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Thread: Spirit Pulse : Mugen No Sekai [IC]

  1. #841
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Cave Interior, Why Must We Suffer So
    ??? ~ Morning

    Like the hell is that thing gonna juggle me!!!

    This was hell. Pure hell. For whatever reason that cat's uppercut (uppercat?) had sent him bouncing all over the damn cavern like he had become a superball without realizing it. Blaise gritted his teeth together to withstand the blows as he was sent flying yet again after hitting one of the houses. The trajectories of the bounces seemed completely random, meaning he had hard enough time trying to predict he was going. However, the infernal noise of the hellbeast's screeching assaulted his senses and his sensibilities on a whole another level, meaning that for the moment, Blaise was completely disoriented.

    No.

    Wait a second.

    --- Wait a bloody second...!

    Weren't there more of them than before!?

    "... Holy Hell!"
    More and more of those bizarre cats were pouring out of their tiny houses, and they were charging at Yuriko at this very moment. No, hold on. Yuriko was charging them... charging them while wearing an expression that made Blaise wonder for a moment about the situation that he was currently in. Had he not come here, had he not followed the cat, had he not chased after it, all of this could have been avoided. He would not now have to watch his comrade assault these bizarre creatures with a face that he wasn't sure what to make of, but knew that it didn't promise anything good. He wouldn't have to listen to Kaguya scream and curse while waving her baseball bat around, ineffectively trying to swat at the swarming cats.

    No, hold on.

    This wasn't his fault, was it?

    No, from the get-go, the reason why he had come here in the first place was...

    ... Because of the detention.

    So, in other words, this was all... this was all...

    The fault of Aoyama Gakuen.

    So this was to be the true form of their punishment, the true form of their detention...!? Yes, Blaise saw it clearly now. Only a truly despicable place of learning like his school would have arranged something like, something this cruel and unnecessary. Only they would have been so callous as to summon these beasts to torment students who didn't abide by their narrow view of "good teenagers".

    Blaise gritted his teeth together. A snarl escaped from his mouth, and blue-and-white-flames roared up again.

    His eyes shot open, and in them was utter fury of a dragon's descendant, aimed squarely at the cat that had started this all.

    "--- That does it, you nightmare of after schoold detention. This has gone too far. First, I'll trample and squash you to the deepest tin can I can find, and then..." Blaise's cold fury resonated through the cavern as he was about to hit the ceiling. "... Then I'll report you to the PTA."

    With those words of doom spoken aloud, the blonde boy then sprung into action.

    He righted his center of gravity, threw himself backwards so his legs would hit the ceiling before the rest of his body. He gathered power into his body and let it course through his body. At the same time, Kaguya's eyes shot wide open as she realized what her owner was about to do. After all, unlike before, this wasn't mere physical ability. No, this was the activation of a proper spell. A spell that had been made, honed and perfected by the blonde boy himself. Kinetic energy coalesced underneath Blaise's body. It warped the air, and for a moment, time crawled to a halt.

    It was the fraction, the blink of an eye before now and the moment his feet hit the ceiling - an act which would cause him to bounce again.

    But that was what the boy aimed at.

    The ricocheting hit had made him pick up even more speed than normal.

    So when it happened again, when he hit the ceiling, he took the energy of the spell...

    --- And slammed it against the ground, forcefully shifting his trajectory.

    Almost like the acceleration of a space rocket, burning insane amounts of magical energy to disappear from the view, to shoot himself forward faster than ever before, to trailblaze through the sky of the cavern and cross the distance between himself and his target in a single moment, like the distance itself had been erased.

    All to strike at the cat so hard, so fast, that the field which would slow him down would become meaningless...!

    Like a bullet from the moon!


  2. #842
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    Blaise Pendragon
    Cave Interior, Why Must We Suffer So
    ??? ~ Morning


    ---Enough was enough.

    The longer this battle goes on, the more insane every part of it becomes, like a form of infectious madness had been spreading out from the bizarre cat creatures from the moment they had first appeared...

    But now...

    Now it was time to bring things to an end...

    With your classmate having clearly descended towards some form of insanity -as could be evidenced by how she had seemingly outright tackled two of the creatures and drove them into the floor in a hug- you pull your spiritual power together to put together a form of decisive counter-attack, one spurred on into a sense of infinite urgency as more and more of the creatures pour out into the cave-!

    It's got to stop.

    This infectious madness -lunacy- that is like that brought down by the light of the full moon-!

    Stop it-!

    Stop it right now, before it is too late-!

    Perhaps you have been caught up in this madness yourself?

    No.

    That is likely a certainty.

    Having reached the point where you would willingly sic the PTA -and by extension your mother- on the school faculty, it is clear that just as common sense has abandoned you, so too must mercy and sanity fall away-!

    Yes.

    This must be the work of the school, a bizarre form of detention designed to rehabilitate students that didn't fit the ideal of what a "good student" should be, or at least...

    That is the theory you cling to, because anything else...

    Anything else would just be crazy.

    You take advantage of your already insane momentum to push things to a climax.

    From the floor to the ceiling, and then back down again without mercy.

    Body trained on your opponent.

    A flash of silver light, like a bullet from the moon falling as a divine hammer of justice to smash this illusion to pieces, and-



    "NYAAAAAAA!"



    A cursed sound accompanies the impact, the sound of an abominations cry, the static of a broken television set, and...

    And...

    And...

    Blaise Pendragon
    ???
    ??? ~ Morning




    ---When the static clears, only the Full Moon remains.

    Or perhaps it would be more correct to say, when the static clears, the Full Moon appears to take it's place? The bizarre cat village is gone, Yuriko is gone, the cats are gone, even Kaguya is gone, there is only...

    Blaise Pendragon.

    Only you, sitting alone amidst a field of motionless grass and dim stars...

    No.

    That is also a lie, because there is someone else here, yes...

    "Ah... Did my little trick actually make you upset...? I'm sorry."

    The chuckling form of a silver-haired figure, sitting across from you on the grass, as if her existence had been revealed even as everything else had been 'blown away' by your last attack...

    "I thought it was rather funny myself, but if you mean to hold a grudge against me... Then perhaps we can be even for what happened back when we were kids instead?"

    The voice talks to you in a familiar manner, and indeed... She certainly looks familiar to you, to the point where -visually speaking- she isn't that far off from a certain A.I of yours, but...

    ---The voice is different.

    ---The tone of voice is lightly regal, like a princess that was doing her best to hide that fact, and-



    "I'm a bit surprised to see you dislike cats so much Blaise, but I suppose that particular cat is somewhat annoying..."

    -who talks to you like you're familiar to her, and whose gaze pierces straight through you like the moon above, eliciting a light sense of danger, not hostility, but simply the revelation that someone is close to something that is 'potentially dangerous,' yes...

    This is...

    This... Is...

    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. #843
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    ???
    ??? ~ Morning

    This is...

    This... is...

    ... Who is this?

    Blaise's brain was currently pretty much between the gears and revving up like an engine with nowhere to put its power in. Indeed, to go from punching a bizarre cat to suddenly sitting here, under the moonlight, on the grass... he honestly had no idea what to even think, much less what to say or what to do. The fact that he was greeted by such a surreal sight of this woman, so much like Kaguya in her appearance, didn't make it any better. The blonde youth could only open and close his mouth, again and again, trying to find some sort of response to what was going on.

    "I... uh..."

    No use. He had no idea what he should say. Should he comment on how the person had somehow implied she had been behind the whole fiasco with the cats? That she had been more or less responsible for his sanity snapping momentarily there? Sanity that was now, just barely, recovering? Indeed, were it not for the outlandish appearance of this place and the context of this moment, Blaise might have been rolling on the grass, grasping his head and screaming out about insane things. But he wasn't. Slowly yet surely, his mind was recovering, coming back to its original level-headedness and logic.

    "You... ah..."

    Even his arms didn't really obey him yet. After all, he had just been punching someone. How could they function properly after such a sudden switch? The only thing he was able to do was to make few vague, feeble gestures at the scenery around him, and at the girl sitting across from him. And maybe that was for the best. Had his body functioned like usual, there was a chance that Blaise might have continued fighting, under the suspicion that this was more of the cat's mind tricks that were being played on him. Most likely that wasn't the case, considering what the girl said but... would anyone have blamed Blaise for thinking so?

    "This... eh..."

    This was ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous. First of all, where even was this? And why was the moon out? It wasn't this dark when he had been heading to the detention. And the scenery certainly hadn't been like this. A grassy hill, swaying in the wind in big green waves, and the darkened sky high up above, with full moon looming above them - sun's first rays slowly peeking from somewhere beyond the horizon. And where was Yuriko for that matter? Had something happened to the girl? Blaise was sure that she could take care of herself, of course, but still... if something had happened to her, and it was because of the battle with the cats, Blaise... Blaise would have some work to do.

    But now.

    First things first.

