from the law..." The smile on his face deepened. "... That sounds practically familiar."

    What did he mean by that?

    Perhaps it was best not to ask.

    Then again...

    Quote Originally Posted by Elise
    "Also if you see a bucket anywhere in here... I've been looking for one."
    Souma's eye turned back towards Elise. Here in the shadows, it really did seem to glow, though perhaps it was just light playing tricks in the girl's own field of vision.

    "... There is one. Over there," Souma said, motion towards the dark corner of the storage room. "Though... are you planning on using that bucket to do what we came here to do...?"

    What an odd question to ask, especially with a smile that practically screamed Souma was enjoying himself right now.




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

    Quote Originally Posted by Vier
    “Yeah, it would be great if you could get something planned for Saturday. Maybe something more relaxing compared to Sakura’s event would be nice… Granted that might be the introvert in me.”
    "Something more relaxing..."

    Caleb, having finally managed to calm down from the guffawing, folded his arms across his chest and pondered on the suggestion. Indeed, it wasn't in the artist's usual style to arrange get-togethers like these - if anything, he was an introvert much like Vier was. But the suggestion and what had brought it up had struck a chord with him, and now he was making a serious consideration of it. An event for Saturday, something that would help fix the damage caused by last night's test of courage and how it had ended up.

    In a normal situation it would have been a fine suggestion, even a great one.

    However, at the same time, there was something always hanging over the heads of those who had seen the truth of this week.

    That Saturday would be the last day of normalcy they would have... if even that. Who even knew what was truly going on during the night between Saturday and Sunday?

    Arranging something for before the tragedy that was Sunday was a bit...

    "Maybe something at the dorms? A movie night or something? Make some snacks, grab a good movie, let people just mingle and stuff?" Aleen suggested, looking at both Vier and Caleb. "Would keep things calmer, right? At least if we choose the right movies. A-and I dunno, it might even bring some people closer together! O-or something! Just... just a thought."

    Aleen's goofy grin as she brought up the idea for Caleb to process revealed more or less what she was thinking about. The girl must have already thought about getting some romantic comedies from somewhere and using them as an excuse to get closer to Caleb himself... or something to that effect. While the bluehead did have her own ulterior motives, she wasn't forgetting her main objective: helping out Caleb as a classmate so that he could get over his funk and set things right with the rest of the people from last night.

    Caleb, having mulled over the idea, gave a tentative nod.

    "That sounds fine? Though, is it something people would like?" the rose-haired artist asked. "I know we've got some... more energetic guys in our class, so it might not appeal to them. Not to mention---"

    --- He was about to say more.

    He did say more.

    But in that moment, Vier's ears picked up a sound that momentarily took her attention to what the boy was speaking.

    Instead, her instincts flared up, recognizing a vaguely familiar sound resonating from deep within the woods.

    Not something either Caleb or Aleen could hear.

    Or even if they did, it was doubtful they would recognize it.

    The sound...

    --- Of clashing weapons weaving a flurry of strikes with each other.




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

    Quote Originally Posted by Elaine
    "So don't go putting yourself down, Keany. Cause this little girl believes in you, tiny baby man."
    "Psh!"

    The silver-haired boy, showcasing a textbook example of fake annoyance, swatted the hand away that was poking at his head - not hard, of course, but more like shooing away a fly. He tried his best to seem as annoyed as he acted, but couldn't help the burning redness that appeared on his cheeks. Thus it was no wonder that he turned his head away and took a few steps away from Elaine in a huff. Hands in pockets, he put some distance between himself and the girl, grumbling something under his breath.

    Then, without properly looking back, all in order to hide his face, he retorted:

    "That's Tiny Baby Tin Man to you, Furball!"

    Funnily enough, his natural accent seemed to rear it's head the more flustered he got. So, right now, what with his affected American accent and normal Irish one mixing in, he was sounding awful lot like someone from Boston.

    Perhaps even Kean himself realized this, as he snorted right afterwards.

    "Besides... it's not like a machine like me is the only choice you got," he continued, awkwardly rubbing his neck. "Travis and Hwan seem both pretty keen on helping you, right. I'm no betting man, but if I was, I'd give it pretty good odds that they wouldn't care about your little secret. They might be natural jerks, but they've just got that vibe underneath their exterior. You know the type. Rough on the outside, soft on the inside. Not a prickly lemon to the core, like me."

    A momentary silence, then...

    A quiet sigh.

    "Besides, actual humans give advice from the heart. Not from self-learning databanks like I do," Kean added. "It might do you some good, Blondie. You know, socializing properly, instead of just playing with machines all day."

    The sense of self-deprication was strong in those words, all tinged with a wry schadenfreude aimed at himself.

    "... But..."

    Just as soon, the expression Elaine couldn't properly see turned into a smile.

    "Thanks. For believing in me."

    Something finally said without his usual flair for sarcasm.




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

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “Let’s knock first, then we can go in, I suppose?”
    Rachel nodded.

