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Thread: Paradise Lost (IC)

  1. #61
    屍鬼 Ghoul SnowSpartan's Avatar
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    Night Rider
    Location: Inganui's Gadgetry
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    Night Rider looks up from messing with the lids of the spiders and nods to himself. If the cargo’s all in a truck, then he won’t have to worry about retrieval. As long as he deals with the thieves in a timely manner.

    “That makes things easier.” He grabs the tracker and spiders. “With that, I’ve got what I need. No more questions. I shouldn’t keep the lady waiting any longer.”

    The only information of value Night Rider would still like to get is details about the thieves. But, if Inganui had that sort of info, he’d likely have mentioned it by now. Not to mention that they would be quite bad thieves if he did know. The only place Night Rider will learn just what he’s up against is at the scene itself.

    “Take care of yourself, and don’t forget to put in a good word for me.”

    Night Rider waves off as he steps through the doors of Inganui’s Gadgetry.

    Outside, his pride and joy awaits. Parked and ready for Night Rider’s return.




    A masterpiece of his own creation. Modeled after some sports motorcycles he’d seen in magazines back when he was a teenager. A creation a decade in the making. Took a lot of revisions and fixing to get to where it is today. There are few motorcycles in existence that can compare. Not only is it top of the line in performance, it’s got a few surprises built in.

    Working on motorcycles like this was how he first bumped into Inganui.

    The engine chokes and roars, awakened from its slumber. A sweet sound. One that makes Night Rider feel the call. The call to let loose, and roam free.

    It’s time to ride.

  2. #62
    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 resists the childish urge to stick her tongue out indignantly. This woman certainly has all the cards. How in the world does she know her preferences so thoroughly? It’s not as if it comes up very often. She lectures some upstart once or twice and they get the message, and if it’s offered as a reward, she simply requests something else. No mentioning of her preferences involved. For people to realize that, it would require people to share their experiences about her. Which, as an assassin…

    Being famous isn’t exactly what you want. Better to sit in the middle, good enough to get jobs, bad enough to never be first pick. Maybe she’s taking work too seriously. Not that she can help it, but maybe her glacial pace is at fault.

    Should she be worried? We’ll see. She’s been quite careless lately, so perhaps this is a sign to reel it in.

    “In that case, you’re free to wait for someone to get back. I don’t know when anyone is, though.” Still, Four is not one to be fickle. Once she has committed to a decision, no matter how impulsive, she should follow it through. Consistency is a virtue.

    “Still, I’m curious. Who is your target? The voice doesn’t ring a bell.” Famous, right? In what District?

  3. #63
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Ichiro Sasaki
    Location: Peacemaker Labs
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    "OF COURSE WE HAVE PROTECTION!"

    Ichiro Sasaki's booming voice is full of confidence. He stands and raises his left hand high. Soft clicking and clacking can be heard from the flexing fingers. With a snap the hand is holding something: a metal vial with a tiny reinforced glass view window running down the side, showing its emptiness.

    "The mutation only affects biological matter, yes? THEN THERE'S NO PROBLEM! We pierce the mist and suck up a sample in a low pressure canister from within. The vacuum will irresistibly draw in air and smoke particles, and we'll secure our spoils! As for the retrieval apparatus, it can be safely detoxified like any other lab tool. WITH FIRE AND ICE AND SODIUM HYPOCHLORITE AND 70% ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL."

    The doctor's laugh lasts only a few moments before petering off... and revealing that his face is set in stone.

    Clank. Ichiro's heavy fist settles on the table.

    "This is our City, isn't it? Doctor Jordan has it right; we have to be prepared. Curiosity will either kill us, or lead us to the truth." As he speaks, Ichiro wafts away the second hand smoke from Jordan's cigarette with heavy fingers. He speaks in a firm voice, looking each one of his colleagues in the eye. "The sky could fall on us any day now. If humanity's not strong enough to lift it back up, that's our fault. SO."

    "Koito, that story of yours was perfectly timed. Take apart one of the office fans and overclock it however you can. Make it turbo. I want it portable, and I want two or three canisters of empty vacuum. We may need to quite literally blow away some vapid vapors."

    "Bang, perform a literature search on that library in your head. Look for phenomena similar to this smoke cloud. The therapy I used to rejuvenate my nerves, you're familiar with it? You're welcome to try cloning a strain for yourself; we need progress on that project anyway and I can't have you relegated to a senior's home before then."

    "Jordan, ready our protective equipment. Two doses of Prime Evolver and Gray Goo if we have anything left. If we don't, some dust from the fire will do. The other two can stay in the lab, but I want you in the field with me. This is near your turf, isn't it? We need to get there without being stopped by the petty ants that call themselves Syndicates."

    Sasaki himself withdraws an antique phone from within his lab coat pocket and starts dialing.

    "AND OF COURSE IF YOU HAVE ANY BETTER IDEAS, REMEMBER; YOUR CONTRACTS LET YOU DO WHATEVER WORK YOU WANT HERE, SO LONG AS IT MAKES PEACE. NOW I'LL SEE IF MAKI KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT THIS. WE LEAVE IN THIRTY MINUTES."

    He holds the phone to his ear and waits.

    And waits.

    And waits.

    "...DAMNIT, MAKI, WHY'D YOU HAVE TO GO OFF-GRID NOW OF ALL TIMES!?"
    Last edited by Bloble; August 13th, 2022 at 07:36 PM.

  4. #64
    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)

    “Well, excuse me. My job isn’t about entertaining you, anyways.”

    If the voice belonged to a person, she’d likely be pouting now.

    “I’ll also let you know that I started existing not long before I realized I was in your room. And let’s be fair here, a facility where a bunch of stylish men try to pamper and satisfy me doesn’t sound all that bad. At least I wouldn’t end up in death pits like this that way, would I now.”

    While she talks, what seemed to be a door finally opened up before two of them as a large block of concrete sank into the ground. Large enough that Harry could comfortably walk through it, and more importantly…there actually was a corridor behind it.

    “Hah, finally! Time to get the fuck outta here!”

    Certainly, no one had to tell Harry twice to get in there, in fact, by the time the voice said those words, he was already out of that damned hole and was walking down the corridor that inevitably made them feel a bit more hopeful.

    However, there just didn’t seem to be an end to it. No doors, no windows, no more hidden passages, just a monotonous tunnel that kept going and going - and not even just sideways, or upwards, but further down, as if it was just leading them deeper into the pits of hell.

    “Not that I’m claustrophobic, but at this point even lying next to that corpse felt to be a more pleasant experience.”

    Arguably.

    Still, just as she said that, something happened.

    A detail that perhaps just slipped both their attention, maybe because they were both too distracted with talking, or simply they just grew a tad more inattentive due to the tedious and unchanging nature of the tunnel.

    A detail which caused something below Harry’s feet to creak and snap loudly enough that it likely echoed through the whole tunnel, and which caused him to fall and find himself sitting on a cold concrete floor again a moment later.