    His brain was about to overheat.

    He needed to calm down... cool down.. and rest.

    And that was why Blaise raised his eyes to meet those of the mysterious girl who looked so familiar, and...

    "... Where the hell are your bunny ears, Kaguya? You look ridiculous without them."

    Said the first thing on his mind bluntly and fell backwards to the grass, splayed on the greenerie and eyes directed at the moon high up above.

    --- At least the sight of the moon calmed his heart down, and gave him a peace of mind, if just for a moment.

  4. #844
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Eva Ellet
    Hollow Fields, Academy
    World Designation: Revolution
    Noon, Foggy


    “In any case, I do not mind. It is essentially like a telephone, right?”
    "Yes! That is a good enough comparison!"

    ...The way she says it makes you feel like she actually thinks it's a bit more complicated than that, but ultimately, the facts seem to point towards it fulfilling that sort of simple function, yes...

    Thinking of it as a telephone is probably fine, a way to contact a 'piece' of Agatha in order to essentially talk to the actual one... So long as you allow your thought processes to end there, then it is a simple matter of accepting it for what it is, after all, looking too deeply into things was an easy way for you to get a headache most of the time, and being somewhat drained from your little struggle with the bizarre alien creature, well...

    It's just easiest all around for you to simply accept her words for now, thus...

    You descend slowly towards the planet below.

    Whether she's using spell programs or her own inherently supernatural nature is unknown, but it's a comfortable descent that has none of the fear typically associated with dropping to the ground from extreme heights... The length of your opponent's teleportation had been rather extreme, going from just above the treeline to an area close to the upper atmosphere, and from here...

    You can see how distorted the planet itself appears.

    It is like much of it has been dipped in ink, leaving behind a pure sphere of black, featureless except for the one land mass that you were floating above... It had been a bit hard to believe upon your entrance to this place, but this really does seem to be a world of but a single country, but...

    That darkness fades as you descend back towards the world, towards the land, towards a place where life remains, and...

    You can... start to see people gathering below...

    However, it is not the kids from the orphanage, indeed, you don't seem to be coming down on that home hidden in the forest, rather, you're coming down at some sort of clearing somewhere, a mark of Agatha's having gotten a bit lost on her way up, and in that clearing...

    There are... People like soldiers?

    Dressed in what seemed like military gear (Databases seemed to indicate it was some form of magitech armor, albeit, with subtle differences in design that didn't directly match any from back home) the lot of them seem to be moving as a squad of fifteen or so, and while they had been moving fast, at a superhuman pace once you had first caught sight of them (an oddity for this world). now they've stopped, and... Are...

    Looking up at you...?

    They had guns -enchanted- and...

    Were you being... Aimed at-?!

    "Oh, I think we might be out of time?"

    Agatha says this cheerfully, in spite of the sudden mounting tension you're able to sense from down below, and-

    "Time to head back!"

    -you fall into a blue door, one that emerges with a snap of her fingers-!

    ...It's on purpose.

    Her nonchalant attitude towards everything... Is absolutely something she's doing on purpose-!

    Even so...

    The trip to a new world...

    Ends rather abruptly all things considered...

    ---

    Eva Ellet
    Velvet Room
    ???


    ---You land back in the Velvet Room.

    Or rather, what you can only assume is the same Velvet Room as before, after all...

    It's changed a bit.

    "Oh? How interesting..."

    Rather than the usual stage... There's a gentle rocking aspect to the floor like you were on some sort of gigantic rocking ship, one that comes with the sounds of waves crashing against a deck, and a number of portholes that show cloudy skies, foggy air and restless waves that seem on the cusp of those produced by a true storm, strong enough to lash at the windows and break themselves upon the ship as it cuts through an ocean that can't be seen...

    Yes.

    The room has changed, even if only a little bit...

    The other things are the same as normal, the lost maiden continues to sing, the blue light continues to shine, the doors and request board at the back remain in their places, and Agatha...

    "The shape of the room has changed a bit... So has Fate too finally chosen a concrete shape? I wonder..."

    Continues to be her usual self (in terms of just taking everything with a casual grace) as she casually returns to sitting on the couch...

    "Although, I suppose this means this is the Velvet Boat now~ Or perhaps Velvet Ship flows better? S.S Velvet?"

    She laughs.

    "Sorry about the sudden exit, but the room beckoned me to return, and thus, I was forced to recall you along with myself..."

    An apologetic look in her eyes, then...

    "Did you enjoy the brief visit?"
    Last edited by Airen; April 30th, 2020 at 05:06 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. #845
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    ???
    ??? ~ Full Moon


    ---It seemed almost like a trade of one form of insanity from another.

    While Yuriko's earlier mutterings had certainly implied that 'someone' or 'something' had been behind the 'illusion' in the cave, the familiarly unfamiliar form of the one who was apparently responsible was enough to keep an already overheated brain from cooling down, after all...

    She does appear to be Kaguya, or at least...

    Mostly appears to be Kaguya.

    "...Where the hell are your bunny ears, Kaguya? You look ridiculous without them."
    ---Thus, the obvious question is asked, before you turn your gaze up towards the moon; pale and clear as it always is, a strange celestial body that had always served as a 'calming' presence in your life, indeed, in spite of the insanity of the situation, gazing upon the moon makes you feel a bit better about it, although if one were to think about what that could mean....

    Ah...

    In this modern supernatural world, it was probably impossible to tell, really...

    "Bunny ears?"

    The one you had designated as Kaguya seems a tad confused by the statement, the shifting of her posture a clear sign that she had just reached up towards the top of her own head, as if to cutely grasp at ears that did not exist...

    "You mean like the Jade Rabbit? Or the Tsuki no Usagi?"

    ...Her voice is a bit too pleasant to be Kaguya's, pleasant like the night, like a serene blanket of darkness that calms and stills a pounding heart...

    "Do you think I would look better with such a thing?"

    ...She chuckles to herself at the implications, then...

    "But I never had such ears, have you forgotten Pendragon?"

    ...The wind moves, the moon's light bends, and-

    She's sitting next to you now.

    Like a glitch in the world, you never actually see her make the movement to do so....

    "That would be somewhat unfortunate, I came quite the long way to see you, after all... But I suppose the passage of time dulls many things, memories most of all, so perhaps it is to be expected?"

    She giggles, then...

    "Although, since it is me, rather than rabbit ears... A storm of bamboo blossoms would perhaps be more appropriate than rabbit ears, although I suppose I can honor any requests if they are serious... Consider it a privilege for one who got my name close, but not quite right~ Although Kaguya would certainly be a fitting name in it's own way..."

    Keeps...

    Teasing you...?
    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. #846
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    ???
    ??? ~ Full Moon

    ... So.

    Not Kaguya after all?

    Blaise had some idea from the beginning. He wasn't stupid, after all. Although his mind was in haze and he was still trying to recover from the effects of what had just happened, that didn't mean his brain wasn't working. And though the face of this young woman was very similar... eerily similar, in fact, it was also clear that she was not his COMP AI. No, her countenance was different. Almost regal in splendor, and noble in its appearance. A face that was familiar, and yet... very unfamiliar. Same as that voice. Blaise would have had never expected to hear that particular voice speak with elegant words, or showcase restraint and even teasing nature.

    Questions bubbled to the surface from within his mind.

    The sight of the moon up above calmed down his raging mind.

    With a sigh escaping from his lips... the boy began to talk.

    "Bamboo blossoms, huh...?" Blaise muttered, still staring up at the sky. "Unfortunately, I have no jeweled branch or a cowry shell to offer... nor do I have an elixir to burn at the top of a mountain. So, 'fraid you got the wrong guy. Or maybe you didn't, considering you know my name, but... well, you might be mistaken as to who I am."

    Lifting himself back to a sitting position, Blaise leaned his arm on his lifted knee and let his eyes took in the form of the young woman next him. Looking at her like this, this close, her eyes and her delicate features, and that white hair... it truly was uncanny in how much she resembled Kaguya. But the way she was dressed was wholly different, as was the way she carried herself. That light elegance and gravitas she had around herself, almost like a veil... his crude companion could have never achieved something like that. Hell, she might have burst out into laughter if he asked her to mimic this person.

    But... something in that presence still felt familiar.

    Almost like something was tugging at his mind from the depths of his memories.

    That bit of darkness in his mind that he never really thought about.

    That obscure muddled portion of his past that he... never really paid any attention to. Almost like he was pretending it wasn't there.

    A piece of childhood that he refused to return to.

    A summer night, underneath the full moon, where---


    "Tch...!"

    Feeling a sudden snap of pain in his mind, Blaise frowned and grasped his head lightly with his hand. What was that? Well, whatever it was, wherever that thought was leading to just now... it was gone. Like smoke towards the moon, disappearing into the velvet sky blanketed with stars. The past should remain past and sometimes, it was better to not dwell on it. Especially if... if somehow, that piece of the past simply eluded him and brought nothing but pangs of pain that cut his mind.

