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Thread: Paradise Lost (IC)

  1. #21
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Ichiro Sasaki
    Location: Peacemaker Labs
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    "Ah, it was unintended."

    The momentary cheer in the old man's voice fades into his characteristic grumble. This is Ichiro Sasaki's natural state, one his colleagues are more than used to.

    "Well, it happens. This is one of those cleaning robots that's been popular lately? Then, Doctor Hasegawa, then it must be..."



    "COPY PROTECTION. FROM HELL."

    He jams his fingers against the nearby keypad. With a beep, the door opens, and the roar of smoke and fire is met with a rush of white as Ichiro lets loose with the extinguisher.

    "It's all part of their plan!" he speaks above the noise and heat. "The company building these robots doesn't want you looking inside! They stuffed those things full of experimental tech and now they gotta cover it up. Can't have the secrets getting out, gotta take out anyone who's curious enough to go looking for the truth. These people put bombs, bombs in the same robots that you leave at home to sweep the floors and take care of your kids! And there's no quality control so they can just get away with throwing it on the shelves like that. Imagine little Timmy accidentally knocking over one of these little do-it-alls while the parents aren't home, the wrong wires cross in its skull, and then KAPOOOW! No more little Timmy. This is their plan, people."

    White and orange battle it out as hair and lab coats flutter in the turbulent air.

    This might be a tricky one-!

    "Doctors! Shall we have ourselves a look at the madness at our door!? The apocalypse won't cancel itself!"

  2. #22
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Four
    Location: Shi Association's Branch Office
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    “Ah!”

    The doorbell, or rather, a sensor attached to a speaker that would play a short tune when someone entered, noted Four of the presence of a human other than her in the office. An unpleasant sound that marked the end of a peaceful day, it seemed.

    Days like this were rare, after all. Days when Four wasn’t slowly working on or preparing for any of her contracts, when she could just relax for a moment before the next job came in. More than that, all her colleagues were out as well, leaving her there on her own to do just about anything she wanted.

    Somewhat of a sad realization, really.

    After all, due to her condition, she wasn’t really compatible with anyone else, and despite being part of an office, working strictly alone meant that one would, to a degree, always remain somewhat isolated from the rest.

    Still, quite irrelevant for the current situation.

    For now, she had whoever just walked into the office to concern herself with.

    “This is the local Shi branch office, right? Oh, must be.”

    As Four got up from her seat and carefully walked out to the front desk with her stick in her hand, she could finally see who the person was. Well, “see”. Though, based on that, and what she could guess from the voice, it seemed to be a tall and fairly slim woman, with knee length hair and something on top of her head…presumably a hat. Was probably wearing a skirt as well, considering that her legs seemed to blend together on the mental image created by Four’s mask.

    “Which would make you one of the Fixers working for the office, I suppose. In which case, nice to meet you,” She said, as she appeared to bow slightly, “I came here in hopes of having someone accept my rather…personal contract. An assassination job, of course, but I’m only looking for the best. Which is why I resorted to more of a direct approach, rather than just forwarding the request for distribution.”

    Requests like that certainly weren’t that rare, especially not in Four’s field of work. After all, assassination was often a rather…delicate art. An art that often left no room for even small mistakes, and what had to be carried out in utmost discretion. Letting a bunch of rookies who were just lured in by the stellar payouts handle such a job would usually only lead to disaster.

    “You seem to be alone, though. Do you run this place by yourself? I heard rumors about a certain rather efficient assassin working here, in which case the rumors must have been about you.”

    The woman stepped closer, to the other side of the desk, and pulled out a stack of papers from…

    From where? She didn’t seem to have a bag, at least.

    Still, she placed said papers on the counter, and turned them around so that they wouldn’t be upside down for Four.

    “Here’s the actual contract, at any rate. I’m sure you must have already heard about the target - but don’t let their public image fool you. You can sign at the bottom, once you’ve read through it.”

    Why did it sound like that she never even considered, or allowed the possibility of Four refusing the job?

    And more importantly, how was she even going to read the contract? It was certainly not written in braille…

  3. #23
    Konkon Kitsune~ Kuroyuki's Avatar
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    Nana Senri
    Location: A Desert in the Outskirts
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)


    I stared at the infuriating object in my hand as it flickered off with barely a warning. The people who gave it to me, while they didn’t seem to be Syndicate… Could be sending me on a wild goose chase because someone paid me to… However, at this point, anyone willing to help them would also know of my reputation towards them and what happens to those who are with them…

    Regardless, I wasn’t one to turn down information. If it was a trap, then I would just fight my way through them. It’s not like I would die from traveling because I didn’t tire. I didn’t need food or water, because I didn’t need to eat or drink. If I did, then it was only because I wanted to. If… If it was one step closer to my goal of killing Benny or finding someone else from the village, then I couldn’t ignore it.

    So here I was several days away from… the City in an unknown desert with this useless, dead tracker. I considered cutting the useless object, but it wouldn’t hurt for me to sell it for scrap with someone else. So instead, I decided to place the object in my bag and kept moving towards the last direction that the damned thing was pointing towards.

    It wasn’t until several hours later when the sun started setting that I noticed something abnormal out here in the wilderness. A light in the distance and smoke that disappeared several meters above the ground. A fire or a lamp? Regardless of what the source is, this might be what I was looking for. Now I would start walking towards it, but there was one big issue.

    The damned light and smoke were moving several locations as soon as I lost track of them. However, the distance from each other was fairly consistent. If that’s the case, then all I had to do was run towards the “center of that distance.” If they were Syndicate, then hopefully I can rush them before they notice if I’m right. I’m wrong then they’ll come for me. If they’re not Syndicate… Then I’ll cross that bridge when it happens. With that thought in mind, I sprinted towards where I thought the camp was.

  4. #24
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Zinn
    Location: Voynich Hotel's Bar
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    “A detective wrestler, huh?”

    The man sitting next to Zinn seemed to find something amusing about the fact, as he hid his smirk behind his glass of booze before emptying half of its contents down his throat with a few loud gulps.

    “Wrestling people in the ring, and wrestling mysteries outside of it. How intriguing. Even more so than that sickly green skin of yours.”

    But who exactly was the man?

    Zinn didn’t usually run into anyone else at the Voynich’s bar around this time of the day, and even he was only there to just stretch his legs for a moment, and to wash down the pain of another long day of work that he could put behind himself.

    And yet, this time, there was this man. He didn’t even notice when he walked in - he just noticed him sitting next to him at some point. Beluna, who seemingly had some downtime between her other chores and was now just lazily cleaning some glasses behind the bar, did not seem to really care either…Which must have at least meant that it wasn’t anything particularly unusual. Or just that she was used to things being unusual already. Either way, when Zinn inquired about the man, she simply just shrugged before going back to working on the glasses.

