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Thread: Panophobia: Second Impact (IC Thread)

  1. #21
    [DA YO intensifies] arkturus's Avatar
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    Yeong Min
    Mickey's Long Term Storage - Interior
    Evening
    ​Thursday


    Yeong winced and covered her ears as the big man's booming voice assaulted her eardrums. Geez, even an airhorn wasn't this loud.

    Based on what the others had said he seemed to be a well known person in this field, at least to this gaggle of weirdos. She never payed much attention to those types of shows, much less radio shows, but she did recognize his voice from the radio the head coach brought with him to the field.

    So far she wasn't really jazzed about this whole thing. The group seemed made of a couple of nerds who did cringey things in their mother's basement, a dude that looked like he'd show up on the news one day as an axe murderer, a super flamboyant gay guy that made her spine shiver when he looked at her, some wannabe detective, and the guy behind the operation was living out of a storage unit? Hardly a winning team, though the breaking and entering might be fun. The other girl her age seemed cool though, like a tough delinquent-type of gal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah Parker
    "...Breaking and entering, huh? Cool."
    Scratch that, she was cool. Cool as a cucumber despite everything that happened. Seemed like a reliable person to be around, or at least the most normal in this group.

    "Yeah I'm fast." She sidles up and wraps a strong arm around the parka girl and grins. "They don't call me the ace striker of the Wombats for nothing."

    "So where are breaking into? An abandoned house or something?" She address the big man in front.
    <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

  2. #22
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Sarah Parker
    Mickey's Long Term Storage - Interior
    Evening

    ​Thursday

    "..."

    While her expression doesn't change at the sudden onslaught of physical contact, at the arm that has suddenly wrapped itself around her shoulders, her eyes do drift over towards that arm and it's owner. Of course, considering that perpetually annoyed expression of hers, it's hard to tell how she feels about it at first, indeed, the eyes that flicker to the arm and then up to the girl's face hold no answers within them, no sense of reproach or acceptance, just a completely neutral acknowledgement, eyes that are saying something like 'so you're a physically affectionate type, huh?'

    But...

    After a few moments...

    "...Cool."

    She nods at the girl, voice as emotionless as always, even if the words themselves seem to accept the girl's presence.

    "Follow me if it goes sideways, we should make it out."

    Was this her way of trying to be friendly?

    "They'll go for the one with the crazy eyes first, has that look to him that cops hate. Sorta like he's doped out on drugs, see? The crazy eyes. After that they'll go for the adults, they seem more harmful on principle, you know?"

    She nods again.

    "Gives us plenty of time to bolt. If you're quick we'll make it."

    Her gaze returns to the front, but she sticks her non-pinned arm out awkwardly across her chest towards the girl, going for what seems like a handshake...?

    "Name's Sarah."
    Last edited by Airen; August 14th, 2022 at 07:33 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--"

  3. #23
    [DA YO intensifies] arkturus's Avatar
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    Yeong Min
    Mickey's Long Term Storage - Interior
    Evening
    ​Thursday

    With the tacit approval given, Yeong chuckled and gave the offered hand a firm shake, still keeping the arm around Sarah's shoulder. It seemed her impression was spot on.

    "Nice to meet ya, I'm Yeong. It's pronounced kinda like 'young' but more like a slower 'yawn' with a 'g' at the end. Ye-awn-g. If you don't get it, no biggie. I'm used to it."

    Yeong had to admit that she was impressed that the slightly taller girl hadn't tried to shake out of her grasp, despite having to bend down to keep the position. In fact, she hadn't changed her expression at all. She wondered what it would take to get a rise out of the perpetually sour-faced girl. Maybe she'll try to surprise tickle her or blow in her ear later. She seemed like the type to take a prank or two.

    "Oh, already got a plan? You seem to have been around the block a few times. You ever got caught before?" She flexes her free arm. "Don't worry, if someone does catch us I'll kick 'em to the curb before they even see our faces."
    <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

  4. #24
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Sarah Parker
    Mickey's Long Term Storage - Interior
    Evening

    ​Thursday

    "..."

    Silence.

    Somewhat awkward, a slow silence born from what was quickly becoming apparent to be some aspect of the young woman's personality, then-

    "Ye-awn-g."


    -she sounds it out once, slowly, as if to be sure she could say it properly.

    "Yeong."

    A pause.

    "Okay. Seems easy enough, I'll remember it."

    Another nod, before her jewel-like gaze again makes note of all of the people around them; it seems to be a habit of hers, a mental checklist of some sort, but the meaning behind it can only be guessed at...

    "And no, never caught at a scene. Although I'm pretty sure they know my face nowadays, street art isn't really appreciated by the police and coincidentally, whenever they find some, I always seem to be nearby."

    Street art, huh?

    Graffiti?

    Eyes flicker back towards the other girl.

    "As for already coming up with plans... Of course... Look at how loud most of these people are, they're bound to get everyone caught."
    Last edited by Airen; August 15th, 2022 at 06:19 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--"

  5. #25
    Designated Reptile Draconic's Avatar
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    Adrian Saunders
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    Evening
    Thursday


    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah View Post
    "Follow me if it goes sideways, we should make it out.

    "They'll go for the one with the crazy eyes first, has that look to him that cops hate. Sorta like he's doped out on drugs, see? The crazy eyes. After that they'll go for the adults, they seem more harmful on principle, you know?"
    Adrian’s mouth moved before he could stop himself.

    “Whoa. Did you just have that thought out, or did you come up with a plan on the spot?”

    Crap.