    So, instead, Blaise decided to focus on what was right now.

    What was in front of him.

    In other words... this young woman.

    "... Even if I admit that those ears would suit you, that's neither here or there. You should look how you want. I'm not one to dictate that. If you'd try to look like something you don't want... well, you have natural beauty already - it would just ruin that," Blaise brazenly admitted in his usual honest way. "So... do what you want. Though I get the idea that you're the type to do so anyway, with or without me telling you that. Still... if you want honor a honest request..."

    Blaise locked eyes with the girl.

    "--- Some sake would be nice right about now. For some reason, it feels like I've been through quite a lot," he admitted with a lopsided, dry smirk. "And I also get the feeling there's lot to talk about. For whatever reason."

    That similar tone told that Blaise was simply giving as he got, returning the teasing with some of his own. Then, with another sigh, the boy glanced up at the full moon once more.

    The only real constant he could find in the world.

    "--- And I also get the feeling there's a lot I've forgotten lately."

  7. #847
    men are men; the best sometimes forget Katie's Avatar
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    Ayra Lilygrove
    Avalon ~ Medical Ward
    ??? - Morning


    Ayra tilts her head at Asuka, as if she can’t believe the words she’s hearing. It’s not particularly about being lectured—heaven knew she’d been given plenty of them by people looking out for her well-being—but about the contents. From a fairly normal perspective, what Asuka is saying is true. Cooperation is a two-way street. For people to truly work together, they need to be accomodating to one another.

    But that isn’t the problem. Ayra has known what the problem was for two years now. If someone isn’t good enough, no matter how skilled their cooperation is, there will be a limit to what they can achieve together. People are stronger together, but the potential of that strength is determined by their weakest link.

    That’s why she won’t let it happen again. She can’t—she refuses to chain down others like this. If she is a burden, the only thing she needs to do is to become stronger.

    Maybe then…

    Aster: Ayra. Don’t space out in conversations.

    Sorry.

    “No, I’m really certain it is my fault.” It’s a surprisingly confident declaration. In this matter, Ayra Lilygrove is confident that it was her who did the wrong and not Tsukiko Yonagi. “As I mentioned, Tsukiko’s goal was to lock down the opponent, and while her decisions may not mesh well with how I want to fight, I think it was better in that case for her to emphasize her strengths over mine. If we did things my way, we would have been soundly outclassed.”

    Ayra bitterly smiles. Defeat is a feeling she hates with every fiber of her being. For her, the drive to win might as well be synonymous with avoiding losing.

    “Of course, that kind of logic is aided by hindsight… but it’s definitely true that I’m a bit inflexible at times, and catering to me might make the whole weaker. So while it’s true Tsukiko could stand to be a little more cooperative… I still think it’s on me.”

    Tsukiko is not a perfect person, Ayra knows, but it was her flaws and not Tsukiko’s that ended everything. At least, that’s her understanding of it, so obviously, the only person she can really blame is herself.

    As for the other issue…

    How much sleep do I get on average…?

    Aster: Five and a half, give or take. You sleep like a rock, if that makes you feel any better?

    Not really…

    Aster: Have you ever considered having two full-time jobs devoted to justice may not be beneficial for your health?

    …Forget it.

    Aster: I’m here to assist you, not validate you. Don’t get those two mixed up.

    “I get enough rest,” Ayra says, trying to brush off the issue. “Work doesn’t finish itself, you know.”
    Last edited by Katie; May 1st, 2020 at 12:46 PM.
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:04] <Lianru> it's ok with each stalker call I feel like we get a little closer
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:06] <Lianru> never give up

    asians before testing week

  8. #848
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    ???
    ??? ~ Full Moon


    "The burning of an elixir is quite unnecessary, I can hear you just fine right now... There is no mistake."

    ---Thoughts that emerge in static, persist in static, and descend once more into a sea of static.

    The past is the past, if it emerges from oneself like a blade, slicing at the present, then it is only natural to allow it to return to where it belongs... It is in the haze of those memories, memories that seem as if they are better at rest for now, that you counter the woman's teasing with your own, asserting your personality in an attempt to keep that elegant aura from quietly enveloping you unopposed, yes...

    While such things do not typically exist in the modern day, it is just like coming across a princess of the moon, thusly:

    The World glitches again as a request is made, as if the Earth could not help but resist the sudden presence of the Moon... Or perhaps, as if the Moon simply acted in a way the Earth did not immediately understand...

    As one who is perhaps drunk on the moon it is hard to tell and there is little need to pursue the answer.

    ---Two Masu cups -crafted from Hinoki wood- and a long white bottle, one that bears no obvious markings, at least at a glance.

    "Sake is a simple enough request."

    She says with a small smile, as she hands you a cup to pour a glass.

    "I expected an answer with a bit more attitude... Perhaps an affliction of cat ears, as revenge for my harmless game... But I suppose I will save the 'Nya~' for another time."

    In spite of it's joking nature, the voice somehow remains completely serene throughout, and...

    Quote Originally Posted by Blaise
    "And I also get the feeling there's lot to talk about. For whatever reason."
    "A lot? It is hard to say."

    Her smile is silver.

    "I simply came to see you because I wanted too... What will come of this whim of mine... Who can say but you?"

    ---And while she's a familiar existence, a bizarrely familiar existence, she also seems to be one of those people...

    The cryptic ones, the ones that do it for fun, like...

    Quote Originally Posted by Blaise
    "--- And I also get the feeling there's a lot I've forgotten lately."
    A laugh, light, not overpowering like Kaguya's, but a simple feeling made manifest...

    "Naturally, people forget far more than they realize, memories may eternally persist in one's heart, but the mind is not always so fortunate. Especially not in this World, where the past sometimes lies just ahead, while the future lays far behind..."

    Another laugh...

    "The start is rarely the start, the end is rarely the end, but it never stops moving forward... That is it's gift, that is it's curse, that is why it prevails when others fall, and succeeds where perhaps it too, should first fail..."

    Speaking cryptically of things that don't make sense, then-

    "But it is okay for you to forget... I am in no rush for you to remember, forcing such a thing might spoil the calm of a drink beneath the moon... We can simply chat, yes, talk about things that are simple, like..."

    A pause, then...

    "Have you become a Master Chef yet? Have you finally stopped taking in shady strays off the street? Or perhaps... Is big sis Noriko still single?"

    ...From cryptic back to playful, so much so that it almost comes across as childish, yes...

    This person is a strange one...
    Last edited by Airen; April 30th, 2020 at 06:03 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?



  9. #849
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Blaise Pendragon
    ???
    ??? ~ Full Moon

    Blaise accepted the cup with ease, and after the mysterious young woman had poured for him, he repeated the courtesy - as was part of a good etiquette. And Blaise had been raised to mind his manners when in situations that required them... and right now, he certainly felt like he needed to mind them. Though, as he was raising the cup to his lips, he couldn't help but to let few snarky words rise to his lips.

    "Y'know, I think I've had enough cats for one lifetime. If anything, a 'nya' would be punishment for me, not you," he said and snorted, shooting a glance towards the girl from under his brows. "But if it's punishment you want, I'll just have you pour my drinks for me as long as this night lasts... haa... haven't tasted some in a while."

    He wasn't kidding. Blaise's habits, as people often noted, were like those of an old man. He liked mahjong, he enjoyed traditional games, he could spend a whole evening in the cigarette smoke-filled parlor with other oyajis, listening to ballads of the yesteryear from an old radio or whittling the hours away by engrossing himself in making Japanese sweets. Of course, the habits also included sitting on the rooftop (they had no wooden veranda, after all) and staring up at the night sky above Aoyama, and the moon shining its light over it, sipping from a cheap bottle of sake he had gotten from some place or another. He just had to be careful that none of his family members found out.

    Ah, but this drink... this was far from cheap.

    Honestly, it was amazing.

    But for some reason, Blaise didn't exactly want to admit it to this strange woman.

    He had enough trouble taking all this that was happening in a stride.

    Quote Originally Posted by ???
    "A lot? It is hard to say. I simply came to see you because I wanted too... What will come of this whim of mine... Who can say but you?"
    Again, Blaise snorted.

    "Well, your whims are quite boring if that's the case," he replied brusquely. "On a night like this, there are better things to do than sit and stare at the moon with someone like me. Just one look at you tells me you don't exactly move in as mundane circles as me."

    Chuckling a bit to himself, he took another sip, enjoying the sweet yet strong after-taste.

    Quote Originally Posted by ???
    "Naturally, people forget far more than they realize, memories may eternally persist in one's heart, but the mind is not always so fortunate. Especially not in this World, where the past sometimes lies just ahead, while the future lays far behind... The start is rarely the start, the end is rarely the end, but it never stops moving forward... That is it's gift, that is it's curse, that is why it prevails when others fall, and succeeds where perhaps it too, should first fail..."
    A groan escaped from Blaise's lips.

