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Thread: Spirit Pulse : Mugen No Sekai [IC]

  1. #1761
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Eva Ellet
    Saint Vivienne ~ Academy City - Brewed Awakenings
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Noon


    "..."

    ---Catherine frowns.

    Not a frown of displeasure of course, but the sort of small expression that crosses one's face when their brain starts ticking away at some problem, reaching deep to figure out whether or not their memories of an event can be called accurate, or they had forgotten some sort of small detail over time, and...

    At the end of that recollection...

    "...Oh. I guess she did, huh?"

    Even the brunette sounds vaguely surprised at this particular outcome... It's understandable, she was the studious type that was proud of the fact that she could recite all laws, codes, and procedures from memory, so the fact that this sort of detail had happened to slip by her was of course going to shock her a bit...

    "It was those weird foreign candies right? Dream? Cadbury White?"

    But somehow...

    You get the feeling she's not shocked enough by it...

    Like the mistake had been noted, but for some reason she wasn't thinking as hard about it as she might usually...

    "Hmm..."

    She makes a few taps on the holographic screen protruding from her wristwatch, the familiar logo of the RAILS network COMPs used to access the internet emblazoned across the top of the screen, and...

    "Yep. Dream. Cadbury White. Same thing. White chocolate... Then again, knowing that girl, she bought out the whole store..."

    Dismisses the screen just as fast with a sigh, a half-grin replacing the frown as she awkwardly rubs at the back of her hair...

    "Well, even if she did apologize, the fact that she didn't offer to give me any remains rude," she huffs, crossing her arms and flipping her hair over her shoulder in a way that was obviously meant to double down on her earlier statements, "It's like opening a pack of gum in a classroom and not giving a friend a piece, kinda petty, you know?"

    She nods, as if you should totally agree with this, before...

    "I-I guess she can get away with it this time, though..."

    Ultimately backing down from the path of discipline-!

    As for Leah... Well...

    "Yes yes, not sharing candy with the class was rude in my high school days too... It's kind of like showing off, you know? Makes the other kids jealous."

    She still seems to think all of this is rather amusing for some reason-!
    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?



  2. #1762
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Obake-Baasan's Bathhouse
    11/16/2026
    Night, Clear Skies


    (BGM On)

    "..."

    No answer.

    Not from Isamu, not from the girls, not even from the old woman that had always seemed hyper aware of the interior of her bathhouse... It's an eerie, unsettling silence, the sort that is broken only by the (somewhat muffled) shout of your COMP directly into your brain, proving that she, at the very least, seemed to still be around in the land of the conscious, but...

    ---Somehow, that almost seems to make it stranger, more unsettling...

    Was it just you?

    Much like yourself, Tsukiko was inherently supernatural, so the idea of some sort of insidious magic having taken over just the baths was one that didn't entirely fit... You were pretty sure she could resist most of the things you could, hell, she was probably better at resisting psychic compulsions than you were, being the sort of entity that really came to life under the light of the stars and the moon, so...

    The idea that you remain awake while she remains asleep is... Strange...

    Not even getting into whatever the heck Anima was, but...

    "..."

    Fine.

    Act like a rational individual, a little panic, a little uncertainty...

    Retrieving Isamu from the water (the boy doesn't acknowledge your presence the slightest bit, nor does he seem particularly troubled in his slumber) you begin the somewhat simple task of scaling the wall separating the men's side from the woman's side, a task that would bear a hint of danger to it in any scenario besides this one, but a danger you are able to put aside considering the circumstances, and...

    Once you reach the top...

    ---The other side is in similar straights.

    A carton of eggs lays abandoned on the rocks, Tsukiko and Anima collapsed nearby, the one-eyed woman having seemingly gone out of her way to try and catch the vampire as they fell over, as could be judged by the half-embrace they seem to be in on the rocks, bodies still wrapped in towels, but thankfully only halfway in the water, their upper bodies on the rocks in a rather uncomfortable looking position...

    Not the sort you typically fall asleep in, and close to them...

    A tiny, shoulder sized creature, a humanoid fox, curled up in the center of her own nine tails like a cat taking a nap.

    ---You had thought that delinquent-like voice from earlier was familiar, but...

    What was that doing here? And more importantly...

    Why was it asleep too?

    It's a question that... Well, raises a lot of other questions!

    But looking up after seeing that no one seems to be in direct danger at the moment, and thus, being able to see past the confines of the baths into the other sections of the familiar city, you...

    ---See a place rolling in oily shadows, streets strangely void of the normally unstoppable night life the civilians enjoy.

    "..."

    It's raining. Just beyond the boundaries of this bath... It's raining...

    That's not entirely strange, there were often minor enchantments on businesses to keep the rain out of their areas, but...

    This storm was rolling in rather fast... And looking at the moon...

    It's a rather sickly shade of green...

    Just a tint, but...

    Not the normal, clear moon you're used too..
    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?



  3. #1763
    Beware the Finnish Ringlets Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Obake-Baasan's Bathhouse
    11/16/2026
    Night, Clear Skies

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

    Whatever was going on, it wasn't good.

    Whenever moon changed colour, it definitely wasn't good - and not just because Blaise had always found the celestial body calming, no. If something happened that could affect the environment enough to make the moon appear different... or heaven's forbid, if something actually changed that celestial object itself, then... it must have been powerful. And powerful meant dangerous. That was one rule where there were no exceptions. Even if the thing itself wasn't malicious, danger could come in many forms and...

    "--- I don't have time for musing stuff like this," Blaise muttered under his breath. "Alright. New plan."

    Yeah, he had to get a move on.

    Dropping down on the girls' side of the baths, Blaise quickly gathered up his comrades. He threw Anima over his shoulder like a rug, while carrying Isamu under one arm and Tsukiko under one. In a sense, the boy was ever-so-glad that they were still wearing their towels, though the sensation of their skins was... a bit stimulating, even the situation being what it was. Then, he was almost about to head out and into the dressing room, when...

    "...... Ugh."

    He laid his eyes unto the tiny fox-like creature sleeping on the floor, and frowned in disgust.

    It took a moment for him to wrestle his natural distaste for it in check, but eventually...

    "Fine."

    It was an emergency. Even if the thing was the absolute worst, at least Blaise could extend the courtesy of taking it to a safe place as well. Of course, he did it by kicking the ball of fur across the floor with measured moves, like a football player moving with the aforementioned football. He even made an effort to not kick it too hard! After all, what else could he do? His hands were full, and at least this way those tails could be put to use by sweeping the floors of the bath as they went.

    Thus, with his friends in tow (and occasional lazy kick on the downed creature), Blaise made his way back inside and over to the boys' side of the lockers. Once he was there, he laid everyone onto the benches and even wrapped a towel around Isamu in case they'd wake up. If the girls had one, the boy deserved some dignity too.

    The fox-like creature he absent-mindedly threw in one of the laundry baskets.

    It'd survive.

    "Alright, Kaguya - status report. Can you sense anything about what's going on outside?" Blaise asked as he started putting on his clothes, pulling on his jacket as well. "Anything at all? Like, how far does this thing seem to spread?"

    He hoped it wasn't Aoyama wide.

    He really hoped.

    "Eeh, well, ya see... can't tell shit!" Kaguya's answer came as the COMP AI manifested into the room, looking as worried as Blaise felt. "The outside just feels totes empty, ya know? Like there ain't nobody millin' 'bout."

    Blaise frowned at that information.

    "... Well, guess we better go take a look. The guys should be fine here... for now. If not, we might have to drag them back home. But I'd rather have a cart or something for that."