    Adrian actually had a history of blurting things out without thinking when something surprised him. It wasn’t like it happened all the time, but sometimes his mouth was just faster than his thoughts, so-to-speak. It seemed that right now was one of those times. Right on time to make a bad first impression. Yay. He loved doing damage control.

    Expression

    “Sorry. Just… thinking aloud. I’m assuming that I’m one of the ‘adults’ you plan on leaving to take take the fall? You know, I’m only in my second year of college, right? I… uh… I sure don’t feel like an adult… I honestly don’t know whether I should be alarmed or impressed. probably both, actually. Can’t say I feel very good about being left behind, but on the other hand, if that guy,” he gestured toward the man the girl had labelled as ‘crazy eyes,’ a name that was crude, but which he couldn’t deny was accurate, “doesn’t stop exuding raw, unfiltered angst, I honestly couldn’t blame you for bailing.”

    He turned back to Sarah.

    “Anyway, the police probably aren’t what something you’ll need to worry about. As far as urban exploration goes… well actually, I guess the things to plan for always depend on the location. There are all sorts of mishaps that can happen if we go in unprepared. I’ve never really thought of it as breaking and entering, though. At the very least, I’ve never done any of the ‘breaking.’ part.”

    He trailed off, smiling in a way that he hoped was disarming, but he just felt uncomfortable.

    “Oh! R-Right, as long as we’re introducing ourselves, my name’s Adrian.”
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  6. #26


    John Smith
    Mickey's Long Term Storage - Interior
    Evening
    ​Thursday


    Shut inside with a bunch of wags; John checked his iPhone. The device was bulky and from the looks of it he was texting someone. He said to Adrian, “Can’t a man dream, pickpocket? Not everyone wants to work for another guy’s exposure.”

    The flick of his thumb sent a green blurb in the chat. Those with eagle-eyed vision could read a three-letter word at the top: Sis. And like lightning a gray bubble appeared in there. The margins of his mouth went up slightly.

    “This still might turn out to be a decent beat, after all.”

    He took a picture of the scene. The click of the iPhone was heard around the room.

    He said, “If you want to talk so much shit, try to look good doing it.”
    Last edited by Sixkiller; August 15th, 2022 at 04:06 PM.

  7. #27
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Mickey's Long Term Storage - Headquarters
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    ​Thursday


    The gargantuan man somehow squeezed into a suit pauses, orange lens slipping down to reveal green eyes blinking owlishly.

    "Oh, oho, and it is quite fine to see you again as well, Miss Dumont! And of course there's dear Jack-o to go along with the Jill, of course of course, you old rogue!"

    He chuckled mirthfully, letting out some of what you are beginning to suspect is most of his body's composition.

    Then he drooped, the great swirl of hair wilting over comically, "Unfortunately, your synthesized audio treats were confiscated by the constables, I'd go and request for them back, of course, but, ah..."

    As he moves away from you all further into the storage bin, you spot the innocuous anklet he's wearing.

    "I'm afraid I'm frightfully incapable!"

    Ah, of course.

    It's common knowledge of course, quite possibly one of the only truly interesting things beyond the wilderness in this part of the state getting arrested like that.

    State of New York vs Kenneth Douglas.

    Was mostly a win for the man in question, evidence and character witnesses managed to bust the charges down to house arrest, but there was a great deal of public outcry, the massive defamation campaign spread during the trial did some quite serious damage to his livelihood.

    "They're not quite impounded, basically," Ramon scoffed heatedly, "Or they'd be released when the case was closed, but there's some real cunts down at the Sheriff's Department that have 'em buried somewhere behind the sticks."

    He rolled his eyes at John's remark, "Please, the amount of blue blood we got rolling up into this joint, at least one of 'ems got a get out of jail free card, so unpucker yourself, Little Man."

    He's supremely and completely unconsidered about the possibility of crime.

    The distant voice of Douglas boomed out, echoing from the bowels of something he was rummaging around in.

    "Oh, I doubt it'll come to that, a bit of youthful exploration won't go too amiss, it's the spirit of adventure!Of discovery! I seem to recall a certain someone telling me something to that effect, hmmmmm?"

    At that, Ramon grumbled, rubbing at his mouth.

    "Indeed, Indeed, Mr. Fernandez is quite generous! He opened the doors of his establishment to a soul in need of aid, a gentleman and a scholar like there has never been!"

    "It's because you didn't have the money for a hotel room and if you didn't have a place of residence they'd pick you up for vagrancy."

    "Pah, property is an illusion! Ownership: a falsehood created byL A N D L O R D S!"

    Ramon shook his head, "We ain't here to talk about grudges, old man."

    "Oh, fine, fine... More important things...

    He straightened up with a small box in his hand, "Any interest in tea before we get started? It's my personal blend, you know, excellent bit of vitamins in it, really get the mind working."

    Without waiting for responses, he began setting out some slightly careworn cups, eight in total, before pausing for a moment and glancing back at Ramon.

    "They're still out at the mine job," He stated, "Knowing Lombardo they're probably making out somewhere, should be back in a few hours. Probably after we're done."

    A remarkably subdued 'ah', came from the vermillion man, who turned to fuss with a slowly boiling kettle.

    The storage bin, in contrast to its bombastic resident was very tidy, well-organized, ad-hoc shelves of sheet metal lined with a wooden liner lined the walls, a armchair appropriately sized for the huge man nestled in-between two of them, a warm brown carpet coated most of the floor, broken by a low table lined with carpets and blankets, a kotatsu.

    Off to one side, a old-looking cell phone lay on one of the shelves, was it the holder of the number you'd called?