    "Alright. Let's see who's home."

    With brisk movement, the redhead walked over to the door properly and gave it a firm knock - three times. What followed was as Hisa had expected: a complete silence. No response, no door opening, not even the sound of someone walking around in the room. With a bit of a frown, Rachel repeated the knock, pausing for another minute or a half to listen for any reply. Then, on the third time, she pretty much just banged her first against the door violently, making it as loud as possible... yet no more reply than on the first time. With the reality of the situation clear, the redhead simply sighed and shrugged, turning towards the rest of the group.

    "Looks like we'll have to just let ourselves in, then. Your classmate doesn't seem to be home," Rachel said. "Just give me a sec..."

    Having fished out her keyring out of her pocket, Rachel inserted the right key (that was found after a moment of searching) into the lock and twisted it. With a happy little click, the door opened, revealing the room that lay beyond it. As expected, it was just like the other hotel room that they had visited, down to the placement of the furniture. Bed to the left, door to the bathroom on the right, and a window straight ahead, across the room. However, this time, there were some marked differences.

    Namely, this room looked even less-used than that of Angelica's.

    The bed looked like it hadn't been touched the whole time, perhaps aside from someone sitting on it. The lights were off, and as Rachel stepped in and flicked them on, their warm glow revealed nothing of real note to the eyes of the group. There were no personal belonging left in the room aside from a familiar-looking green jacket thrown across the back of the single chair in the room. The door to the bathroom was closed and as Mercedes opened it, they could see that Inacio hadn't even brought his own hygiene products. All he had there was the common soap that the hotel provided. Meanwhile, in the main room, the television set was off, and the window was closed so it was quite unlikely anyone had been in this room just moments ago and escaped.

    "... Does Inacio really use this room?" Pyry asked as the group looked around. "I dunno about you guys, but it looks a bit... eh, empty?"

    Gradient gave a sage nod, poking at the bed as if to test the lack of people who had slept in it.

    Meanwhile Mercedes's eyes had been drawn to something on the small table in the room. Something unassuming that, so far, only she and Hisa had really noticed. It was some sort of walkie-talkie that was a bit smoother than the usual ones, and had a lot more in terms of buttons. There was also a much longer and thicker antenna on it, meaning it was probably meant for long distance calls. However, as the lights on the piece of equipment weren't on, it was either out of battery, or had been switched off.

    With a raised eyebrow, Mercedes turned to look at Hisa.

    "Like, any guesses what this is?"

  11. #3351
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    Quote Originally Posted by Sierra
    "You want to know about the Spade Queen?"
    ---Seeing an opportunity to let the melancholic air go, to fade away for now, Liana Skye can't help but accept it. It's the obvious thing to do, something she's thankful to Hawthorne for making possible, after all, she had a bad tendency of thinking herself into dark places if she was left at it for too long, and well...

    That was no fun for anyone, besides...

    Sierra was still a kid...

    What had she been thinking, talking about that sort of thing with someone that young... It was just bound to confuse her...

    ...Sometimes she misses the point of view of a child, life is so much simpler, so much more magical (in a different sense than with the Turnside) when one is young...

    Hopefully she manages to keep that sort of purity.

    ...Don't grow up twisted, kiddo.

    She'd do her best to be a good role model, specially since it seemed like she had been accepted under the label of 'new friend,' not a thing she'd point out of course, but a victory all the same-!

    "Spade Queen? Is that it's name?"

    Tilting her head slightly to the side, the dark-haired student smiles ever so slightly. Of course she disliked the statue on instinct, at a glance, it was totally tacky, gaudy, ugly, and all sorts of other words that a first impression has determined are the truth, however...

    That doesn't make it uninteresting.

    Oh no.

    It's so blatantly out-of-place that she sorta does want to know why it's here and what it's about...

    "I'm a little curious I suppose," grinning, she glances at it again before continuing, "Doesn't really mesh well with the rest of the garden, you know? Does it have some kind of cool story behind it? Club mascot? Something like that?"

    She smiles.

    Although considering this town's nature, it's probably nothing as simple as a mascot...

    Probably for the best.

    Statue's kinda ugly...
    Last edited by Airen; Yesterday at 07:02 PM.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  12. #3352
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Location: Pinefall High School – Main Building (Second Floor)
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast



    “…I declare this operation a success,” pronounces one John Dove in a cautiously quiet voice, meant only for himself and perhaps for his companions. Regardless of Ubon’s opinion, the fact of the matter is that things got done.

    Following the Thai girl inside the room, the first thing that grabs his attention is of course the barricade of table turned on their sides, creating an obvious boundary between one of the corners and the rest of the room. A barrier encircling an encampment. He quickly looks around, confirming that they are indeed inside a former library, but admittedly a little surprised. The room was not even emptied. The school was closed, yet nobody even bothered storing away the books in this room. Pinefall’s closure must have been a rather abrupt thing, after all.

