Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 94

Thread: Paradise Lost (IC)

  1. #41
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    SPACE.
    Age
    27
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    2,588
    Blog Entries
    5
    Harry March
    Location: ???
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    "Your jokes," Harry said as he settled into his newfound vision, "aren't even funny."

    Indeed. The time for humor is past, Harry. Are we not a man of action?

    Harry grinned at a joke nobody else could hear, as a woman's voice laughed in his ears.

    So? Let's act.

    He looked around at the concrete walls, and it was a pit. Blood on the floors, gray walls reaching so high that you could never climb them, a corpse, and a man who should be dead. He cracked his neck, letting out a sigh.

    "You call him an asshole, but without me what would you even be doing? Lying around in some facility where suits try to figure out what makes you tick? Getting prodded at by some man of science who only wants to know how objects can be sentient?"

    He knelt down, looking at the corpse, his eyes scanning up and down across the jacket, clicking his tongue as he thought.

    No badge. Jacket in tatters. No vest. Doesn't look like someone you know, Harry, but you ought to pay your respects.

    Harry nodded as he stood up, closing his eyes and clasping his hands together as he inclined his head to the body. After all --

    In another world, that's you on the floor and him standing over you. Your life's already complicated enough as it is, Harry. Let's not add more corpses onto the pile.

    His eyes flicked over to the wall, and he moved towards it, feeling the wetness at the bottom of his shoes where the blood on the ground was seeping in through the soles. Inside of the wall, was a notch - too small for Harry to tell whether it was a lever of some sort, or a secret of some kind.

    But his glasses had told him to mess with it.

    And you are not the sort of person, Harry, a stony voice echoed in his ears, to ignore a voice in the corner of your head.

    Maybe yes and maybe no. Harry listened, but avoided responding. With his glasses always around, it was hard enough to avoid rumors of his slipping sanity as was. If he had started to reply to the others as well...

    That'd be a step too far for most of the men and women he found himself either casually acquainted or working with. Business was slow as was outside of police cases - no need to slow it down even further.

    City's mad, Harry, not you. Never you, a woman said in a tone more reserved for the bedroom then in public. Harry could feel his neck heating up, her words enveloping around his shoulders like a coat, murders, kidnappings, and eyes. Can't escape them all, no matter how hard you try. But you, Harry? You?

    They both spoke as one, and Harry reached out a hand with a dangerous grin on his face as he groped around inside of the notch.

    You belong to us.

    "Clock's ticking, feet approaching--" he grunted as he pushed and pulled and pressed, "and I'd still kill for a cigarette and a light."

    A vice, a man said.

    A vice, a woman agreed.

    Vice was all Harry really had left. Giving it up would be like giving up a part of himself that felt like himself.

    We're in this together, Harry, she reprimanded him with a light laugh, and it felt like someone had flicked him in the forehead for a moment, disregard us as you may, but we're the only ones who would never betray you.

    Never.

    Harry waited for the notch to do whatever it was supposed to do, and pretended like he hadn't heard a thing.
    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.


  2. #42
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canadia
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    11,665
    JP Friend Code
    http://forums.nrvnqsr.com
    Blog Entries
    5
    Ichiro Sasaki
    Location: Peacemaker Labs
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)


    "HAAAAA..."

    Amidst the still-smoking ruins of Koito's room, a table has been set up. Around it, on cheap folding chairs, sit four battle-weary adults. On the table are four petri dishes. Within each petri dish is a glass beaker. Within each beaker is...

    "Haaaaa..."

    Ichiro Sasaki takes a sip of the hot drink, a pomegranate juice and vitamin cider of his own making, and lets out a sigh.

    "Ooooh... that was intense..." He tries to straighten his back, something audibly cracks, and he winces, then laughs. "We're both due for new spines, aren't we, Doctor Hermann? I hear they have good artificial bones out there now, maybe that'll do the trick! Or you could always test my new rejuvenation formula..."

    Before Bang Hermann, and indeed Koito Hasegawa and Jordan as well, are their favourite drinks. Ichiro Sasaki is renowned in his field for the quality of his work. No other scientist in the City can match his skill at designing and creating biofluids. He has made headlines for his efforts in reviving long-dead genes from near-unusable samples, a process that takes finesse, patience, and guts. Naturally, that also means he can whip up a mean cup of Joe.

    His beaker clinks against the petri dish.

    "Well... that could've been worse!"

    Ichiro sums up the situation in one go.

    "The homicidal robot has either fled or been consumed by its own flames, so this bout is a draw. Well fought, all of you! We'll get it next time! Your work room was an unfortunate casualty, Doctor Hasegawa, but at least you yourself weren't. Equipment can be replaced; a good colleague cannot! On that note, how is your head? Feel a concussion coming on? We can perform basic treatment here if needed!"

    Sasaki strokes his beard, pondering how next to proceed.

    "The room is a small setback but we can always repair it. Our efforts shall not be halted so easily! This strange cloud, though... well!"

    He surveys his colleagues, the heart of Peacemaker Labs.

    "WHAT DO YOU THINK, EVERYONE?"

  3. #43
    for me, there is (you) Katie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    the saint's temptation
    Gender
    Female
    Posts
    4,770
    Blog Entries
    1
    Four
    Location: Shi Association's Branch Office
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)


    Her head is ringing. The indiscernible voice is one thing—she’s heard enough white noise in her lifetime—but being shown a person like this was an alien experience. She winces, unfocused eyes blinking in surprise as she takes out her mask and puts it on, perhaps to hide her discomfort. She wouldn’t be alive if a mere surprise was enough to throw her off her game, but Four has never experienced anything like this.

    She doesn’t like it.

    “You just wanted to give me a taste of the reward,” Four groans as she places a hand on the katana sheathed at her side. “I—”

    “Four?”

    “Y-yes?”

    A warm hand caresses her cheek. She instinctively tenses at the contact, the crisp spring air blowing a gentle breeze.

    “Never change,” they say. Is it a command or a request? After all these years, she still doesn’t know. “You’ve got to set a good example.”

    “—refuse.”

    The errant memory fades away, a lost thought that briefly flickers in the forefront of her mind. The voice in her memories is indistinct, nondescript, and all that remains is the words. But they are etched into her mind, so they’re the most precious things she has.

    “If I wanted to see, I could have done it ages ago,” Four says with a scowl, folding her arms. Even if the price for the contract was changed, she wouldn’t take it. Something about this woman was bad news.
    Last edited by Katie; August 5th, 2022 at 04:42 PM.

  4. #44
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Velvet Room
    Age
    29
    Posts
    6,860
    Blog Entries
    5
    Kazuo Hojo
    Location: Hojo Residence
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    "Zenpou no Shiro, huh?"

    The young man lets out an impressed sounding whistle at the title, a gentle smile still on his face in spite of everything, as if he simply hadn't noticed the bizarre way the girl's aura flickers from time to time.

    "Impressive. That's a lot more interesting than what anyone calls me I'm afraid, I remain Kazuo or boy or young master no matter what I do."

    Naturally, he does actually notice it.

    He could believe a lot of things, he could believe that the family had a bunch of rumors surrounding themselves, he could believe some secret library was hiding just beneath the dojo, these things do nothing to shatter his sense of belief in the girl's words or story. However when it comes down to the treasure sword, to knowledge of the spirit of the Old Man, he can't help but feel that the idea of rumors informing it's existence to simply be...