    His eyes shot up to find the remains of what seemed to be a ventilation hatch of sorts, with the rest of its rusted, rotten metal parts now lying next to him on the ground.

    “E-ehmm, it’s…it’s totally your fault that we didn’t notice that.”

    Said the voice, more quietly than usual.

    At least there was finally a change of scenery.

    As Harry looked around, he immediately realized what kind, too.

    The room he found himself in reminded him of a warehouse. An enormous interior, with large metal crates of all colors lying around and on top of each other. Hundreds of them, probably, although it would have been difficult to count all of them. The fact that he was so high up also made him realize that he was on what seemed to be the second floor, which was mostly just a few meters wide strip of concrete running along the edges of the wall, with a few metal walkways connecting the side, while also likely serving as the framework for the crane that was now just hanging idly around the middle of the room. Logically, it would mean that the small, walled off room in the corner was probably where the crane controls were.

    Lastly, at the opposite end of the room, there was a gate, a garage door of sorts, likely made to be big enough to fit vehicles as well.

    Still, while none of this was particularly unusual, the fact that it was all likely quite deep underground made it rather weird altogether.

    And worst of all, the sound of metal grinding against concrete that hit his ears once again alarmed him that he was not alone down here. The wings of the huge door slowly turned on their hinges and opened up, and three people, all wearing the same black uniform and strange white mask walked in, hauling another one of those crates on what seemed to be a hovering trolley.

    “Shit,” the voice cursed into Harry’s ear, “While we are good at seeing things, avoiding being seen is not exactly our strongest point.”

    That she was not wrong about.

    “What we gonna do now, Harry?”

    First thing that could come to anyone’s mind in a situation like this would be the way they came from in the first place - but glancing up, the hatch seemed to be just a bit too far, especially without something tall to stand on.

    “Not sure if we have too much time.”

    An audible click, followed by the lamps on the ceiling slowly flickering on to shower the room in light certainly made it feel that way.




    Aisha Asakawa
    Location: Aisha's Apartment
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    “O-oh, of course!”

    It seemed that Aisha’s excuse about the shower being too small was sufficient enough to convince Hanaelle, and not make her feel as if her desire to help was just flat out rejected.

    Still, her recluse to the shower gave some time for Aisha to be alone with her thoughts. Thoughts that would naturally, and inevitably get her mind occupied with the tragedies that have been haunting her for so long now. Always, without fail, coming back to her, never letting her forget, and never letting her find closure…

    Then, once she was done - not much to her surprise - the smiling face of Hanaelle welcomed her back in the kitchen.

    “Ah, you’re done! Just in time I guess, since I finished preparing some food for you as well!”

    She said as she gestured towards the table with her head, where Aisha could indeed spot a tray packed full with handmade sandwiches.

    “Eating junk all the time is not good for you, especially if you want to live long. Though I know how much you seemed to like duck, so I sliced those into the sandwiches, along with cheese and a lot of vegetables that we got yesterday from that kind man who always donates us fresh goods from one of the artificial farms.”

    Then, she gestured to Aisha to take a seat on the opposite end of the table, where another plate was waiting for her.

    “There was also some leftover meat that I prepared for you with some mushrooms and potatoes. It’s not much, but I wanted to make sure that you were well fed and fully energized before leaving. After all, it could be a very important day for you!”

    There was no doubt that with this much food, she’d be well fed for at least a day or two.

    “I wish that I could accompany you, but I can’t leave the orphanage alone for too long,” She continued as her expression got more serious once again, “Especially not now, that the incidents are getting more frequent again. I don’t know what I would even do if I found the rest of the children gone as well after returning…I would rather just be gone from this world as well then along with them, with my mind at peace knowing that I was there to do what I could to save them…”

    That certainly got a lot more grim all of a sudden.

    “A-anyways, I also prepared your clothes. And some money, since I know that you are not very good at saving for outings like this. Just promise me that you are not going to spend it on pizza and other cheap food.”

  5. #65
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Harry March
    Location: ???
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    She's right, you know, a woman said to Harry quietly, It's my job to entertain you Harry! Every idle fantasy and whim you have, every vague thought you can't grasp and every concept you're unsure of - that's what I'm here for!

    Harry wasn't sure if she was right, as he let the glasses chat while an eerie sensation crawled up his spine. The tunnel wasn't going upwards, towards civilization.

    It was going downwards.

    We march towards Hell, Harry, a man said stoicly, but by God - by God, we march with our heads held high and our hearts held higher.

    He opened his mouth to reply to one of his glasses random quips-but shut it quickly as he fell, landing to the ground with a grunt.

    We're in a warehouse for something. There's boxes everywhere, right Harry? Hundreds of crates and dozens of colors - more color then you've ever seen in your life outside of a picture, more's the pity.

    Harry's lips twitched into a sad smile, and a burst of laughter awarded his ears as a response.

    Got you Harry! she said, still in a fit of giggles, can't hide forever in that head of yours!

    As the gate ground open, Harry took a breath and hopped down another floor, moving to hide his body behind a stack of crates that would let him get a decent view - albeit a risky one - of the men in the room, smiling as he held up a finger.

    "Let's keep it down, eh?" Harry whispered, just under his breath, "wouldn't do to be caught now."

    An adventurous maneuver. The garage is our best bet, Harry, a man said to him in an oddly approving tone, easier to exit through a place you know others are exiting as well.

    Harry pressed his body against the sides of the boxes, and prayed that none of the men thought to check the entire room before dropping off the boxes.

    Harry, she said softly with a sad tone in her voice, you're nowhere near that lucky.
    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.


  6. #66
    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)

    “Those who take no risks deserve no gains, and those who cast away their ambitions for the sake of safety will never see what there is to life.”

    That was one way of looking at it, mayhaps.

    “Anyhow, let’s start at the start then. Or rather, the most urgent step, an opportunity that is best made use of because even I don’t know how it would work out afterwards. See, there is a secret underground tournament that takes place every decade. Secret in the sense that most goody two shoes don’t know about it. The Head, of course, is unlikely to not be aware of it, but they probably just don’t give a damn. I get the feeling that you already figured where I’m getting, but the champion’s reward is one of these fancy lock plates that they can hold onto for the decade, or while they keep winnin. Well, that and likely some other small stuff, but that doesn’t particularly tickle my fancy.”

    It seemed that the man’s throat was getting dry from all the talking, or that he was simply just thirsty for some more quality booze, as his explanation stopped for a moment so that he could get Beluna to pour him a new drink, only to immediately pour half of it down his gullet.

    “It’s one-on-one of course. And not just for show biz, but I reckon that wouldn’t be much of a problem. Not that I know all the rules, so you’d have to learn more about it when you sign up. Which is where snoopin around comes into play, unless my information is right. In which case, you simply just have to talk to a certain fellow.”

    So far, it sounded simple enough.

    Find the organizer, sign up for some tournament, whoop some ass, and get all the fame and glory.

    Nothing Zinn couldn’t do, realistically speaking.