    "Hmph, seems we've still got a bit before tea's done, so I suppose we can get down to business, lest I leave you all hanging and have you gossipy ones in the back scuttle off before I've even started!"

    Another booming laugh, accompanied by the thunderous claps, though, slightly more subdued now.

    He coughed gently into one hand, then spread it out in the air, his expression turning grave, emerald eyes watching you steadily over the sunset lens, Ramon shifting slightly behind you, posture straightening to attention."

    "This may be before some of your time, and I would certainly be surprised if Miss Parker had heard of it, and in contrast, I would be surprised if our sleuthing Jack and Jill hadn't-"

    "But, have you heard of the Carter Incident?"

    At once, there is a creeping, glossy, almost wet-feeling sensation, like the peeling of a plastic film, or the wiping of a fogged window. The slow hiss of escaping air under deep, invisible pressures.

    And then you remember.

    The Carter Incident

    It was 1972, July. One of the hottest summers on record.

    Seemed like back then everyone had heard of the Carters.

    Raymond, the Patriarch, wealthy heir to a wealthier company, bought a couple acres at the west end of town in the Mid 60s.

    He'd been educated classically, over in Europe, and was fascinated with the older manor homes, opulent and imperial, and so, like any eccentric capitalist, he went and skipped several centuries of build-up, tradition, taxation and horror and just had a grand estate built in the foothills of the Adirondacks.

    With him was his wife, Florence, and their two children, Michael and Kelly-Ann, in addition, as befitting his love affair with the Old World, he hired on a number of servants, staff and maintenance.

    An eccentric, the town thought, just a local rich idiot.

    Strange and slightly belittling, but ultimately harmless.

    Still, rumors spread. Many of the older residents disapproved of Raymond Carter's open disregard for the more puritanical practices of the region at the time. He became known as a libertine, a sex freak, a pervert, some sort of modern slave owner, or a cult leader.

    Many people did come and go from the Carter Place quite often, he'd lease out rooms to friends, business associates and other characters.

    He was a stand-out character in a town that had never really had one.

    And it all came to an end on the night of July 17th, 1972.

    The first of the Day Workers arrived at the house to find it locked, and no calls or knocks or rings could summon anyone to open the door, so, the spare was found, and the door was opened.

    Within was nothing.

    It was as if a great shock had come upon the house in the night, or they had fled from some nameless threat.

    Beds were rumpled and unmade, candles still burned in the halls, even the nightly vacuum had been left unattended, food lay on the table, partially eaten.

    The Carters, their two children, and their live-in servants had vanished in the night, without a trace.

    Where had they gone? Was the question.

    The car was present, untouched, the doors were all locked from within, as they did every night.

    Vanished-

    But for a touch of blood along the hall to the Servant's Quarters.


    [Optional Knowledge Check!]

    Blinking slightly, you catch Kenny looking at you with a queer look in his eye, a mix of satisfaction and grim acceptance.

    "Well? What do you think the cause was?"
    Last edited by Mormarth; August 17th, 2022 at 01:12 AM.

  8. #28


    John Smith
    Mickey's Long Term Storage - Headquarters
    Evening
    ​Thursday


    “Things just keep getting more intriguing around here.”

    The orange bozo didn’t care for the law. And the law didn’t care for him. Four eyes let slip their den being a pigpen. John could guess why the flier was so circumspect. One part security, two parts personality.

    He put away his iPhone. He had the photo for the cover. The cast of characters made it a good read already. A football star, a sassy child, a radio host, a lab coat freak, a homosexual, a crooked detective, and more dusting up old properties for ghosts. That’s not normal in a town like Fairfield.

    John said, “Got to decline the drink, old man. Tea is, well, not my cup of tea.”

    And he was taught not to indulge on anything given by weirdos. Stranger danger, after all. The so-called personal blend was a red light. Who knew what sort of vitamins it took to animate a man like Kenneth Douglas? His hyperactive mind and motormouth moved on to blasting a story into John’s ears.

    “The Carters? What a load of fraudsters.”

    A free hand tapped John’s temple. Any native worth their salt knew the urban legends about them. It was something parents told their children as a lesson.

    “My folks were around when it went down. Last I heard, old Raymond wasn’t as wealthy as he claimed. Got himself hooked up with some bad hombres–the Mob, Europeans, Wellswaters, pick your poison. Suffice it to say, they came to collect and did a Jimmy Hoffa on the entire house. Nailed a cat to leave a message and left through the unlocked back door.”

    John shook his head side to side. “Of course, our thin blue line cared more about keeping Fairfield family friendly. Buried the problem, right, Dumont?” Law enforcement was one big misnomer. “Anyway, the real mystery is what the hell happened to the tenants the Carters were leasing to.”
    Last edited by Sixkiller; August 19th, 2022 at 09:27 PM.

  9. #29
    アカシャの蛇 The Serpent of Akasha RacingeR's Avatar
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    Jill Dumont
    Mickey's Long Term Storage - Interior
    Evening
    ​Thursday


    Jill rolled her eyes as she caught part of the schoolgirl’s dialogue. Teenagers!

    Well, she’d been one not too long ago. Still felt somewhat ashamed when she remembered that ‘I-am-better-than-the-adults’ sort of attitude she’d had. Probably not helped by her being better than the adults in quite a few work-related aspects.

    Eugh. Well, she’d gotten better, probably.

    But goddamn if this wasn’t the cattiest fucking bunch she’d ever had to deal with. Everyone seemed rather keen on being ridiculously unpleasant… which well, neither Jac nor Jill had been very pleasant either, though at least she wasn’t being loud about it. The only exception were the two nerdy guys, and Adrian was perhaps on the same level of weirdo as Edgelord already.