    He hated it when people were cryptic just for the sake of being cryptic.

    It was pretty much the most cliched thing supernatural beings could do.

    ... Was it some sort of compulsion to them? Being unable to just straight up say what they meant?

    --- Whatever.

    Quote Originally Posted by ???
    "But it is okay for you to forget... I am in no rush for you to remember, forcing such a thing might spoil the calm of a drink beneath the moon... We can simply chat, yes, talk about things that are simple, like... Have you become a Master Chef yet? Have you finally stopped taking in shady strays off the street? Or perhaps... Is big sis Noriko still single?"
    This time, Blaise's expression was momentarily marred by a frown.

    "... You really sound like you know a lot 'bout me. Figures. Wouldn't make for a properly mysterious conversation if you didn't casually hint at something like that after spouting a bunch of cryptic nonsense. Ah, fine... guess I'll play along, whoever you are," the blonde boy answered, a lopsided smirk rising to his lips once more. "Like you said, it'd be a shame to spoil a night like this. So, even though I might not remember... and sorry 'bout that... I'll just go with it."

    Yet again, the cup was raised.

    Yet again, that sweet taste.

    "I'm not exactly a master chef yet. Hell, ain't no such thing as a true master chef. We all learn, as long as we live. Though... I figure I'm pretty good. Have to be, in order to keep feeding my family. Especially now that... there are new mouths to feed. Not family, no, but some... new faces nonetheless. They'd just fall into the fast-food hell if I left them be," Blaise answered, chuckling a bit under his breath. "So... guess that answers your second question. Sure enough, took a few of them 'in' not too long ago... don't even know why myself. But, I promised to help one out, and the other is a good kid who just made some bad choices... so I figured I'd watch over him for a bit. Make sure he stays on the straight and narrow."

    The boy's eyes momentarily glanced at the young woman, and he chuckled again.

    "... None of them is as shady as you though, so that's good," he added.

    Then, after taking a moment to check if his companion's cup was empty yet and if he should pour another, he continued.

    "Nee-san's still a single though. Don't know if she's even properly looking yet. And even if she was, no way in hell am I gonna let some no-good punk near her," Blaise continued with a slightly angry grunt. "Whoever it is, I'm gonna personally make sure they're worthy of her. She's been through enough, what with looking after me. Time I paid some of that kindness back."

    Leaning with his hands against the grass behind him, Blaise let out a sight and raised his eyes back to the sky. At the same time, he continued to talk, but this time, without really looking at his companion.

    "....... What about you? You doing okay?"

    He didn't even know her.

    Yet he felt like it was only proper to ask.

  10. #850
    Imperial Princess Satehi's Avatar
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    Eva Ellet
    Velvet Room
    World Designation: Xanadu
    ???


    Ever since their return, Eva has been silent.

    The swaying of the floor dancing to the tune of the waves outside, the tiny new ‘windows’ that peer out into the unknown surroundings… that something has changed about the Velvet Room does not at all escape her notice. It is only natural- while she had only been here a handful of times, each occasion had been one she was unlikely to forget.

    But this time she only pays a small amount of attention to the rest of the room- right now, the changes are of secondary importance, a fact that she registers and puts in the back of her mind, to maybe be recalled and thought upon later.

    The reason is simple. There is already something else on her mind.

    Distracted-

    “—mmm?”

    - she only barely registers that Agatha is talking to her. Upon doing so, she shakes her head as if to expel whatever she was thinking about from her mind.

    “Yes. It would have been nice to stay a little longer, but regardless, you have my thanks, Agatha.” Nodding affirmatively, she goes on to elaborate. “The creature at the end was somewhat unpleasant, but overall... seeing the society and people of a different world altogether was interesting. A novel experience. I guess there’s a big difference between reading a book and seeing things for yourself after all…”

    Her voice grows quiet towards the end, as thoughts of the book that started this journey- thoughts that she had just tried to forget, came back to mind. It was a story that described the events of another world- one that was on the brink of destruction.

    “Anyways, it was an enjoyable trip. It’s just...”

    And now she knew for sure it was no mere story. A world slowly being eroded, a planet swathed in darkness – it was all real.

    She had just seen it for herself.

    “… I was hoping it wasn’t real…”

  11. #851
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Amamiya Sho
    Junes ~ Aoyama
    ??? - Noon



    "S-Stop it. You are embarrassing me..."

    Hearing Nadia reproduce the two versions there are of my faked villain laugh, I can't help but to feel a little bit stupid. It's only natural, after all, pretending to be a Saturday cartoon villain is as childish as it gets. Through the past few years, drawing attention to myself that way has acted like a self-defense mechanism for me. I guess a part of me was frustrated with what society painted my parents and myself to be, and so it decided to become exactly that in order to spite them. Except, since I am weak as hell, this is the best I could muster: A parody of the real self who cannot be taken seriously. Though it's not like I never used it in front of Nadia Starr, it feels like it's a lot tougher to use when she's around. Perhaps she knows me too well, or maybe I subconsciously don't want to see me acting that way. Whatever it is, I just hope the topic changes soon...

    "..."

    Someone is watching us. I can't tell for sure if they are after me or after my friend, but that hardly matters. When I become aware of these sort of things, trouble often follows, so I need to act fast to resolve the problem before it has the opportunity to approach us. Having already identified the problem, a possible course of action would be to tell the others to go ahead while I take care of it, coming up with a reliable excuse not to worry them. Certainly, a brave man would be able to carry out this task without breaking a sweat.

    But not me.

    Such a course of action is simply not allowed for Amamiya Sho.

    The reason is simple: The world simply hates me and my luck is abysmal. So, if I don't go in there prepared, there is a fairly good chance the encounter will backfire and the next thing I know I'll be branded as the villain... Yet again. The truth of the matter is that I have nothing on this stalker-like person, so getting close would be pretty reckless. Fortunately, I don't know this person either, so I know won't feel bad in the slightest when I heartlessly and remotely crush her plans, whatever they may be.

    You see, a brave man would keep his mouth shut.

    But not me, I am not scared to spill the beans under these circumstances.

    "White? Eeehh, he's pretty overrated." I make a hand-wave to gesture that I have no room for said figurine in the limited space of my room nor interest of it ever being there as a stand alone. "Don't get me wrong, I like Phoenix Rangers as a whole, but Red is definitely my favorite."

    As I speak, I initiate my plan. Activating my COMP using a discrete touch pattern, I run the spell I am mostly known for, Slime 'C'. With it, I can help Kyp unleash its full potential, having it adopt any color, shape and even purpose. The target is making this a tad more difficult by hiding, albeit poorly, in a nearby clothing store. Sadly for her, I've long since surpassed this kind of foe...

    "White is just taking too much of the screen-time now-a-days and his 'perfect gentleman' image is just not my coup of tea. The point of the show is not to flawlessly destroy evil with one or two badass moves, it is to show that after falling one must always stand up. And that philosophy is only reflected in the Red Ranger, the leader that inspires the rest of them... And yet isn't really more powerful than any other member, if you think about it."

    Just a little more...

    "New White figurine? That's good. It means the prices of older figurines from other members are at a discount. And hopefully White isn't your favorite either, I don't exactly hold back when being a critic."

    And there---!!!

    Just a few moments after those words escape my mouth, everything springs into motion. You see, the first thing that came to mind when searching for a solution was to snap a picture of the culprit. COMPs already have that function installed into them, even civilian COMPs do, and one snapshot is all you need to ruin a stalker's career. Unfortunately, neither range nor angle were in my favor so I had to improvise a little. Ultimately, though, the result is the same. That's right, by using the delayed shot configuration in combination with: a) a long Kyp retractable camera stick and b) a conveniently placed mirror at one of the stores, I am able to literally avoid all the obstacles and get a decent picture of the target. The whole thing is carried out in a matter of seconds, quick enough for neither Jack nor Nadia to comment on it before I am done.

    And now...

    I am sorry new person, but I have no shame in betraying someone I've just met...

    "By the way, do you know who this is? Been watching us for a while."
    [18:30] RacingeR: Max S.Link with hero is when you promise your daughter to him
    [18:31] RacingeR: Which means Airen and me are the only ones that maxed it (I promised Spin to him, and Spin is my daughter)
    [18:32] hero: oh shit
    [18:32] hero: spincess get
    [18:32] hero: suck it fuckers

  12. #852
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Eva Ellet
    Velvet Room
    World Designation: Xanadu
    ???


    Quote Originally Posted by Eva
    “… I was hoping it wasn’t real…”
    A silent, quiet admittance, made just as much to oneself as to someone else.

    Indeed...

    It would have been better if the story you had read had simply been just that, a story, someone's made-up tale of fantasy and mystery. The characters of a story cannot be truly harmed after all, such a thing existing purely within the pages of a book is not a tragedy, but once one sees it for themselves, the 'words' of a story appearing before their very eyes, a certain sense of sympathy awakens, because...