    Yet, he didn’t seem to be all that bad of a company. He seemed to be genuinely interested in what Zinn had to say, and certainly asked a lot of questions, although haven’t really say anything about himself. Though, if something was evident even without words, then it was his fondness of booze, and by the looks of it, drinks were on the house, which meant that Zinn could drink as much and whatever he wanted as well.

    “Still, a respectable occupation. Not many are willing to live with that kind of public exposure, let alone fuckin’ paint themselves green to appeal to the crowds.”

    This time, the man did not even try to hide his amusement, as his deep, booming laughter echoed through the bar.

    “Though, tell me something, green man,” He continued after he calmed down, “Are you actually interested in mysteries then, or do you just solve them for the money? I’ve seen cases for both ‘round here, so it made me wonder.”

    While he was joking around quite a bit before, all of a sudden he sounded rather serious, and the atmosphere around felt to have shifted to adapt to this change as well.

    Just as he finished speaking, he turned sideways on his chair so that he was directly facing Zinn, and as he leaned forward just slightly, he reached into his pocket to pull out a large cigar, which he then lifted to his mouth.

    “See, I happen to know an intriguing conundrum or two, but they would ultimately be a waste on someone who only sees the money in them.”

    He didn’t have a lighter though. But it didn’t even matter. However he even did it, by the time Zinn realized, his cigar was already lit, with a thin trail of smoke slowly creeping up towards the ceiling.

  5. #25
    for me, there is (you) Katie's Avatar
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    Four
    Location: Shi Association's Branch Office
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)


    Four sighs as she presses a button on the side of her mask and stuffs it into a coat pocket. The comforting nothingness creeps back as the supposed blues (that’s what the artificer told her that shade was) fade away. She can navigate the office well enough without her mask. No, the real headache was this woman.

    Impatient. Prone to jumping to conclusions. It was as if fate had conspired to ruin her peaceful day in the worst way possible.

    “Let’s take this from the top,” Four lectures. Maybe this will make the client mad and Four can go back to listening to those trivial true crime podcasts in peace. If the woman listens, even better. “Yes, this is a Shi Association office. We’ll take any request as long as the monetary compensation is what we view as equal to the difficulty.”

    “Second, don’t make assumptions about Fixers. Even as a client, you should be more cautious about your evaluations of them. We’re an unpredictable lot,” Four continues. This is actual advice. The common citizen often has no idea how to deal with Fixers, and she gets the feeling that this is someone with that level of sense—someone born and raised in a Nest. “I don’t run this place by my lonesome. Everyone’s out on business except for yours truly.”

    She’s not going to comment on efficient. Her success rate is pretty stellar considering all the years, even if the pace is slow.

    “Finally, there’s the elephant in the room,” Four says, the petite girl moving from out behind the front desk. She waves her cane around, the tip coincidentally barely sailing over the front desk monitor as she does so, showing off the cane’s white stripes. A cane for the blind. “I can’t read.”

    “Still, if you wish to hire me,” Four gives a self-aggrandizing grin, “I accept a voice sample of the target and a verbal description of their build and personality.”
    Last edited by Katie; August 4th, 2022 at 10:02 PM.

  6. #26
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    John Hong
    Location: Aoi's Office, SanPol HQ
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    “If that is how you like to work. Naturally, we can just track them down too. There are a few clues to follow.”

    While some likely would have tried to lighten the mood a bit here with some sort of a joke, Aoi’s sense of humor was unfortunately much like District 26 - nonexistent.

    “Of course, the pay is also good, if you do your job well. Might take a while though, so I’ll cover your living expenses while we are there at least.”

    As if realizing some sort of a loophole in her plans, she turned her attention from the papers on her table for a moment, and stared straight into John’s face with her large, emotionless eyes.

    “Not that it means you can go fine dining and buy a bunch of random stuff. I’m cutting your budget the moment I see anything unreasonable. Anyways…”

    It seemed that it was finally time for her to show John some clues, as she pulled a few papers out of the stack and put them down on the table in front of him. On first glance, they appeared to be photos of sorts - a lot of photos, rather hastily made ones from what he could guess, as some of them were just outright blurry, or with the intended targets just way out of the center and focus.

    “There are these first. The last victim was an officer I knew. So fortunately, I could have his corpse be delivered here before anyone from there touched it. Well, his head at least, since that was the important part, and it was severed from the rest of his body anyways.”

    As she started her explanation, she reached into a cabinet behind her desk and took out a human skull, which she then put on the table in front of the man as well.

    “As the fractured mandible, maxilla and nasal bone, and the damage on the parietal bone might suggest, the victim suffered excessive head trauma,” She explained with a flat tone as she pointed at different parts of the skull, “Which is why I removed all the mangled flesh and cleaned the skull completely.”

    “The important part is here, anyways,” She said as she bent the skull backwards, so that John could see the upper side of the eye sockets, one of which seemed to have some sort of a weird metallic device on it, “It’s the framework that holds a memory unit for a micro camera. The camera itself sits at the center of the cornea, with near transparent wires wrapped around the eye keeping it in position at all times. I have the eye preserved with the device still attached, but I think that is not really relevant for the case. Anyways…”

    Not really relevant for the case…

    More like, too bizarre to show.

    Of course, that’s probably not something that registered in Aoi’s mind.

    “The killer got sloppy, or they likely just had no idea who they were dealing with. Which means that the device remained operational, and the victim managed to snap a few dozen photos in their last moments. Although, as you might see from the quality, it’s unlikely that they were prepared for it. Still, there are a few that proved to be somewhat useful at least.”

    After she put the skull away, she spread the photos out on the table, and pointed at a few of them, all the while explaining their contents as she went.

    A strange oni symbol. My Old World knowledge is awful at best, so I couldn’t assign much of a meaning to it. Still, it appears on a few occasions, which makes me assume that the syndicate working with the murderer uses it as their mark. However, no known syndicate is known to have anything similar. Then, there is the gun of, presumably, the murderer. You might recognize it to be similar to yours, although from what I recall your gun is a right handed design while this one appears to be left handed. Still, seems to have considerable firepower, judging by how it appeared to blow the victim’s head off.”

    The last few images she pointed out, in order, seemed to show a hand holding a gun that indeed looked vaguely similar to John’s. Then, a muzzle flash on which the barrel of the same gun was just barely visible. Then, finally, a different, higher point of view, showing the headless body of the victim - likely meaning that his head was soaring through the air at the moment when the image was captured.

    “Any questions so far?”

  7. #27
    アカシャの蛇 The Serpent of Akasha RacingeR's Avatar
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    Anya
    Location: Blood Matrix Hideout
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)


    It was quite hard to get Anya angry. In fact, even within her own Syndicate, only the few who had been with her since the beginning could ever recall seeing her being more than mildly annoyed.