    Whatever. She leaned against a wall and listened to Ramon and Kenny’s dialogue.



    Well, that was… a strange sensation. The Carter Incident, huh? That’d been a long-ass time since she’d ever thought about that. In fact, given the whole disappearance thing, it was weird she hadn’t thought of it in so long.

    She remembered about it. Cops were a gossipy sort, so she’d known a lot more than most about it. Well, there wasn’t quite a lot to be known, ultimately. Most of it she’d heard her parents discuss it when she was supposed to be asleep, before that whole thing happened.

    Jill leaned her head slightly to look at John skeptically. Most people just knew the urban legends and the rumors. They didn’t know many details, and the more accurate rumors weren’t usually heard. So this guy got to have some sorta source of information. Or had been in the correct place to overheard some info, no need to get paranoid about it.

    “I dunno ‘bout the mob or whatever, but yes, the case was probably buried on purpose.” Jill yawned. “I’m a private detective, not a police officer. So, dial the attitude back a bit, guy.”

    “… Here are the facts I got.” She looked at Kenny this time, discounting the rest of the room for now.

    “First, the family and the close servants disappeared. That is correct. No corpses found as far as I know. Now, rumors that I’d say are fairly possible and probably happened: there were than a few more blood streaks, and yes, the family cat was found nailed to the wall. I bet you even in the crucifixion pose.”

    “Yes, the backdoor was unlocked. And, as the guy pointed out, nobody knows what happened to the tenants. No mention even of them disappearing, or dying, or anything. Rumors just go to ‘nobody knows’ and that’s it.” She paused, and sighed.

    “The interesting thing is, there are no official records about it, at all. I know because I did look it up at some point.” She thought so at least, when had it been? Memory about this case was blurry, and that was fucking strange. “Of course, there were no arrests.”

    “Now, the fate of the tenants is quite curious, because if there’d been murders or anything else, we’d have heard of it. Even if it didn’t appear in the news, there’d be rumors about it, people talk. Hell, I overheard cops gossiping about this before, even if they treat this whole thing as a sort of taboo and try to not mention it to people outside their circle.” She crossed her arms, her regard of Kenny quite intense now, analyzing the man before her.

    “Even if they had been disappeared that’d get mentioned by people, right? But not even that. Just no word at all whatsoever of what happened to them. Not even speculation, just a big blank.” Jill’s eyes narrowed, thoughts racing through her head, though it was hard to tell what about.

    “… Why bring it up, anyway, Kenny? Cause could’ve been the mob, as far as I know. Could’ve been anything, really. Bit hard to narrow it down with such an open-ended cold-case, you know?”

    … Though if you talked about mystery cases, good ol’ State of New York vs Kenneth Douglas was one. Very sudden, very strange that they suddenly cared about his drug possession.

    Very weird that they refused to return personal effects, too.

    Well, no need to bring it up just yet.


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  10. #30
    Designated Reptile Draconic's Avatar
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    Adrian Saunders
    Mickey's Long Term Storage - Headquarters
    Evening
    ​Thursday

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth Douglas View Post
    “Oh, oho, and it is quite fine to see you again as well, Miss Dumont! And of course there’s dear Jack-o to go along with the Jill, of course of course, you old rogue!”
    Oh, that’s right! The girl with the hair dye was Jill Dumont; that was how he recognized her! He wouldn’t exactly call himself a fan, per se, but she was something of a local celebrity. It only made sense that he’d recognize her. It was interesting that she'd be participating in something that had been advertised with taglines like “Occult Research Organization, Ghost Hunting and Cryptid Sleuthing,” though.

    Maybe she was working on a case? Just in case she was, Adrian made a mental note to try not to get in her way if she looked like she was working.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth Douglas View Post
    “...have you heard of the Carter Incident?”

    “Well? What do you think the cause was?”
    The Carter Mansion. In a town only exceptional in how ordinary it was, that place was something that defied the norms. The Carter Incident was an exceptional event, or would have been had it been given the attention it deserved, but while the case is open officially, there haven’t been any serious investigations on the subject.

    “I’ve read about that. I remember that it’s still open but that it’s been left to stagnate since the 70’s. The police declared it a mass disappearance, but that doesn't match up with what evidence was made public.



    “The… uh… there are tons of rumors floating about online, but most of them don't have any merit to them. There's one about a staff member murdering the family using hidden doors. I mean, I’ve never been inside, but if the house is anything like the estates it was modelled after like the Vanderbilts’ or the Fitzgeralds’, it would have dozens of secret doors, both between different rooms and for staff hallways. That doesn’t account for the lack of bodies, but that could theoretically be chalked up to shoddy police work.”

    He knew he was getting caught up on a topic, but it was always hard to stop himself from finishing a topic. He started working on it anyway.

    “There’s also the theory that it was all a hoax; that the Carters were tired of the abuse from their neighbours and just left the country, but that one seems less plausible because no one’s heard about them since, and there wouldn’t be a need for everyone in the family to abandon all their possessions, their company, and adopt new identities. It also begs the question why they took their live-in staff with them but none of their valuables.

    “Even so, the evidence itself is just bizarre, but I don't know about anything that Jill hasn’t mentioned already. The cat nailed to a door was particularly strange though. I feel like in a situation where there was so little to go on, the cat must have had some kind of significance, but I can’t imagine what it might be.

    “I can say this, though: In terms of Urban Exploration, no one goes there. Ever. A few people said they would, but they backed out at the last minute. Last second, more like. Those guys would just say that they got a really bad feeling from the place. ‘Bad vibes,’ or something like that. I can't say I know what they meant. I get that the place is creepy, but then again, maybe I just haven't gotten close enough to the property?