    Suspect.

    The family guarded their secrets in the same way they guarded their bloodline, viciously and without mercy. Take into account the manner in which he had acquired the blade, the fact that it had been with him since this point, and the idea that the family would even talk about it to outsiders was, well...

    Unlikely at best.

    But in that case, how does she know?

    Well...

    Members of the main family would know, but they are gone now by his own knowledge and the girl's own insistence...

    The elders are still around, but they're the ones that are the most protective of family secrets...

    And the branch family...

    "..."

    ...Well, it could be the branch families, couldn't it? Certainly they would know, Sumire knew all about the Treasure Swords, she had been the one to retrieve his, the one who had first taught him how to use it. The siblings all had their own attendants from the branch families, personal servants, so...

    One of them would certainly know about the swords and the family history, possibly about this secret library too. but...

    Did that mean this Shiro was one? Had heard from one? Or was his mind simply wandering in the instinctive paranoia instilled from life in the Outskirts?

    There was no real way for him to say for sure, but either way... Whether strange but innocent girl, or some sort of family spy...

    He was interested in seeing what she would do either way.

    Far more interesting then sweeping the grounds.

    "A trapdoor seems like it'd be a bit too simple for them, I think they'd want something more visually impressive. Torches might be it. Or maybe some sort of literal blood-seal... Not that I know very much about the uh... Arcane arts."

    That's why his voice remains unbothered, why he can just let the girl's strangeness roll over him without giving undue worry to it.

    He'd deal with it one way or another.

    "Still, you study the Hojo family right?" He asks after a moment, glancing back at the girl as they approach the main residence. "Got any interesting stories about my siblings? After the whole Outskirts affair we didn't really keep in touch, can't say I'm not curious about what they were getting up to while I was... Away."
    Last edited by Airen; August 5th, 2022 at 07:06 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--"

  5. #45
    屍鬼 Ghoul SnowSpartan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Location
    Somewhere
    Posts
    18
    Night Rider
    Location: Inganui's Gadgetry
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    The specter in black smiles to himself quietly, and nods. She’s eager.

    Though, it does bother him that he wasn’t able to get any answers for her yet. He’ll have to make up for it next time. Until then, his partner will unfortunately have to wait a little longer. They will get those answers eventually.

    Night Rider breaks away from those thoughts. Later. For now, there’s business to attend to.

    “I find it more strange that they refused, considering you have that tracker on you. It shouldn’t have been that difficult for them to get your shipment back. That’s just negligence on their part.”

    He picks up the contract. Night Rider was fine to give Inganui this favor free of charge, the craftsman had been dealt enough of a bad hand in life as it was. A little bit of help from another unfortunate soul seemed appropriate. However, if Inganui insists on compensating Night Rider, then he won’t refuse. With surprisingly good penmanship, he signs the contract.

    It says a lot that Inganui wants to do things properly, even with Night Rider’s offer on the table.

    Putting down the contract, the specter eyes the other objects of interest Inganui presented. Those are some useful tools. Would make capturing people easier, and he’s thought of an effective way of using them.

    “Interesting. How would I activate these spider mines? How does its targeting system work?”

    He wouldn’t want to accidentally set one off on himself. It’s important to know how one’s tools work in this field before they go using them.

    “And, how do you intend for the shipment to be returned? I doubt I could ferry it all back if it’s a large shipment.”

    Night Rider stands, ready to get to work once his questions are answered. In these types of issues, it’s best to work fast before the thieves start selling the shipment and go underground. He can only chase what the tracker’s on, and if cargo gets separated then it’s unlikely Night Rider will find it.

  6. #46
    Konkon Kitsune~ Kuroyuki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Virtual Tokyo
    Posts
    1,733
    Blog Entries
    3
    Nana Senri
    Location: A Desert in the Outskirts
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)


    As I sprinted towards the center point of the two objects, I had an issue. As I got closer and closer to the two objects, it became naturally harder for me to track both objects. I could keep the fire or the smoke inside my field of view but not both at the same point in time. If I tried to reorient myself to find the other, the one I was watching would disappear and then reappear as well.

    So here I was at the top of a sand dune trying to figure out how to figure out how to get to that fire. If I could keep track of both objects or increase my field of view, it would be simple. But I couldn’t come up with a way to do that. Maybe if I had another person, then we could split the objects. A mirror? But from this faraway, I don’t think the one I had would work and I feel like it was just adding more complexity to this stupid problem.

    As I stood there, I merely sighed and decided to do something straightforward again. I was going to just walk towards the fire and see what happens. Disregard the other object and hope I just stumble on the person out here. If that failed, walk towards the smoke.

  7. #47
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Age
    29
    Posts
    595
    Night Rider
    Location: Inganui's Gadgetry
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)


    “It’s not the first time it ended up like this, but…ah, it’s probably more troublesome than some standard job. Or maybe I just did not offer enough. I’m just not too good at that kinda stuff. If only business wasn’t necessary to survive, I could just not care about it and focus on tinkering instead.”

    Another tired sigh escapes the sad little man as he scratches - or screeches - his cheek, before noting that there wasn’t much to do about it with a shrug.

    That’s just how business worked.

    Being a good craftsman was just half of it, if even that much.

    “As for the mines, well…They are always active. Though they need to have stable footing and a nearby target to trigger. Also, put the lids on their eyes, since that’s how they learn who not to target.”

    He only had to take a single glance at the mines to understand what Inganui meant by “eyes”, as he found about half dozen small red lights staring back at him.

    “Sorta wonky design. But I’m trying to improve it.”

    Wonky or not, they were certainly better than nothing, and if they did what Inganui claimed they would do, then it was likely that they could come in handy too.

    “The shipment…well, it shouldn’t be too difficult to return. Hopefully. Unless they destroyed the truck. Which would be…rather unfortunate. It was a lot of money and effort to modify. Ah, that would be awful…”

    More sighing.

    “Otherwise, you just need to make sure that the shipment is on the truck, and switch the auto-pilot back on.”

    The way he explained it, it didn’t sound exactly too difficult. Hopefully it wasn’t in practice either. If he just forgot that not everyone was quite as good with electronics and computers as he was, then it could still lead to some awkward hurdles later…

    “Anything else that you might need?” He asked as he took the now signed contract and placed it back into the safety of his drawer, “Not that I know a lot more, unfortunately. The tracker is a lot more primitive than I would like it to be.”




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

    “I-impressive? P-please, you are just being too nice,” She giggled as her face blushed slightly, “But it’s not much, really. It’s just for clarification, since otherwise I’m just Shiro.”

    It certainly could have been just that. Even if it sounded weird…realistically, weird things weren’t that unusual in the City. Though, if Kazuo learned one thing in his life, then it’s that titles in the City always had a meaning. Symbolic or literal, but there always was a meaning. At least, any titles that weren’t just there for one’s own amusement.

    Though, without anyone else’s input, most he could do was to take wild guesses.

    An activity that was unlikely to lead to any reliable results, and at best just distracted him from the matter of investigating the case of this so-called hidden library.

    Not that the lack of distraction really helped him figure where to even start with finding the secret entrance, if it even existed in the first place.