    Today, however, was one of these rare occasions.

    “How utterly uncouth.”

    She did not care for this woman’s arrogance. It bothered her. Raised her hackles, as it were.

    Which, she suspected, was sort of the point.

    Anya sighed a small sigh, and her dainty hand grasped the cup of still warm tea on her desk. With an elegant yet absent-minded gesture, she brought it to her lips, taking a sip. Yet not even the bitter taste of the black tea she had chosen this afternoon combined with the metallic tang of the blood she had added to it managed to cheer her up.

    Her red eyes stared at the holographic device with disgust, then ran through her office as she busied herself with her thoughts. Some sunlight still went through the filters placed on the windows, illuminating a rather lavish and tastefully decorated place. Well, the office was the one where the Blood Matrix received their guests and clients, often with Anya or Iori at the desk depending on their status, so it made sense it was the most well-decorated place within the building.

    The headquarters themselves were, from what she had heard, a fairly old building. It had existed before the last L-Corp did, in fact. And apparently had always been owned by some minor Syndicate or the other as far as anyone could recall. Once the Blood Matrix had taken over, cleaning the mess that a variety of Syndicates had left on the walls had taken more time and capital than anyone could’ve reasonably expected. And that had been nothing compared to cleaning the remnants in the basement. The task had disgusted even some of the more hardened… former ‘organ purveyors’ that had joined her ensemble. In general, the rest of the building, while serviceable and perfectly suited for the Syndicate members, was a bit too rough and messy to be shown to guests.

    The vampire’s fingers ran over the oaken surface of the desk, where the emblem of the Blood Matrix, a pair of crossed bloody claws, had been engraved, and another small sigh escaped her lips. She had to face it: taking away her second in command was a masterstroke. Anya had the combat prowess and charisma. Iori had the brain and the knowledge her boss sorely needed. She needed her reliable subordinate’s advice in occasions like these.

    In fact, she’d been thinking of the need to expand a bit and recruit a few more powerful or useful personages to her gang, and part of what had spurred on the thought of a recruitment drive had been in fact anticipating a situation like this, where the lack of people who could replace her or Iori’s roles would put the Syndicate in danger.

    She would have to do without.

    Well, she had her own investigative skills to fall back into, and once she thought about the message, it was impossible to not notice how odd the second and third sentences where.

    Got too confident for her own good? Odd but meaningless statement to make, confidence was almost a requisite for the job. Barge into the giant’s playground? She had certainly barged into the ongoing war for the District 12’s Nest, she guessed, but it didn’t quite match the reality of things following the Blood Moon Incident. Her Syndicate was still considered to be rather minor.

    No, the real giveaway was the part where she said ‘play according to your rules while disregarding everyone else’. As far as Anya was aware, her little gang was no different from others in the City, and in fact the rules it played by were close to those of the Thumb, if way less zealous, or the Middle’s. It had, in fact, originated because she herself had been forced to play according to their rules.

    No, the real key was what the woman had said ‘you will have to prove your worth’. That was what all of this was about: they wanted to test her. That was the why of the kidnapping.

    The provocative and arrogant speech also probably had to serve the same function. Meant to get her angry and annoyed. And of course, dropping in the fact that they knew she had come ‘from the depths’. It’d make Anya think she could learn something new from them, but it was rather likely they had learned she had first appeared in the Undercity.

    Well, they had ultimately succeeded in annoying her. Test or no test, messing with a Syndicate was something one did at their own risk. Anya would exact a price for that. She had the obligation to. That was how the Backstreets worked, ultimately.

    A sudden current of amusement stirred within her mind. For all of her fussiness about politeness and whatnot, the vampire girl had the rare capacity to not take herself all that seriously. Someone wanted to play games with her. Fine. It was rather the interesting challenge, all told.

    She lacked the experience to glean more from the message or the woman’s appearance. So, she had no other recourse but to comply.

    Anya closed her eyes and took another sip of her tea. Then, she took out another cup from a nearby cupboard, and, methodically started preparing another cup of the brew.

    “How many times do I have to remind you that listening behind the door is impolite?” Her voice was mild but slightly frosty. “Come in.”
    Last edited by RacingeR; August 5th, 2022 at 12:05 AM.


    quotes
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1984 View Post
    Besides, I don't see what's so terrible about looting anyway. It's only property, they're not actually harming anyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by lantzblades View Post
    when I say hero I don't mean hero in the spirit sense. I mean a morally grounded, good natured person who doesn't slaughter innocent people. No such person exists in the Nasuverse.
    [00:12] <~Katie> i can't defy my origin
    [00:12] <~Katie> of gay memes

    [16:15] <~Katie> lesbians has always been my gimmick and i will exploit it to the fullest

    [22:56] <@Sei> airen is pegging hero this time
    [22:56] <@Sei> for once airen isn't the uke
    [22:56] <@Kuroyuki> I thought Air was the Woman in the Relationship?
    [22:56] <@Airen> Yeah I kinda thought I was the girl too!

  8. #28
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Marie
    Location: Child Error Orphanage
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    Hearing Marie’s words, Hajime pouted slightly, clearly not entirely satisfied with her answer and suggestion. While she was normally quite reasonable, and was otherwise scarily good at negotiating with people, when it came to the safety of the children and the caretakers…Her opinion just became extremely biased, and she stubborn as a mule, all in the sake of her lack of willingness to expose any of those people to considerable danger.

    “See? Even Marie agrees!”

    Meanwhile, Shinji just became even more convinced about his claims, as he immediately latched onto each of Marie’s words that supported his idea.

    “She doesn’t! All she suggested was that she would take a closer look to see if it was worth the risk. Which it wouldn’t! And that still means that you will stay here and sit patiently on your buttocks. There are many children to take care of here as is, and it’s about time you put some work in around the orphanage too.”

    While it sounded like Hajime was just trying to come up with a compromise to keep Shinji away from danger, it was also true that Marie hadn't seen him all that often at the orphanage.

    “Fine! That’s something I can live with,” Shinji said as he shrugged, “Marie will confirm that I’m right soon enough anyways, and then you’ll realize that it’s best if I will help there as well. Still, just to make sure, that means you agree to Marie’s idea then?”

    Certainly, that’s something she didn’t mention or deny yet, but…

    Her expression…

    “No.”

    A somewhat expected answer altogether, considering how it seemed like it was just impossible to make her change her mind.

    “Instead, she can just accompany me there, so that I can see things directly with my own eyes, and then we can come up with some sort of a solution for this situation that you can be content with. That way, I can keep you all safe while also making sure that those children won’t be abandoned.”

    A most unexpected follow-up, though. So unexpected that even Shinji had no idea how to react, as his brows shot so high up that they just disappeared behind his hairline.