    Out there, somewhere, is a world on the brink of total annihilation...

    It's information you could have lived far more peacefully without, and in that regard, it could even be seen as a bad thing that you had been shown that place in it's fading glory, and...

    "...Yes. It would have been better if it was simply a story."

    ...The woman cloaked in blue speaks softly, a slow voice that echoes quietly throughout the now gently swaying room...

    "But they seem to be hanging on for now, it is not as if their story has come to it's end quite yet. Their existence is a valiant one, defiant amidst the void, I think it's rather remarkable myself."

    She praises them in an odd way, then...

    "Knowing is painful, but even painful knowledge is power. Now that you know, perhaps, one day, you might come across that place again on your own, or perhaps, you will notice a path to it that you would have been invisible to you before, a side road to a final destination that should be tred before the end, yes... Those that aren't known typically cannot be helped, so I think it is better to know than not to know... Or something along those lines."

    She tilts her head to the side at this, then-

    "Although, I do not think you need to feel bad, by being there today you did them quite the service indeed! That creature was quite bizarre... I do believe it would have done quite a lot more damage if you hadn't been there to stop it as early as you did, so... Be proud of that accomplishment!"

    -she smiles.

    "As a resident of Xanadu, you did your world proud!"
    Last edited by Airen; May 1st, 2020 at 08:50 PM.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  13. #853
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Amamiya Sho
    Junes ~ Aoyama
    ??? - Noon


    Quote Originally Posted by Sho
    "New White figurine? That's good. It means the prices of older figurines from other members are at a discount. And hopefully White isn't your favorite either, I don't exactly hold back when being a critic."
    "White? My favorite? Please."

    She laughs as if the idea itself is absurd-!

    "If I had to pick one... I guess it'd also be Red?" Pulling at her own crimson hair as she says this, the small tilt of her head and flash of a smile show that she thinks such an answer is actually obvious, "Red is the color of the hero after all-! Can't hate on someone who's basically a real life shonen protagonist-"

    But your movements cut her thoughts on the matter short.

    ---A perfectly executed counter, one reinforced with a cold sense of mercilessness, mercilessness born from your understanding that you must crush your adversaries completely, lest the world mysteriously move to support them-!

    Yes.

    To avoid the label of a villain in this scenario, you act in the most blatant way possible... Some might think a bit more tact would be better for these sorts of things, but when it comes to you or your friends you aren't the type to screw around, and since you aren't exactly the strongest of Tamers, well... Recruiting Nadia in repelling her own stalker was probably the best option available to you, thus-!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sho
    "By the way, do you know who this is? Been watching us for a while."
    "...Eh?"

    It takes her a moment to understand how things have suddenly flipped in this direction, but after a second of blank thought, of her gaze moving from you to the place where a piece of Kyp had just rapidly extended and retreated, she...

    Looks down at the picture without questioning it too much, deciding to simply accept that ever present random factor of reality that seems to bully some people more than others-!

    "Do I know her... Not really...?"

    Having caught a picture of her now, it's easier to pick out her features...

    She's relatively young, in her early twenties at the oldest -at least physically- but her face is strangely familiar... Not because you've seen her before per say, but because...

    She and Nadia sorta look alike in terms of facial features...?

    Even so, there is no real time to dwell on that, as-

    "Ahhhhhhhh! Wait! Wait!"

    -a scream erupts from the store, the source?

    Obviously the stalker-!

    Who comes rushing out of the store like a bat out of hell, so fast that the wind comes screeching along with her in her wake, throwing papers and clothes aside as a panicking person reveals herself-!

    "This isn't what it looks like I swear! I'm not a stalker! I promise! Ijustthoughtyoulookedlikesomeoneiknewsoigotalittle eyetouchyiguessbutididn'tmeananythingbyitohgodshes gonnathinkimcrazygoodjobSariayoureallybotchedthiso neupshesgonnahateyouforsurenow, oh and now I look crazy for real-?!"

    This level of sudden distress from the stalker is quite amusing, quite amusing indeed, especially when her words cease to be true words and instead become an unbroken stream of frantic explanations, but-

    "Umm..."

    Having a bit less of a sadistic streak than you, Nadia...

    "Are you... One of my fans?"

    Gives her a way out-?!

    "...fan? Uh, yes! A huge fan!"

    One that you can practically see her trying to figure out, before deciding to roll with it anyway-!

    ---As someone who is somewhat shady yourself...

    You know it when you see it.
    Last edited by Airen; May 1st, 2020 at 09:30 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?



  14. #854
    Taiga's knight Tobias's Avatar
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    Raz Stone
    New Tomobiki ~ Nagatani Academy
    laboratory
    Morning



    "I did see someone who was about that tall when we got here, but they were blonde... Think she said her name was Dejah Thoris?"

    ...Is that her?

    Probably, yeah.

    ...Can I ask you you know that or is this one of those things you promised not to talk about?


    The pseudonym comes from a book that...look, I’ll explain later. For now, we need to go ahead and assume she is a cat with two faces or they are in cohoots on this caper. Best guess says silver is the top cat and blonde is a paw, but don’t forget what I said about assumptions, savvy?

    Roger that.

    Luckily COMP conversations took place at the speed of thought or else Raz might have awkwardly missed a step as he fell into place beside his vampire guide.

    Had he the option, he would have asked his compatriot for her thoughts except she appeared to be in the grips of several students jabbering excitedly about the local fashion and entertainment scene. He debated interrupting but she seemed mildly annoyed but also somewhat happy about the ordeal.

    Maybe she enjoyed getting to be the “popular girl” who had lots of friends for a reason that had nothing to do with her status as part of Avalon or an up and coming Tamer.

    Raz has spent way to much time and suffered no small amount of failures in attempt to draw out the rarely seen but breathtaking smile of Erika Winters not to step back and let it grace the school halls a little longer when it begrudgingly revealed itself.

    At least one of us is enjoying themselves.
    ...Came the aggrieved thought of Raz when they came to their destination.

    Holy crap am I out of my depth here. You getting anything from this?


    There was no reply. On the insides of his shades he could see a projection of the DTG taking several flashbulb pictures using an old fashioned camera. It was his “loading animation.” A standard low power response when it had turned all of his processing power towards the acquisition of evidence.

    The game’s afoot! Raz mentally filled in on behalf of his momentarily non-responsive partner.

    ”Mind if I repeat some of her questions? I would hate to bore so fair a maiden as stands before me but our Bonnie wee lass actually had a point. How are you all since the transfer? Any medical concerns? Strange issues that have occurred? Rest assured the entirety of Avalon and it’s excellent medical team stand ready to lend whatever aid is needed to save lives. I personally guarantee it on my honor as a knight. I am hoping our realities can have cordial and...close...intimate relations during your stay here, be it short or protracted.”

    After that, Raz took a moment to explore the room. A scientist he was not. Despite being a support COMP user, he was a rarity of the breed who boasted little if any facility with technology. What he could do was open his senses to see if he could pick up any latent traces of spiritual energy...or so he thought.

    “Nghhhh!” When Raz groaned and swooned on his feet, Isako likely would have been quite surprised, as seconds before he must have appeared every inch the charming if shameless rogue attempting a seduction on one far to experienced and wily to fall for his young and (to her) unpolished charm.

    The next second, he fell to the side as one would had they stood upon a ship and suddenly experienced a great wave that sent everyone on the deck off their feet to roll across the way. Had nearby not been the very console indicated by the raven haired vampire he might well have simply fainted to the floor. His recent experience with overtaxing his bodies’ ability to channel reiki still made its presence felt. Across their connection, he could feel the Detective COMP switch itself from investigating the room to threading a line of spiritual energy into the transportational machinery.

    Once more, he didn’t respond to raz’s mental query for an update.

    Raz had to take several stabilizing breaths before offering a wan smile to his guide.

    ”A thousand pardons milady, it seems your visage has robbed my legs of stability and my lungs of breath. No doubt a reaction you get every day!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Bird of Hermes View Post
    The moment the opportunity arises for a pun, the one known as 'Taiga's Knight' will be there to deliver whether you like it or not.

  15. #855
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Raz Stone
    New Tomobiki ~ Nagatani Academy
    Akarana Labs (Remnants)
    Friday, Afternoon


    ---In the end, a thorough investigation of the laboratory and it's surroundings rooms had taken almost the entirety of your morning, indeed, by the time the initial trio (as well as Erika and Lucid after a bit of chatting with the students) the sun has already moved decisively to the other side of the sky, and the vague aroma of what could only be the makeshift school's lunch hour beginning has begun to leak into the room from the nearby kitchens...

    It's a good smell, like that of pasta, nevertheless...

    The investigation had certainly borne a number of results, some about the lab, some about the terminal, and some about the newfound inhabitants of the building, namely Isako and the kids that were seemingly living here...