    “B-blood seal? That sounds rather ominous…”

    The girl replied to his ruminations as she stepped into the dojo as well;

    “Though…I don’t think a tradition-bearing family would turn to magic, would they? Or, like, not one that was pursuing the art of the sword, anyways.”

    Not that he knew everything about his family’s history, but at the very least, the sword spirit was certainly more of a spiritual thing, rather than magical.

    Still, as for the dojo itself…

    It’s not like it was an unfamiliar sight to Kazuo, although the girl on her side certainly seemed to be rather impressed by it. It was a pretty large building - large enough that a number of pillars had to be built to support the ceiling of the first floor, which was otherwise more or less just a single enormous room, in a sense, a perfect place for training. Sixteen pillars, to be exact, placed in a completely symmetrical, circular arrangement in the otherwise square shaped room. While there wasn’t particularly much to their decoration, each of them had a large hole at around half height around which the warm, hazel colored wood kept spiraling upwards, and through which one could see the paintings on the walls. These also doubled as candle or lantern holders, which, thanks to the spiral of wood surrounding it to direct the way of the light, never failed to create a somewhat mesmerizing atmosphere. Lastly, right above these, each pillar had the Old World Hojo family’s emblem carved and painted into them, although apparently these didn’t do much, as the girl’s first reaction was to try to push or turn these, but without any effect, much to her chagrin.

    Otherwise, the most - and only - decorated parts of the Dojo were the side walls, each of which had a pretty wide stripe in the middle painted with presumably Old World Japanese figures and historical events, depictions of battles, death and destruction, but also prospering fields and the peaceful life people of old once must have had. That, and a lot of beautifully painted letters and words of the Japanese language, although what exactly the chains of symbols were supposed to mean at times was rather ambiguous. Altogether, while rather visually pleasing, it still felt somewhat hard to relate to, even for a member of the family, considering the huge disconnect between the Old World and the City.

    That was most there was to it, though. There didn’t seem to be hidden buttons, or even just things in general that stuck out of the walls or the pillars. It would have been impossible for there to be anything behind the walls too, considering that most of them were facing outside. And if there was anything below the floor…Well, at the very least, there weren’t really any obvious dents or breaks in the pattern or anything that could indicate the presence of any sort of a trapdoor.

    “Yeah, I do!” The girl answered Kazuo’s question in the meantime, “I learned a lot about your family’s history, like, Old World stuff, though…as I said, books can be unreliable. Like, they can be right, but when they don’t come directly from, in this case, a Hojo, or someone related, then there is no guarantee that it’s real. Not all that different from rumors, in that sense, even if it’s still pretty interesting stuff.”

    Yeah, she already mentioned those kinds of “scammers”.

    “As for your generation, hmm…”

    Apparently trying to remember something, the girl rubbed her chin, then, after a few moments of contemplation, she turned to look at Kazuo.

    “Well, I know how they died.”

    Those empty eyes. And the smile. The smile that disappeared from her face just a bit too late, as her expression turned more sympathetic before she spoke up again.

    “There was a lot of fuss about it. I think they picked a fight with the wrong people or something, but like…I don’t really know much about that. Maybe the authorities would know, though like, I don’t remember any news about the culprit being caught, so…But that’s not a particularly cheerful topic anyways.”

    That she was kind of right about, though…

    Why did the way she delivered that information feel so weird again?

    “Hmm…”

    And now, again, as if nothing even happened, she just felt like a perfectly normal, enthusiastic girl, as she busied herself with the pillars once more, this time, trying to see if there was anything to the candle holders.

    Still, as his gaze shifted from the girl, he inevitably caught a glimpse of the wall through the hole of the pillar. The symbols that were written on it, which usually didn’t make too much sense to him. Except, the hole in the pillar took just a few of them out of the context, and isolated them, so that the observer would inevitably read them on their own.

    北条 時政

    Wasn’t that…

  8. #48
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Age
    29
    Posts
    595
    Aisha Asakawa
    Location: Aisha's Apartment
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    “B-but, children do not just turn out whatever, they are shaped by the influence of their caretakers. So if you are a bad girl, then I’m clearly a bad caretaker too…”

    While the sobbing didn’t immediately end, it did seem like the nun calmed down a bit after some time, and she eventually lifted her head to look up at Aisha.

    “S-still, if you think you can fix things, then…I guess not everything is lost yet.”

    And wiped a tear out of the corner of her eye, as a faint smile appeared on her face.

    “I must have made things harder for you, but I suppose I’ll just need to believe in you!”

    A…sort of a conclusion, at least?

    “Anyways, right, the disappearances! That’s what I came to talk about in the first place!”

    And finally, after hours of clearing and a catastrophe that was just barely avoided, the conversation was back on track.

    “As I mentioned, the detective was supposedly staying at the Sweet Dreams hotel! If you go there in the evening, you might be able to find them there. I think they were called…Err…Au…Aurora?”

    She sounded rather unsure, which likely meant that she actually had no clue about what the detective’s name was. Especially considering that Aurora really would have been a rather weird name to begin with.

    “Well, if you ask at the hotel, I’m sure they will know immediately. Just, try to be nice. You know, first impressions mean a lot, and if you present yourself as a nice and well-mannered girl, then they will likely be a lot more open to talk and cooperate with you. Which is to say, you should also take a bath and dress up nicely. A stinky girl with pizza crust and cheese in their hair is a no-no for public appearances.”

    S-stinky?

    “I can wash your hair and your back, if you want. You liked it a lot when you were smaller, though…”

    For a moment, she quietly eyed the young girl from top to bottom, almost like how a mother would assess how much their child they have not seen for so long has grown.

    “You are certainly starting to look more like a mature lady now, rather than the mischievous kid that you were just not long ago.”

    What was that even supposed to mean? And how did this woman always manage to stray from the topic in just a blink of an eye?

  9. #49
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Age
    29
    Posts
    595
    John Hong
    Location: Aoi's Office, SanPol HQ
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    “Naturally. They are all from the same office. They couldn’t provide a proper report on the first incident, but some clear patterns seem to show for the ones after that. Like how the officer that was sent to look into that case was the next to disappear. Then a group of three to investigate that case. Then a pair, and the list goes on."

    A moment of silence as Aoi shuffled through some papers, and took another draw at her cigarette.

    "Of course, there are some outsiders too. Mostly connected to the incidents themselves, rather than exact locations. Other detectives who tried to solve the same cases. Some other casualties, likely people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Then, there is a detectable change in the patterns, where the culprit starts going after any member of the office, regardless of the cases the members are assigned to. Supposedly, this includes the Fixer office they are often working alongside too, although this needs confirmation.”

    She flips the paper she was looking at, then puts it back on the stack, and pushes it to the side.

    “Really sloppy paperwork, unfortunately. Was this the work of our officers and administrations…well, they would no longer be working here.”

    She let out a deep sigh.

    The first actual sign of the woman having any emotions, even if it really was only just an expression of her dissatisfaction.

    “Of all the people that disappeared, they’ve only managed to find a handful too. Accidentally, at that, regarding some other case. It was just a bunch of bodies dumped into some deep hole under the cellar of a warehouse. Nothing else they could find around that location, though.”

    Seemingly done with her explanation, the woman stubbed out her cigarette in the tray on her table. Fortunately, for sure, considering how there was starting to be just a bit too much smoke in the room.