    “I will ask Violet to take care of things in the meantime. It should not take too long, anyways, especially if we leave today. Straight after Marie packed her necessary things, in fact.”




    Kazuo Hojo
    Location: Hojo Residence
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    “If you came from the Outskirts, then there should be no other Hojo left. Unless there are more of you in the Outskirts, but what are the odds?”

    For a moment, the girl’s voice sounded rather serious, almost cold, with not even a hint of the previous enthusiasm left in it, as she just stared blankly towards the general direction of the corner of the yard.

    However, after a fraction of a second later she was already back to normal…Making Kazuo wonder if he was just seeing things, or if it actually happened.

    “That’s like, kinda so sad to hear. But you totally seem to be strong, so maybe your elders were just completely wrong about you? Or is it like, the Outskirts air that just helped you recuperate? I mean, I guess all the outlaws and monsters would mean that either one becomes strong or they kick the bucket, and since you are here, the answer to that is rather obvious.”

    If something, she just seemed even more hyped, and impressed with Kazuo. Almost as if she, the completely ordinary person, was lucky enough to be able to enjoy the presence of some legendary hero.

    Though, Kazuo’s question about the source of her knowledge seemed to make her hesitate for a moment, as she rocked her body back and forth slightly while deep in thought.

    “Well, first of all, there is usually a lot of talk about tradition keeping families. And like, random chatter gives birth to rumors. And rumors give birth to theories. Like, conspiracy theories, urban legends, fairy tales and such. So like, since I’m pretty interested in your family’s history, I heard a lot of these theories. One of which happened to be the one about the hidden library I mentioned. And since you made it obvious that you have no clue about City stuff, I figured I would bring it up.”

    With a gesture of her head, she pointed towards the main building of the estate, then she looked back up at Kazuo with a mischievous smile on her face.

    “I mean, like, I would lie if I said that I wouldn’t be totally hyped to see if the rumor was true or not. Maybe that would give more credit to the others that there are too, but like…Insisting would be rude. That’s most of what there is to it, though.”

  9. #29
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
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    Aisha Asakawa
    Location: Aisha's Apartment
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)


    This is not the first time they were having this discussion, and it wasn't going to be the last. While Aisha is doing her best to make it look like she's paying attention, most of the words are just entering through one ear and immediately leaving through the other.

    Still, no matter how much she tries to filter them out, some of these things Hanaelle says always manage to hit a nerve. Like her comment about finding a boyfriend... Aisha is of the opinion that she has no time to spare for the trivial pursuit of love. She also can't help but wonder who would want to become the boyfriend of some lazy, violent and hopeless young girl?

    "...I'm not getting a boyfriend anytime soon," Aisha mutters as she looks to the side and half-grimacing, "the last time I tried dating that boy at the orphanage... what was his name, Roy? Yeah, Roy... you remember what happened to him right?"

    Aisha remembers very well. They only got together because Aila, Aisha's sister, played matchmaker for them. Unfortunately, she did not think what would happen when someone as impulsive and direct as Aisha was paired with a sensitive and demure young boy. Supposedly, the idea was that Aisha would help Roy with his 'manliness' problems since she was quite the tomboy... but... well, last time she heard, he had developed an unnatural fear of women.

    There was also on a parallel matter, Aisha's history with suitors, which involved a lot of people punched in the gut, or for some unlucky few, the face.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanaelle
    "However, I get the feeling that this is indeed all my fault."

    "Who else but the mother and the teacher of a child is to blame if they are unable to take proper care of themselves? Clearly, I should have taught you better, but perhaps I am just bad influence, or perhaps I was just too indolent and inattentive while raising you..."
    'Oh f***,' is the only thing Aisha can think to herself as she sees the catastrophe unravelling before her. She could act pretty cold towards others and let their emotions wash over her as if they didn't concern her, but this occurrence right here was one of the few things she couldn't remain stone-faced against.

    "I-it's not your fault, Sister! I just ended up being like that! I-I know I'm a bad girl... I'll fix it, eventually! Just... just give me some time okay?"

    How long? A few weeks? A few months? A few years?
    Whatever, that is of no import to Aisha at the moment -- her objective right now is to make Hanaelle understand that she is the last person to blame for how Aisha turned out. In fact, without Hanaelle, Aisha might've turned into some horribly gangster of sorts and let go of her moral compass the a few years ago, when Aila went missing.

    "Look, I just need to focus on finding Aila, Mom and Dad. And everyone else that disappeared. The news you've brought are wonderful, maybe that inspector will finally make a breakthrough where none of the others could!"
    Last edited by Ayakashi; August 4th, 2022 at 04:39 PM.

  10. #30
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Harry March
    Location: ???
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    "Sorry magic talking sunglasses," Harry said with a roll of his eyes as he got onto his knees, "thought you had pulled a few more weird functions out of the air. Besides, you know. Talking."

    Spend so much time listening to yourself you forgot how to speak, Harry? A woman admonished, mirth in her voice, kindness is a virtue.

    Barely a memory in your head, but already where you belong. A man said like stone, Scrambling around in the dirt at someone else's behest.

    Harry turned his body, twenty-nine degrees to the right, and reached out, stretching forward a bit and feeling a slight twitch in his lower back as he did so-

    Never did see a chiropractor after that fall. Too many questions, and not enough answers.

    -and groped around, until his fingers brushed across a slim, metallic frame. Harry picked it up gingerly, spinning it slightly in his hand to make it face the correct way as he placed them in their proper place on the bridge of his nose.

    Not fit for fighting, certainly, a woman whispered into his ears, but more then fit enough for a few of our kinder methods.

    "Danger on the way, head still killing me, wearing sunglasses in the dark..." Harry grinned, cracking his neck to the side, "Doesn't it remind you of the way we met?"

    A pathetic attempt to learn of your past. You would do well to forget it.

    The past was, the present is.

    Harry didn't give a damn what his head thought about the past. Something in him knew it was important, even as it slipped through his mind like a sieve when he tried to chase after it.

    A dream, Harry, one insisted.

    A warning, Harry, the other informed.

    "Still, wouldn't do to dwell," Harry said as he spun on a heel, moving his sunglasses a bit further upwards with both of his hands as he stared directly through them during his 360 turn, "Let's mosey."
    Last edited by Frantic Author; August 4th, 2022 at 04:37 PM.
    in the end we will make thoughtcrime impossible, for there shall be no words to express it

    #THELEGENDNEVERDIES

    [01:05.15] <@Spinach> I can flash gang signs faster than Sasuke can perform ninjutsu and I rap like Medea's High Speed Divine Words.


  11. #31
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Nana Senri
    Location: A Desert in the Outskirts
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)
    [BGM]

    While there was absolutely no guarantee that her plan would work, it was definitely worth a try at least. It was better than just standing around, at any rate, since moving meant that something was happening at least.