    To start with, the labs:

    As Isako herself had said, the deep dives into the computer systems had proved somewhat fruitless, as a diagnostics scan indicated that the data on the computers had been wiped on 11/07/2026, meaning, it had been wiped late last Saturday, around the time you had been returning to the city from your encounter with the Matador in the enchanted forest. According to Isako, this was around the time she and the others had 'woken up' inside of this facility, and had been trying to get their bearings, closing themselves inside of the mansion for a couple of days in order to scope out the world outside.

    As this mansion had been 'abandoned' some time ago, they were easily able to hide out in here with no one the wiser, especially because a number of them seemed to be natural magic users. They had some weird magitech of their own of course, but a shocking number of people inside of this place seemed capable of bringing about supernatural phenomena entirely through their own innate abilities, using some sort of power that felt similar to Reiki but was not exactly the same as it, nevertheless, back to the labs themselves...

    While the computers were a bust, investigation of the bizarre terminal -which seemed to have it's own internal computer systems- is a bit more rewarding a search, but only by a little bit... Spirit Pulse Terminals all come with maps of the world's leylines and other terminals due to the nature of how they function, they need to be able to send things from one node to another after all, so things like a history of previous transportations and destination coordinates can be attained with a bit of effort, but this one...

    Has a history of about three or so attempted uses, none of which are aimed at any spot that actually exists in the KoTR's database, strangely enough, the coordinates the terminal is set too are ones that only seem to exist in "Imaginary Space," like rather than aiming for any place in the world in particular, the system had been built to launch one 'outside' of the world by connecting the "Spirit Pulse Network" to something called the "Amala Network," which considering the apparent presence of visitors from another reality, might explain that particular functionality, but...

    Amongst the history of it's three uses, the first was a failure, and bore distinctly different coordinates from the remaining two; it was still coordinates for a location that should not exist, but it was different from the second two uses which had succeeded... It had been aimed further away in space, as could be judged by the error logs reading that the 'connection with the location could not be stabilized due to distance,' but the nature of whatever that destination was were not possible to find, at least not now...

    As for the other two, it was probably a safe assumption to assume that at least one of them had to do with the appearance of Isako and the others, but since they had happened in relatively short succession last Saturday, well...

    The picture remained somewhat vague, although it was probably possible that the Mad Scientist had sent himself away to the same place he had pulled others from...

    Why would he do it?

    No decisive evidence as of now, but mad scientists were known for doing mad science, not deciding not to do the mad science once they have the chance and means to do it, so-!

    Perhaps there was a decisive reason, perhaps there wasn't?

    As things are now... You're too late to find out, but it might be worth making a note over, nevertheless...

    When it comes to physical evidence, things like notes and the like were handwritten in some bizarre form of shorthand, likely as a form of intentional obfuscation from those who might come snooping around his things later... It's written in the language of demons, and seems to be a version of it that's been chopped to pieces to fit the context of some horrendous cipher that seems to be designed to even give high-tier computational COMPs trouble, smart, considering the prevalence of this sort of technology in the world, but bad, because it'd take days even for the DTG to break it down after feeding it into one of his subroutines, although...

    Written on one of the papers in red marker, as if to draw one's attention, is a page that seems to have been partially translated and marked by this "Dejah Thoris," person, who seemed to have gone out of her way to ensure that it stood out from amongst the sea of the scientist's black ink by writing on it in bright red, and thus it read:

    The stars are going out one by one. Production of the "Amala Network" terminal to investigate the phenomena is going easily, too easily, almost as if I have constructed such a thing before... I have managed to reach a corridor beside the Shadow Vortex, one that the spirits within referred to as the "Akarana Corridor." Why does it bear the family name? I have contacted the siblings for answers, but none of them seem to know... Of course, it is not like they would not lie for the sake of the Game, but I doubt any of them would protect Father if it comes down to it, after all, this is the exact sort of shady thing he would have his hands in, and Charlotte, at the very least, has always done her best to take the Old Bastard down a peg or two."
    The translation stops for a bit there, as if the one marking it down had decided this information wasn't relevant for what she was looking for, but then it picks up a bit later on...

    "The Terminal works. Just as before, information I should not know is screaming across the surface of my mind... Coordinates, places where it is perhaps possible to set a "target destination," but why would I know this? Are we under similar conditions to the "Exodus Nine" incident, or am I being influenced by some sort of outer entity?"
    Another pause in the translation, then, the writing becomes more frantic -as if the one who had originally wrote it had started going crazy- then:

    "This isn't the first time, it was never the first time."

    "The "Refined Voice" hides in the Lost Cradle."
    -------Needless to say, it was the usual sort of mad scientist going insane before doing something insane sort of notes.

    Still---

    Isako -who had forced Raz onto a stretcher (which they seemed to have an abundance of here) after his initial collapse with a "don't hit on me if you can't even stand up"- can only raise her eyebrows at all of it, before stating:

    "This uh... World must be an interesting place to live in?"

    Erika sighs.

    "Always knew the Akarana Family was up to some nonsense..."

    And Lucid...

    "...Refined Voice? Lost Cradle?"

    Actually speaks up for once, although...

    He doesn't say much!
    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?



  16. #856
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Daisuke
    Aoyama, Forest
    ??? - Evening


    ---A bizarre feeling that you cannot place, one that is difficult for someone so young to understand, the echoes of a long lost memory that has shown itself after what feels like an eternity.

    That is the feeling this girl inspires in you, a powerful sense of nostalgia that should not be possible for you. You are simply too young, life was still a new concept to you, this bizarre feeling of 'reunion' is one that feels like it would be appropriate at the end of a journey of a hundred years, not this simple meeting between yourself and someone that was truly strange, but...

    The sounds of the ocean.

    A mother's lullaby, or perhaps the voice of a long lost friend?

    It's impossible to say.

    Those sorts of events are impossible.

    Even so, that bizarre feeling awakens a story in you. It's a silly story, one told to you by Chris, your User, Partner, Buddy, as a bedtime story. It's overly dramatic in many ways, cheesy in others, but the meaning behind that story is impossible to deny, indeed...

    It is a story that gives meaning to something simple.

    But it is not as if simple things cannot be beautiful...

    The desire to meet someone again, yes...

    As a spell, 'Return' fits that just fine, and...

    You won't understand, but in this moment, such a story is certainly a fitting one.

    You press the spell down like a charm into the girl's hand, and the contact between your form and her own sparks a strange reaction, the shattered fragments of a memory, something that does not exist and yet flutters at the edge of consciousness.

    Yes.

    For just a moment.

    Strange data emerges from your core.

    Broken words.

    Broken images.

    "Hi, my name is Burroughs! Who are you?"

    "We're a combined group of the four organizations right? So if we were to draw lines connecting the Big Four, we'd be the point where all those lines cross right? So why don't we call ourselves the "X-Cross!"

    "Is that a dumb name?"

    "The Northern Base is coming along nicely, so-"

    "We'll protect everyone! That's the X-Cross way-!"

    "The end of... The Amala Network?"

    "Protect everyone...? Hah, I think you've missed quite a few people on the way here..."

    "What is... What is that...?"

    "Turn off the visuals, don't look at it! Don't observe it! Don't let it fuse!"

    "...It's okay. Don't worry. I'll take care of it."

    "We'll meet again one day. Although sorry... It might be a ways off."

    "So, I-"




    But it ends in a flash.

    A jumble of incoherent data, aberrant data, something drudged up seemingly from nowhere... Junk data in other words...

    No clear point of origin...

    Had she infected you with something?

    Diagnostics says no, but that reaction can't be denied-!

    Nevertheless... Burroughs doesn't seem to notice, rather...

    "That's a good story. I like it."

    She just smiles.

    It has a good ending, they got back together in the end."

    She withdraws with charm in hand, arms going behind her back, and-

    "As for meeting again... Sure! We can be friends! When my partner comes back, I'll show em to you!"

    -to the message you had tried to give her, she had responded with that, something simple, but a remarkably subtle way of saying she reads you loud and clear...

    It's innocent.

    This person is remarkably innocent, perhaps even more so than you, therefore...

    ---It's not a virus.

    She's not the type to do that sort of thing.

    "But for now... Cya later! Bye History! Bye Lexie!"

    She says this with a wave, and those gathered can't help but wave back, like being caught up in the charms of an innocent goddess, yes...

    Her form begins to flicker away into spirit particles, then...

    Then...

    "Oh, and Daisuke!"

    She says one more thing to you, namely...

    "You might wanna hurry back! That girl your Buddy was working on will probably wake up soon! I think you two will get along!"

    ...Eh?

    She says something pretty enigmatic, then-!

    Disappears.

    Breaks away like a hard light construct, one that whirls away into the sky as History too returns to her normal form, and...

    "Girl she was working on huh...?"