    And with that, the boy was ready to head on out to investigate just what the hell was going on in his city.
    Last edited by Verg Avesta; September 10th, 2021 at 09:37 AM.

  4. #1764
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Obake-Baasan's Bathhouse
    11/16/2026
    Night, Thunderstorm


    ---Right as you decide to go investigate on your own, the rain from the oncoming storm finally slams into the bathhouse itself.

    It's a phenomena that adds a certain mood to the situation, a heavy pattering of the metallic roof that finally shatters the uncomfortable silence, a form of white noise that nevertheless does little to reduce the growing feeling of unease that has erupted inside of your core. It does so entirely on it's own, an instinctual gut reaction that has no real discernible cause, but that continues to reinforce the fact that whatever was going on was not a good thing...

    This sort of thing doesn't happen nowadays.

    A phenomena that could go city wide? With all the defenses in place?

    It doesn't happen, and yet...

    Somehow.

    Somehow you feel like it has...

    Of course, the only way to find that out for certain... Is to go outside and look...

    So you do.

    Leaving the others in the dressing room for now, you head back out into the lobby to reach the front door; naturally, the familiar form of an old-woman exists here as well, asleep in a chair behind the counter, her breathing as quiet and comfortable as that of the others, but...

    Somehow, this doesn't make you feel better.

    Not in the slightest.

    Still...

    There are no strange footprints coming in from the doors, nor do you feel any bizarre spiritual signatures; if not for the fact that everyone seems to have randomly fallen into a deep slumber, it would have even be easy to ignore the sounds of the sudden storm and bizarrely visible moon entirely, but...

    No such luck.

    Still, best to just bite the bullet.

    Take a look outside, then figure out what needs to be done.

    So you do, sliding open a glass door and stepping past the threshold of the building into the settling darkness of the deep night.

    ---Instantly, the sound of the rain doubles in intensity.

    This is only natural of course, the difference between being shielded from a storm and finding yourself out in the heart of a storm, but considering how fast this particular one had rolled in... Well, it certainly hadn't wasted any time making it's presence known in the city. The winds are roaring, almost strong enough to be classified as a weaker typhoon, and easily enough that you can see the swaying of distant trees and old power-lines.

    It's certainly the type of storm that might drive people indoors, but such storms are most often unmade before they can hit these sorts of places... It's one of the benefits of the modern era that have always existed, at least to you, so to see the sign of something like this, along with a moon that refuses to disappear in spite of the rolling, massive black clouds that have come to dominate the sky...

    ---Something is going on, something powerful is being used here-!

    Even so... Even if that conclusion seems obvious...

    Only your physical senses are being triggered, as if this storm was just... Natural... While your sixth sense does seem to think something is off, none of the usual types of off can be felt, there's no massive reiki spikes, no feel of a bounded field (other than the minor protective one over the bathhouse), or even the lingering traces of demonic power...

    This scenario... Simply seems to be, and you can't quite figure out why... Then again, your sixth sense had never had a particularly good range, so perhaps that could be blamed for this, but...

    Even you feel the big things, and this looked like something big...

    But...

    Those thoughts too... Wind up scattering in the typhoon winds.

    After all, while your spiritual senses seem to be failing you, one of the others has just come to a rather startling conclusion...

    ---There's a trace of iron in the air.

    In other words, the scent of blood... And it's not disappearing with the rain either, no, it continues to refresh itself, a low-undercurrent to the storm that isn't easily grasped immediately, but once it is known, can no longer be ignored...

    Namely.

    ---This rain.

    While most of it is certainly water...



    ...Not all of it is.

    ---}i{---

    Blaise/Kaguya
    Zero Seal/The Four Administrators
    END

    Next Time...

    "Reverie Complex"

    Last edited by Airen; September 10th, 2021 at 11:41 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?



  5. #1765
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Rossweisse
    Aoyama, Tokyo ~ ??? Residence
    11/16/2026
    Monday ~ Morning


    "...Hard to say if we're the only targets. Would have to do some more experiments to make sure... For instance, is it possible for you to leave this city? It might simply be that my form as a... Spirit, doesn't allow me to move too far from this place. Aoyama has always had a bizarre relationship with spirits, after all..."

    The bear muses.

    "Of course, it could also be some sort of phenomena that can be resolved, an incident of sorts... But that too would require a bit more investigation..."

    It starts to pace.

    "But you're right in that it would have to be done at night, in which case... Wandering around town in a bear body... I might not get too many strange looks, considering the town, but..."

    A pause.

    A long, thoughtful pause, as the bear raises a hand to it's face in thought, and...

    "...It's not a very powerful vessel. I can't do much with it."

    ...It sounds like it causes him physical pain to admit that, but admit it he does nonetheless-!

    "Cotton insides do not do wonders for one's physical strength, and my reiki levels aren't... Particularly good, to be honest, just moving around is tiring at the moment... So..."

    It stops pacing.

    Walks up to you, and...

    "...Kneel down. Let me ride on your shoulder."

    ...Makes a rather absurd demand.

    "If I have to keep walking in this dirt I am going to have an episode."

    Ah.

    That explains it...

    ---

    Hiyori
    Aoyama, Tokyo ~ ??? Residence
    11/16/2026
    Monday ~ Morning


    "..."

    For a moment, a turned head and vaguely suspicious eyes...

    The eyes of a senior that's trying to figure out if they're being played by a younger coworker, nevertheless, even though her eyes do take on a sort of suspicious gleam to them, the light of amusement never quite goes out either, so...

    "...Genesis is pretty tough, not SLEIPNIR tough, but he would have been invincible back in the day. Nowadays... We know a bit too much about his circuitry, so he's about as tough as any other ASW."

    ...In the end, she just shrugs it off.

    Probably because of the bit of flattery that comes with acknowledging her status as an NWAB agent, but when it comes to your last question-!

    "But Reverie Something...?"

    It seems to bother her a bit more...

    Enough that her eyes go up towards the ceiling as she thinks, another hand coming up to rest just beneath her chin, as her body falls back against the couch, all energy going up towards her brain, and thus unconsciously relaxing the rest of her...

    Or something like that-!

    "No. The thing on the SLEIPNIR was called the uh... Master System? Well, I've seen some reports that also referred to it as an Astrolabe, but eh... Most of the time, it's the Master System."

    She lowers her gaze, focusing back on you.

    "No names with 'Reverie,' in it."

    The eyebrow raises again...

    "When you say Reverie, you mean like... 'Daydream,' right? Trance? Fantasy?"

    It goes higher...

    "Who's this friend asking about Space-Time attacks? Is someone trying to build a time machine again? Tipler-Cylinder Engines? They should know that's illegal, not the sort of thing I can ignore..."

    Uh oh.

    Seems she's paying even closer attention to you now-!
    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?



  6. #1766
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Mokujima Chris
    SDCD Dorms - Chris' Room
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Late Morning




    ---A thunderous roar.

    An armagus is pushed far past it's limits and the room falls to chaos as a result; the scent of ozone spikes up high along with the sudden surge of magical energy, muscles scream as they are dragged along with force that is not natural to them, but you pay such things no mind...

    This sort of self-destruction doesn't bother you anyway.

    Perhaps it's a simple truth you've realized as a common person? That you just might have to push yourself harder than others in order to achieve similar results? Regardless of the reasons, or whether or not you're truly conscious of it at all, one could certainly say that Mokujima Chris is no stranger to tactics that border on the suicidal, and in the face of that sort of resolve-!

    "Guh-!"

    There is no recourse for your opponent but to take it head on-!



    ---Along with the gasping of breath, a vibrant, cracking sound erupts throughout the room.