    “Of course, you might ask “but why not just take it from the champion directly”, which would indeed save a whole lot of hassle, and would only need you to disregard pride and honor for a moment. Though I’d still advise against it, unless you want half of the underground on your ass. Would be a pain, considering how our work will be far from over, and a green man that kicked the bucket would hardly be of any use.”

    The amusement clear in his eyes, the man grinned widely before taking another swig of his drink.

    “Your way into the tournament is through a man named Vincent. Well, that’s what he calls himself, anyways. He works with the Middle, or rather, would be weird if he didn’t, but more importantly, runs that one tattoo parlor around here. The one that’s just a bit more magical than the rest. Maybe he’ll let you in without much of a hassle, maybe you’ll have to butter him up a bit first, but either way, should be the most reliable way to get involved.”

    The man leaned back, his back against the counter, as he eyed Zinn silently for a few moments with a smirk on his face.

    “That would be the job, green man. If you’re still not backing out of it, of course.”




    John Hong
    Location: Aoi's Office, SanPol HQ
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    “Punctual. Good.”

    The familiar voice made John glance up from his magazine, and a moment later he spotted the approaching woman as well. She was wearing the same uniform as before, although she was also carrying a large black duffel bag with her. Packed for quite a few days, it seemed, or at least she packed enough stuff for any sort of situation…

    "Let’s head out then. No reason to wait any longer.”

    She walked past the man, and gestured to him to follow as they made their way to the underground garage. There, they finally stopped next to a white sportscar, one that quite evidently belonged to a SanPol employee, judging by all the SanPol logos and stickers.

    “Ah. Right.”

    That is, until Aoi pressed a button on the small device attached to her keys, and as if a wave of dark washed over the surface of the car, it gradually turned pitch black in the matter of a second or two. Then, as she unlocked the car with another press of a button, she promptly threw her duffel bag into the trunk and sat into the car.

    “Get in. I know it’s not quite as fast as the train, but I’d rather have the car available there as well. And tickets are expensive.”

    That she wasn’t wrong about, even if it was true that the train was much, much faster. Of course, due to that it was also something that led to many philosophical debates regarding how the near instantaneous travel just sucked out all the enjoyment of the journey that one takes when traveling from one point to the other, or that it’s just altogether contradicting with the nature of the City where people are desperate to find a purpose and something to make their life whole with, only to then deliberately make it more bland and empty.

    Not that John ever really concerned himself with such pointless arguments.

    As he took the passenger’s seat and closed the car’s door, the engine roared to life, along with the faint bluish lights of the dashboard. It was surprisingly…quiet, in a sense, comparable to the monotonous purring of a large feline, but it only took the man until they got out of the garage that the vehicle did not lack in power either.

    Was it even legal to go this fast?

    Well, she was the police, so…probably.

    “We should still have some time to get started with the work today,” Aoi explained, “I’ll drop you off at the neighborhood where the warehouse was found. You can look around there, maybe familiarize yourself with the area a bit. Then I’ll pick you up later, and we can head back to the hotel. Just get a locator from the glovebox and keep it on you.”

    Already sounded like it was going to be a tiresome, and almost certainly troublesome job.

    “I reckon you should be able to handle that quite easily. I’ll check at the office in the meantime, see if they had anything else they forgot to forward to us.”

    At least the plan sounded simple enough.

    And after a few hours of uninterrupted driving, as Aoi slowed the car down and pulled it over to the side, it seemed that they would indeed have plenty of time left still.

    After confirming one more time that John had the locator, she bid farewell and drove off, leaving the man by himself. The place certainly felt rather different from District 9 - the lack of colorful lights and signs everywhere especially - but at the same time, to its core, it wasn't all that unfamiliar to him.

    Still, the one important question now was what John was going to do. His options were many, after all.




    Marie
    Location: Child Error Orphanage
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    It seemed that Hajime certainly had the final say in the matter, as neither of the other two argued any further about the case.

    Still, at least it was sort of a positive conclusion to the argument. Perhaps not the most optimal, and safest solution, but regardless, something that was sure to move things forward.

    Marie just had to make sure, above all things, that Hajime would remain safe. After all, as far as they were aware, she was just a simple human. A rather powerless one at that, as long as her physique was concerned, as she was a rather petite and delicate woman. There was no doubt that she would be unable to do just about anything in a dangerous combat situation…

    Something that she was reminded of right away as she walked out of her room and back into the garden, where she spotted the small woman waiting for her, wearing a casual dress and a small backpack on her back, which likely contained all her clothes and such.

    “Marie, I’m here!”

    It seemed Hajime noticed her as well, as she was waving at her enthusiastically with a smile on her face.

    Fortunately, it looked like that her frustration from earlier was gone, or at the very least, it was forced into the background by her joyfulness, and the eagerness to take a trip to someplace else with a friend.

    It was very much like her, in a sense, always trying to keep her cheer and optimism, even if managing the evergrowing orphanage meant more and more stress and responsibilities weighing on her shoulders, along with complicated hurdles such as this one coming up one after another.

    “I managed to sort everything out, so we can already head out!” She exclaimed once Marie caught up to her, “Fortunately District 20 is close, so we can just take a short distance train there. I already rented a room as well, so we can just head there after we are done for the evening. Unfortunately only our district is so safe at night, so I would rather not stay out for too long. Though…”

    With a mischievous smirk on her face, she leaned a bit closer to Marie, so that she could whisper directly into her ears.

    “I wanted to do some shopping first. For disguise, you know. So that we can conceal ourselves and be like some proper detectives while we snoop around.”

  7. #67
    Chasing Daybreak palad1n's Avatar
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    Marie
    Location: Child Error Orphanage
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    Marie doesn't have much in terms of possession.

    Some clothes in her drawer, along with a bag and a wallet; utensils like pens and markers, plus a few notebooks; her phone and a charger; a helmet and a motorcycle, courtesy of her best friend; a few framed photos on her desk, all depicting her with either the children, her fellow staffs, or Hajime; and the gifts that the children gave her, like paper cranes and drawings that she pinned on a small, personal wooden board.

    The only thing that she has from her time before meeting Hajime and joining the orphanage were a few papers and documents, and nothing more.

    So Marie packed quick; she took her bag, tucked in a change of clothes or two along with her wallet, phone and charger, and went back outside. She was relieved to see Hajime back to her usual self, waving back to her friend as she approached the smiling black-haired woman. She listened attentively on how they plan to go to district 20 and where they're staying, giving a nod when Hajime mentioned on not staying out for too long.

    And then Hajime leaned in and whispered in her ears.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hajime
    “I wanted to do some shopping first. For disguise, you know. So that we can conceal ourselves and be like some proper detectives while we snoop around.”
    It was a rather childish act, all things considered, but one that's also rather adorable.

    That's why as Hajime leaned back, Marie readily agrees with the barest hint of a smile gracing her face.