    “Even so, there was some girl who explored a colonial-era warehouse in Maine where every other floorboard was rotten enough to send her falling twenty feet into underground cold storage, and even she wouldn’t get anywhere near the Carter Mansion.”
    Last edited by Draconic; August 20th, 2022 at 03:01 PM.
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  11. #31
    Clemente Jackson
    Mickey's Long Term Storage - Headquarters
    Evening
    ​Thursday

    Never the most social of butterflies, Clemente is utterly content to simply sit back and nod his head as everyone else confirms the selfsame rumors he already knew. "Well then, sounds like we've all got pretty much the same understanding of things." Clemente finally speaks up as the others finish, nodding to both the dorkin the lab coat and the older woman. "But ah, if I may speak up: I believe we missed a step... or two." He scratches the back of his head, a bit embaressed that he had to be the one to bring this topic up.

    "Maybe before we dive into whatever Big D has in store for us, maybe we could introduce ourselves?" Clearing his throat, Clemente stands up as straight as he can manage. "Clemente Jackson. Journalism major at Fairfield College. I hope to work well with all of you!" Doing his best to smile despite the nervousness, he gives each of the assembled people a nod.

  12. #32
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Mickey's Long Term Storage - Interior
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    Douglas's ever-present grin took on a bit of a wry tilt as the by-play developed, waiting intently in the aftermath of Clemente's introduction to see if any of the others took him on his offer.

    The silence hung thick.

    Behind you, Ramon coughed, what sounded vaguely like a snicker fading quickly as the amber-glassed gaze of Kenneth Douglas fell upon his pitiful form.

    "Uh, yeah, um," The hispanic young man behind you stumbled over his words for a moment, "R-ramon, Ramon... Fernandez, takin' some online classes, I uh, run the joint and, well, I'll be the mission control for the-"

    "Now, now, Rrrramon!" Douglas trilled, rolling his 'r's' theatrically, "Let's not get too into things, there's an order to it all!"

    The flustered young man fell into silence, mumbling under his breath.

    "Anywhoodle, fine input from the three of you, very fine, top marks," Another booming clap from the sunset giant, "Fraudsters! Murders! Mysterious Tenants! A possible Hoax! All very interesting, but you know what the really interesting thing is, the thing that really gets in my craw?"

    There was a pause.

    "None of it can be definitely proven! It's all rumor, hearsay! Nothing, no one, from the police department to gossip rags to yours truly has a true and definitive account of what, exactly, happened there! Like the entire Carter Incident is some sort of half-glimpsed plesiosaur viewed by nothing but drunks and shysters through a layer of fog so thick you could sit on it!"

    He chortled merrily.

    "Why, it's almost like someone wants to keep things quiet!"

    His smile faded.

    "After all, for such an interesting little occasion, it's rather odd that it's barely ever mentioned, don't you think? Why, I doubt anyone outside of the county had even heard of it. It should be the talk of my contemporaries, I should be able to hear wild-eyed kooks and spooks ranting and raving to George Noory about how they were all abducted by the subterranean mole-people who sucked them down into the basement and into a land beyond life and death!"

    He spread his hands, "And yet, nothing. Silence, the only interruption the vague sort of half-awareness of a corkboard sign on the side of the road, you'd never even think of it unless prompted, just how they want it."

    He nodded, slowly, "Very intriguing, indeed. But, now that we've whet our appetite, let's move on to our main dish for the evening."

    Kenneth stood up, "Bad vibes or no, Mr. Saunders, I'd like to ask you all to join us in our little venture, to brush away the cobwebs of deceit and falsehood and find out what really happened to those poor fools up on the hill. Gather information, find evidence, get to the bottom of things, to begin following the ragged thread of this tarnished tapestry and find the source of it all once and for all!"

    Again, silence, broken by the awkward monotone of Ramon.

    "He means you lot will be going up with me, setting up some monitoring equipment, having a look around, maybe some sound bites if you want, the whole Ghost Hunters bit and sniffing around a little to try and find out why, uh, well..."

    Ramon scratched his cheek, Douglas, a bit put-out by the more practical explanation, popping up in his seat, eyes a-gleam, waiting for just such a moment to reach out and flip a rotating board around at you.

    "Well, the place is due to be demolished, Saunder's has a point, no one sticks around there for long, couple of dot comers in the early oughts, every couple years some guys try and get permits for a haunted house, but always no dice, so now, it's getting popped out like a pimple."

    Ramon sighed, "Course, there's a bit of weirdness to it, obviously, there's a trend here, and that weirdness, is why, exactly..."

    Kenny reaches out and whirls the usual board of conspiracy at you, behind a rotating corkboard, pictures, thumbtacks, bits of string, the usual, but, right there in the center, accompanied by a helpful array of question marks around it, was a photo in full color.

    The site was not unfamiliar, the Carter place, old and spooky and dilapidated as usual, but what was more intriguing was the site around it, the gaggle of vans and trucks bearing the same symbol, a very familiar symbol to anyone living in Fairfield.

    The green cylindrical well and the over-flowing purplish waters.

    "Why's Wellswater going and poking around up there in the middle of the night?"

    Kenny leans forward, "Always on-time, too, exactly 12:26 AM to precisely 4:29 AM, always after the demolition people leave, when they don't work, they aren't there."

    Ramon nods, "Some kind of work-stoppage, contracts, people at city hall complaining about a landmark, tourist money, whatever, the real reason is that the contractors are from Pine Bluffs."

    He hisses the name out. An air of distaste goes around the group, Kenny makes a warding gesture, expression twisted in almost comical disgust.