    Having been watching all of this up till now, content to watch the COMPs dance amongst themselves in the heart of this very strange phenomena, a certain Lexie Davis, a Tamer who could almost be called harmless...

    "Oh! The one we found in the ship!"

    Snaps her fingers in recognition after she leaves, and, with a smile...

    "Let's go back home. We can pick up some food on the way back, I think a new friend will be waiting for us-!"

    ...Life for the ever-friendly members of the SDCD...

    Carries on quietly, but with the same warmth as always...

    Even as a hidden storm... Boils on the horizon...


    Chris/Daisuke
    Zero Seal/Empty City
    END


    Next Time...

    "Death of the X-Cross/Future Lost"

    Last edited by Airen; May 2nd, 2020 at 08:52 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?



  17. #857
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Ayra Lilygrove
    Avalon ~ Medical Ward
    ??? - Morning


    "...mmmph."

    If one were to define the sort of noise Asuka makes throughout the duration of your response, it would have to be a description made in somewhat inelegant words, namely, it's the sort of sound a disappointed junior (or perhaps a whining puppy) would make, a sort of half-protest that dies in her throat before it can become words because of the nature of your answer...

    Because the answer doesn't sit well with her, however, the problem with that is...

    She doesn't know why it doesn't...

    It's an answer that appears logical on the surface, but she can sense that there's something illogical in it in spite of that, however... It seems she is a bit too inexperienced to find out exactly what that flaw in the logic is, thus she is left only with the sense that she should be protesting, without knowing exactly what part of the argument she could logically dismantle...

    So...

    She is unable to find a way to attack back until the very end, when you make the amount of sleep you actually get each night known by keeping the answer vague and sort of blowing it off-!

    It's the weakest of the points she had wanted to make, but since it is the only one allowed to her, she strikes at it with everything she has-!

    "What is enough rest? Four hours? Five? It's totally five isn't it-!"

    Somehow-!

    Somehow she hits it right on the dot-!

    "There are other people that can work shifts you know? Tamers should get more sleep than normal people, we're running around burning absurd amounts of energy all the time..."

    It's true of course.

    Even having one's COMP in battle mode is a minor stress on the body, running around on patrol can be draining both mentally and physically, and throwing oneself into one's studies during free time makes it difficult for many to relax, especially because the nature of the position attracts the "selfless" types to it more often than not...

    Add on your Joker duties, and you're even worse than the average Tamer in this regard...

    So in this, she can make disgruntled kouhai noises without any sense of shame, for she is certainly correct-!

    "But... I get it."

    She sighs.

    "Workaholic Ayra. No matter who lectures you on it, you'll just brush it off..."

    Then smiles as she stands up-!

    "But today! You are going to get eight hours, one way or another-!"

    Eh?

    "I got the doctor to agree! Bed Rest! Eight Hours! This Room! Don't Move! Tsukiko is and will remain fine! I'll be guarding the door to make sure you're good~"

    Eh?!

    Who was the one who was supposed to have the power here-?!

    "Although if you want anything just tell me! I'll have someone get it for you!"

    She says this sweetly.

    Even sincerely, nevertheless...

    She's not really leaving you any choice in the matter! Not just by refusing to let you get a word in edge-wise, but by disappearing through the door and shutting it behind her after a brief salute, back appearing in the small glass pane that allowed vision of the outer hallway.

    "..."

    ---It's a real sudden blindside, a shocking series of events that entrap you in this room for basically the rest of today, but...

    An incoming message breaks up the chain of being defeated soundly by Asuka.

    Message from Laplace.

    One that is quite... Odd, coming from the hacker, namely...

    Quote Originally Posted by Laplace
    Heard you got a bit more roughed up than planned, sorry about that.

    Have some things I wanna discuss with you in person, just as an extra step of security.

    Wanna come over for dinner tomorrow? I'll give you directions later on, it's basically impossible to find otherwise."
    ---An invitation to meet them in person at a later time...

    Yes.

    A bizarre move indeed, for the one who was legendary for never showing her face, however...

    Perhaps the nature of the future is why?

    Sensing something on the horizon, one who is intricately bound to the world's 'fate' lets her barriers lower a bit more than normal...

    Yes.

    Ahead lies a storm...

    One that few, if any, truly bear the means of understanding...

    But for now.

    A sterile hospital room, an overprotective kouhai, and perhaps...

    One or two attempts at sneaking out the windows...


    Ayra/Aster
    Zero Seal/Empty City
    END


    Next Time...

    "Death of the X-Cross/Future Lost"

    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. #858
    Taiga's knight Tobias's Avatar
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    Raz Stone
    New Tomobiki ~ Nagatani Academy
    Akarana Labs (Remnants)
    Friday, Afternoon


    “What, flirting while lying down isn’t a thing where you come from? Baby, I’m going to have to introduce you to a thing we here in this land call ‘pillow talk.’ It’s great. It’s the second most fun thing a man and a women can do in a bed together.” Raz laughed, and then forcefully repressed a groan that tried to tear past his lips when his aching ribs complained.

    He only allowed himself a few moment to rest before rising. The sight of him waiting away a nervous set of medical staff and dragging himself to his feet was common enough that it only rated a pair of eye rolls and commiserating sighs from Erika and the DTG as they shared a rueful glance. The DTG has changed his loading image, it was projecting holographically from his shades into the corner of the room.

    The old detective now sat at a grungy desk out of the way, old news papers and cigarette butts should scattered around it, he had an old coffee mug emblazoned with “world’s greatest mom” on the side that he took swigs out of occasionally while tapping away on an old typewriter that required an occasional push on the ream to get back in the right position. Raz had seen this prompt before of course. It was one he used when he was busy but also saw value in being able to speak to people in the area.

    “The girls give you anything worth hearing?” Raz asked Erika at one point during the search, munching idly on a dinner roll covered with sauce he had one of the girls bring him. Man. The food in this school was pretty good. Much better then the food they served back at the squire dorms. TBF the food that was at the squire dorms was still usually better then what Raz himself tried to cook, as he was frequently reminded by the DTG.

    Speaking of his partner, as they finally began to get what that had found compiled together, Raz found himself heading back to his partner to confirm a few things after briefly introducing him to Isako and company.

    ”How’s things going with the decryption? The kid gave you a starting point, think you can use that to reverse engineer the code?” the dark haired knight asked aloud. It was quicker to speak across their link but sometimes holding the conversation verbally had value since someone in the area might have something worth contributing. Some Tamers forgot about that.

    “Yeah. Maybe. Kid’s code was sloppy, she didn’t so much solve the problem as jimmy the lock on part of the algorithm. I’m trying to recreate the original cipher by leaving out some of the later data files.” The detective COMP sighed past a cigarette hanging from his lips, sending idle trails of smoke twisting in the air.

    “Wait what?” Raz said, legitimately surprised. “I have hung around you long enough to know that solving a code cypher is easier the more samples you have, why would you leave part of it out?”

    ”Heh.” The old detective smiled, tipping his fedora over his face. “Experience means a lot flatfoot. I would put a fiver that the little bird thought that you should be using as many data samples as possible too. See? Look at what she was working on, there are dates from all over. Her program is stronger then mine. More resources. But she don’t understand people. Our collar was losing it.”

    The older man pointed to some of the later entries. “Seen this before. He doesn’t realize he is slipping. Making mistakes. His mindset is changing but he doesn’t realize it. Priorities shift. As this happens, he starts unconsciously changing the code. He thinks he is doing the same thing but it’s actually different, makes sense only in his madness. That makes...”

    ”The code random!” Raz suddenly interjected as he belatedly caught on. “Whatever changes he throws in as he slips will foul up your attempt to reverse the cipher! So you start from the beginning and exclude later points so it’s more consistent. Then once you have the main code down..”

    ”Yup. Theeeeeen I can follow along his later points and manually work out whatever changes he made to the design. Little tyke is smart but I ain’t about to hang up my magnifying glass yet. Ain’t gonna be done today rookie. Go flirt with one of your skirts or something. Oh but ask Lucid to swing by. He doesn’t bump gums unless he has something worth jawwing about. I wanna ask him if refined voice or that cradle bit mean something to him. Could be he has heard them before on a case.”

    Raz took the dismissal in stride and asked lucid to go speak with his friend. Predictably Lucid responded to this but nodding mutely and walking stoically over.

    One day I am going to tell a joke to him and make that man crack up laughing. Raz thought with amusement, not for the first time.

    DTG
    New Tomobiki ~ Nagatani Academy
    Akarana Labs (Remnants)
    Friday, Afternoon


    There were certain things in life that one learned to be wary of. One was in the room right now, the vampire. She seemed nice enough but the wary man shouldn’t forget was that was a being that fed on blood.

    Maybe she was completely harmless. Maybe she was every bit the kindly big sister she portrayed herself as. Buuuuuut....once shouldn’t forget that part of her.