    But what exactly was happening?

    As Nana dashed forwards, keeping both of the strange objects in sight while trying to reach the spot right in the middle between them, it…

    Certainly felt like she was making progress.

    It seemed like she was getting closer and closer to the objects, and at this point she could clearly make out that one was indeed the flames of a fire, and the other was most definitely smoke, appearing just a bit above the ground and then ending a few meters higher.

    However, the closer she got, the harder it became to keep both of them in view, as it was just the natural way of how things worked.

    Then, it simply just became impossible to do so, and as she let one out of sight…

    It immediately disappeared, and reappeared elsewhere. But as this inevitably made Nana’s gaze shift away from the other object as well, that, too, disappeared.

    Leaving Nana in the exact same situation as before. Standing atop some sand dune, her legs getting just slightly tired from all the running that ultimately turned out to be rather pointless, and without the slightest clue regarding what she was supposed to do or where she was supposed to go.

    Still, thinking about it, it wasn’t entirely the same. There were a few things that she had learned, at least. For example…That based on the distance she ran, she should have been closer to the objects now. And yet, when they reappeared, they seemed to be just as far away from her as they initially were. That, and the closer look that she managed to get of them. That she could for sure confirm that they were the flames of a fire, and smoke that seemed to be drifting upwards.

  12. #32
    Don't @ me if your fanfic doesn't even have Shirou/Illya shipping k thnx ItsaRandomUsername's Avatar
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    Zinn
    Location: Voynich Hotel's Bar
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)







    If Beluna ain't got anything untowards or outstanding to say about this him, then I'll give him the time of day. I flash her a cute lil' wink, to let her know we're in business, and I did.

    Now, I ain't the sharpest dick in the box—box being the treasure box that is The City—but I did catch a few things about the dude 'afore me.

    First and foremost; my clout's preceded me. It ain't much of one, but it also ain't nothing, neither. That's good enough for me, way things stand now. A dece rep wat dece rates equals stable money. That's money and time I can put towards my league.

    Secondly, he a real people person. Outwardly, anyways.

    Thirdly, this jabroni's got moxy. I wouldn't balk at the opp to pin him in the squared circle.

    Just for fun, of course. Just for the sake of a dank show.

    To his talks, I almost replied ' 'Paint?' Cute. I wear kayfabe like I wear this skin, brother.' Not antagonistically, of course. Just to talk a little talk, clear the air. Maybe I oughta'd done so. End of the day, I didn't wanna get him off-tangent.

    Quote Originally Posted by ???
    “Though, tell me something, green man,” He continued after he calmed down, “Are you actually interested in mysteries then, or do you just solve them for the money? I’ve seen cases for both ‘round here, so it made me wonder.”
    [...]
    “See, I happen to know an intriguing conundrum or two, but they would ultimately be a waste on someone who only sees the money in them.”
    "The straight dope, then, since ya keen enuff to it. Detectiveering, it's what I do, but it ain't who I am. Cannae compare business with the business, y'know?

    My love is to the ring, first and foremost. Now, to that end...

    "—having that said, while everyone needs them dollarydoos, everyone also needs a job well done. A soured clout'd do me ill, so I tryna keep it clean and friendly-neighborhoodlike. If it's worth doin', it's worth doin' right and doin' right by."

    I flash the fella a tusken grin, a mouth full of pearly-white and pointy-sharp smilebones.

    "Talk's a cheap-ass ho. Anyone can say anythin' 'bout anythin'. But, since yer herr, I def methinks ya did some homework on me and my street cred."

    If he knows me, then he knows I'm of Honest Ustotsuki Investigations Ltd.. Far be it from these guys (me, myself, and I) to throw shade at my colleagues, let alone mad shade, but they're...eager, dreamers. Sometimes they're too eager, dream too big. More gumshoes than I've got fingers on my hands and toes on my feet are incorigibly hungry for the role of big earner. It's hardly a novel notion. In this weirdness sink of a city, The City, everyone except the giga-stacked needs someone like them—like me—at least once in their lives. But, bloat's bloat, and HUIL ("wheel", as in "greasy wheel", we like to dub it) wanted to take up where there was a little less noise and a little more need for easy-access private eyeing.

    I partake of a fat drag of my fat ciggy.

    ...

    ...Man, that's rich.

    "Anywho, even if I wasn't buttered up w' booze an' bussin' company, I'd still hear ya out. Hell's bells, I might even call ya 'Boss' by the end of negotiating, magic man."

    Even with so little I'm curious about this all, so I hope to the all-mighty eye in the sky that he fucking buys it. I'm being genuine, here, and I know I've got a foot in the door already, but he seems very discerning.
    Last edited by ItsaRandomUsername; August 4th, 2022 at 06:14 PM.
    McJon01: We all know that the real reason Archer would lose to Rider is because the events of his own Holy Grail War left him with a particular weakness toward "older sister" types.
    My Fanfics. Read 'em. Or not.



  13. #33
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Kazuo Hojo
    Location: Hojo Residence
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    "..."

    Again, the few heartbeats of a calm, contemplative silence.

    It's the clear silence of a young man who has no intention of interrupting the girl in front of him, a silence that lets him take in and ponder her more odd moments. The cold assertions that he was the last of his main family line, as if she was certain of it somehow, juxtaposed against the return of that infectious enthusiasm of hers, how she seemed to think he was interesting, that she found his life to be an impressive one. It's a mix of things that make her hard to pin down, just odd enough that he can't help but notice it, but not so much that it couldn't simply be the mark of a very strange person, a history buff that was a bit too eager to get close to one of her subjects perhaps?

    Either way, he takes it all in before speaking, but when he finally does...

    "Heh..."

    It's to chuckle.

    "Very well, very well, you are a bold one, onna-musha to be!"

    He laughs, deciding not to worry about those sorts of things too much; when it comes down to it, he simply needs to keep his eyes open for trouble like always-! If she was up to no good he'd just deal with it when it happened, for now she seemed innocent enough -if undeniably strange- and it wasn't like he couldn't use more friends in this City-!

    "You're quite right, in the Outskirts, your only choices are to get strong or die. Evolve or succumb to the World around you," Strangely enough, his eyes don't seem too perturbed by this, if anything, a nostalgic light seems to take root in him for a moment. "If you aren't stronger than your opponent, then it will be the last opponent you face. "

    A simple truth.

    "Of course I didn't survive all on my own, I had Sumire -that is, my retainer- and the Old Man with me in those days." He chuckles. "Well, I still have em both now... But point being, strong or not, I've done my fair share of almost dying over the years, so even if the family seems... Magical from the outside, I don't think I'd make a very good fairy tale hero."

    He chuckles.