    It's not the sound of bones shattering, from the start, a physical blow at the solar plexus was more designed to stun an opponent than anything else; overstimulation of the nerve cluster, forced contraction of the diaphragm, a resulting series of spasms that make it difficult to breathe for a few moments, let alone move, and that was before taking into account the sheer rocket-force with which your leg had been propelled, however-!

    The sound is not that of cracking bone, nor did your opponent manage to twist herself in such a way as to avoid that outcome, even so-!

    "...I see. That's what it was."

    She speaks cleanly, easily.

    "Manipulation of probability. I always wondered how she lived so long."

    While her body had certainly been launched straight up into the air, the ease with which the woman breathes has you doing a double take-!

    Re-analyze-!

    Static had flashed before your eyes, first instinct had been to call it a lingering spasm from your earlier use of that strange power, a sort of internal static that exists only in your mind, but-!

    Half a second later, and that explanation is dismissed; the static had been physically present in reality, a manifestation of some sort of ability that had been actively shielding this apparent alter ego, whose wounds have all seemingly vanished... Judging by the appearance of static it had something to do with data manifestation, yes, the feeling here is like...

    A simulator drive...?!

    "Scorched Earth-"

    Spinning around in the air to place her feet on what remains of the ceiling, the other Chris calls this out without emotion, and immediately...

    ---You hear something coming from your right.

    To the right and down, a certain discarded weapon that your opponent had intended on using on you earlier; it had sat there calmly for a time, been thrown about the room by all the air currents for a time, and now sat silently next to you for a time, but...

    "-
    Smith Craft
    Reiki Fission.
    "


    The instant she calls out, it's constitution begins to unravel, all the power that had gone into it's construction as a spiritual armament, begins to undo itself rapidly-!

    It's a command spell.

    A simple E-rank trigger.

    Something to tell the remains of all of her weapons to self-destruct, to turn already broken things into last-effort bombs-! Reiki fission is a particularly disastrous effect, the sort that the World itself intervenes in with all it's force to stop a wide-spread chain reaction, which would be the equivalent of a reiki-based nuke going off-!

    So it won't destroy the building, hell, it probably won't even destroy the room, but...

    ---To the you standing right over it, well-!

    Light shines from within it's core.

    Chris (?)


    Auto-Skill

    -Data Jacket-
    Rank: C

    Manifestation of an identical digital body over one's original body in the physical world; because this body is tied to the stability of one's Harmonizer, it will never be quite as durable as the original one, however, all attacks and effects that would target the user target the digital body in it's place. Wounds and effects do not carry over from the digital body to the original body, and even some conceptual effects can thus be fooled, depending on the circumstances.

    The user can disregard this body whenever they wish, however, as doing so is effectively turning off one's Harmonizer, it is a risky play.

    An auto skill fitting for those who run the edge of life's line, it seems it was designed to enable the user to survive their own suicidal stunts.


    Spells

    -Scorched Earth: Reiki Fission-
    Rank: E
    Type: Spirit

    Sends out a spiritual pulse in a small area around the caster. Items that have been purposefully designed by the caster to be able to detonate upon use of this command (and that are within range of the user in order to receive the command) will combust through a reiki-fission reaction, essentially turning discarded, harmless items into last-ditch effort bombs.

    Originally a means of burning down the user's data and designs so they couldn't be retrieved by enemy units, the decision to weaponize the process seems to have been the idea of someone else.

    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?



  7. #1767
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Mokujima Chris
    SDCD Dorms - Chris' Room
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Late Morning


    Chris looks down, puzzled.

    Something shifts in her expression. It goes from determined to crestfallen.

    Not only were her cards worse; she was outplayed as well.

    She has realized what will come next, and has accepted that nothing she can do now will change it. Not with a pair of legs that have just been pushed past their limits. Not when her opponent is utterly unharmed by her all-out attack.

    Chris looks up and meets her own eyes.

    "You-."

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris(?)
    "Reiki Fission."



    The explosion roars through the room.

    Screens crack from the force. Shrapnel spreads in every direction. Posters shake and tear. The glass on the wall cabinet shatters. A limited edition Raz Stone figurine goes flying.

    Dust rises towards the ceiling.

    This place, that had once been home, a place of comfort and safety from life's troubles, is now well and truly uninhabitable.

    Its inhabitant, then, surely lies among the wreckage.

    Only-.



    It should've been over by now-!

    The explosion roars once more, louder than before.

    The smoke and dust swirl. Gather. Spiral upwards like a tornado towards their target.

    The ozone smell intensifies.

    Something sputters and groans and cracks and-!



    "You-!"

    A bloody hand pierces the veil.

    It's not the roar of the explosion, of Reiki Fission being suppressed by the world.

    It is not the armagus, pushed right to its breaking point as it is ravaged by the initial detonation.

    It is just a single voice, singing along to the song pounding in her ears and her heart.

    A voice that will not be silenced here, not now, not by herself of all people.

    She has always known that she is missing something. That there is a great door in front of her, which separates those who can from those who cannot. Everyone around her has always been able to open that door with their own power. She has to get it open another way. Her own mediocrity is no longer acceptable. There is no can and cannot; there is only will and will not.

    She will grease the hinges with as much of her own blood as it takes.

    She will push as hard as she needs to.

    That door will open...

    And something will Awaken.

    The hand seizes her double by the shoulder and pulls them face to face once more.



    "..."



    "You. Why do you fight?"

    Her entire body is wracked with pain. Especially the right side. You can't dodge an explosion, after all. Blood has run into one eye - or perhaps it was pierced by shrapnel.

    "Do you... have something to die for?"


    Chris can't feel her legs. They got the worst of it, and she doesn't want to look down to confirm whether they are intact or just gone. In any case, trying to force another charge out of the fragile jet boots would be a gamble with poor odds at best. So she can't fall now; she won't be able to stand up again if she does. She will have to hold on with her broken, bleeding fingers until it is done.

    "Or is it something else?"

    The other Chris feels something sharp jab against her stomach. It must be the bolt her double had been holding onto. From the glance earlier, it's too bulky to be another Agi bolt. An explosive of some sort, perhaps? If it detonates here, point blank, with her Data Jacket broken and the other's body ravaged... the result would be ugly. And too close to call.

    "I... have someone to live for."

    The burning eye staring at her is certainly insane enough to try something like that. Even with her spirit blazing to support her broken limbs. Even though she is here and now proclaiming that she won't die, not even to defeat an enemy. It is clear as day: this is who the Chris before her is. She is the sort of person who doesn't give up on those that the world would give up on. Even if they behave like absolute jerks.

    "So tell me!"

    Glowing reiki goes wild through her body, diving into everything. Fingers, eyes, wounds, the detestable tattoo on her hand, even the other Chris, all are bathed in spiritual energy carrying her will, her spirit. But the explosive does not detonate. It remains balanced on a knife's edge that has become a scale to weigh one's soul. A chance to finally talk for real. To judge each other. For without judgment there can be no verdict.

    "When you walked... out that door... what kind of person... did you decide to be?"

    Wake up, already!

  8. #1768
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Mokujima Chris
    SDCD Dorms - Chris' Room
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Late Morning


    "..."

    ---Again, an expression as emotionless as space itself.

    An empty void, devoid of any meaning other than what others might assign to it; while your Alter Ego is clearly in better physical shape at the end of this little struggle, the rich scent of iron in the air coming from you rather than her, she doesn't make much of an attempt to evade your last grasp. Whether or not it's because she couldn't, or had simply chosen not too for some reason evades you, that expression won't tell you anything about it, but...

    ---Smoke isn't enough for her to lose track of you.

    Of that much, you are certain, still...

    "..."