    “That’s why an intervention from our end is likely just necessary. Case is not progressing anywhere otherwise, and at this rate hundreds will die. So we’ll go in, see what we can find out, and get back-up depending on how things turn out. I know a reliable Fixer office there, so it should be simple enough.”

    Nothing about this case sounded simple, to be fair.

    “You might want to pack some things, unless you are ready as you are. I can pick you up then, and we can head out, if that is fine with you.”




    Jalen Maliit Salvador
    Location: Jalen's Safehouse
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    “Crib?”

    Quite unfazed by the shouting and finger pointing, the girl tilted her head slightly to the side as she looked back at the man with a hint of confusion in her eyes.

    “I see. A small bed for babies with bars on the sides for protection. This crib seems rather large though. Does that make you a big baby then? How interesting.”

    It was hard to tell what was more confusing. That she had no idea what a crib was, that she could pull that description out of nowhere and successfully make the correlation when there were no actual similarities to begin with, or that she practically just roasted the man with a straight face without even being aware of the deed.

    “I seem to have no information regarding this shooting though. As you might be aware I came to consciousness 3 minutes 11 seconds and 329 milliseconds ago. That is my entire history with you, so I can only recall events that happened during that time period.”

    However, the more she talked the more it seemed like that the meaning of crib wasn’t the only thing she was not aware of, and that she was just rather weird in general.

    “As for information about my identity…The questions do not seem to overstep any boundaries. Answering in order. The numbers…Tattooed? The identifier on my body is my name. The main purpose of the bracelets is to establish a magnetic connection with my traveling base to keep my body in place. A protective measure, so to speak. Lastly, what you call a package is my traveling base.”

    She tilted her head in the opposite direction, with her curious gaze still locked on Jalen.

    “If you find those answers sufficient, then I would like to repeat my own queries. Who are you? Do you require any help? How did you end up here? Additionally, I would like to extend my queries, and ask if this shooting you mentioned is relevant to the current events. Also, if you would allow me to enter your crib. The signals I am receiving from my legs are alarming me of a growing numbness in them.”

  10. #50
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Where Lilies Bloom
    Posts
    961
    Aisha Asakawa
    Location: Aisha's Apartment
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)


    Loudly retorting 'I'm not a child anymore, I can take a shower by myself fine!' is what Aisha very nearly did, but of course, she isn't going to shout at Hanaelle right after what they've just discussed. No, she should probably show some tact and turn her down in a more reasonable manner, one that perhaps, is dictated more by logic than her emotions. Indeed, the very small nature of this apartment here comes to her aid once more!

    Hanaelle talking about the olden days alas, has made Aisha's face flush red. The mention of these past events were sufficient for Aisha to vividly recollect how happy and relaxed she was, when Hanaelle would nicely scrub her back and brush her hair.

    'Ah, why did she talk about that!? I want to die... I can't believe I was fine with that back then...'

    Aisha averts her gaze for a while, thinking it'd be better if she just looked away so that she wouldn't have to see Hanaelle eyeing her, or be forced to remember even more embarrassing memories. Well, that doesn't stop her from hearing, but not looking at someone helps to clear one's mind and thoughts... and besides, totally shutting herself off from the conversation would be too rude, for Aisha's standards.

    "There's barely enough room to fit one person in this shower, and I am perfectly able to clean myself... but if you want you can do my hair after."

    Ah yes, compromises, the unfortunate thing you often have to do in negotiations.

    "I'm... going to dress up as if I'm going for work anyways."

    In short, she'd put on her usual Fixer outfit. With Hanaelle having not only ironed it earlier, but hanging it out on the clothesline so it could get some fresh air and sunlight, that set of clothes was probably as good as new.

    "Right if you'll excuse me..."

    The longer she stayed at this table the more she was at risk of Hanaelle going on a tangent or bringing up another disorderly facet of Aisha's life. Yes, it could be an endless spiral, leading to nothing done for the day. Acknowledging the dangers at risk, Aisha got up from the table and hurriedly made her way to the shower, trying to leave as little time for Hanaelle to say anything.

  11. #51
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    I'll go to sleep soon.
    Posts
    6,779
    Blog Entries
    71
    Johnny Concord
    Location: A Bar in the Outskirts
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    Grabbing both the tracker and the bottle of whiskey, Johnny frowned at the former and grinned at the latter.

    "Oo, Fireball huh? You know me too well, Courier," he cackled a bit. "It's funny, actually. You'd think desert would be hot all day long, but nope. Come night-time and it's as cold as gambler's ass after a losing streak. This'll be a nice pick-me up for the road. Hell, when it comes to partners, this is what I prefer."

    Saying that, the tall man stood up and stuffed the bottle within his massive mantle as well. He fixed the cape on his shoulders, stretched a bit - almost like a massive redtree that groaned in the hurricane winds of the wasteland, and let out a satisfied sigh as some joint or other in his back let out a quiet pop. Then he scratched his scruffy beard and grimaced, mostly to himself. After all, while he was the type to punch first ask questions later, he wasn't a fool... and if Hermes of all people went out of his way to give him pointers on a mission, he knew he'd have to pay attention.

    In other words...

    "... But fine. Guess I'll go meet this mystery person. Hopefully they have a bone to pick with That Guy as big as yours truly, or we might get out of synch," the redhead grunted, finally relenting. "I mean, it's not like I really need someone to pull my ass out of the fire anyways."

    Turning around, he glanced over his shoulder at Hermes and flashed a bestial grin.

    "--- I am the fire, after all."

    And with that, he took his first step towards the saloon doors.

    "But... I ain't a guy to deny anyone their chance to get even. And if you say it's wiser to meet up, then I'm gonna refer to that wiseness. It's not like you ever give bad advice," he added while walking. "Though if this thing turns out to be bust, or that partner turns out to be more trouble than they're worth, I'll have you buy the next round or twelve. Just so you know."

    Finally reaching the doors, Johnny kicked them open with ease, revealing the dusty landscape and the scorching sun outside - along with the distant sights of the flowing dunes and bone-bleached sand.

    "Anyways, ping me with the coordinates when you can. I'll get on the road."

    As he said that, the red-haired bounty hunter hopped onto his steed that was waiting outside, settling onto the saddle and grabbing hold of the reigns. Then he took out the tracker and gazed towards the direction it was pointing.

    "Oh and Hermes...?"

    Well, that was rare.

    Johnny was never liked to use people's real names.

    "Thanks, man. I owe you, big time."

    And with that, he flicked on the petcock, pushed down the clutch and hit down the kick starter with one swift move.

    And thus did the beast known as Ace of Hearts come alive with a massive roar that shook the desert...!

  12. #52
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Age
    29
    Posts
    595
    Zinn
    Location: Voynich Hotel's Bar
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    "Ahahah!"

    The man threw his head back as he broke into another bellowing laughter, with one hand on his stomach as the other held his cigar.

    "I like your style, green man! So I guess I won’t regret giving you a bone to chew on. Just try not to crack it too fast with those huge ass chompers!”

    He said as he gestured towards Zinn’s tusks with his cigar before he took another draw on it.

    “Now, I’m sure that you’ve heard about that big ole’ skyscraper in District 16, right? Or maybe not. It’s known for wanting not to be known, after all. See…that skyscraper is known to some as the Oldest House. It ain’t just some fancy name though, and it ain’t just a simple old house. No, it’s called that because it’s been there long before the City. It’s why the City was built here. A natural attractor, while also a natural sneaky bastard. Hell, some crazies think that the mudball we are on formed where it did because of the Oldest House. But I’m not quite ancient enough to confirm that.”