    "So that's another thing, obviously they've got some angle they're working, it's them, it's what they do."

    Kenny leans forward, expression still scrunched from the mention of the town's hated enemies across the valley, "So, that all being said, are you could-be investigators willing to start being are-being investigators???"

    Ramon folds his arms, "Got any questions, I'll do what I can."

  13. #33
    Designated Reptile Draconic's Avatar
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    Adrian Saunders
    Mickey's Long Term Storage - Headquarters
    Evening
    ​Thursday

    Quote Originally Posted by Mormarth View Post
    "Why's Wellswater going and poking around up there in the middle of the night?"

    Kenny leans forward, "Always on-time, too, exactly 12:26 AM to precisely 4:29 AM, always after the demolition people leave, when they don't work, they aren't there."

    Ramon nods, "Some kind of work-stoppage, contracts, people at city hall complaining about a landmark, tourist money, whatever, the real reason is that the contractors are from Pine Bluffs. So that's another thing, obviously they've got some angle they're working, it's them, it's what they do.""
    Ah yes, Pine Bluffs. The eternal rivalry.

    Heheh.

    Honestly, Adrian didn’t really get it. To him, Pine Bluffs was just another town, but some people took it seriously. Douglas obviously did. He wasn’t nearly as bad as Jedediah Saunders. Uncle Jed was his paternal uncle, and had never left Fairfield in his entire life. Not even once. For whatever he might have been like when he was younger, he’d put down roots early, and refused to move them for anything, starting his own hardware store at twenty, and marrying at twenty-three.

    Quite honestly, it was probably thanks to Uncle Jed that Adrian found it nigh impossible to see any merit in the whole Fairfield vs. Pine Bluffs topic. He held such fervent disdain for everything related to Pine Bluffs that it was hard to think of it as anything but comical.

    As far as his uncle was concerned, if it was outside Fairfield it didn’t exist, with three exceptions: Washington D.C., Manhattan, and Pine Bluffs. And he blamed that last one for any problem you could think of.

    Low farming yields? Those Pine Bluffers are salting our county’s crops at night, doncha know?! Late delivery of product to the hardware store? All those crooks from Pine Bluffs are bribing the suppliers to get the goods first! Skyrocketing car insurance prices? Those damn Pine Bluffers are driving up interest rates by teaching their wombats to drive!

    Adrian couldn’t help but feel bad for his cousins who had to listen to this all the time. Family gatherings would often start by the usual reminder to never mention Pine Bluffs once Jed arrived. This would work for a while, but usually Uncle Jed brought it up himself, and there went a good hour-and-a-half. Was it any wonder that Adrian didn’t take this seriously?

    Even so, even if he couldn’t help but question it, he knew better than to make light of the subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mormarth View Post
    "So, that all being said, are you could-be investigators willing to start being are-being investigators???"

    Ramon folds his arms, "Got any questions, I'll do what I can."
    “Sure, count me in. I… uh, I mean, it sounds interesting. I’ve gotta admit, going most places in the dead of night sounds pretty suspicious, but especially when it’s a building set to be demolished, and even more when its whole vans from the city’s favourite company. That said, I’m not seeing what the contractors being from Pine Bluffs has to do with anything. Like… besides the obvious, you know.”

    A small part of him felt incredibly sad that such a grand house would be torn down, even if it had fallen into severe disrepair over decades of neglect.

    “I’m also curious about a few things. Besides what I just mentioned, I mean. Those are some weirdly specific times, and while they don’t sound particularly meaningful, if they’re there at those exact times every night, there must be some significance, right? Have you found out anything about that, or about what Wellswater’s doing there, or would we be starting this investigation from scratch?”

    This was starting to sound as political as it was paranormal, which didn’t seem like things that went hand-in-hand. At least not at first glance.

    Adrian really didn’t know what to make of that.

    “Oh! Right!” he piped back up before anyone else started speaking. “And will we need any kind of equipment? I have a pocket flashlight and an LED lantern, but that’s it, so anything you can provide would probably be helpful.”

    He looked around. Obviously he wasn't going to take anything without permission, but with all the clutter, who could say what might have gotten lost in the mess?
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    Admittedly, she'd probably be the hottest loan shark you'll ever meet. She'd probably make you smile as she sucked you dry.


    Oh dear, that doesn't sound like yuri at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Techlet View Post
    Not with that attitude.

  14. #34


    John Smith
    Mickey's Long Term Storage - Headquarters
    Evening
    ​Thursday


    A lot of information to digest. Some of it was discarded outright. Ghosts, mole-people, urban legends–ignorance made them, hysteria spread them. Fear was a mind-numbing drug. Couple of punks get scared by their shadows and blame something else for it. An old and eternal story.

    Clemente’s question caught John’s attention. Not the boy. His occupation: journalism. A kindred soul on the bylines. Of course, he waited and let the awkward silence claim two victims. He said, “It’s John Smith, by the way. I run The Sentinel around here.”

    Anyone who went to Triple H knew the school’s paper. It stirred up trouble weekly by posting items that annoyed the powers that be, mostly the principal. He had a section just for the “Pine Bluff of the Week.” You didn’t want to be mentioned there. There was some shared DNA between it and Douglas, though the man was far more outlandish in his claims.

    “And I have a question, alright. What sort of history do the Wellswaters have with that house? Matter of fact, might as well give a breakdown of who they are so we’re on the same foot.”

  15. #35
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Jacob Hopeman
    Mickey's Long Term Storage - Interior
    Evening
    ​Thursday

    The assembled crowd digs into the mystery presented to them with all the gusto of hyenas devouring a corpse. For as disparate as they seem, they are all starving for something, aren't they?

    The garishly-dressed man hangs back from the spectacle. As tempting, as delicious as Dougie and Ramon's words are, he holds himself back. The man has no desire to be another voice in the crowd. He will take his piece after the boring questions have been asked.

    "Go get 'em, girl."

    He leaves Jill with a pat on the back and slinks away to the strangest among them: the first to offer his name, an absolutely ordinary fellow, and the angry grump now known as John Smith. Jacob slinks between them, getting uncomfortably close to Clemente. The young man's hands are abuzz with activity, forming strange angles, shifted strangely about Clemente's form as if measuring him for fitting.

    "Heya, Clem. That's a spicy subject of study, journalism. Will you be the next Hunter? Or perhaps you'll settle down and be a Cronkite. Then let me be your Bob Ross. I'm Jacob Hopeman. You can call me Jack. Look me up on Etsy; I do a little bit of everything."

    Jacob's eyes bore into the Clemente - and even spare a glance for John - like un-moving camera lenses.

    "Forget that old rumour they're chattering on about: What brings a pair of lambs like you to this demented neck of the woods? Big D's normally too much for the sensible types to handle."
    Last edited by Bloble; August 31st, 2022 at 10:41 PM.

  16. #36
    Clemente Jackson
    Mickey's Long Term Storage - Interior
    Evening
    ​Thursday

    "
    Honestly? I was bored." Clemente gives a shrug of his shoulders, feeling a little uncomfortable at just how close the obviously homosexual man was. "Bob... Ross? I'm not sure I understand the Holmes and Watson analogy, there." He scratches the back of his neck, a bit embarrassed at his own lack of understanding.

    "Oh, the Sentinel?" Clemente perks up, recognizing the name. "I read the online copy between classes, but... admittedly, only the gossip portions. Aha..." he laughs nervously, not sure of how the others might respond to that bit of character knowledge. "But, right: Hopeman and Smith. Nice to meet you guys! Hopefully we can make this... extracurricular worth our while." He spares a glance to the girls once more, gulping as images of- 'No! Be normal; be cool!'

  17. #37
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Sarah Parker
    Mickey's Long Term Storage - Interior
    Evening

    ​Thursday

    "...Pine Bluffs."

    At first, it seems that even the mention of their town's most hated rival wasn't enough to bring any real emotion out of Sarah, indeed, the young woman had only been half-listening to what was going on around her for awhile now, thoughts instead focused on whether or not she had actually met Douglas before now in her travels, especially since he had seen fit to name her as an example of the younger generations, but...

    "Gross."

    While she hadn't been born in this town, she had lived here long enough to acquire the usual loyalties, spurred on by the fact that Pine Bluffs really was sort of awful, the cheery smiles kind of awful that couldn't be trusted, an overwhelming aura of... Well plastic was probably the best way to put it...

    Fake.

    So deep do these feelings of disdain towards their rival town go that the stoic young woman's frown deepens along with her comment, a brief flash of actual honest-to-god disgust, before the muscles pull her face from newfound obvious disdain back to the mild annoyance that was truly her signature nowadays...

    As far as questions went, she didn't have any...

    The others seemed to have that much covered for now and just going around setting up ghost hunting equipment was a simple enough task, easy way to kill a night and fight off the endless boredom of the town-life, not that she believed in ghosts or demons or mole people, so...

    "..."

    For now, she chooses to remain silent, or rather...

    Engages in the ever-entertaining hobby of people watching, it was a group of weirdos, so...

    Tonight had that going for it if nothing else...
    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--"

  18. #38
    アカシャの蛇 The Serpent of Akasha RacingeR's Avatar
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    Jill Dumont
    Mickey's Long Term Storage - Interior
    Evening
    ​Thursday


    So… she was supposed to break in and investigate the Carter Mansion. Fine. Having to do so with this whole crowd? A lot less fine. Also supposed to pull the whole ghost hunter act? Very definitely not fine.

    “Jill Dumont, private detective.” She said curtly as a presentation, then sank into thought, completely ignoring the Pine Bluffs bit.

    Her dad’s favorite punching bag, Pine Bluffs. It brought to mind somewhat fond memories, even if they were of good ol’ James ranting about how much he hated that place. Right now she couldn’t afford to get too distracted thinking about that.

    Hell, she wasn’t even putting up her usual pleasant act. To be honest, despite all she had said before, a part of her got stubborn once the matter of the supernatural was brought up. Being skeptical came naturally for her.

    The issue was that Kenny had, ultimately, brought up an actual, real mystery here. Too much of the stuff that had been mentioned lacked an explanation, and the whole thing was very suspicious. Ultimately, the big man had a big point here.

    That didn’t quite make her as happy as it should have. But hell, it wasn’t like she’d had anything better to do, with a dearth of cases in the last half month or so. Sure, she was a professional and getting involved in this felt weirdly embarrassing…

    But she had hanged out with Jacob during most of her life, so she was accustomed to second-hand embarrassment anyway. Yep, better to think of it that way.

    “I’m gonna be direct and say that I don’t buy the whole Ghost Hunters thing, but if there’s an actual mystery, I’ll be there to solve it.” She exchanged a quick glance with Jacob, who’d gone do his magic on the two guys over there. “We’re in.”

    “Seconding Smith’s question, by the by.” Jill added after a moment. She took a look at the rest of the improvised team, recalibrating her measures on them. She didn’t expect the teenagers to be very useful. Edgelord, now known as John Smith, was proving that he might be more useful than she’d guessed. The other two, the judgment was reserved for now.

    “Right, do you have more deets about the demolition? When was it decided, how it got pushed through, etc. Could end up being useful to know if there’s a big name behind the sudden push to take the place down.”


    quotes
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    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
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  19. #39
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Mickey's Long Term Storage - Interior
    Evening
    ​Thursday


    Ramon grimaced, "No, we don't know why they're showing up there, only that they are, and they're doing 'something' inside. Not exactly Commando over here, and, ah, I'm probably the most subtle person here."

    He ticked off another finger, "As for equipment, we got all we need in the van, camera, thermometers, microphones, flashlights, couple boxes of protein bars, water, uh, a crowbar..."

    He paused.

    "Maybe avoid using that one, less you don't have any other option, and as for Wellswaters' involvement..."

    "Carters' were in bed with 'em," Kenny booms, "That whole property's got some prime real estate, so they're sniffing around to try and get the development rights, make 'nother one of those treatment plants."

    Ramon moaned quietly, "Here we go..."

    "But that's just for show! It's all about the leylines, see, the lines of territory, trying to sniff out the old native secrets, see, really let them get a grip on the soul of the land, start slurping it up real good."

    There's a brief moment of silence, interrupted only by the slow shifting of skin-on-skin as Ramon drags his hand down his face.

    "Yyyyeah, a-anyway... So, local water giant, buying up all the wellsprings and going for 100% bona-fide spring water, homegrown American genuine springs, straight from the oldest hills in the US. Their mothership's based out of downtown, spans about a block, kind of a small mall in there, got a wine bar with some of those little cheese cubes..."

    He shifts, "That's their main gig, but they've got their hands in a lot of pies, and you don't have to be a wild-eyed anti-corp type to be critical of their practices, they're about a couple of generations from just straight up running the town if they put their backs in to it."

    Then, he turns to Jill, dipping his head slightly in acknowledgement, "As for you, Miss Dumont, the demo's been a long-running thing, as a matter of fact, Carter House has gone back and forth from local landmark to local eyesore, depending on who's yelling in city council, contract's been passed from contractor to contractor for probably the last decade, lotta back 'n forth about pricing, protests, arguments, and so on."

    He frowned, "I don't know too much about that front though, not exactly a big politico-"

    "Fear not! I am!" Kenny laughed, "Even if I'm not the most popular, this old dog's got friends in low places, like the government, hah!"

    The joviality fades from his face, though, and he twists a lock of hair in his gloved grip, lips pursed, "Now, this is mostly hearsay, but, given their influence, Wellswaters' has fingers in pockets, pies and all, nothing happens without their say-so in most matters, if they don't want something done, it'll take Heracles himself to drag it against them, so, very convenient that the contract solidified so quickly so recently, after being mired in politics for the last decade, cripes, and that was how long it took to actually reach the floor."

    He batted the lock up, an irritated look on his face, "And with Pine Bluffs of all things, something stinks..."

    "Right then! Right-o," Once more, the great booming clap echoes around the storage container-cum-domicile with an air of finality to it.

    "With that, if we're all in agreement, and I'll take young Miss Yeong Min's silence as assent, let's get down to business!"

    He sweeps a hand to the side, a wave of that wild charisma pressing forth once more.

    "Transportation has been arranged, there's enough room in the van for you all," Ramon steps in once more, "Douglas doesn't exactly have the freedom to move around too much, so I'll be taking point in the field for this one, so to speak. All the equipment's set-up to route back to the van, so I'll be having eyes on things inside, along with radio communication. I'm also going to be our look-out guy, make sure no one sneaks up on us. Hopefully, with the van's position, if anyone shows up, I'll be able to give you all enough warning so that we can bug out and come back another day."

    His glasses gleam under the hanging fluorescents, "I'm gonna be real, I'm a bit of a cynic, not exactly expecting some world-shaking revelations, but if we can find even a hint of smoking gun, or dirty laundry, or even something people might've overlooked, it'll be worth it."

    A half-grin appears, "Shit, might even make some scratch, at least so our consulting detective won't be wasting her valuable time."

    "Anyway, we'll be meeting back here in a couple hours, so you've got time, feel free to grab anything you think we might need, just shoot me a text to the burner."

    He rattles off a number.

    "Anyway, if there's anything else you lot want to ask, or get off your chest, or gush about to Kenny over here," The man in question waves, sipping at that curious-smelling tea, "Feel free, otherwise, meetin' adjourned."

  20. #40
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Sarah Parker
    Mickey's Long Term Storage - Interior
    Evening

    ​Thursday

    "Couple of hours..."

    Sarah states aloud, her gaze finally properly focusing on Ramon rather than wandering amongst the crowd of weirdos and wannabe detectives that she had wound up inside...

    "Got a more specific time than that? We moving out at sundown or something?"

    It's a simple question.

    One that doesn't take anyone particularly special to conjure up, but one that she found to be important nonetheless; of course, it's not like she really meant to grab anything from home other than her spray paint cans (best not to take anything that couldn't be easily retrieved if they needed to bail, getting identified through forgotten finger prints on something would suck) but there was another reason she wouldn't mind going back home for a moment, or rather, a reason why she should probably go home for at least a bit, namely...

    Making sure Rose wouldn't rat her out tonight. That meant making the brat something warm for dinner so she wouldn't complain about her not doing so to the folks, and that meant about an hour or so of slaving over a hot stove and impressing the values of sibling solidarity (that is, insisting you don't know where the other is when the parents ask) to a girl that was beginning to get old enough to weaponize the concept of doing the opposite...

    Truly a troublesome age.
    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--"

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