    "... Sounds fun. Let's do it."
    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


  8. #68
    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)


    As I walked towards the fire, I thought. What kind of person would be out here? After running earlier, I doubted they were Syndicate. If they were, I got the feeling, they would’ve attacked me after I finished sprinting because most people would’ve been really tired. Or maybe they would’ve trapped the area up to make their ambush more likely to succeed. So they had to be some kind of Outskirts wanderer or nomad, but then why would someone want me to meet them? Was it just to waste my time on a wild goose chase? But if it wasn’t, then I couldn’t quite understand why.

    As I pondered the why I was here, I got next to the fire. And that’s when I realized something was really wrong about it. While the fact that there wasn’t any smoke coming from the top of it was a given, it lacked the other characteristics of a fire. There wasn’t the comforting heat, the cackling of wood as it burned, or even the smell of wood becoming charcoal. I kneeled down next to the ‘fire’ and ran my hand through it. Nothing. The image would distort from me running my hand through it, but nothing else.

    However, as I absentmindedly ran my hand through the fake fire. Something processed. The fire and the smoke images lined up now. So if that’s the case, then I can keep both in my line of sight… And hopefully I can get to whoever is at the end of this.

    With that in mind, I started walking towards hopefully the real fire and smoke.

  9. #69
    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)

    Naturally.

    Running one hand through his hair in a sheepish sort of way as the Old Timer yells at him to use his brain for once, the young man can't help but chuckle aloud to himself, although he doubted that his young blonde companion here would look too far into it.

    I know a bit better than to just stick a sword in random places, I assume there'd be some sort of obvious key slot if anything...

    Pride in a regalia often leads to those sorts of silly things, from the start the concept of a secret library is one that borders on the fantastical; it's a treasure hunt that brings an amused sort of style to his face now that he's slowly getting into it properly, but...

    He's also not good at these sorts of things, still-!

    First shikken of the Kamakura shogunate from the Hōjō clan...

    So... In other words...

    The starting point?

    "Don't be discouraged just yet."

    He calls out to the young woman, an amused spark in his eyes.

    "We've only just begun after all, and it's not like we're on some sort of timer."

    Well, maybe she is, but he isn't; his planned afternoon was just cleaning and waiting for Sumire to return, a passive enough task that he had nothing but time, more or less...

    Still...

    First.

    Starting point.

    Maybe there was something to that? If the name on the wall was a clue, then it had to have something to do with the answer, and if the answer wasn't on the wall itself then...

    "..."

    He wanders back to the name on the wall, turns around so he's facing the pillars again, and...

    Tried to see if he could see through multiple pillars at once...

    Perhaps that would narrow it down some more?
    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--"

  10. #70
    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)

    It was just as the sunglasses said. Stealth wasn’t exactly Harry’s strongest point, especially not when it came to just spontaneously hiding like now. Still, it’s not like he had any other options. Which is why, even as he pressed his body against the stack of crates he decided to hide behind, he could only pray that he would get lucky enough to get away from here unnoticed.

    “Where to again?”

    One of the men spoke up, their voice somewhat muffled by the mask on their head.

    “W10-98. In the corner.”

    “I’ll get the crane. Just get it to the middle then.”

    The few words that the three exchanged made it obvious enough that they were simply discussing where to drop the container. On one hand, it meant that they had absolutely no idea that there was an unwelcome guest in the warehouse with them…but on the other, it didn’t particularly give Harry any idea regarding where he was either.

    As the footsteps got louder, Harry took his chance to get a quick and careful peek around the corner of the boxes - though, much to his disappointment, the way the three men looked didn’t ring any bells for him either. Only thing that was easier to make out now was their mask, which, rather than just being some simple mask, seemed to depict some sort of a horned, demonic creature.

    The symbol of a syndicate, perhaps?

    Just before he pulled his head back to hide again, he could see one guy break off from the group, only to start walking towards his direction. Or rather, towards the ladder that was right next to the containers he was hiding behind, as he realized.

    He was really just not good at picking hiding locations, though in his defense, it would have been nearly impossible to spot the ladder from the second floor while it was still dark.

    Still, what was he going to do now?

    He couldn’t really move, they likely would have noticed him immediately, especially if he dived out from behind the box.

    His best bet was probably to push his body as tightly against his cover as he could, and hope that the shadow it casted over him was going to be enough to not immediately give him away.

    Before he even realized, the man was standing just an arm’s reach distance from him, no longer moving.

    “The hell happened to the ventilation hatch? Was it always broken?”

    However, he wasn’t looking at Harry, or even just his general direction. He was looking up towards the ceiling, at the hole which he came - or fell - through earlier.

    “Probably rotted away and finally broke. Just put it on the report.”

    With the man standing with his back to him, quite oblivious to his presence, Harry suddenly got a bold idea. Or was it the suggestion of the sunglasses, as the woman’s voice whispered just barely audibly into his ears? It was hard to even tell in this stressful situation, but with no time to waste, Harry reached forward and with a single swift and smooth motion, pulled an object that the sunglasses highlighted out of the man’s belt.

    A handgun, by the looks of it.

    He had just enough time to pull his hand back too, before the man shrugged and started climbing the ladder to the second floor where the crane controls were.

    “Holy shit that actually worked!” the voice of the woman whispered into his ears, “Felt like my heart was going to burst out of my chest for a moment, and I don’t even have a heart.”

    Even if it worked…What was he going to do now? He had a few options, especially now that he had a weapon that seemed to have some sort of a silencer attached to it as well. And with the noise that the crane was likely going to make soon, he’d likely get the opening he’s been waiting for, even if it would be just to escape the room while the door was still open.




    Nana Senri
    Location: A Desert in the Outskirts
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    As the two images finally lined up in the distance, Nana could tell that this had to be it. She was certain that she hadn't missed any other details, and with that in mind, even without thinking too hard about it, this felt to be the most logical way of things so far. As such, with her anticipation rising once more, she set off towards the strange image once more, making sure not to let it out of her sight, now that she finally put the two together.

    A short walk after, her suspicion ended up being confirmed as well.

    As the dusk fell, the lack of natural lights started to make it much harder for her to make out her surroundings, which made the fire that illuminated a fairly large area around itself a rather welcome sight. It didn’t even take much more than that, and the quiet crackling of the fire for her to note that this time, the fire was indeed very real.

    More than that, this time, it wasn’t simply just a fire in the middle of nowhere. Rather, it was a small camp, with a couple of open tents with sleeping bags inside, and a canvas roof of sorts stretched between four pillars which seemed to make for a rather minimalistic storage area of sorts. Still, as she confirmed from the distance that the camp seemed to be abandoned - there actually weren’t too many places where anyone could hide - she wasn’t particularly afraid to walk in.

    Though…What was this place anyways, then?

    Is this where she was supposed to come? The tracker was still just as dead as it was before, so it was hardly of any help.

    And there was no one here, to begin with, despite the fire.

    Still, before she could start getting frustrated again and maybe show those ugly tents what they deserved for being so useless, a weird sort of rustling, and a metallic click coming from somewhere hit her ears.

    Something that made her instinctively shift her body and turn towards the direction where she assumed the sound’s source to be.