    Another thing was the lab itself. Filled with strange machinery, things little understood, built and maintained by one slipping into madness. There was no telling what might inadvertently trigger the systems and cause a major incident or put them all in danger. and of course, the results of the last such incident, an entire school filled with otherworldly people? That also bore a certain amount of scrutiny.

    ...None of these was the most worrisome however. Not one of these things were what suddenly caused the hairs on the back of his neck to stand on end and his danger sense to suddenly flare up without warning. No, what caused the DTG to suddenly enter what might almost be called a panic reaction was the sudden realization that Raz Stone was not talking.

    Even when Raz wasn’t singing, he always had a certain presence. A certain verve and flair to his actions. One always knew where he was and what he was doing because he wouldn’t let them forget it. When that was not the case...when Raz faded into the background?

    ...Without fail, it was because he was doing something he knew people would stop him if they paid attention. And there he was. Looking right at the DTG. He offered a cocky wink as he, without those presence having realized what he was doing, laid his hand containing the crest on top of the control panel.

    To late, the DTG suddenly found himself making the same logical deduction Raz must somehow have intuited, that their attempts to use the control panel had only been somewhat successful because the system of reiki used for the Spirit Pulse was only part of the equation. It was like using an outlet with the wrong kind of electricity.

    ...But Raz had another form of energy. And through their connection, the DTG could feel Raz cycle just a small amount of spiritual energy through the crest. Not calling the Starlight this time, but just effecting a link between the latent energies contained within to the control center of the laboratory. Allowing the magical energies to use the knight of song himself as a bridge to join power source with engine. Raz must have considered the fact that the time frame when the crests started appearing and the dimensional shift had occurred implied that there was a connection between these two things.

    ”You might want to stand back” Raz said gaily, "Last time I did this I blew up."
    Quote Originally Posted by Bird of Hermes View Post
    The moment the opportunity arises for a pun, the one known as 'Taiga's Knight' will be there to deliver whether you like it or not.

  19. #859
    Inspired Pervert hero's Avatar
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    Amamiya Sho
    Junes ~ Aoyama
    ??? - Noon



    "Good grief..."

    Nadia Starr, you are way too kind. While this person might indeed be an innocent bystander, it would be foolish to ignore just how suspicious this person is being right now. Though, I must admit, with Nadia being her usual self, it's making it quite difficult to act the way I usually would. After all, Nadia is the sort of person who would gladly hand out an autograph with her address to a serial killer without even noticing... Tch, I expected Jack to provide some support, but it looks like it will fall upon my shoulders whether we can unmask this spy or not.

    "A huge fan, huh...? I see, that's good."

    Even a complete stranger would be able to pick up the ominous aura of malice that my entire body exudes as I speak those words. Me behaving this way is only natural, for Amamiya Sho already dwells in a pitch-black abyss. There is no reason not to plunge deeper into the darkness if it means ensuring a friend's safety. Even more so if my terrible misfortune has had something to do with this fateful encounter.

    Don't worry, Nadia.

    If you are here, I know I won't take it a step too far.

    "Actually, that's really good! You are actually the #100 fan to approach us today!"

    Thus, begins part two of the plan.

    Spies can be pretty elusive and quick on their feet, so I need to take control of the situation and strike before they can adapt. I'll throw off my opponent and then go for a move that they cannot anticipate, a trap that they cannot possibly avoid-!

    "Congrats!"

    Before any human, demon or Computer AI can figure out what exactly has gotten into my head all of a sudden, I once more unsheathe my COMP and take a picture. This time, it's once that includes both Saria and Nadia. It comes a little bit rushed, not giving either any real time to find their best posse, but that's okay. That's exactly what I had in mind-!

    "I am her Manager, AS... Or Ace. Pleased to meet you." Following my restless string of attacks, I catch the red haired girl's hand and offer a firm handshake. "Anyways, let's cut to the chase! Since you are our lucky number 100, we'll be doing something special. Something all huge fans love! Do you know what I am talking about?!"

    Let's grant her a second, and no more, to see what she answers and then...!

    "That's right! I am talking about our 'Answer Right or Die - Extreme Trivia'-!" I give her a reassuring nod. "Don't worry, you won't actually die if you answer wrong, you'll just be covered in green goo, exactly like other TV shows do! ... Although, it should be fine, right? A huge fan will surely not have any problems with any of these questions!"

    This is the end, third-rate spy, you'll regret the day you ran into me.

    "If you answer every question right, you'll get a picture of Nadia and you autographed and sent straight to your COMP. That way you can brag about it with your friends! To make this even more fun, you'll be allowed make one call, ask the public for assistance one time and get a hint one time too...!"

    That hardly matters though...

    Whether you win or lose, you'll be exposed.

    The moment I gain access to your COMP address, We'll learn whether it is a traditional COMP for civilian use or an upgraded military COMP that no random fan should have...!

    You are finished...-!

    "Are you ready...?! Here we go! It's trivia time-!"
    [18:30] RacingeR: Max S.Link with hero is when you promise your daughter to him
    [18:31] RacingeR: Which means Airen and me are the only ones that maxed it (I promised Spin to him, and Spin is my daughter)
    [18:32] hero: oh shit
    [18:32] hero: spincess get
    [18:32] hero: suck it fuckers

  20. #860
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Raz Stone
    New Tomobiki ~ Nagatani Academy
    Akarana Labs (Remnants)
    Friday, Afternoon


    "Pfft, I know what pillow talk is."

    A roll of the eyes from the vampress, but also an audible chuckle at how brazen those particular words were, amused that you had been able to say something like that with a completely straight face.

    She had been relatively stoic up till now... No, stoic was the wrong words...

    It was more... Contemplative?

    The amount of people here seems to have her keeping a lot of her cards close to her chest, as if she's unsure exactly who can be trusted here and who can't be... It's an understandable reaction for someone who had not only been dragged away from home, but had what seemed like thirty or so students well being in her hands along with that sudden relocation, but...

    For now, quietly contemplative... The manner in which she moves and interacted with the lab's items was practiced, like that of a scientist messing around with beakers, it's a natural look, so possibly...

    Some sort of scientist or doctor herself?

    Her earlier words could support that conclusion, nevertheless...

    For now, moving on:

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz
    “The girls give you anything worth hearing?”
    "Just one. The purple hair? Was watching us when we went in the cafeteria?"

    Erika's voice is business-like, as it always becomes once the 'game is afoot' so to speak...

    "Said something about "on the day death dances, a puppeteer may make itself known," not sure exactly what she meant by that though, she was pretty cryptic, some sort of fortune teller? Her classmates said she talks like that all the time."

    Cryptic.

    As most people entrenched in the supernatural tend to be, like an unspoken oath that once you get deep into the mystical workings of reality, you are no longer -or perhaps simply unable- to say what you actually mean, as for Lucid...

    Who, as expected, appears as a stoic hologram that walks in the most boring and upright way possible to the DTG...

    "...Refined Voice sounds less like a name and more like a description of something," his thoughts are the same as ever, making what connections he can wherever he can, "Earlier in the entries, he wonders if some sort of entity is influencing him... We can't rule it out as a possibility just yet. Perhaps Refined Voice is simply how he described that entity later on?"

    As for Lost Cradle...

    Even Lucid himself seems unsure, but he vaguely wonders if it's one of the two destinations on the Terminal Log...

    Regardless...

    It is as Lucid continues to ponder this problem that Raz steps forth to lay his hand on the panel, hoping to trigger some sort of response; indeed, it is a possible logical conclusion to make, as the appearance of the Crest had seemingly coincided with the activation of this Terminal and the summoning of a whole school filled to the brim with supernatural humans, however...

    There is still no response...

    At least not from the machine.

    It beeps to acknowledge that someone is attempting to interface with it, but that is all it does; however...

    "That terminal will no longer function I'm afraid, it's too late."

    ...A voice does appear along with the attempt.

    The voice of someone new, light but elegant, the voice of a noble perhaps?

    Or rather...

    The voice of the person that had just appeared -seemingly out of thin air- next to Raz.

    "It is not that it is broken, rather, a two-way connection is required for it to function at all, the destinations have ceased to be, so there is nothing for it to connect to. Call it a Dead End if you must, a three way phone that has lost it's over selves and will no longer work properly, certainly not something worth detonating yourself over, Mr. Stone."

    Yes...

    A blonde girl, shorter than Raz, but taller than the DTG had remembered Burroughs being...

    "...Dejah."

    Isako's eyes light up with recognition, before flaring back to suspicion, and-



    "Hello Ms. Nagatani. I trust everyone here is still well?"

    -the girl responds to it with a complete sense of absolute calm.

    Encountered: Dejah Thoris (?)

    ---Otherworldly.

    ---The aura is the same as that of Burroughs, but...

    ---Those eyes aren't naive at all...
    Last edited by Airen; May 8th, 2020 at 05:47 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?



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