    "Not nearly strong enough to be one."

    Best to not get her hopes up too much, he wasn't like these fixer people with all of their strange, flashy powers.

    But that was fine.

    There was always a path to victory if you were determined enough-!

    "But I digress, you were bold enough to come right up to me and ask, so I'll indulge your curiosity." He gestures with his head towards the dojo, "If you'd like, we can go ahead and check out the dojo. Doubt we'll find anything, but like I said earlier, there's an open door policy for prospective students, at least as far as the first floor anyway."

    Second was just for himself and Sumire of course, but the first had always been open to the students during the day, and thus, open to a more general populace...

    It wasn't too strange.

    "You never did tell me your family name though... Are you simply Shiro, onna-musha to be?"

    He asks casually, even as he starts towards the Dojo.
    Last edited by Airen; August 4th, 2022 at 09:34 PM.
    Exodus (Complete)

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

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

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

    Because of you.

    Please, remember it warmly.

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




    Mugen No Sekai

    "The Illusion Incomplete Memories Produce Are,

    Fleeting, Disappearing into the Future,

    Until the Ruins of Yesterday Overflow,

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

  14. #34
    Chasing Daybreak palad1n's Avatar
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    Marie
    Location: Child Error Orphanage
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    Marie blinked owlishly upon hearing Hajime's answer.

    Her first instinct is to refuse her friend because it's dangerous, but then Marie remembered that she had promised to be careful and not do anything dangerous. Having Hajime tagging along will definitely make sure that she stays true to her word, because as much as she likes to present herself as a calm, reasonable and logical person, she's rather prone to risking herself once she's on the field. With Hajime, they'd really be there just to observe and gather information, not going in without some form of a proper plan because that means risking her friend's safety...

    Besides, Hajime can be very stubborn, so convincing her not to go would be extremely difficult. And it's been a while since they went on a trip together like this, even if it is for work, so a part of her feels rather happy and nostalgic at the thought as well.

    That's why Marie eventually gives a nod.

    "Okay. Let me get my things before we go then, Hajime."

    And in the worst-case scenario that danger found them anyway, she will definitely protect her friend without fail.
    Random Regalia Hijinks

    <Mellon> But yeah. Don't play the waiting game too much guys. Just do what you want to do and let God (me) sort it out.

    <Erlkonig|Phone> Why get a gf, when Airen is your waifu?

    <Airen|Phone> I'll save everyone, it's fine

    <Snaxies> Airen is totally Jesus again

    <frantic> I actually hate reading your post because you're so fucking anime

    <Reiu> Regalia is a scary place desu...

    <Mellon> He who lives by the oneshot, dies by the oneshot

    <Airen> No character in ga rei is 100% serious


    Personal Compliments

    <@RacingeR> Pally would be a perfect shoujo lead

    <Erlkonig> I would fall for Pally if he was a qt shoujo manga lead girl

    Quote Originally Posted by Airen View Post
    Only pala is pure, the rest of ya are twisted


  15. #35
    The Dragon of Dojima MssrNeko's Avatar
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    John Hong
    Location: Aoi's Office, SanPol HQ
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)


    "Did any of the victims know each other or have something in common?" John asks while sifting through the pictures.

    Serial killers did not kill at random and usually had some kind of motive (according to the popular law shows). SanPol is just a normal police force outside of the specialized departments and squads, as far as John knows. Killing a person just because they were an officer of the law is not enough unless you are a dissident or psychopath. No one is stupid enough to go against District One this openly so terribly it is likely the latter. And the information about the perpetrator's weapon raised alarms.

    A firearm similar to his own...

    The slip of plain leaf paper inside his coat pocket felt heavier by the implications.

    Avoiding eye contact with the eyeless skull, the self-appointed trouble decoder takes a closer look at the pre-mortem feed pictures. "Scary mask," he muses. "A tattoo only a mother could love. You don't wear a mask unless you want to hide something."

    "But this toothy mug looks like a warning." Quite unlike a loyal dog running towards its master who returned home from work. "You guys run into any recent cases gone south?"

    Spoiler:

  16. #36
    [DA YO intensifies] arkturus's Avatar
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    Jalen Maliit Salvador
    Location: Jalen's Safehouse
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    It was only after he parked his beloved car and the rumbling of the garage door closing behind him ceased that Jalen allowed himself to breathe a sigh of relief.

    What a day. First a mysterious package from a mysterious client then half a fuckin’ army ambushes me along the way. Couldn’t even just drop off the goods and bail. The client’s gotta be pissed.

    The dark skinned man ran a hand through his shock of white hair, feeling the unmistakable heat and dampness of sweat from the hardfought car chase through the City. He exited the car and struggled out of his jacket before tossing it on a nearby couch. There was nothing that he wanted more than to wash away all his worries away in a nice cold shower and pretend was all just a bad dream. Unfortunately he first had to get to the bottom this.

    Jalen circled around the car, tracing his fingers along the side of his black Mizurabi “Cobra” GT700 to inspect it for damage. The car was a modern take on Mizurabi’s classic line of GT muscle cars that Jalen blew the majority of his earnings on when he started taking bigger jobs. It made a good impression on the clients when you pulled up in a sleek sports car that stank of money. It was a far cry from the old clunker that he started off with, a salvaged junk car with a repurposed boat engine installed. It sounded like a wet donkey fart and didn’t like it when you shifted gears too quickly. He certainly didn’t miss those old days.

    Thankfully the bulletproofing on his Cobra seemed to do its job. There were a few dings and scratches here and there on the body but the 3mm armored plating held true. Even the windows and his tires held up so no costly emergency repairs needed to be made.

    But he had to stop stalling, it was time to open Pandora’s Box.

    Jalen popped the trunk and reached around for the mechanism to open the hidden smuggling compartment and reveal the metal case. While he almost never got pulled over by the SanPol, it never hurt to have the goods hidden and electrically shielded from sending signals to thwart trackers. Not that that particular feature seemed to prevent him from being ambushed today. Maybe he needed to get Rowena to make sure the faraday cage was still working when he brought his car in to fix up the bullet marks.

    The metal case opened easily, very odd for something he wasn’t supposed to get into. Even kids were more secure with their pocket money. No matter, whatever was inside the case he was sure he would figure it out and smooth things over.

    Now, what are you hiding from m–

    The steam clears revealing the form of a sleeping child.

    A kid?!

    Jalen could do nothing but stare at the girl. She seemed like hospital patient, what with the gown. But what kind of patient had thick metal bracelets on their arms and legs? Tattoos on her leg and neck?

    Quote Originally Posted by ???
    “Greetings!”
    Ah shit. Now she’s awake and talking to him. To late to close the lid and pretend he never saw this.