    Something jabs her stomach, but she doesn't look down at it either; the moment you chose to look her dead in the eye is the moment in which no other view becomes possible for either of you.

    ---Nothing happens until the end of your words.

    The end of your questions.

    Nothing in her expression breaks, the threat of a point-blank explosion doesn't seem to shake her heart at all; it's a titanium will that makes it impossible to tell if she just doesn't care, is certain she'd survive in spite of it, or if she has some other spell or defense waiting in the winds, but...

    All the same, she doesn't attack you either.

    She waits, listens, and...

    "...If I had something to die for, then I already followed that to it's conclusion."

    ...responds with this, voice clear and unshaking, the formerly emotionless eyes taking on a bit of a fiery spark to them-!

    "Someone to live for... A few people, it's not that rare a connection."

    Eyes like miniature blue stars, burning their way into the depths of your spirit...

    "But the door... Well... You should know the answer to that well enough yourself, Mokujima Chris."

    ---It's a pointless question.

    ---The answer is obvious, there is only ever a single reason for Mokujima Chris to leave that room; the concept may start with a single individual, but the heart of the girl who won't abandon the abandoned is a constant that won't change, or at least...

    That is what this person claims.

    "I follow it even now. I'm not so bright I can't linger in the darkness, I'll make it right, even if it's not squeaky clean, even if I have to do some things I might not like... A dim horizon is just fine for me, in the end I'm little more than a lingering wraith, but there are things I have to do before I disappear."

    Nothing in her body moves.

    It's a deathly stillness, perhaps to contrast your shaking muscles?

    "So go ahead Chris. I don't know if that bomb is real, but I don't care either. I won't die. Determination alone isn't enough for everything, but for this, against you..."

    ---Absolute conviction.

    "...It'll be enough."

    ---Silence reigns.
    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?



  9. #1769
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Mokujima Chris
    SDCD Dorms - Chris' Room
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Late Morning


    Only the drip, drip of blood and broken water pipes punctuates the long silence that settles over the wrecked room.

    The two women judge and are judged. Not by others, but by themselves. They, who wither under the gazes of others, can look into each other's' eyes without blinking. For there is no fear here, though the situation is life and death. Fear comes from a lack of understanding, but for Chris...

    She understands the person before her, just a little bit. Enough to render a verdict.

    Her grip shakes, held up by pure willpower at this point. The other hand, clutching the sharp object, is brought up, until it is within vision of them both.

    A screwdriver. One from the room, that had been blown closer by the blast.

    "Form a contract with me," Chris says. "You won't disappear."

    If the person before her is some kind of temporary manifestation, a ghost or a wraith of a possibility that never came to pass in this world, then, well... Sakurako had yammered on excitedly for too long about hauntings and the like for Chris to not to pick up the basics through osmosis. If her double is more akin to a Demon that needs energy, the answer won't change either. She knows very well how such relationships go. Regardless of the particulars, it's a fact that things which should not exist in this world can persist by latching onto humans.

    The doppelganger is not a corrupted clone, nor an imitator. That has been confirmed. She is none other than 'herself'. And so her goal is surely something Chris would approve of as well. Something worth supporting to the end. It doesn't matter that she nearly died, that half her body is a mass of wounds, that she trashed her own room and expended most of her resources. That was just a necessity for the 'conversation', nothing more.

    The person before her has clearly been abandoned by the world, so Chris can't abandon her.

    "The more difficult and painful it is to hold onto... the more important it is that you don't let it go."

    The allure is ever-present. To sink just a bit further, just a bit deeper. To break one more code, to toss away things with no concrete worth, even though they matter. To sharpen oneself into an edge that cuts friend and foe alike. The darkness is as tempting as the light, and naked pragmatism is just as corrupting as blind self-righteousness. They know well that temptation and its dangers.

    To be a light in the darkness, she must never lose her shine.

    "So come with me. We'll figure it out together."

    No matter what world it is, one thing will remain unchanged: Mokujima Chris is no one's puppet.

    "...or can you only make things right from that cursed stage?"

    Blue eyes bore into amber eyes, waiting for an answer.

  10. #1770
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Mokujima Chris
    SDCD Dorms - Chris' Room
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Late Morning


    "..."

    Blood drips, water pools.

    Fire cracks, a foundation crumbles, and clouds of dust scatter throughout the destroyed area... In spite of this, in spite of all the tiny sounds, from the breathing of a reporter up above, to the cracks and crashing of a battle outside, for a moment, a single moment, as you come to your conclusion and find a question you are willing to ask, there is nothing but silence between you and 'yourself.'

    ---It's not a cold silence.

    There's a flicker of something, amusement perhaps, as if this had been something she had expected to hear, before...

    "..."

    She closes her eyes.

    "Fate is a sleeping slave."

    An invisible tension relaxes itself, perhaps because the battle has come to a different sort of end...

    "I haven't let go of anything... Even if I wore a chain by my own will... It would just be a means to an end, a way to observe the chain itself. You can't truly break something until you know how it works, and that often means experiencing it yourself... But I suppose you'll realize that in time."

    The expressionless face returns, but no further attempts to attack are made...

    "Of course it's not always that easy... This chain I have now wasn't my choice, but... It won't last much longer either."

    ---Again.

    ---A flicker of a smile, this one almost... Villainous...

    "And I don't think I was a particularly effective puppet while I had it... Shame. Well, this is what happens when vague orders are given I suppose, I can interpret it however I wish..."

    A loud sound, like glass shattering, then...

    A wind sweeps through the room, and with it...

    Blue eyes fade back to amber ones.

    "...But as for your offer, well..."

    ---Again, that flicker of an amused smile.

    "I have prior obligations."

    She takes a step back, then, after a moment, a moment in which it seems like the woman might want to say something else but ultimately thinks better of it, she...

    "..."

    ...Moves to walk around you to the door.
    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?



  11. #1771
    approaching euthymia Katie's Avatar
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    Aster
    Saint Vivienne ~ Dormitories
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Evening


    “Yeah, and?” Aster does not care if she’s being hypocritical, because it doesn’t matter. “I have to respect my owner’s privacy. And I’ve straight up told you I think it’s fine if I lie to my owner if I think it’s better for her growth.”

    Her owner. Ayra. Normally Aster would call her by name, but she needs to make a distinction here. This is her restraints as a COMP. Unlike the idiot she is bickering with, she is not a sentient being with true freedom. Her shackles are ones she wears with pride, but that does not change what they are.

    “Honestly… Even if you do your best to lead her astray, she’ll follow you until the end.” It’s an honest statement, almost too honest, but Tsukiko must be a fool if she can stop Ayra from following in her footsteps. It is merely inevitable they walk the same path.

    “As the Bard says, She shall be buried by her Antony / No grave upon earth shall clip in it / A pair so famous.

    Aster sighs, before stuffing her hands into her pockets. It must be bizarre to hear her opinions with Ayra’s voice. Maybe that’s why it’s not quite as resonant? Then again… it’s not like someone would be comfortable being lectured by their own voice, either.

    “Anyway, I’ll have you know whatever you’re looking at might be helpful for Ayra’s goals, so let’s make a truce and investigate together?”

    Ayra Lilygrove
    Saint Vivienne ~ Clock Tower
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Evening


    Ayra isn’t sure what to say to that—on one hand, she thinks humoring the students with rumor and hearsay is such an awful idea, but she can’t blame Emma for brightening their days. How many students will be crushed by reality? And how many end up like her squires, carefully guided to not see what rots and festers under glistening dreams?

    Those thoughts occupy her mind as she climbs up the ladder to the top. She could have jumped, but it seems awkward when everyone else is doing things the “proper” way. Not that she minds—the slower pace gives her more time to think. What separates her from the goals of these teachers? She’d like to say she’s not nearly as flippant, but deep down, are they the same?