    Just in time so that she could hear a deafening boom a fraction of a second later, and feel the slight shockwave caused by a bullet that barely just missed her, and instead pierced straight through the tracker she was holding, the sheer force knocking it out of her hand and making it fly to the other side of the camp where it immediately broke into tiny pieces upon hitting one of the crates.

    “Oh fuck—”

    Whoever fired at her seemed to realize their mistake right away, something that was quite obvious from the quiet cursing and the shuffling of bodies of people who were probably trying to make their escape.

    The emphasis was on people, though.

    She could hear at least two of them, more or less in the same direction, although those were likely not even the one who fired at her, judging by the distance.

    Still, Nana seemed to have the initiative now, as the two seemed to be rather panicked for the time being, and the last with the gun likely needed a moment to reload.

    What was she even going to do now, though?

    Beginning of combat!

    Round 1, Turn 1: Nana Senri (13 Initiative)!

  11. #71
    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)

    “That is okay,” the woman chuckled, “I’m sure they will be back soon, and I have that much time to spare. Still…”

    A moment of silence, as she seemingly contemplated something, and clearly analyzing Four’s expression while doing so, as she could figure from how the woman was facing her.

    “If you are going to refuse, then it could be that I already told you way too much, wouldn’t you say? But by that logic maybe it doesn’t even matter now. Oh well.”

    She shrugged, but at the same time it felt like she never even considered not talking about it.

    “The target is relatively famous, in certain circles at least. They are the manager of a prominent orphanage in District 11 that is known for having received support from a number of corporations around the City. A miracle project, you could say, that succeeded where most other similar attempts failed, and which managed to give a new home to hundreds, if not thousands of children.”

    So far it was difficult to imagine why anyone would ever want to target such an individual, especially with the help of an office such as Four’s, although it was evident that the woman was preparing to make her point now.

    “You’ve been around for a while now, I assume, so I don’t think I need to explain to you that nothing in the City is ever so simple, and nothing is ever so good. Cold and cruel corporations that only care about themselves and their profit do not just suddenly decide to sponsor a random orphanage. They’ve never done so before, and they didn’t this time either, not simply just for the sake of those poor children, at least.”

    She made some sense, at least. It was hardly logical, even if that was something that most would want to just disregard, and instead naively believe that there was hope and good in the world, and that this was simply just an example of that.

    “In reality, it’s a joint project meant to create a facility where experiments on the human mind can be conducted. And what better test subjects than children, whose psyche is still volatile, so easy to influence, and yet has so much potential? Under the disguise of an orphanage, they can gain a lot of public support, and get away with so much…Really, considering the circumstances, even the death of some of the children hardly raises any suspicion.”

    A pregnant pause, as the woman took her time to savor the emotions that would show on Four’s face, while also giving her some time in the first place to process the information so far. Then…

    “All for the sake of creating a weapon more powerful than most in the City. Something to reshape the current hierarchy with, even if I find it doubtful that they could compare to the Head even with that. But who knows.”




    Johnny Concord
    Location: Outskirts, Shouko's Home
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    “Kid? Did you just call me a kid? Not once, but twice?”

    A vein was bulging visibly on the girl’s forehead as she held a fist out threateningly at Johnny.

    “I’ll let you know that I am an adult. How else would I be in the business? And at any rate, I’m certainly more mature than someone who goes around calling others kids when they just seem like a big kid themselves.”

    She shook her fist one last time, then let out a small sigh, clearly realizing that this was no time or place to get mad.

    “The name is Shouko Hikari, at any rate. Or Echo, if we go with business names. Remember that, because the next time you call me a kid I’ll introduce my foot to your ass as well. Anyhow…”

    She looked at Johnny’s bike first, then back down at the hatch that she came out of just a few minutes ago. Then, she crouched down next to it and grabbed the corner of the metal frame, only to then slowly start pulling it to make the entrance wider, wide enough to fit even the huge bike that Johnny had.

    “Get in. We should take a moment to discuss, and best not leave your ride out in the open.”

    It was hard to disagree with that.

    So the man turned the bike towards the hatch, and pushed it straight through, half expecting that he would fall down, but instead, it was as if the world was rotated by 90 degrees, and he entered the room lying behind the hatch from the side.

    Or rather…something that felt more like a small desert oasis. A tiny lake in the middle, with a few palm trees around between which hammocks were hung. Then, a few boxes, and finally a sunbed next to the lake with some sort of a device on it. Other than that, the place also seemed to have some side rooms for the more usual stuff, like a kitchen and a bathroom, although how exactly it was all laid out was a bit of a mystery.

    “Just park it near here, then make yourself at home. Hermes paid for a bunch of extra food and such, so I’m obliged to treat you well.”

    After she entered as well, she squeezed the hatch back to its original side, after which it promptly slid back to the ceiling, with a steel ladder dropping down from it.

    “After that…oh wait, I guess you don’t know about the mission details yet. Hermes was going to send them over in a bit, so we have to wait for that still.”

    She strolled over to the sunbed and sat down on it, then she turned her gaze back at Johnny.

    “You could give me some background details, though. I heard there was some personal grudge in play, though that’s really the most I know.”

  12. #72
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Marie
    Location: The Timeless Crater
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    With Marie’s approval given as well, the two of them were off. Their first destination, just as how Hajime described, was a clothes store just a few streets away, where Hajime store up on at least another backpack’s worth of what she described as “snooping clothes”, such as sunglasses, baseball caps, dark hoodies, a trench coat…and for some reason, a couple of groucho glasses.

    Something that she already insisted on wearing on their way to the station.

    Though, if something, it just felt like it raised even more attention, rather than helping her be stealthy.

    One could only wonder why.

    Still, everything went rather smoothly, and not before long they were already sitting on the train that would take them all the way to District 20. A different one from the WARP trains, of course, a more traditional one that was a lot more feasible for short distance travel, even if it was still slower.

    Though, that also meant more time for idle chatter between the two, something that was always helpful to forget about the more stressful aspects of life.

    Then, the change of scenery as they passed through the somewhat imaginary border between the two districts was also quite distracting. After all, District 11 was rather special in the sense that it was always so immaculate and peaceful, the one place that no conflict ever really touched, something that was quite evident even just from the exceptional living conditions that showed even in the district’s backstreets.

    In comparison, District 20 felt to be a lot more chaotic, like an enormous museum that was meant to put on display all the different types of architecture through history, all mixed in with rather obvious signs of destruction caused by the volatile technology the district’s Wing was working with.

    However, what stuck out most was the giant crater that they could already see from far away, with a dark storm cloud looming over it, only brightening up for the duration of the bluish explosions that appeared all over it from time to time.

    Certainly, hearing about it one way or another was one thing…

    But seeing it in person was another.

    Almost made Marie wonder just how exactly they were supposed to scout this place.

    In fact, the closer they got, the more it felt like something that no one should ever willingly walk into. Especially after they caught a glimpse of the strange forests and shrublands and ruins, or in other words, the wilderness that spread out under that cloud far as they could see.