    Quote Originally Posted by ???
    “Who are you? Do you require any help?”
    “I…uh…” Jalens lips flapped as he struggled to process what was happening.

    Quote Originally Posted by ???
    “Are you lost?” She asked as she glanced around the warehouse, “I do not seem to recall this base. How did you end up here?”
    Okay, that was enough. He had to put his foot down or else the questions would just keep coming.

    “Base? This is my crib! I live here!” He threw his hands up and gestured wildly at the garage and all its furniture that he built up over several years.

    “The real question is ‘who are you’!” Jalen pointed a finger dramatically in the child’s face, nearly touching her nose.

    “What are those numbers tattooed on your skin? Why the metal bracelets? Why were you in the package!? And who the fuck was shooting at me?!”

    A few moments of silence follows, save for the sound of Jalen panting and the buzz of the electric lights overhead. As his head cools off, Jalen realizes how worked up he’s gotten.

    “Shit.” He collapsed on the couch with his face in his hand and sighed. His hope that this would be an easy job was thoroughly destroyed.

    “This is why I hate kids…” He muttered into his palm.
    <Airen> I play hetero every once in awhile
    Spoiler:
    <~Katie> dude who gives a fuck about girls being gay, sometimes girls aren't gay and that decision should be respected

    Spoiler:
    [12:21.40] that might be a top tier post[12:21.45] frantic[12:21.47] post of the month, even[12:21.48] this right here[12:21.49] is MC [12:21.56] johnny has nothing on this dude[12:22.00] he's the MC of the nisio half[12:22.12] so wait[12:22.15] [ ] is, after all, my rival character[12:22.16] am i the gag heroine[12:22.20] yes

  17. #37
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Night Rider
    Location: Inganui's Gadgetry
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    “Oh. Just like that? You are not gonna laugh? How weird. Maybe I’m just rude, making such assumptions. Though after those people, it’s hard not to.”

    Inganui shook his head slightly as he let out another sigh, with one being able to tell just from a look at him that he was rather disappointed with himself.

    “Naturally, taking care of such a problem comes with a reward. Your kind needs to make a living too somehow, and your job is much more demanding that mine, for one. Not that I can really give you anything exceptional, but we can sort that out once you are back, even if it will just end up being my meager services for free.”

    Always so cheery, this guy.

    Still, as he watched the Night Rider don his phantasmal, pitch black armor, it seemed that he was still reminded of something else, as he once more reached into one of the drawers of his desk to present a piece of paper to him.

    “Before I forget. The formalities. We know anything that’s not documented is not worth much in the City, so I don’t want to miss out on being able to officially put in a good word for you.”

    As he talked, he signed the contract that was already more or less filled out ahead of time, and then slid it towards the other man so that he could do so as well.

    Altogether a pretty ordinary contract, as he could note once he got a better look at it. Details of the one making the request, details of the request itself, other comments…

    All it was missing now for it to be official was his own sign, and then the closure summary later once the job was done. After which it would potentially be forwarded to the central database where it would be accessible for both of them and for the higher authorities. Or, simply just kept on one of their person. Certainly still a step above just a mutual verbal agreement.

    “Also, for the job. Not much. Might not even work, but it’s something I made recently.”

    The bag that he handed over to the Night Rider seemed to contain about half a dozen or so devices of sort, each which had a small and flat main body with four metal appendages sticking out of it, which the man could only vaguely compare to spider legs. The strange tools also seemed to be alive, or at least active, as he could guess from the periodically blinking red light on them, and the occasional twitching of their legs.

    “They are…spider mines, of sorts. Not really complete yet, but they can sense and chase targets in a close proximity. They are equipped with a shocking net, although I could only fit one into them. Just try to bring them back, since they can be rearmed.”

    Quite the curious creations.

    “I’m ready.”

    As he was confirming the rest of the details with Inganui, he could hear the faint voice of a girl finally reply to him. He could feel her confidence, and a certain kind of buzz, a feeling of excitement that would usually surface whenever a new job was just around the corner. Still, her presence was also weak, rather uncertain. Not much of a surprise, considering the circumstances that gave birth to her anyways. Still, was also part of the reason why he was inquiring about the armor, and her, from Inganui. And the reason why his eventual meeting with a certain esper was something to look forward to.

    Though, that was something for the future.




    Four
    Location: Shi Association's Branch Office
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    “Ah, but I’m not making assumptions. As I said, I’m only looking for the best. If my request here wasn’t directed at one of the best, then I could have just filed a request as normal. Which is why the one I chose to fulfill my contract is Four, the notoriously slow assassin who never fails to get a job done. You, that is, if I’m not mistaken.”

    Judging by her tone, she didn’t doubt for a moment that she was correct. Even earlier, despite appearing to sound somewhat uncertain, the emotions behind her voice seemed to hint at an unfaltering, almost unnatural confidence instead.

    Same as with how she seemed to be certain about how this interaction would ultimately end, as if this whole procedure was just effectively meaningless as far as the outcome was concerned.

    “The case of your blindness merely just slipped my mind. I blame my own impatience and eagerness to finally present this contract, if anything.”

    So she knew about Four’s blindness too? Or was she just bluffing now, to make herself appear more certain and confident? Just how much she knew about Four then, anyways?

    “Of course, I’m well aware of the worth of this target as well. You needn’t worry about fair compensation. Though, I find money to be rather bland. A wasted opportunity, considering that the compensation I’m willing to provide is hardly something you can buy with money. Your natural sight, for example.”

    Huh.

    That didn’t sound all that unthinkable and exceptional. The option was always given for Four to regain her sight. There were plenty of artificial replacements meant to do just that, even if they were rather pricey. She just chose not to, for her own reasons.

    So how was this offer any different then?

    “As for the target, well. Let me just show you.”

    Four didn’t quite understand what she meant by “showing”. Though, before she really had any time to give it more thought or to ask the woman, something, an image, flashed directly into her mind. An image full of colors, small details, features of a person and their face in a way that she has never really seen a person before. An experience that was both unpleasant and strangely intriguing at once, at least for someone with her circumstances.

    After a brief moment, the person on the image started moving as well, if only just a bit. Her lips curled into a smile as she brushed her hair to the side, as she glanced at someone Four could not see. Then, her mouth opened as she seemed to speak up, and a voice of a young woman hit Four’s ears, although she wasn’t entirely sure where it was coming from. What she was saying didn’t make much sense to her - after all, she had no idea about the context. Yet, altogether it was somewhat sufficient to give her an idea about the woman’s characteristics, from her voice to her physical build.

    Then, the image ended, allowing for the complete darkness to settle back in.

    “I can show you the contents of the contract as well, although I feel that due to your condition they might not be of that much use,” spoke up the strange woman again shortly after, “Though, a signature or an old fashioned fingerprint would still be expected. We both know the importance of written evidence, I reckon.”
    Last edited by Cheetose; August 5th, 2022 at 07:07 AM.