    Those thoughts are interrupted by the word carved into the wood of the clock tower, alluring any student who somehow found their way up here. Briefly she checks the time zones of the clocks (do they line up with the time zones for the main tamer hubs?) before she digs into the real question.

    “How many people have tried actually aligning all four clocks?”

  12. #1772
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Aster
    Saint Vivienne ~ Dormitories
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Evening


    "...Fine."

    ---In the end she relents to your last request, of course...

    "You still don't get it I guess, but I don't really have time to argue it out with you right now..."

    That brief flicker of annoyance on her face had become more pronounced as you spoke, as if the things you had been saying were things she simply didn't agree with it at all, with the frown becoming especially prevalent when the word 'owner' is used not just once but twice, but...

    She let's it all go with a sigh, not just the annoyance, but the vaguely uncomfortable air that had formed around her when it came to talking about the depths of Ayra's loyalty...

    "I've been looking around town for old newspapers, really old newspapers, the sort that were printed when this school first opened... Haven't had much luck so far, but the student that lives here apparently collects them, one of those antique lovers... Now, there are... Circumstances... That would complicate things if I asked for permission to go in, so I'm breaking in without anyone knowing... Simple right?"

    ---There's a certain shameless quality to those words, but...

    "Trying to figure out exactly who the original headmaster of this school was... Does that sound like something that would help Ayra's investigation?"

    She raises an eyebrow.

    "If it does, then by all means, help me dig through the dozens of boxes I'm sure I'll find in here."

    ---

    Ayra Lilygrove
    Saint Vivienne ~ Clock Tower
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Evening


    "...Alignment of the Clocks would be Synchrony, rather than Synchronicity."

    Asuka says, frowning to herself as she stands up again.

    "It's one of Carl Jung's pseudo-sciences, of course, considering the nature of the World, those sorts of things still have some power."

    She moves, touching each of the imprints lightly, as Emma falls back to watch the two of you with bright, curious eyes, although she does frown at the carvings when she sees them, as if they were somewhat new to her as well...

    "Specifically... It's the repeated occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection... In other words, it's your brain's way of assigning extra meaning to coincidences..."

    Her eyes light up.

    "The Pauli Effect is a documented case of the phenomena, and it's a pretty easy example I think... The Pauli Effect basically says that experimental equipment has a habit of breaking in the presence of theoretical physicists, if the physicist is not present the equipment works fine, but the instant they appear, it mysteriously breaks. The effect was named after Wolfgang Pauli because the effect was particularly pronounced around him... To the point where once, when a measuring device randomly broke in the University of Göttingen, the director made a joke about it not being Pauli's fault this time... Except, at about the time of the device's failure, Wolfgang Pauli had stopped in Göttingen to switch train lines."

    It seems to be a topic she knows quite a bit about, but then again, Asuka had always leaned a bit towards the nerdier side of things...

    "That being said... If we look at it from that angle..."

    Her gaze drifts to you.

    ---It's the starlit expression of someone that has found what they think is an answer, but...

    ...Also asking if they should keep talking about it or not, in other words...

    What do you think? Is the current audience okay?
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  13. #1773
    The Long-Forgotten Sight Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    STARBRIGHT
    SDCD Base - Starlit Lake
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Late Morning


    There are people in this world known as Receptors. They are naturally attuned to the emotions of others, to a greater degree than any empath. They exult in the delight of others, instinctively comprehend the emotions hidden within hearts and minds, and ride overflowing feelings to unparalleled heights. Negative emotions are no exception. It’s all too easy for a Receptor to drown within a drop of despair.

    Logan Starbright is not a Receptor. But running between the strident rainbows staining the sky and the churning stars in the turbulent lake, feeling melancholy and wrath and denial and an overwhelming emptiness ripple through them with each hasty step, they feel like they understand. Deities are beings formed from human belief, elevated by human worship, and given meaning by human acknowledgment. One culture’s god is another’s devil. Is this how it feels, living your life for a singular purpose, a lone pride, and then having it stolen away by your creators, your charges, your arbiters? Is this what happens when the only thing you have left to fill your emptiness is your despair?

    There was a glass boy in a gray hospital room. Would he have been like this if he didn’t have a path?

    We don’t want to think about something that depressing anymore, so it’s time to bail. Don’t need one hell of an evil eye to convince us of that. Sorry,
    Dead End
    Aurora
    . We’re not your savior. We keep up the speed even as Yamuna reaches back until the lake’s far behind and Eve’s in sight with an extremely unorthodox craft of some kind. Did Chris make that? Is that our getaway vehicle?

    "...Sorry. Didn't mean to get distracted."
    “We’re not one to talk,” we say wryly. Still, it’s a relief she’s talking. With how similar their spirit powers were and the malleable nature of gods, we were worried about some sort of corruption like what that asshole had.

    "You can put me down now, I'll be fine. She won't attack anyone else. You go ahead and get on the ship. You need to be on it before that form makes you collapse. Or before this place collapses on top of us.
    Alright, down you go. “Anyone else? It’s not a good thing if she attacks you, you know.” But Yamuna’s right. The overflowing energy that surged through every cell and circuit, sparking along the scenery like bolts in a plasma globe is at long last running dry. We reach out with our spirit sense - there’s Aleta and Chris, still in the room. It’s a bit far, but we could swing by, grab them, and head back before time’s up, except… What if there are more than two doppelgangers? Chris had a trick up her sleeve, so what if the beast beyond the rainbow accounted for that? In which case, they’re in danger. But there’s also Aurora, who’s stationary for the moment but is a danger to Yamuna. Can we retrieve the two and handle an enemy? What if that asshole and the puppetmaster are active? Think, us. Remember all those chess classes from before. What’s the best way to use all of the pieces on the board? What gets everyone, including us, out of here alive?

    “Yamuna.” We tap her on the shoulder. “Sorry to ask, but could you pick up Aleta and Chris? They’re still in Chris’s room, and they should be alright… but we have our doubts. We’ll stay here to head off any pursuers.”

    It’d be ideal to have Eve conceal Yamuna while we headed there ourselves, but as we are, if there was an enemy capable of engaging in hostilities… No, it’s better not to risk other peoples’ lives just for self-satisfaction. We’ll stay watchful until our time is up. We’ve still got enough leeway for a major spell or two, after all.




    Spoiler:
    Status: Full Drive (3/3)
    Spells Used: Eye of the Fates
    Heat: 3/9
    Last edited by Rafflesiac; September 11th, 2021 at 09:57 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

  14. #1774
    Imperial Princess Satehi's Avatar
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    Eva Ellet
    Saint Vivienne ~ Academy City - Brewed Awakenings
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Noon


    …?

    It was, if not particularly useful at the moment, at least interesting to learn that Catherine did indeed remember the correct version of events; or at least, a slightly more correct one. (The brand of chocolate, Eva was fairly certain was incorrect)

    More interesting, though…

    Was the fact that Catherine didn’t seem to be particularly bothered by it. Unexpected, given her penchant for details. Going by what Agatha said, maybe this was an effect of people trying to make sense of the conflicting sets of memories: not only burying the ones that don’t fit, but also making an active effort to avoid scrutinizing them and making inconsistencies arise…

    Good to know, but not something she was particularly keen on testing further. If anything, she was a little grateful that no issues arose earlier when she was talking with Evita in the garden- that would have been messy.