    Those were some big words being thrown around.

    Though, it didn’t really seem like the man was lying.

    Which meant that he was either right, or believed that he was right but altogether was perhaps just a bit crazy.

    “I could talk more about the small stuff, but I’d probably be finishing my sixth cigar by the time I would not even be halfway done. So long story short…That place potentially holds some crazy secrets. Which I for sure would be interested in finding out more about, and I hope that I managed to pique your curiosity as well, if just a bit. Though of course, if walking in there was all that easy, then I would not be here. But that place is like a big juicy onion. It’s full of layers. Like that outer one, which is already efficient enough that the majority of the people, even those who walk past it on a daily basis, never even realize that it’s there.”

    As if remembering something he found amusing, the man leaned back and chuckled quietly, taking a moment to just watch the smoke from their cigars slowly drift upwards before speaking up again.

    “The second layer is just as good as the first. See, even when you can somehow find and walk into the building, you just find yourself in a completely normal office. So normal and so convincing, your mind just inevitably believes that that is all there is to it. Speaking from personal experience. Took me a long ass time to realize how the place made an actual clown outta me, but I did eventually. Now, see, this is why it takes a whole lotta effort to peel the layers of this damn onion, no matter how you go about it. That’s why I just said, fuck this onion, and fuck peeling its layers.”

    Last words he articulated so strongly that spit flew out his mouth as he threw one of his hands into the air, giving the fictional onion the middle finger. While the ash that fell on the bar counter as a result earned a rather sullen look from Beluna, she quickly cleaned it off with a towel, and an apologetic look from the man was just enough to make it be water under the bridge as well.

    “Anyhow, that’s when I discovered that you can be a lot more efficient about it. All you need is to find the correct spot on the onion, and have the correct tool to pierce through that spot. And there, you can carve out a small enough hole that you can pass through straight to the core. That’s where these, and where you come into play.”

    After reaching into the pocket of his coat, he pulled out a large, and rather heavy looking golden coin - or rather, plate. Around the edges, the coin was filled with small crystals, though it was hard to tell what exactly those were. More importantly though, the plate had a small, circular hole in the middle which extended in four directions in a line, with each of these branches having weird ridges and cuts to them. Sort of like something that a really strangely shaped key would fit into…except that it would have meant that the key also had four sides.

    “This…is one of the locks that you need to build the gate. There are five of them, and they fit onto the key in a specific order, which is at a certain location of the building. Once the gate is built and is unlocked, one can take a glimpse of the true reality of the Oldest House. Not that many are even aware of what these things are. Most just think that it’s valuable because of the way it looks, and cling to it like idiots.”

    Another amused laugh escaped him as he pocketed the strange item once more.

    “Unfortunately, it’s a tad too hard for me to collect all these, even if the ones holding onto them are really just a bunch of fools. Which is why I’m offering information in exchange for your skills. Which may just come in more handy than you’d think.”

  13. #53
    Don't @ me if your fanfic doesn't even have Shirou/Illya shipping k thnx ItsaRandomUsername's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    The Night of Wallachia
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    27,375
    JP Friend Code
    083945095
    US Friend Code
    NA? More like N/A!
    Blog Entries
    42
    Zinn
    Location: Voynich Hotel's Bar
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)




    "The Oldest House, huh?"

    I sip. It burns. It tastes like money.

    That name, that place is both familiar, and not. Obviously, by design, if my enthusiastic guest's beans are worth the salt he's canned them in. I didn't even know if I'd heard of his mark until now, and now I can't shake the thought like it's a bad penny that won't leave my poor innocent wallet alone. It's squatting in my head, living in my walls. Like a stubborn virus, I can't sic no software on it and evict its ass from my premises. Did this guy slip me an infohazard roofie mixed in amongst my drinks?

    —It's probably benign. I'd be a hot-pants liar if I said I'm not a teensy-bit snoopy. End of the day, I'm a P.I. as much as I am a ringside warrior, even if I'd rather be maining the latter moreso than the former. That's just the sorta world we live in, and legal tender ain't the only kinda money that makes this world go 'round.

    Is my friend going on about conducting some sort of industrial espionage? Not necessarily, I come to realize. I keep in my lane, but that doesn't mean I don't hear things from time to time. If I remember right, then District 16 is a bittofa boom town right now, in terms of the real science-y stuff.

    ...The Oldest House.

    I've had my share of spooks. Not enough to claim expertise on the occult. When it comes to that tier of schmaltz, I know to pass the buck to the real supernatural eggheads. In a way, the Oldest House reminds me ever so somewhat of my own haunt, this very Voynich Hotel. I doubt they can well n' truly compare, scale-wise, but there may be some involved transferrable skills that I picked up, developed living here I can wield while and if I'm on this job.

    "District 16. P Corp... Yer playin' wit fire, my dude. But, it ain't like my default state don't respect the concept o' ambition. There's gold in them hills - ya oughta pan for it while y'can."

    As for item location, I've done it before,
    I'll do it in the future,
    and I'll do it now.
    That much, at least, is pretty standard dickslinging. The prize this time just-so happens to be way more luxurious, supposedly.

    I still don't know an awful lot about an awful lot of this. I do understand the need for confidentiality, though. Especially in a bubble. If I'm lucky, I'll be privy to good info, good contacts. If I'm even luckier, once I've done my fair share, my benefactor will stay shadowy and signal boost me and my wrestling fed, keeping mum enough on my involvement in this venture that no average Joe can easily keen me. Might be hard and all, fundamentally-speaking, given my flashy appearance, but I reckon they weighed their options and figured they could use what I can bring to the table.

    I gotta keep my eyes peeled and my nose clean.

    "Talk yer talk. ...and if ya give Zinn Mulhskarl sum deets n' sum names and I'mma do what I gotta do."
    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.



  14. #54
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Age
    29
    Posts
    595
    Anya
    Location: Blood Matrix Hideout
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    A few moments passed in an awkward silence before the door to the office finally opened up with a creak, and a tall man walked in to stand some distance away from Anya and greet her with a bow.

    “My apologies, Anya. They were just curious, but so was I, so instead of setting them straight I just ended up listening as well.”

    He bowed again, more deeply this time.

    “We heard that someone kidnapped Iori. Do you know who it is, boss? What are we going to do about it, boss?”

    As the man spoke, he bumped his fists into each other and cracked his knuckles threateningly. He was clearly just as annoyed about the situation as Anya was, even though he only knew that one of their comrades was kidnapped. Except, he was also really bad at hiding his emotions.

    “Smash some skulls and teach them a lesson, right? Show those fools that they can’t just mess with our gang, and especially not with Anya the Blood Omen.”

    It was quite obvious that the man was rather simple minded. Was already obvious back when Anya recruited him, but at the same time, it wasn’t always necessary for one to be a genius to be able to get around, especially when they had a more than capable leader to work under.

    “Just say the word and we are ready to go to war. It might be more difficult without Iori, but we just need to be that much stronger to make up for her absence.”

    Besides, those who did not think too much usually made for the most loyal followers.

    “Though…I guess we need to know where to go. But they revealed their location, right? Only a coward would hide after picking a fight openly.”