    Weren’t they passing by just a bit too close, at any rate?

    They were just a few dozen meters away from the barricades, if even that much, and Marie could even sorta make out the faces of some of the soldiers that were patrolling the perimeter.

    Though perhaps the railways were just too big of a hassle to relocate, and in the end, it was still a safe zone…

    At least, that was Marie’s last thought, before spotted something moving in the crater, reaching through those dark clouds.

    A leg, kind of like a spider’s, although far, far too big for that. A leg that could, without a problem, reach out of that crater all the way past the barrier, and pierce straight through the first car of the train, making it come to a sudden screeching halt while sending a shockwave through the ground under it that even the guards near the walls seemed to have felt.

    Then, before even giving anyone any time to react, it pulled back its leg, making the train crash straight through the barricade as it moved rapidly along with the colossal leg that was still pierced through it, with the only thing that potentially would have been able to stop it already in ruins just a few meters behind.

    Only once it was past the edge, when there was nothing to support the train’s weight from below anymore was when things finally seemed to break apart, with the last car and the car in which Marie and Hajime were sitting in falling off the rest, and taking a tumble far into the crater after a short flight.

    Probably a more fortunate fate than what the others had, as the spider’s leg slowly lifted the rest of the train into the cloud, and just as a lightning lit it up for a second or two, Marie could still witness as it disappeared into the mouth of the monstrous creature that the leg belonged to.

    After which she could only focus on their own fall.

    Fortunately, the train car was sturdy enough to not fall apart from the incredible stress, and the emergency system inside it made sure to keep them relatively safe as well. As safe as one could be in such a situation, at least, which still meant quite a few bumps and bruises by the time they finally stopped.

    At least Hajime seemed to be in one piece too, even if she was clearly in shock.

    Still…it meant they finally had some time to register what just happened.
    Last edited by Cheetose; August 13th, 2022 at 04:32 PM.

  13. #73
    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)



    'Phew, finally some peace.'

    Disrobing herself, Aisha drops her clothes into the bucket dedicated for dirty laundry. She then has a good look in the mirror at her naked form, searching for any sign of unwanted gains in specific areas. A strange thing to do, considering her unealthy diet and lifestyle, but then genetics were kinder to some.
    Satisfied with her inspection, the young woman finall steps into the shower. She twists the knob, and without ado, cold water starts pouring over her. She doesn't mind it. The biting chill has always been one of the best ways to wash away all the tiredness which a warm mug of coffee couldn't.

    As Aisha had mentioned to Hanaelle, the bathing cubicle is not exactly spacious. She is not really bothered by that fact however, instead thinking that it is quite nice to have everything at arm's reach, so close and accessible. Perhaps it is also a reflection of how she'd wish the world would be; a small, convenient place where you can easily find what you're looking for... everything would be simple and close by, clear and transparent. Free from the shadow of obfuscation and mysteries.

    'Sigh.'

    Alas, the world is neither small nor simple. And because of that, after more than a year of searching, she hadn't found her sister.

    The peace of a shower, while relaxing, was also a good way for someone to become lost in their thoughts, and this was exactly what was happening to Aisha. She wasn't normally someone who used her head too much... mostly because it would lead to situations like this.

    'Why am I so useless...'

    What could she have done better? A lot of things, but no matter how much she wracks her brain, the only conclusion to both the disappearance of her parents, and the spiriting away of her sister... is that there was nothing she could have done. And what makes it worst, is that this could all happen again... to any of the kids in the orphanage, or to Hanaelle herself.

    A cruel and terrible reality. All she can do is hope that this detective could pull off what the others couldn't.

    Swimming in all these unpleasant thoughts, the shower had in the end, not proved the smartest idea for the goal of having some relaxation. Still, she at least was clean and her body felt refreshed. As for her mind... well, it cleared itself, when Aisha emerged from the shower and saw Hanaelle' smile, as well as what she had prepared.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanaelle
    “Eating junk all the time is not good for you, especially if you want to live long. Though I know how much you seemed to like duck, so I sliced those into the sandwiches, along with cheese and a lot of vegetables that we got yesterday from that kind man who always donates us fresh goods from one of the artificial farms. There was also some leftover meat that I prepared for you with some mushrooms and potatoes. It’s not much, but I wanted to make sure that you were well fed and fully energized before leaving. After all, it could be a very important day for you!”
    A big smile appeared on Aisha's face, and then, just like how she did back when she got a treat at the orphanage, Aisha propels herself at Hanaelle and hugs her affectionately, like a daughter throwing herself in the arms of her daughter. Well, Aisha had become taller than her now... but that wasn't the important part.

    "Thank you so much, you're the best!" Aisha exclaims, clearly overjoyed from eating something she'd have to spend a fortune for normally... and it wouldn't even taste that good. Food cooked with love has no equal after all, or so goes the saying.

    Having expressed her thanks, Aisha is quick to go get seated and start munching down on the food that's been prepared for her.

    “I wish that I could accompany you, but I can’t leave the orphanage alone for too long. Especially not now, that the incidents are getting more frequent again. I don’t know what I would even do if I found the rest of the children gone as well after returning…I would rather just be gone from this world as well then along with them, with my mind at peace knowing that I was there to do what I could to save them…”
    Oh.

    It was a strange echo, an unpleasant one, but also one that Aisha could understand. In the end, both of them wanted to protect people, and no matter how hard they tried, they were both at the mercy of whatever dictated District 12's disappearances... if such a thing even existed.

    Aisha's excitement and eagerness fades as Hanaelle speaks of her worries, yet the young woman knows that she can't just sit there and sulk in silence. No, rather:

    "Don't go disappearing on me now! I'm already half-useless without Aila, if you're gone too, what will happen to me?! Hah... I don't think I'll be able to function if that happened... so make sure you don't disappear! I'll find whoever is causing all that bulls-- I mean, nonsense, and make them return everyone!"

    Well, so much for claiming her independence earlier, but it's true, she has no idea what she'd do if Hanaelle and the rest of the kids at the orphanage disappeared.

    'Better not think about it.'

  14. #74
    [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)


    Jalen could not believe the sass coming out of this small child.

    “Baby? Imma grownass man! You’re the only baby here! You fuckin’ squirt.”

    He ran both hands through his hair in frustration before sitting up from the couch and leaning forward, elbows resting on his knees.

    “Okay look. It’s just a saying, right? By crib I mean it’s my home. My castle. My kingdom. Not like an actual crib for babies. You got it?”

    He never liked kids, little shits always pestered you with stupid questions when you had better things to do. But unlike the ones that ran up to you on the street to ask you about your car, Jalen couldn’t just ditch this one. He didn’t like it but the clues were there: with how she was speaking like a human computer, the ID number tagged right on her skin, and the fancy carrying case. She was looking to be some kind of human experiment and getting on her owner’s bad side was something Jalen knew he couldn’t do on a simple whim. In the grand scheme of things he was pretty small time and so was his Syndicate, even if they were growing he wasn’t sure they would stand for open war against some shady corp-backed lab or something. Add that to the fact that someone else tried to intercept the goods mid-transit with armed goons meant that at least two groups wanted her.