    And so, having somewhat accomplished her goal of getting Catherine to back down on the false pretenses for a lecture…

    "Well, even if she did apologize, the fact that she didn't offer to give me any remains rude," she huffs, crossing her arms and flipping her hair over her shoulder in a way that was obviously meant to double down on her earlier statements, "It's like opening a pack of gum in a classroom and not giving a friend a piece, kinda petty, you know?"

    “Well… I guess…?”

    … Eva decides not to push for more corrections at the moment.

  15. #1775
    approaching euthymia Katie's Avatar
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    Aster
    Saint Vivienne ~ Dormitories
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Evening


    “If I don’t get it, then I don’t get it. It shouldn’t be my fault you can’t explain your position adequately enough.” There is something completely satisfying about getting under Tsukiko’s skin that Aster can’t quite put into words. That even though the battle is an utter stalemate, she has somehow won this exchange by hurting the other person where it matters. Ayra would call this petty, and it is, but Aster knows they are cut from the same cloth. Her owner just doesn’t usually have cause to be petty, that’s all, but Aster will pick all the fights in the world.

    “Anyway, it’s not exactly helpful for Ayra, but I do have a reason to dig through old records, so maybe I’ll stumble on a hit along the way.” What she and Ayra are looking for seemingly is on a similar wavelength as Tsukiko’s search, but perhaps she’s reading too much into things. More importantly, does she trade information? As it is, the exchange is a bit one-sided, but Aster doesn’t know what will happen if she divulges slightly more than necessary. Will she get tipped off about what they’re doing if she’s actually a conspirator?

    Well, she still seemed to have Ayra’s best interests in mind.

    “I’m looking for records about a student in your graduating class. Purple hair, red-eyes. Ring a bell?”

    Ayra Lilygrove
    Saint Vivienne ~ Clock Tower
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Evening


    It isn’t that the topic goes over her head, but Ayra is the kind of person who doesn’t find the world of cognitive science to be very interesting. While the World certainly seemed to operate on some of those principles, it was just far enough removed that she could ignore the whole thing for practical endeavors. It was nice to see Asuka finally be in her element, but judging by the way Emma was looking at the carvings…

    Perhaps it was better to cut off Asuka there? But it would feel terribly awkward if she did. The new headmaster probably wasn’t an idiot, after all, and Ayra couldn’t blatantly show her distrust… No, the right thing to do was to let Asuka continue, and then come up with an excuse to split the party up later. It’d sound more natural that way, without being so obvious that she was suspicious.

    “From that angle…” To be honest, Ayra has no idea where Asuka is going with this. She can only dumbly state the obvious, but she’d rather get to the point than look like she’s always competent. “It’d have to do with the current ‘midnight rumor,’ wouldn’t it? The door appearing when a clock strikes midnight is an example of synchronicity?”

  16. #1776
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Eva Ellet
    Saint Vivienne ~ Academy City - Brewed Awakenings
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Noon


    Quote Originally Posted by Eva
    “Well… I guess…?”
    "Yep, yep."

    Catherine, almost seeming embarrassed after this little episode (did she actually have her own weak points?) nevertheless doubles down on the correctness of her little tirade...

    Perhaps because she's the sort that feels that she must?

    Nevertheless...

    "But she can get away with it this time, I won't hold any hard feelings."

    She seems to become somewhat more reasonable in the end, even as she invites herself to the table to partake in the remnants of the morning's brunch; of course, Leah doesn't seem to mind, the older woman cheerfully pushing the plate towards the younger woman in an invitation to do just that, the harsher golden light of the morning sun replaced by a more cloudy sky as noon slowly becomes afternoon, an afternoon that is quite different from the one you had envisioned just hours beforehand...

    Yes.

    Quite different indeed...

    Not a time spent within the scifi halls of an alien spacecraft, but instead in the warm confines of a cafe alongside a mother who was strangely awake and happy, and a friend that seemed a bit too naturally predisposed towards noticing the tiny holes in her recollections of events...

    Of course, the human mind has always been prone to such things; it's amazing what sort of inconsistencies the brain with smooth over entirely on it's own, all for the purpose of ensuring easy functionality, of pushing away thoughts that might be inconvenient, to just complete the puzzle so you can put the box aside and focus on other things.... After all, the mind does not like leaving things half-complete, the subconscious will keep working on things long after the conscious self has given up if no lid is put on the case, so for the sake of conserving one's own energy, even a slightly off lid will do...

    In the end, nothing further happens to prompt any more inconsistencies.

    The brunch goes by in peace, Leah and Catherine chatting about school life, and occasionally dragging you headfirst into things, each of them seemingly convinced that you needed to be pulled into the conversation every once in awhile or you'd allow yourself to fall into the background...

    Still, it's not all that bad, right?

    From the way Agatha had talked about it, you had sort of expected there to be some obvious downsides to whatever was going on in the World, and yet...

    Everything seems fine.

    No...

    Everything seems almost... Better than it was before...?

    While your own apparent status as a student-in-the-making felt like a bit of a downgrade when it came to personal standing (although Saint Vivienne students were apparently universally successful in their careers) the presence of your mother in your life was an obvious upgrade, something that you weren't used too, but also something that you couldn't exactly say was unwelcome...

    And Evita...

    If Evita was... Who she appeared to be, well...

    Then this was fine, right?

    Everyone had come out of this with positives, the World seemed peaceful, and while the price was seemingly some mild confusion when it came to exact memories...

    Was that really such a big deal?

    People forget about the details of their lives all the time, right?

    If someone had just mixed and matched the best possible outcomes for every scenario and then somehow actualized them, then well...

    Was there something wrong with that?

    Or was this fine?

    "..."

    It's quite the question, the obvious question, and one to which not a lot of people would have an instant answer, but...

    Perhaps it's best to put those things aside for now? The day wasn't over yet, as could be evidenced by Catherine leaping up to her feet at the end of it all and offering to escort the both of you to the dormitories.

    Leah accepts, so you don't have much reason to decline, and it's there...

    Right there...

    Where you see something strange, just a small thing, but something strange nonetheless...

    In the mirror above the door, as you follow Catherine to the exit...

    For just an instant, a single moment in time...

    ---Leah Ellet frowns, her gaze lingering on both of your backs.

    Of course it's not a malicious look, nor is it an annoyed one, no...

    If you had to label it with an emotion, it would be mild worry, or perhaps, more accurately...

    ---Concern.



    ---}i{---

    Eva Ellet
    Zero Seal/The Four Administrators
    END

    Next Time...

    "Reverie Complex"




    Eva Ellet (Dream Weave Profile)



    Name: Eva Ellet
    Class: Spirit Tamer/Suppression Weapon
    Alias: [FILE CORRUPTED]
    Status: Alive/Functional
    Origin: Xanadu
    Current Location: Saint Vivienne
    Cognitive Dissonance Factor: 0%
    Reboot/Revive: Unnecessary

    Spiritual Connection Scale

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
    ....................8 9 10

    Fate Links (Up!)

    Agatha: Up!
    Catherine: Up!
    Leah Ellet: Up!
    Evita Ellet: Up!
    Myra Davis: Up!
    Alexia Wright: Up!
    Alyx Kingsleigh: Up!
    Cosmos Fairchild (?): Up!

    Fate Links (Damaged)

    N/A

    Fate Links (Current Conclusion)

    Agatha: 4
    Alexia Wright: 2
    Leah Ellet: 5
    Evita Ellet: 3
    Myra Davis: 2
    Nakamura Megumi: 2
    Alisa Kingsleigh: 2
    Catherine: 4
    Alyx Kingsleigh: 2
    Cosmos Fairchild (?): 1
    Goro: 2

    Last edited by Airen; September 12th, 2021 at 11:15 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?