    However, the more he spoke, the more it became obvious that they didn’t hear quite as much of the recorded message as one would have assumed. In fact, by the looks of it, they only caught tiny bits and pieces of it, with the most important parts just outright eluding them.

    Still, it also presented Anya with two different choices, and a really important decision to make. One that she would have to make soon, and which would likely greatly affect how things turned out.

    That is, whether she was going to play by the mysterious woman’s rules…or if she was going to resort to a more direct and straightforward approach. Both options were far from optimal, and neither of them had any guarantees. Certainly a rather problematic situation she ended up finding herself in…




    Johnny Concord
    Location: A Bar in the Outskirts
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    “Don’t be too hard on me pal,” Hermes chuckled as he scratched the back of his head, “Job’s a mystery. Lot more guesswork than usual. Besides, my budget is too tight to cover your tab were you to get free drinks.”

    Then, as he followed Johnny outside the bar and leaned against the wooden wall that almost felt to be gleaming in the sun, his expression got more serious for a moment.

    “You owe me nothing, anyways. Least we can do is help one another, and it’s in all our interest that bastards like this get what’s coming to them. Anyhow, laters, Johnny.”

    A gesture that was somewhere between a salute and bidding farewell later, the crimson beast under Johnny roared to life, and he was off towards his next destination. He could still see from the rearview mirror as Hermes leisurely walked back into the building, but by then he, and soon after the bar too, was already just a small dot that could barely be distinguished from its surroundings.

    Johnny Concord

    Location: Outskirts (???)
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    The ride was peaceful, if somewhat monotonous. Not a sign of life, no human nor monster was in sight, and the wasteland that just went on all the same for what felt to be an eternity reminded Johnny of just how vast the world that surrounded the City was.

    Too vast, even, as the feeling of being the only living being in such a large area was arguably even more unnerving than always having to watch one’s back.

    Well, not that one didn’t need to do just that here as well. After all, one was never truly safe in the wilderness.

    Still, a long ride later, the tracker seemed to indicate that he was finally getting close to his destination.

    And then, that he arrived.

    It was weird, considering how he was still just in the middle of nowhere, with no buildings or anything of that sort in sight. At least, that’s what he thought, until he took a better look around. Which was when he noticed the weird hatch half buried in the sand that seemed to lead nowhere. He could literally see the ground, and even more sand, on its other side.

    Was difficult to even call it a hatch, or a door, in that sense. A door would usually lead somewhere, but the only place this rectangular metal frame lead to was the ground right behind it.

    That is, until Johnny remembered.

    It must have been one of those things, right?

    That extended space thing. Port-a-Home, or Portable Home, is what they’d usually call it.

    Which meant that he was likely supposed to jump in there.

    How would his bike even get in?

    He’d have to ask. If this was even the place to begin with.

    Though—

    Ah.

    Just as he was about to make up his mind, someone hopped out of the hatch, and landed right next to him.


    “Oh wow. Just as I was about to pack up and call it a day.”


    It was a short girl. A very short girl. And altogether, rather fragile looking. Was a bit hard to tell, but the man was quite sure that his arm was thicker than her legs.

    “Are you Hermes’ guy then? Or just some random nerd looking for a beating?”

    Yet, she was definitely trying her best to look rather intimidating.

  15. #55
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Velvet Room
    Age
    29
    Posts
    6,860
    Blog Entries
    5
    Kazuo Hojo
    Location: Hojo Residence
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    "...Well, I suppose trying to throw around your power in a place like the City can be dangerous."

    The fate of his siblings was something that didn't bother him particularly much, partially because he had known they were dead for awhile now, but mostly because he had simply never connected with any them to any meaningful degree. His early years were a haze of colors and sounds, the distorted, broken memories of someone who considered the Outskirts far, far more of a home than the City in which he had been born, more so than this dojo even, although the faint haze of nostalgic memory does become a strange undercurrent from time to time, still...

    "Power has a tendency to make you reckless. Convinces you that you're invincible, then you take all sorts of risks because you think it won't backfire on you... So it being something like that doesn't surprise me, not really..."

    It's a little sad yes, but death was death, it has a habit of taking you the moment you let your guard down. Whether it was because of a divine prank from some sort of uncaring deity or simply the cruel realities of hubris didn't matter, if you bet it all on power and then didn't have enough power to back it up, well...

    "..."

    He shakes his head, resisting the urge to sigh aloud to himself; things were as they were regardless, and as for the strangeness of the girl's words, well...

    She was doing it enough now that he didn't pay it any more mind than his usual style, keeping a casual eye on everyone and everything in a room with him was something he did naturally, something Sumire had taught him to do in the Outskirts. Getting caught off guard by someone is often death of course, but that's not the only reason why you should pay attention to the things around you...

    The World tells all sorts of stories if you're willing to pay attention to it. Footprints in snow or grass, whispered conversations in out of the way corners, or people simply being people and doing as people do, trying to figure out the life story of a stranger from afar can be quite entertaining and inspiring, a number of martial arts moves were created through the art of observing others after all, so-

    "..."

    -his gaze, landing on a certain set of symbols, cuts his thoughts short for a moment.

    北条 時政

    Hōjō Tokimasa


    He moves towards the marks slowly, refusing to move above his casual pace (after all, he isn't really in any sort of hurry to solve this particular puzzle) as he reaches out a hand to trace the symbols, an unconscious sort of tenderness in his touch, like he was afraid something might break or stain if he pushed on it too hard.

    It's certainly the name of their Legendary Ancestor, first Shikken of the Hojo Clan and the original wielder of the Old Man...

    Actually...

    Now that he thought about it...

    Hey, Old Timer.

    He thinks to himself, words echoing throughout the entirety of his mind, a mind of trained silence, serenity that the Old Man had taught him to maintain...

    You think they'd turn you into some sort of key?

    The blade was a family regalia after all, so even if they didn't use magic per say, the sword itself might be necessary to opening the door...

    If it exists at all anyway.
    Last edited by Airen; August 8th, 2022 at 10:18 AM.
    Exodus (Complete)

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

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

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

    Because of you.

    Please, remember it warmly.

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




    Mugen No Sekai

    "The Illusion Incomplete Memories Produce Are,

    Fleeting, Disappearing into the Future,

    Until the Ruins of Yesterday Overflow,

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

  16. #56
    The Dragon of Dojima MssrNeko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Kamurocho
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    2,580
    John Hong
    Location: Aoi's Office, SanPol HQ
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)


    “Sure, I need to grab a few things,” John says standing up from his chair. He assures her that he will return after an hour of preparation.

    With a wave, an irritated nose, and his hat retrieved John exits the cramped hazy room. He rushes past the many officers and workers milling around doing their work. His reputation and dark look scare the lower rank and paper pushers and they give him a wide berth.

    A rush of fresh air caressed John’s face as he exits the automatic doors of the SanPol Headquarters. John clears his chest with some deep breaths as he walks down the street. The late lunch rush and afternoon shift change busied the walkways but John quickly found his way down a scant alleyway.

    District Nine’s routine sanitary systems kept the nooks and crannies litter free and clean. The alleyway is a great example of the cleaning process and would be a prime location for vagrancy if there weren’t laws against it. John runs his palm across a section of the building wall, feeling for any obstructions.

    “No place like home,” he wryly says reaching into his coat pocket.