    Woopdee-fuckin’-doo.

    His standing in the Syndicate wasn't the most solid either. His job as a transporter both meant he didn't have to get his hands dirty but it didn't get him any respect or loyalty either. He brought in money, sure, and in exchange the Syndicate offered him membership among their ranks but he wasn't in a position to throw his weight around or muster the footsoldiers. The ones who commanded respect were the ones with skin in the game, those that mucked in during wars and won glory. If he didn't solve this soon, then he'd have to make his case before the Don.

    For now he was going to have to play nice until he could get things sorted out.

    “Alright, alright. I give you permission to ‘enter my crib’.” He waved at the small child to come out of the case and patted the seat next to him on the couch. Next thing she might ask him was if she had permission to breathe his air.

    “As for your questions I’ll answer them the best I can with what I can reveal, alright? I got my own stuff that’s on the hush-hush. My name’s Jalen, a professional transporter, and this is my cri…secret base, so to speak.” His name didn’t seem that important to hide, whoever initially hired him for the job for sure knew who he was and it was only a matter of time before the second group that was after the child learned his identity too, if they didn’t already know. Good thing he invested in this safehouse.

    “If it wasn’t obvious I drove here.” He motioned at his car sitting a few feet away.

    “As for whether me getting shot at is related to our current situation, the answer is yes. Those fuckers would have damn near chased me off the road if it weren't for my skills. It's a miracle me and my ride, and by extension you, got out in one piece. So yes, I would like help. I need to know who hired me to ferry you around and who could possibly have wanted to steal you."

    He glanced at the tattoos on the girl's skin: Z1A. Her name she said it was? What kind of name is a string of numbers?

    "Can you do that for me…Zia?"
    <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

  15. #75
    Chasing Daybreak palad1n's Avatar
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    Marie
    Location: The Timeless Crater
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)


    As the brief yet terrifying ordeal comes to an end with the train car crashing into the ground, a deafening silence falls into the car in contrast with the screams and horrible noise of metal breaking apart that resounded just a few seconds ago; for a few seconds, Marie wondered whether Hajime or the other passengers could hear her artificial heart beating rapidly, because she could hear it ringing loudly in her ears.

    This was, quite bluntly, the scariest thing she'd ever experienced in her life. There was probably nothing that she could do to protect herself or Hajime, let alone the whole car, if the car didn't break off from the rest of the train...

    And then noise and activity returned to the car in full force, and Marie was broken out of her stupor.

    After confirming that she's fine aside from minor bumps and bruises thanks to the seatbelt and airbags that now covered the floor, walls and ceiling of the car, Marie unlocked her seatbelt and secured both of their bags that are now scattered on the floor before kneeling down in front of her friend; thankfully Hajime seems fine from what she could see, even if the petite woman still seems to be in shock over what happened.

    So she placed her hands over Hajime's own, once again thankful for her dull disposition because her face is the picture of calmness - perfectly masking just how terrified she was from the ordeal - as she speaks.

    "Hajime." She said gently with the same tone that she used to soothe a child whenever they woke up from nightmares in the middle of the night, her thumb drawing circles over Hajime's knuckles. "We should get going now. It's not safe here..."

    She'd wait for a few seconds for her friend to regain her wits; if Hajime fails to do so, then she'd unlock her seatbelt and guide her away herself.

    After all, she's responsible for Hajime's safety, and staying in the car seems too risky and dangerous when it's still too close to the crater...
    Last edited by palad1n; August 13th, 2022 at 09:04 PM.
    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


  16. #76
    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)







    Everything he says makes my little gray gears turn, turn, turn.

    It all makes sense now, why my skillset and personal history drew him to me. I'm getting more of the picture than before. A picture's worth a thousand worths, and I swear this baby's started to monologue at me.

    Sure, I'll play ball.

    This too's a form of skullduggery. Client confidentiality's the name of this game. If everyone's going tooth-and-nail for the plates, then I can act the part of just another hungry face in the crowd. Granted, a lean, mean and green one.

    Also, I've got the opportunity to amp up my cred and rep even more so, win or lose, depending on how things shake down. Of course, I don't intend to lose.

    "Sounds fun, big shot. And, 'Vincent', y'say..."

    It'd be a hella rugpull twist if I'd already known Vincent, but life rarely ain't that convenient. As big as the City can be, though, sometimes and just as many times it can feel a tad on the small side, provided you know where to and what to look for.

    Once upon a blue moon, I haunted District 13. Bodmods are nothing unusual in this town, but the Thirteeners kicked it up a notch to the point it's kinda culture. So, yeah, I know of plastic men, of inkers. It's why I am what I am. So, yeah. Though I'm the kinda fella to keep my nose clean (a strange proclivity for an also-nosy detective, sure), I've also heard of those special inked up. Not much, but it is something to go off of.

    Well, things like that? Cross that bridge when we get there.

    "...Vincent. Like I said, all's I needs is a name n' deets n' I'mma get my flatfeet a-beatin', so thanks fir that."

    That is the truth of it. When this deal gets closed, and phase one initiated properly, I'll poke the eye for some hard information and then I can get on my merry way.

    I take another pull, wash it down with another sip. "Ya reckon this job's, for now, one of those 'paid per task successf'lly completed' types? Not t' bore ya with shop talk, nor get presumptive."
    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.



  17. #77
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Harry March
    Location: ???
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    Harry looked at the gun. He didn't want to hurt anybody.

    No one ever does, Harry.

    He tightened his grip around the pistol, his hand shaking. Sure, he'd been a cop in a dangerous city - but it wasn't anything he remembered. Harry's brain was like a blank slate, with the only things written in it the ones written in blood, sweat, and tears. A brain that understood how to move, but couldn't understand why. Only vague connections that he couldn't see; an office he barely knew, a history that he didn't understand, a girl, a room, a hallway, a door, and eyes.

    Always with the goddamn eyes.

    To act, even when you are afraid, a man said, is something only the brave are capable of, Harry.

    In his gut, something deep inside of his brain, told Harry a truth. He was a coward. It made sense, he supposed, to be a coward when you were in the City. It wasn't a place that rewarded kindness with truth, or bravery with justice. Those sort of things weren't really virtues, they were weaknesses. But there was a girl. And even if he couldn't see her face, he could tell she was smiling. He grit his teeth as he peered around a corner, aiming his stolen pistol at a man, and took a deep breath. His hands moved on automatic, knowing how to move and what to do.

    He aimed at the leg.

    Don't be so weak, Harry! A woman laughed in his ear, it'll only end up getting you killed.

    He aimed at the leg.

    In this world, those who win, live. Those who lose, die. If you want to live, do not take actions that will make you lose.