  17. #1777
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Aster
    Saint Vivienne ~ Dormitories
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Evening


    Quote Originally Posted by Aster
    “If I don’t get it, then I don’t get it. It shouldn’t be my fault you can’t explain your position adequately enough.”
    "...Well, some things are certainly my fault, but I keep forgetting I'm the one person you're the least likely to listen to."

    She shrugs.

    "I could have all the insight in the world and it wouldn't mean anything to you coming from me, just how it is I guess."

    ---Yep.

    Definitely a little annoyed with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aster
    “I’m looking for records about a student in your graduating class. Purple hair, red-eyes. Ring a bell?”
    Still, when it comes to mentions of a certain purple-haired classmate...

    "...Hmm."

    The bespectacled woman actually does pause in place, eyes going up towards the ceiling in the universal sign of deep thought...

    "Yeah... Think her name was Aislyn. Aislyn Wevere. Something like that, real old-fashioned sort of girl, liked to use physically drawn circles for things. Never had the best physical scores, struggled in gym class... So I can see how Ayra would have forgotten her."

    She raises an eyebrow.

    "Why? She do something?"


    ---


    Ayra Lilygrove
    Saint Vivienne ~ Clock Tower
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Evening


    Quote Originally Posted by Ayra
    “It’d have to do with the current ‘midnight rumor,’ wouldn’t it? The door appearing when a clock strikes midnight is an example of synchronicity?”
    "Mhm. That's one factor of it."

    Asuka nods.

    "Clearly whatever it is happens at midnight, but if none of the teachers are seeing it in spite of doing the same ritual, then there must be some other 'condition' that causes the phenomena to appear, in other words... Rather than just anyone waiting through all the midnight bells and having a door appear..."

    She pauses, for purposeful, dramatic effect...

    "It would have to be a student. Specifically, a student of "Saint Vivienne Academy," or something like that... It would explain why the teachers can't find anything, they don't fit the profile for the phenomena, so..."

    She grins at you, smile mischievous, and coming perhaps a bit too much to life in this atmosphere...

    "...Might be time to put on our old school uniforms~."

    Before directing her gaze back to Emma, and...

    "So long as our lovely headmaster here is willing to reinstate us for a few days, for investigative purposes if nothing else?"

    Emma blinks in response to this, then, after but a moment of quiet thought-

    "...I suppose I can do that."

    -agrees right away?!
    Last edited by Airen; September 12th, 2021 at 01:52 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?



  18. #1778
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Mokujima Chris
    SDCD Dorms - Chris' Room
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Late Morning

    "...heh."

    Their faces are mirrored again, sporting the same mischievous grin that had decided that guy was fun enough to keep around. So she'd been stalling as well? That certainly explains things.

    It's normally intolerable to accept vague advice from random supernatural entities, but since it's herself, Chris will hold her tongue this once. If it's the 'process' that matters, and she must experience what is to come in order to properly counter it, she'll keep her eyes open without complaint.

    However...

    "Hold on."

    For a moment, Chris' voice recaptures some of the authority it'd had earlier. It's not a common way for her to speak (at least offline), so most people don't ever get to hear it. To subject herself to it must be some kind of prank from Fate. Or perhaps not, if that sleeping slave stuff is to be believed. In any case, without a certain rock concert pounding in her ears, it would have been impossible. But she'll welcome this sudden surge of someone else's self-confidence for as long as it's useful.

    Chris stumbles back and manages to stay standing. Glances down. Still there, it seems. A bloody mess though. The boots are... not intact, but not irreparable. The pants are beyond saving, more holes than fabric at this point. Her eye feels fine too. Probably some blood from the cut on her forehead flowed into it. She'll need medical attention in short order, but this is enough to keep going for a while.

    She stumble-walks to the dresser, which was unperturbed by the explosion, pulls it open and-.

    Flings an empty backpack at her doppelganger. Followed by a change of clothes; they both know how terrifying shopping in-person is, and online delivery services might not be working. A spare mobile phone, already registered under a false identity, and a laptop with a fresh install on it. Several metal parts and tools, seemingly picked at random, but all precisely what she will need for that arm and her weapons. "You're not maintaining your COMP with dollar store goods. He deserves better." The screwdriver too; it's high quality. Several packets of instant noodles, the good kind. The method of delivery may or may not be a bit of revenge for earlier.

    An identical backpack at Chris' feet is also filled up in a similar fashion. In case she won't be here for a while, it's best to pack the essentials so she can keep working without data loss.

    Finally, she tosses one more item to her copy - the limited edition Raz Stone figurine. A parting gift. She can still see him fighting now. The fact that his clone had showed up on that end at the same time... can't be a coincidence. Which makes what her doppelganger is doing here an exception among exceptions.

    "Take whatever you need. His song ends soon. They won't all be like you, will they?"

    With a beep, her contact info is sent over via short-range secure communication. They do have someone (several someones, if the AI girl has returned to meddle) snooping right above, so perhaps what the other Chris wanted to say is the sort of thing that should only be communicated privately, without eavesdroppers.

    If Daisuke were here, it wouldn't be an issue. Then again, if Daisuke were here, things would've gone a lot differently. Instead of the worst morning ever, it might've even been a productive one. Hopefully he's doing well, wherever he is. Surely Shuichi and Lexie can take care of him, right?

    Pushing back the sudden pang of loneliness and worry that will surely return again and again, stronger each time until she sees her precious COMP again, Chris refocuses. Can't lose it until it's truly safe. Have to tick all the boxes, constant vigilance even when all things seem calm and the battle is over, be on guard for danger at all times. Just a little further now.

    She stares at her own back, standing in the door to the outside. A back that says she will do what needs to be done, while hiding how weak and vulnerable she really is. A back that might not have others to lean on, walking a road far lonelier and darker than her own.

    So she needs to at least match that strength and do things properly as well.

    "...good luck. If you see that crow, tell them their days are numbered. I'll worry about the dumb brat on this end."

  19. #1779
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Mokujima Chris
    SDCD Dorms - Chris' Room
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Late Morning


    "..."

    She doesn't take anything more than what was given to her.

    The somewhat talkative alter ego is rather silent now... It's not too surprising, forcing social activity is a thing that drains quite a lot of mental energy from people like the two of you, yes...

    She seems cool at a glance, a version of yourself that is a bit more world weary, hardened, perhaps even a tad more cynical, but...

    Some weaknesses remain, or at least, that's the thought that comes to mind until the end of things, when she's looking at the figurine you had thrown into her hand and an expression that is once again undefinable takes over her face. It's a sudden shift that you can't help but notice, a change in the air around her that stops her from taking her first steps out of the room and into the world outside, and...

    "...Ruina is in a box. It's the same box as Black Rose. There are a few other boxes, but I never learned much about them..."

    ...She speaks, softly, but clear enough that you can still hear her in spite of all the other sounds lingering in the depths of the destroyed room.

    "In at least this box, everything repeats. I'm not sure of the reason why... But the same seventy-two hours play out, over and over again."

    She lifts her gaze from the statue, then, after a moment's thought-

    "..."

    -turns back to the door.

    "The first day is normal, it's a city like any other. Halfway through the second day a disaster descends from the skies, driving the populace into despair and releasing a monster. On the last day... Everything is mud and curses. I'm sure you've seen something like that already, right?"

    ---Memories of an aquarium spring to mind, almost entirely of their own volition.

    "...That place is her home."

    A pause, a purposeful pause, as if the silence here was important, then...

    "And it's where the shadow comes from too."

    ...that strange air around her disappears, a sign that this topic too, disappears from her lips.

    "As for the Crow..."

    She starts into the outside.