  18. #38
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Harry March
    Location: ???
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    "Ah! Where are you touching?!”

    An awkward pause just as Harry’s fingers finally wrapped around one of the metal temples of the sunglasses. What was she even saying? Did he touch her somewhere where he wasn’t supposed to? Could sunglasses even feel things? How were their body parts even organized?

    “Just kidding. I can’t feel shit. Now put me on already.”

    Was this really the time for stupid jokes?

    Still, as Harry stood up and spun around on his heels as he put the sunglasses on, it was as if the world around him had changed.

    While he could still obviously tell that it was dark, he could still see everything around him quite clearly. The damp, blood covered concrete floor. The gray walls that surrounded him in a circular pattern, kind of like a well, reaching up as high as he could see, with what appeared to be some sort of a large steel lid blocking the top of the hole off. More importantly, as he kept looking around him…

    “No clue about your past though, dude. I’m just as clueless about my own existence as you are about yours, though I’d certainly want to know what asshole put me on your nightstand of all things. Past is the past though, we should be looking forward for now instead. Speaking of which…”

    The voice of the woman came from much closer now, almost as if she spoke directly in Harry’s ears.

    Felt a lot more natural this way.

    Almost as if it was just another one to the voices that he was already hearing inside his head.

    “The corpse. Let’s hope we won’t be back here, so take a look.”

    As Harry turned his head towards the object in question, he could immediately see the details that the sunglasses highlighted for him. Not that he wouldn’t have noticed a lot of them by himself - but having something to speed up the process so he could spend more time thinking and less searching around was certainly useful, especially in situations like this.

    As for the details…

    There was the massive head wound at the back of the man’s skull, as if it was split apart by an ax or something.

    The jacket that was tattered with dozens of holes, with the still not entirely dried blood painting it almost entirely crimson around the back. Probably mowed down with a high velocity automatic gun.

    He seemed like he was a police officer of sorts, which made it weird that he didn’t have a bulletproof vest on. Was pretty much default equipment by now, even for smaller offices.

    Harry didn’t remember having any colleagues though, especially none like this man, so he could at least claim for sure that they were in no way connected.

    “There’s our escape too!”

    As his gaze shifted towards the concrete wall, he noticed the tiny notch on it too.

    Push, pull, press, whatever it was, it had to be something, and hopefully a way to escape this damned place.

  19. #39
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Kazuo Hojo
    Location: Hojo Residence
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    “Not just cool and powerful, but also humble! You really are a true Hojo, and like, totally live up to the name of a hero! Even if not now, but eventually! It just takes dedication!”

    It appeared that there was just no way of convincing her otherwise, as she seemed to firmly believe what she was saying as she kept admiring Kazuo.

    “What do you mean by Old Man though? You said you were alone! Or do you mean…”

    As if a thought just occurred to her, she lifted one of her hands to her chin and rubbed it while in deep contemplation. Then, as her eyes widened, she slammed her first into her open palm, clearly having reached the conclusion of some amazing revelation.

    “Ah, that’s another one of the rumors! The sword spirit! Is it actually real?!”

    Just how many rumors like that were there?

    And why about things that should have been family secrets?

    Were they actually rumors?

    Still, as Kazuo set off towards the main building, the girl stood up as well, and after brushing the dust off her backside and stretching her legs, followed after the man too.

    “My family name?”

    She asked back, seemingly unsure about how to answer.

    Was it really that difficult of a question?

    “Hmm…Yeah, I’m mostly just Shiro. Zenpou no Shiro.”

    Again, that foreboding feeling. The girl’s smile that followed her words, which could have easily been interpreted as simply just happy and enthusiastic. Yet it also felt completely out of place. As if those emotions were simply just carried over to conceal something else of a completely different nature.

    “Now, let’s go! Treasure hunting, ho!”

    Then, just like earlier, that strange atmosphere was gone before one could even really comprehend it, and only the cheer and enthusiasm remained.

    “I think it was like…A set of torch holders that you had to turn in a certain order and direction? Or was it just a hidden trapdoor that only a Hojo’s eye could perceive? I’m not even sure, but I’m already hyped!”

  20. #40
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Dec 2018
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    Ichiro Sasaki
    Location: Peacemaker Labs
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    “F-from Hell? That’s just nasty! I can’t believe they just killed Timmy like that! That’s illegal! Now I definitely must take that junk apart!”

    Perhaps the girl took things too literally. She certainly took things too literally. Though, whether it was because of the concussion she likely got from flying a few meters and crashing into the wall, or if it was just due to her usual nature was uncertain, and before either of the two men had the chance to tell her that Timmy wasn’t real…

    “What the actual hell is going on?!”

    A door further down slammed open, and a man who looked even older than Ichiro stormed out into the hallway.

    “I heard an explosion and got so startled that my back just snapped,” He ranted while slowly walking towards the rest of the group, “Couldn’t even get up from the floor and no one even helped, I thought it was the end of the world, screw this goddamn geezer body.”

    Moments later, he reached the others and his gaze turned towards the room to which Ichiro just opened the emergency door, and as he spotted the flames and the smoke that was just pouring out of the room as if it were actual sheets of cloud…

    “Oh fudge, there’s a goddamn fire! Put it out Jordan, what are you waiting for?!”

    Jordan’s only response to this was a deep sigh as he shook his head, but at the same time, he was right that it was time to act.

    And just as his boss threw himself into the fray to fight the roaring flame serpents with his weapon of science, Jordan followed as well.

    It was a tough fight.

    Every time they beheaded the serpent, it felt like it just immediately grew three even more terrifying ones. Whenever they pushed it just one step closer to the corner, it fought back even more fiercely to force them back and make them give up their gains.

    A fight for life or death where both sides gave their absolute best.

    A stalemate on the frontline, as the Doctor and his loyal Knight nearly lost all hope when the strength of their weapons faltered, and they ran dry on ammunition.

    It was only thanks to the heroism of Squire Bang and Squire Koito that they could continue the fight with new, freshly forged weapons.

    But by then, the foam and flames already scorched and scarred the field, leaving the once neat and white equipment in ruins.

    Just what was the price of a mile?

    Still, the only way was forward now, as the battle continued on, slowly turning in the favor of the tireless Knights.

    The serpent was finally cornered, and with one last combined effort, they put it down for good, as it breathed its last breath before vanishing from existence.

    Against all odds, science triumphed, and not just the laboratory, but possibly the lives of thousands, if not millions were saved!

    Truly, even though the aftermath of the battle was quite devastating, it was best to consider instead how much worse it could have been, was it not for the heroes of the day. And for preventing that, they deserved the right to celebrate, and to finally catch their breath.

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