    ----

    An hour and some change passed, and John is waiting in the SanPol entrance lobby.

    Packing was not a long issue, so John grabbed lunch before returning to the HQ. Now here he is skimming mindlessly through a tabloid magazine. It should not be long until Officer Hana arrives.


    Spoiler:

  17. #57
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    I'll go to sleep soon.
    Posts
    6,779
    Blog Entries
    71
    Johnny Concord
    Location: Outskirts (???)
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    .... What's with this sassy lost child?

    For a moment, Johnny could only stare in blank amazement of sorts as the tiny person started such a barrage of hostility the moment she emerged from her port-a-home. It felt a bit like he'd been suckerpunched, completely blindsided... but not that hard all things considered? Nothing really hurt. It was more like a verbal pummeling made with absolute noodle arms. So, in other words, it was more about the absolute audacity and shamelessness of such actions.

    Was it annoying? Perhaps. Maybe a bit endearing? Possibly.

    But mostly it was just...

    "...... Pffft!"

    Pretty hilarious.

    Turning his head to the side in a hasty attempt to not let the girl see and make her ire grow even more, Johnny weighed his options. Sure, this was a bit... unexpected. The only bounty hunters that really focused their attention to the outskirts tended to be big guys like him. Ones that didn't mind camping under the stars and flying monsters. Sure, port-a-home might have balanced some of those problems but still...

    ... Was she a city-slicker? Someone more familiar with the area? It was hard to tell yet.

    Though Hermes had looked pretty sure that she'd be useful...

    Hmm... what to do...?

    Ah, to hell with it.

    "Yeah, that'd be me," Johnny finally replied, having made up his mind... and put on his poker face once more. "I take it you're the contact Hermes wanted me to catch up with? I mean..."

    He showed the beeping tracker.

    "... Can't imagine why else this'd be pointing at you, kid."

    Leaning over the handlebars of his motorcycle, Johnny then cocked an eyebrow at her.

    "Though he didn't even say who was coming? Sheez, that Hermes... always leaves things just awkward enough," he continued and sighed a little, before scratching the back of his head. "A'ight, kid - listen. The name's..."

    He slammed his fist to his chest.

    He then grinned, shamelessly.

    "About as far from nerd as you can get."

  18. #58
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Age
    29
    Posts
    595
    Nana Senri
    Location: A Desert in the Outskirts
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    When one straightforward strategy fails to solve a problem, just resort to another.

    It really was that simple.

    After all, when one doesn’t have to worry much about eating and drinking, is used to running a small marathon and has all the time in the world, what exactly could go wrong with just blind experimentation?

    It was, in a sense, basic science.

    Do, see, and learn.

    An explanation she could find perfectly satisfying as she started running towards the fire. And boy, she was so eager to see what was going to happen.

    She got closer and closer, not letting anything distract her from her target, and as she could make the fire out more and more clearly, her anticipation just grew. Then…it happened.

    That is, what happened is that nothing happened, which was already unusual. The fire in front of her seemed like a completely ordinary fire, except that it did not seem to produce any smoke. That, and the fact that it was literally just out in the middle of nowhere, with no other signs of literally anything around it. Of course, the breeze that was slowly but surely covering up any sort of tracks of marks left on the ground with sand again meant that no such clues would remain visible for too long. In fact, she was sure that if she looked back now, she likely would not even see her own footsteps anymore.

    Though, how exactly could a fire stay unaffected then…?

    It was something she wanted to find out, and something she indeed did rather quickly, as it only took a brief touch to realize what exactly was wrong with the fire.

    It was not real.

    Her hand passed through it as if it was simply just air, although the image did seem to glitch out in a sense, as it couldn’t quite adapt to the sudden change. However, once Nana pulled her hand back, the image too returned to normal, as if nothing even happened.

    Certainly quite frustrating.

    Still, there was something else that Nana noticed as well.

    That is, when she looked at the fire and the image somehow lined up with the image of the smoke some distance away from her…

    She got the feeling that it was how the image was meant to be. A fire with smoke. Not just a fire, or just smoke, without the other.




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

    “Hm? You asked for a voice sample and a description of their personality and what they looked like. I thought that this was the easiest way to show that, since I do not have fancy voice recording devices, and describing it in such detail would take much longer. I apologize if this miscommunication led to something unpleasant on your end.”

    Four couldn’t quite see the woman’s expression, but based on her voice at least, it didn’t feel like she was lying. There was no change in her tone, not even a moment of hesitation, just the same calmth and confidence as before.

    “Of course, returning your sight was just the first example that came to mind. I heard that you weren’t particularly fond of changing your biological body, so a similar option that would have allowed you to stick to that principle sounded like a good solution in my head. Really, it would be the same as the natural changes that your body inevitably goes through year after year, no matter what you do.”

    It seemed like she didn’t give up yet, despite Four’s rather obvious statement. Though, she wasn’t trying all that hard to convince her either. Perhaps she understood that Four’s beliefs wouldn’t be all that easy to shake…

    “I’m rather flexible regarding the payment anyways. Of course, I can’t really do anything if you happen to refuse the request either, if that’s what your words were referring to. It would be quite sad, of course. I wanted one of the best for the job, as I said. You, specifically.”

    There was a hint of disappointment in her voice, but after a very emphasized shrug that clearly conveyed something along the lines of “not much can be done about it, I suppose”, she already seemed to be over it.

    “Though I can always settle with less optimal candidates too, even if that means a higher chance of failure. Perhaps I can try my luck with your colleagues. I don’t mind waiting for them to return. That’s what you have this lobby for, I reckon.”




    Ichiro Sasaki
    Location: Peacemaker Labs
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    “I wish, but you know I can’t just do that,” answered the white haired man as he tried to stretch his body, which instead let out rather alarming sounding pops and cracks, “What if there will be a way to revert my body back to its original state? All that artificial shit will be just all over the place inside me, and I don’t want to wake up with steel rods and cables sticking out of me. Now that would be a nightmare, and I say that as someone who just found themselves in this wrinkly ancient body in the blink of an eye.”

    A particularly loud pop of his joints left the man groaning as he hobbled over to the desk to sit down and get a taste of Ichiro’s super juice. All those vitamins were bound to do a whole lot of good to such a haggard body…

    “M-m-my head is fine!”

    It seemed that as the emergency situation passed and everyone had a moment to calm down, Koito returned to her usual behavior as well.

    That is, that she just became overly conscious about social interactions, and even now was blushing faintly despite the fact that she only had a rather simple question to answer.

    “I-I have a pretty thick skull! I used to fall down the stairs all the time back at home, s-so my body just grew accustomed to taking a beating! B-besides, this wasn’t even as bad as when the turbo I built for my fan during the summer sent me flying out the window…”

    One could only wonder how this girl was still alive.

    “A-anyways, the cloud! What cloud? Did that piece of junk leave something behind? I-I swear, I’m just going to g-gut it next time so that it will never leave the operating table again.”

    The menacing look in her eyes certainly didn’t foreshadow any good for her eventual next “patient”.

    “Nha, it’s the incident I mentioned earlier. That weird smoke at that factory.”

    “That thing that mutated people into monsters?” Asked Bang in response to Jordan’s words as he leaned back in his chair, “I swear, so much weirdness is happening as of late. Now just wait before it turns out that it’s an actual experiment, and not just an incident.”