    There's a lot of noise going on around you, broken pipes, crumbling structures, the dripping sounds of water and blood and even your own heartbeat ringing in your ears, but...

    "...Sometimes, the abandoned..."

    ...For a moment, there is nothing but pure silence.

    "...No. I shouldn't say. Time to go, for both of us."

    It ends with those words. The other Chris simply walks out of the building and into the growing darkness of a cloud-ridden sky, a dim morning that suited her just fine, the light snap of her fingers heralding the final disappearance, as her body becomes light and shoots straight up into the darkening sky.

    A natural attempt at looking cool? Or simple mimicry of something you were sure you had seen in a game once?

    Either way...

    She had certainly made an impression...

    But...

    "Yosh-!"

    Leaping down from above, a certain scarlet-haired reporter lands brazenly behind you, looks at your shaking limbs (wait, was the ground shaking too?) and...

    "...Sorry in advance, but like she said, it's time to go."

    ---Turns out.

    ---Aleta was absolutely strong enough to carry you, even if you resist.

    In retrospect...

    It's not that surprising...!
    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. #1780
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    STARBRIGHT (& Mokujima Chris)
    SDCD Base - Starlit Lake
    11/16/2026
    Monday - Late Morning


    “Yamuna.” We tap her on the shoulder. “Sorry to ask, but could you pick up Aleta and Chris? They’re still in Chris’s room, and they should be alright… but we have our doubts. We’ll stay here to head off any pursuers.”
    "...That shouldn't be necessary."

    Her gaze is fixed on something in the distance, a troubled expression that hasn't left the woman's face since her encounter with her scarlet-haired counterpart; for the Goddess that always does her best to be cheerful, it's a bit of an uncomfortable expression, one that makes it clear her brief encounter with the other one had left some marks upon her mind...

    The guilt, perhaps, of a sibling that had failed to protect a family member... Of course, mythologically speaking, there is little actual connection between Aurora the Goddess of Dawn and Yamuna the Goddess of Life, and yet...

    Yamuna herself had always been a strange Goddess, a homunculus that had ascended into the role, an artificially created being that had become the real thing through acknowledgement of her existence... If the other was a similar being, then well...

    Who was to say they weren't sisters?

    Or at least, had been in their previous forms...

    Nevertheless...

    Focusing on the here and now...

    "Coming through, coming through!"

    ...You see what Yamuna had been talking about, the red-haired reporter was sprinting this way with all the speed her legs could manifest, a blushing, wounded and silent Chris held up in her arms in a princess carry; the scarlet-haired woman is shockingly fast, at least as far as brute force speed goes, but the slide into the hangar looked like it hadn't been entirely under her control, even so...

    "Everything in me is saying it's time to go!"

    She gets on the ship without having to be told to do so, lugging the injured Chris along with her the entire time, and falling into a room with a very focused on the consoles around her Eve...

    It's a bit of a frantic pace.

    Like she thinks the sky is going to fall down or something, but...

    ---The ground does shake.

    Sporadically, like a series of small earthquakes... It's not an unheard of symptom for supernatural battles, and the massive butterfly you could still see in your mind's eye could perhaps be blamed as the culprit for it, but...

    Somehow, you doubt it.

    The feeling that something else is happening here is overwhelming...

    Standing outside with Yamuna, who seems to be waiting for something, the first flickers of this extra wrongness come in the form of the sky literally beginning to split apart, something like static forming in the cracks, spreading across the sky and then down to the ground, an obvious sort of visual wrong that warns your senses that something absurd is going on, but...

    "You're next. Get on board, okay? Eve already started the countdown."

    The Goddess does not panic.

    Turning to face you as the World seems to be literally collapsing on top of you -much as she had said it might- the expression that crosses the woman's face is simple determination... Of course, a Goddess likely wouldn't panic in the face of something like this, even more so if they knew that them doing so would spell panic out in others, but...

    Before you can say anything in response...

    "...!"

    ---The red-haired Goddess appears over the horizon, walking towards the ship with an impossible to define intent, uncaring of the apparent collapse going on alongside her, and with that occurrence...

    "Yeah yeah... I'll listen to your complaints, Aurora... Don't drag anyone else into it."

    That event...

    A hand reaches out to push you.

    It's Yamuna's hand, and the push is a teleport.

    Same as last time, a spacial-distortion performed without permission, one that has you falling backwards onto what seems to a bed? You roll, preserved momentum throwing you across the surface of that bed and onto a metallic floor, revealing a room where only Eve remains standing, one hand grasping what seems like an old-fashioned ship's wheel, while the other systematically taps at buttons, buttons labelled in an alien language you don't recognize, and...

    Engines click to life.

    Through the front window Yamuna can be seen, she's standing still but tall, facing the red-haired Goddess and the collapsing World with an absolute calm that only those who have already seen the end, many ends, could possibly muster, and...

    "..."

    ...Turning back, just for a moment.

    "...Have a good trip."

    She waves.

    Smiling and calm, as if everything was just fine...



    "I'll be waiting on the other side. Don't worry too much about me."


    ---Words that are only truly comprehended far too late.

    "Geez, I thought something strange was going on, but..."


    Jets kick to life, the smell of ozone becomes suffocating, amidst the crackles and pops of static, a violent shrill shriek as some immutable law of the World is shattered to pieces, and...

    "This is one of the big ones, huh?"


    ...Everything goes dark.



    ---}i{---

    Logan Starbright & Mokujima Chris

    Zero Seal/The Four Administrators
    END

    Next Time...

    "Reverie Complex"



    Logan Starbright (Dream Weave Profile)



    Name: Logan Starbright
    Class: Spirit Tamer
    Alias: [FILE CORRUPTED]
    Status: Alive/Functional
    COMP Status: Alive/Functional
    Origin: Xanadu
    Current Location: [CONFIDENTIAL]
    Cognitive Dissonance Factor: 0%
    Reboot/Revive: Unnecessary

    Spiritual Connection Scale

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
    ....................8 9 10

    Fate Links (Up!)

    Yamuna: Up!
    Astra: Up!
    Verity: Up!
    Aleta: Up!
    Logan Starbright: Up?
    Eve: Up!

    Fate Links (Damaged)

    N/A

    Fate Links (Current Conclusion)

    Sarah Starbright: 6
    Adala Lagerkvist: 2
    Tsukino Lucia: 1
    Astra Palesch: 5
    Anna Ashford: 1
    Omega: 2
    Beelzebub: 1
    Burroughs: 2
    Verity: 3
    Yamuna: 2
    Aleta Gaumond: 2
    Kurogane Eve: 2



    Mokujima Chris (Dream Weave Profile)



    Name: Mokujima Chris
    Class: Spirit Tamer/Spirit Smith
    Alias: [FILE CORRUPTED]
    Status: Alive/Functional
    COMP Status: Unknown
    Origin: Xanadu
    Current Location: [CONFIDENTIAL]
    Cognitive Dissonance Factor: 0%
    Reboot/Revive: Unnecessary

    Spiritual Connection Scale

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
    ....................8 9 10

    Fate Links (Up!)

    Yamuna: Up!
    Verity: Up!
    Eve: Up!
    Aleta Gaumond: Up!
    Mokujima Chris (?): Up!
    Vincent: Up!

    Fate Links (Damaged)

    N/A

    Fate Links (Current Conclusion)

    Namasaki Shuichi: 3
    Lexie Davis: 4
    Kurogane Sakurako: 5
    Liane Cross: 1
    Namasaki Kenji: 2
    Yamuna: 2
    Aleta Gaumond: 1
    Mokujima Chris (?): 3
    Verity: 1
    Vincent: 2
    Kurogane Eve: 3
    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?



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