    Also, it is warm. A degree of coziness that single lantern could hardly justify. Either the building’s internal heating system still works up here, or…

    “…fire under wood, is it…” he mutters, this time solely to himself. The “wood” in question is probably hidden inside that closet.

    This time, it seems, Prushka does intent to leap into action. Good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prushka
    “Remember, John. Mint chocolate chip.”
    “…”

    Quote Originally Posted by Elise Marie Pelltier
    ”I can't fault your logic, John, but the correct answer is mint chocolate chip.”
    Is this one of those situations in which he should blush?

    For some reason, John Dove can only ponder the fact that, somewhere in this vast, grey world, there is a man out there who would find Prushka extremely charming. Truly, they come in all shapes.

    Is that, too, a form of the color Miss Iburi proposed he should acknowledge in others?

    “…”

    …how colossally out of his element he must be, to waste time and brainpower on Prushka’s hypothetical love life and meaningless memories of Elise Marie Pelltier? By chance, is his mind drifting away into worthless thoughts to avoid thinking about something else? But, were that the case, just pondering that possibility would bring the undesired thoughts to his mind, and no such thing is happening…

    Focus, John Dove.

    Even if there is no way he can contribute right now, he does not know what could happened on the next instant. That is why he must remain attentive at all times.

    Reallocating his attentional budget to the scene in front of him, he concludes it is probably wise that his face is not the first thing that child sees when that door is opened, for the same reason he was originally reluctant to speak first. John leans on the wall just by the door Ubon opened, this time fully intent in letting the two girls with him establish contact.

  13. #3353
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Verg Avesta;3092420]Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Nurse's Office
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    "... Wow, that certainly sounds edgy. Are you a writer by any chance?" Noah replied in his usual nonchalant, shameless way. "Or maybe a goth, that'd certainly fit you well..."
    I blinked at his response, tapping my chin with a frown. "A writer? I'm afraid the only instruments I'm versed in are ones of death, not ones of words."

    Noah was starting to remind me of one of the most terrifying people I knew, which was a tad shocking for me. Although I suppose all sorts of people existed, his laissez-faire attitude, the way he spoke, the nonchalance... Why, it was strange.

    He was reminding me a lot of Alexstrasza Lockhart. It was eerie. That sort of negligence, that sort of nonchalance, is a sort of attire that can only be worn by the very arrogant or the very dangerous. And Noah did not seem very arrogant. I watched with half-hearted interest as Noah began searching the room as he spoke.

    "... But isn't that a good thing? That you're a multi-million dollar experiments? Should net you very good healthcare. They're not going to spare any expense to fix up you or your friend if you get a boo-boo. It's much better than what you could say for most of the other people in this country..."
    I frowned, tapping the side of my face with a hand as my other draped over my leg. That wasn't the point, was it? Being 'taken care of' in such a way, was more like being a 'pet' rather then a 'human being'. We're being taken care of not because we're 'desired to live' but because it would be 'inconvenient if we died'. But Noah did have a point. It would be unlikely for anyone here to allow Cesarina to die, because they seem rather invested in her continued living. Even Stentato, as rude as she is, wants Cesarina to live. I watched Noah search, as he began to mess with a strange device, my eyes watching as his fingers pressed down onto buttons, small beeps emerging from the box.

    "... Oh, but... If you carve out the eyes, how are you going to use their skulls as chalices?" he asked, sounding nothing if not serious. "The drink will just pour out of the sockets..."
    I blinked.

    "I hadn't thought of that! I suppose I could fill the eyes with rubies, but that seems a bit garish, yes? It isn't very politic to drink from a skull in the first place, so if one does so the skull has to be different in a way beyond 'a skull'! I suppose you could use glass in its place, but it might still look a bit off..." I frowned, tapping my foot. "I can't think of any good solutions to that, though..."

    Fashioning your foes' bones into delightful trinkets wasn't really the sort of elective I'd been interested in at school. I was more attracted to the more immediately obvious ones, but the death tournament always filled up so quick that it was hard to become an entrant! And most of my enemies usually ended up forfeiting, and I am a magnanimous and most kind opponent, so I would allow them to leave with all their limbs intact, in spite of how easy it would have been to disarm them.

    I nodded with a soft smile, thinking of fond memories. Once, when I was dueling a classmate, I had pretended to be decapitated - as a practical joke, of course - and when he let out a cheer of victory, I ripped his arm off so that way it would be able to raise a little higher in honor of his bout. Of course, it was easy enough to reattach, but his face was so funny when I 'gave him a hand'.

    "By the way Noah, what are you doing, incidentally?" I asked, peering at the box he was fiddling with. If Cesarina was awake, I would ask her to do that most interesting trick where she started glowing and babbles in dead languages. It seemed to have some effect on Prushka's Pink Dragon, but I haven't the faintest what it was. "Also, how did you get here? I'm fairly certain you're not a member of the student body or the faculty."
    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.


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