    His hands shook. He could hear the crane starting to move, a lumbering sound as it soared through the air, and he took a shaky breath. A girl laughed in his ears. She didn't have a voice. She barely even had a face. Rather then a memory, it was like something from childhood, half-remembered and barely there at all. His eyes blurred, and he couldn't really see what he was pointing at. By the time his finger pulled the trigger, they snapped back into focus, and he still couldn't tell, even as the bullet flew threw the air, what he'd been aiming for - the leg, or the chest.

    Harry ran for the door.
    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.


  18. #78
    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)

    “Hana will deal with it if it is such a threat,” Four says, tapping her fingers against the receptionist’s desk. She has faith in the other Associations, and the Head even more so. It is experience that lends credence to those beliefs. Plenty have tried overturning the status quo, and they have all failed. Whether by her hand or by that of those higher up.

    Still, the more this woman speaks, the more Four feels as if she’s being read like an open book. Every statement feels carefully crafted to make her change her mind, renege on her words, and take the job. Is the true nature of this orphanage a problem? Not really. The City will always facilitate these kinds of schemes. That is simply its nature. But the way this woman frames the issue as an attack on the institution itself…

    Is her will that transparent? Her mind that easy to read? Her superiors would have her head for this. An assassin who cannot hide their intent is a shameful mockery in the business.

    “Do you really think this work is such a game changer? A problem that needs to be nipped so early in the bud?”

  19. #79
    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)

    As I walked closer and closer to the intersection of the fire and the smoke, I found myself in a lighter mood now that I figured out this puzzle. Maybe this would've been easier if that infernal tracker didn't break before I even got to this part, but all I had to blame for that were the people who gave those to me in the first place. Thinking about the tracker frustrated me all over again, those people didn't give me any idea of how the thing works other than follow it. Then they didn't give me any spare batteries or a way to recharge it. So I had to figure out this dumb puzzle even as night time approaches. I pulled it out and considered throwing it into this stupid dumb camp but.

    But finally, I got to the fire/smoke intersection to find a camp. A deserted camp. Minimalist. Simple to set up and carry. The weight would be divisible among how many members they had. I had to respect them as a survivalist. However, the weirdest thing is that since it was easy to set up and tear down. Then why was it deserted? Considering the fire, it had to be recently…

    You were too late again.

    A stray thought almost caused me to cut down one of the tents. However, I heard a distant sound of cloth rustling and followed by a metal click that was too far away to be a part of the camp grounds that I was currently in. I immediately followed my instincts and moved my body away from its current position. The following second after, I heard a huge crack of a gun go off as it hit the tracker that was previously in my hand. I didn’t pay attention to its condition as there was a Syndicate here now.

    Quote Originally Posted by ???
    “Oh fuck—”
    Multiple syndicates were here as I heard the ruffling of more cloth, but this sound was much much closer than the person who shot at me. Disregarding the one who shot at me, I chased after them despite their head start. I can always hunt down a gun user as long as I knew they were out there. Their gunshots were only a threat if you didn’t know they were coming. However, the ones who ran away always caused more issues. The next group of Syndicates would be more aware and more troublesome. They would spread info about me and pull others down in order to try and kill me. The ones who got away were the worst.

    With barely any effort, I managed to crest the hill the runners went towards and saw them clearly running. They were what I would expect of specialists in this area. Sand-colored clothing. Masks to keep sand out of their eyes and mouth. However, since they didn’t attack me. I would give them one last warning. I pulled out Senbonzakura one time and made a single Void Cut in front of them.


    “Slow Syndicate.”

    I glared at them full of killing intent. There was no hiding my current rage. I saw enemies and there was only one outcome for them. Death. The serene energy emanating from my blade did nothing to dilute my bloodthirst for the people in front of me.

    “Surrender now or become my enemy. And you should know what I do to my enemies by now, Syndicate.”

  20. #80
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Johnny Concord
    Location: Outskirts, Shouko's Home
    Date: Beginning of the End - Day 1 (Friday Afternoon)

    "Heh! I don't mind being a big kid myself!"

    Johnny laughed at the girl's annoyance in a good-hearted manner and thumbed his chest boisterously. Then, after giving the location he was in a once-over with his eyes, he brought the Ace of Hearts to a halt and flicked the engine off, ceasing the loud rumbling of a very-highly-modified V8 that had been filling the extra-dimensional space. Having quieted the massive beast, he turned around on the seat and leaned against the frame a bit, focusing his gaze on the girl - Hikari Shouko.

    A wide grin was still clear on the man's face, hwoever.

    "I mean, that just means I'm young at heart, gwahahaha!" The bounty hunter laughed, showing no ill will. "Though still, sorry, sorry! Didn't mean to ruffle your feathers, ki--- Miss. Just that, you're pretty tiny, so I my mind made a leap of logic!"

    He didn't mean anything bad by it.

    He clearly didn't, the way he was grinning was too pure to contain any hidden, snide insinuations. But still...

    --- He was a terribly rude man, even without trying.

    "Though details, huh...?"

    Still, even Johnny's laughter eventually faded.

    As he got out of his motorcycle's seat and approached the rest of the room, seemingly somewhat lured by the idea of food, the redhaired man mulled over what Hikari had said. Details about the mission were one thing, those were Hermes' job after all. But background details on why Johnny was even here in the first place. In a way, it wasn't too strange - a bounty hunter had to eat, and sometimes they took missions that were out of the ordinary just to make the ends meet.

    But sometimes there was more to it than that.

    And if the girl had heard about a "grudge", then...

    Johnny's yes narrowed.
    A reel of flashing pictures.

    A man approaching from the sunlight, tinted by red sand and chromed metal.

    A smile on his face.

    That man was enjoying it all - to that man, it was all a game.

    Scorching heat of bursting flames all around him. Enveloping him, tearing apart asphalt and ground.

    Eyes in the conflagration, staring him down.

    Wail of a guitar, steel strings in final motion.

    The film reel skips, it's old - too old. It all begins again. The film flaps against the projector feels. Clicking, clicking, clicking.

    - Man from sunlight.

    - Red sand and chromed metal.

    - His smile.

    - Scorching heat, tearing asphalt.

    - Eyes and steel strings.

    Again. The film burns. It loops too fast.

    --- Man and light.

    --- Red and chrome.

    --- Heat and asphalt.

    --- Eyes and guitar.

    Again.

    ------ Man, light.

    ------ Red, chrome.

    ------ Heat, asphalt.

    ------ Eyes, guitar.

    Again.

    Man, light, red, chrome, heat, asphalt, eyes, guitar.


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

    And finally, Johnny blinked, driving away the film reel of his memories and stomping it back into the darkness where it belonged.

    Instead, he flashed a slightly sarcastic grin to the girl before him as he dug out the whiskey bottle (Fireball brand, of course) that he had gotten from Hermes. He twisted it open, took a swig, and let out a satisfied sigh as the burn travelled down his body.

    "I guess you could call it a personal grudge?" Johnny said with a chuckle. "Eh, I just don't like one of the guys involved. Nothing grander than that. Dunno what the hell that Hermes went and spouted, though."

    He topped it off with another swig.

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