    “T-that’s just frightening as f-fuck! I wouldn’t want to go anywhere near that! Like, what if protective equipment doesn’t work? W-would make for a rather anticlimactic suicide. Though at least I wouldn’t have to witness someone beating my mutated ass.”

    Her concerns, in a sense, felt rather real. They didn’t know much about the smoke, except that it appeared to be quite lethal against a being’s mind and identity. Could they just walk in and rely on their protective equipment? The random antidotes? Whatever else they could find in the lab?

    Of course, not going just meant that they would never unravel any of it. They’d just have to rely on others, and second-hand stuff was never quite the same as just eliminating any sort of middle man…

    “Well, I’m kinda curious,” said Jordan as he lit another cigarette, “If the boss wants to check it, I wouldn’t say no to it. If it ends up spreading, it would be cool to have some sort of a protection against that shit at least.”

  19. #59
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Age
    29
    Posts
    595
    Kazuo Hojo
    Location: Hojo Residence
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    [I’m not a key, boy, I’m a sacred spirit residing in thy blade.]

    The booming, somewhat grumpy sounding response took Kazuo by surprise for but a fraction of a second - though, of course, by now he was quite used to the unusual presence traveling along with him.

    [The blade could be, for what I know. Just try not to stick it into random places. Use that brain of yours first.]

    What was there to think about here, though…?

    The symbols seemed just the same from close up as they did from afar. There was nothing particularly interesting about the wall around it, either. No matter how Kazuo traced the symbol with his fingers or how he tried to find any tiny irregularities, there just didn’t seem to be anything unusual about it at all.

    Still, he was certain that it meant something. So at least, it was best to remember this small detail.

    Hōjō Tokimasa.

    The first shikken of the Kamakura shogunate from the Hōjō clan.

    Yes, even after reading it a second time, it still sounded quite important.

    “Oh, did you find something?”

    The girl’s sound that suddenly broke the silence reminded him that he wasn’t alone.

    And as he glanced back, he noticed her standing at the pillar that he previously looked through.

    “O-ooh! A name!” She squinted, her eyes now clearly on the same symbols Kazuo noticed earlier, “Hojo To…Tokimasa? I heard about him! Wasn’t he the first regent from the Hojo clan back in the Old World?”

    It seemed that she was aware of that as well, although, unfortunately, she couldn’t really say anything new that would have helped him to get any closer to the solution.

    “Hmm…”

    Though, it looked like she had some sort of an idea, as she hurried over to the next pillar, and peered through it as well…

    “Hmmmm……”

    Except, the fact that someone with her enthusiasm didn’t immediately cry out in excitement after finding another clue, he was quite certain that she didn’t find anything.

    “Gosh, and it sounded like such a good idea too…”

    Which seemed to just outright bum her out now.

    Still, something that he noticed was that even while he was to the side of the pillar behind which the girl was standing, he could still see part of her face through the hole on it. Only part of it, though - quite different from when she was standing behind the other pillar, where he could see her straight from the front.

  20. #60
    アカシャの蛇 The Serpent of Akasha RacingeR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Age
    30
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    11,669
    Blog Entries
    1
    Anya
    Location: Blood Matrix Hideout
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    As she listened to what her subordinate had to say, Anya finished preparing the second cup of tea, and pushed it to the other end of her desk.

    “Here, take a seat and have a cup of tea.” She said, before also pushing a small cup atop a saucer towards him as well. The smaller cup had a red liquid within that was, very clearly, blood. “If you want some, feel free to add it.” Anya said with a hopeful note to her voice.

    It always baffled her that none of her subordinates liked blood with their tea. She herself found the combination to be rather tasty, but nobody else seemed to agree with her. There’d been that pleasant District 23 fellow who had contracted the Blood Matrix for a transportation job. That’d been the only one who had appreciated that fine taste.

    Then again, Anya didn’t seem to comprehend that few of her subordinates were the type to drink tea, and most of them only did because their boss offered…

    “No, I have no idea of who it was, Harlem.” She said, returning to the matter at hand. “Unless you can recognize who this woman is or who she belongs to.”

    She manipulated the holographic device, making the image appear in the air, and then she managed to pause it with the press of a button. She had rewatched it enough times to already have formed herself an idea of how to make this thing work, even if it had been rather frustrating at first.

    But really, ‘who’ was a really good question, one that the vampire had no answer to. It didn’t seem to be the type of thing a Fixer Office would pull off, but for all she knew, a Fixer Association could actually end up behaving like that. It’d be a good way to bait her to an assassination, if say, the Shi were after her head.

    More likely, however, was that this was the work of one of the bigger Syndicates in the District. Or even the direct work of one of the Fingers and their subsidiaries. Or could even be one of the Wings in need of a specialized skillset.

    After all, much like the conundrum Harlem had more or less expressed, there were two distinct possibilities: either someone wanted to test her ‘worth’ for one reason or another, most likely a job offer, or this was bait, a way to get Anya to go by herself and take her out in one fell swoop.

    Either way, she had to take a decision.

    “… To be honest, I’d favor just getting the gang together and smashing our way in.” Anya said, idly tapping her black nails on the table. She then stood up, stretched lightly, and walked over to the mini-fridge at the room’s corner. “But… the very premise of the Blood Matrix is that I take care of my followers. I ensure their safety.”

    To be honest, if a Finger or a Syndicate a level or two lower than the five big ones wanted to eradicate the Blood Matrix, they could do so, and win without a doubt. The main issue, however, was that her gang was just enough of a pain in the ass to take out that it was simply not worth it. Particularly picking a fight with Anya herself was too dangerous, even if the vampire herself didn’t quite seem to understand that fact.

    ‘Anya the Blood Omen’. Wherever she goes there’d be bloodshed. Hence ‘omen’. An intimidating reputation had a lot of upsides.

    But as proven by this case, it had its downsides as well.

    “I want you to get everyone in a war footing, but don’t make it too obvious. Recall anyone who was assigned a free day… put them around our territory and keep a closer watch than usual.” She commanded, opening the mini-fridge and taking a blood bag from it. “Get the ex-Fixers among us to investigate the surroundings, I want a list of any and all strange happenings in and near our territory when I get back. There might be something useful there, if things haven’t worked out by then.”

    “I’ll be a good girl and take their invitation. I shall go by myself.” Anya then brought the bag on her hand to her mouth, and bit on it with her prominent fangs, draining the liquid within.

    Iori would be pissed off if she took this decision. In fact, it was clearly a decision Iori wouldn’t pick. In fact, her second-in-command would probably not pick Harlem’s option either, she’d probably have other venues of attack to deal with such a situation. But Anya didn’t know said options, so she had to go with what she had.

    And this was someone who’d been able to get the jump on Iori, after all…

    She discarded the empty bag in a trash can, and extracted two more from the fridge, storing them within her fancy outfit.

    “While you get things ready, I’ll be going over to…” She picked up her parasol, and walked back to the table, grabbing the tracker.

    She then tried to turn it on.

    She failed.

    The vampire frowned, and tried to make the device work somehow. Evidently, it was the very first time she had ever dealt with a tracker. Usually, it was one of her subordinates manipulating it when there was a need to use one.

    “… Excuse me. Could you perhaps teach me how to employ this… devil contraption?” She asked politely.


    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!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •