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Voyage Through the Multiverse (Open) [IC]

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The Japanese Americans
Envoy
 
Posts: 313
Founded: Jun 24, 2018
Left-Leaning College State

Postby The Japanese Americans » Wed Jan 06, 2021 5:42 am

TGWR
Lee

He paused a second as he processed the tidbits Julianna had given him. "Oh. So you're that far ahead as a civilization." He got out his laptop from his Inventory and opened Google Earth, zooming in on Ireland and the UK. He quickly marked their current location and marked London. He flipped it around to show Julianna. "The island on the left is Ireland, where we are. Again, the city we're in is Dublin and the capital of Ireland. The marker is where we are exactly. The island on the right is Britain, or the United Kingdom as it's more known as in this world. The marker shows London, which is the capital of the UK." He let Julianna look at it a bit before shutting his laptop and putting it back into his Inventory. The voice of Thriller was surprising, but it made sense after all. Lee had already come to the conclusion that there were likely multiple copies of Thriller's mind if he was their leader, and he was most definitely born human.

Hearing about Muggles reminded him what he had seen online. If the media saw him, they would probably follow. The college wouldn't be empty of Muggles then, and there was no telling how many would end up following. There was almost definitely going to be at least one. Though he knew that pretty much everyone in the tavern most likely wouldn't understand, judging from his knowledge of the wizarding world's culture. He conferred with Anda for a few seconds, who was outside forcing a street light to stay on to confuse people. As she went off to search for a solution, he nodded to Colton.
I'm an autistic 16 year old who used to read a library's worth of books.

Name: Lee
Gender: Male
Species: Human
Level: 20
Total HP: 158
Total MP: 540
Power: 28
Strength: 26
Luck: 9
Intelligence: 96
Wisdom: 35
Relevant Skills: Mana Arrows, Mana Bomb, Weapon Charge, Energy Slice, Slice and Dice, Observation, Hard Hit, Spinning Mana Bomb, Spinning Mana Arrows, Heal, Body Scan, Electricity Control, Summon Spirit, Lumos, Hacking, and Idiotic Acts

Call me JA. It's easier than typing out Japanese Americans.

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Menschenfleisch
Diplomat
 
Posts: 609
Founded: Nov 01, 2017
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Menschenfleisch » Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:21 am

Seeds of Anxiety | Avarice and Valerian

It was Kadoor’s hand that ultimately pulled Paige onto the boat, smiling all the way. The girl straightened her shoulders, sagging a little under the weight of her sodden clothes and made an attempt at reciprocating the trolls’ gesture. “Well, umm, thank you for that.” The lifesaver that Constance had thrown was almost forgotten in the commotion, though some underlying thread of appreciation still lay beneath her uppermost thoughts. And of the rogons, of McLeary, of those deep underwater fighting a battle which the group could only observe through the density of blood in the water - and dear god was it ever thick with gorey paste - there was little to be said. The ship thrashed and screamed as the leviathan whose limbs were wrapped around it did the same. A deep resonance ran through the assembled refugees. Their lungs seized and muscles quivered to an inaudible, deafening tune. Then, as the engine fires and the boiling churn cooled, the mist closed back in around them and swallowed them in darkness.

”She wasn’t the cause of the disappearances.” Ava’s voice cut through the wind and sleet. When she opened her mouth all other sensations seemed to be relegated to the background of one’s consciousness. She even cut a more distinct silhouette than anyone else, as if she were simply more important than the rest of creation. Or rather, more real; more there, so to speak. Maybe that was true. Valerian sat near the back of the boat, nestled between two rolls of inflated rubber. ”Who? McLeary?” Ava brushed off his question. ”Her. The thing in the deep, the guardian, the rogons’ hound. No, she’s just an accomplice in all this. A sort of opportunistic bystander, if you will.” Paige interjected with great fervour; “so it’s all for nothing? It’s been hours and we haven’t even been able to do what we set out to do? Hell, we’re stuck in the middle of a storm with no food, no water, no correspondence with the outside world; McLeary’s gone and so is her boat. What now? I haven’t even chosen my preferred afterlife yet, who knows where I’ll go once I’m dead!? I hope it’s the 3rd Circle, I have friends there.” ”Calm down.” And the atmosphere thickened like cooling glass. His words were, if nothing else, authoritative. It all went to waste though as moments later, something hunched and sodden and titanic ripped itself from the water - a limb of a dying leviathan - and blew the boat back with the wind from its emergence.

It came down like a guillotine and severed all consciousness. At last, all was dark and calm.



There was something warm on Elizabeth’s face. Something damp, musty and fibrous. A… wet sack, one that smelled of old laundry and expired detergents. Inevitably, like a suckerpunch, consciousness shoved itself back into the frame of what once might’ve been called the most dangerous woman in the isles. She awoke spluttering, coughing, heaving. Poise had never been her strong suit; even in the best of times her conduct could only be called natural for someone in her position. She’d killed gods, stared civilizations in the face and found them wanting for merit. And yet, in the seconds after awakening, she floundered like a fish and choked on her own spit. Unlike many others in the expedition, she was only human; unfortunately, inescapably human.
As her body began to move by its own devices she would find something wet, cold, and metallic rubbing strongly against her wrist as she heard the clanking jingle of chains being pulled to their limit. The witch would realize that her hands were cuffed.

She tried to pull them down but they refused to move far away from above her head, the chain was apparently small enough to rob her the freedom of movement with her hands.

She found rusty iron shackles on her ankles too, the chains apparently connected to a ring embedded on to the rocky floor of the cave. Elizabeth gently pressed the back of her head against the cave wall as she sighed into the hood over her face.

“Great. I’m locked up in a cold, smelly, dark place again. At least this time I’m not surrounded by creepy ass dolls or cut up pictures of women’s faces hanging on the wall and ceiling.” There were many other circumstances under which she’d been locked up in a cold, smelly, dark place but those didn’t bear describing.

It was difficult to discern much of her surroundings. The bag was keeping her from picking up any notable scents, blocking her eyesight, covering her ears. It clung to her cheek, combining sweat with seafoam and musk. She was still sodden but now warm, unbearably so. It was not the acute heat of a flame - she wasn’t at risk of being burned alive, at least - but instead the insidious grip of a stagnant, tropical climate.

All that there was to do was wait, and so she did; sweltering with god knows how many people nearby, maybe even watching her. She wasn’t deaf by any means but the possibility of a man sitting silently in a chair not two feet from her didn’t escape her mind. She briefly contemplated what would happen to her. Being a human sacrifice wouldn’t be all that bad, her soul would probably only spend a few millennia trapped inside some magician’s artifact before finally dispersing. Outright death was slightly more palatable, even though there was a chance that she’d end up in Heaven. Did they know that she’d played a part in killing an archangel? Several, in fact, but that was going back many decades.

She was so occupied with those thoughts that it came as a surprise to her when someone finally came and slid the hood off her head, dragging coarse hemp over her neck and folding the back half of her hair upward over her scalp. For a few seconds, she was as blind as she’d been when the sack had been pulled over her eyes. “Let me guess who I’m about to see.”, she muttered as her eyes adjusted to the light. “Middle aged balding man with glasses, fat as a Christmas goose, bordering on fifty and no girlfriend.”

“Sorry to disappoint.” A lithe figure faded into view. A brown officer’s cloak sat on their shoulders, its rims grazing the ground: packed soil with streaks of wood underneath. Their face was covered by interlocked wax plates, bonded to their jaws and cheeks. They all converged on a point in front of where the bridge of the figure’s nose should have been, creating the impression that she was staring at a flat spike or the bottom of a gemstone. Elizabeth smirked. “I’d ask you who you are but you clearly don’t want me to know. That or you don’t care about your identity and just don’t want anyone knowing how ugly you are underneath.”

The figure dropped its gun which dug itself a nice trench in the dirt. They took two steps forward and then Elizabeth’s world was all stars and white streaks. She gradually became aware of an ache in her jaw, then a blazing pain. She tried to ask what had just happened but spat blood. The figure dusted off their knuckles with a handkerchief, absorbing the spit she’d left on their glove. She’d been punched. Punched. It was a wonder she still had all her teeth. The figure couldn’t make eye contact with her but she was sure they were staring. “I dreamt of hurting you. Of revenge. I never thought it would wash ashore.” Her response was curt, instinctive, driven by a cocktail of fear and indignation. “Who the fuck are you, berk?” This time there was no dazzle, just a sudden explosion of agony and the lingering memory of the moment before being struck: a streak of black leather taking up her entire field of view. She slumped in her restraints, hacking and bleeding. But it wasn’t her jaw that ached. Instead, as she coughed, she felt a distinct emptiness in her mouth. A chunk of her tongue was missing. It lay below her, a slice of pink, resembling boiled meat. So much blood was pouring from her mouth that she had trouble breathing. She had been tied upright so that she wouldn’t drown in her own blood. She didn’t feel much carnal pain, she’d been cut in a relatively insensitive place, but the fear which coursed through her, the realisation that she’d come close to losing the ability to speak itself, hurt like nothing else. “Ask as many questions as you like. The price you pay will be one of those each time, until you’ve nothing to speak with anymore. I am Synepeia. Consequence. And you are Elizabeth Ashwood, a woman of many talents.” The witch bit her tongue, though not literally. Instead she let it loll out of her mouth, spurting red and purple.

“You did not arrive on this island on your own, that much I know. So I will count from one to ten: tell me when to stop when I recite the number of people who accompanied you here.” And they started raising their fingers. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, and then she nodded. Even though she’d been in many worse situations with the promise of things worse than death on the line she still always succumbed to her emotions. She was inexorably human, never a protagonist or hero. She was just glad that nobody was here to see her dignity being robbed from her. “You’re a freelance detective. An easy person to find, if a difficult one to pin down. You’re used to taking money in exchange for demands, so here’s mine. Forget about whatever case you came to this island to investigate and instead, hunt down each of the people who travelled with you here and kill them. And if you don’t...” a knife appeared in their hand and shot upward toward her eye. She jerked away, slamming the back of her head into the panelling behind her, but the blade found its mark anyway. But instead of parting her like a fruit it passed through her, scraping only some skin off her face. The figure showed her a mirror; a livid streak ran down her head, precisely corresponding with where the knife should’ve cut her. “I’ll manifest that injury.” Synepeia raised a fist in front of their face and tightened it slightly. Agony wracked her and a squelch emanated from inside her head; the wound deepened, weeping blood openly.

Her chains went slack and she fell to the floor, collapsing on her forearms. “Your belongings are outside. I’d tell you not to just run but… well, part of me welcomes what that would give me an opportunity to do.”

Elizabeth looked up to the man. She seriously is stuck in a fucked up situation. Of all the places to wash up on she had to find herself in the cave of a serial killer? That was her bloody luck working as usual.

Elizabeth knew the bastard had her marked thanks to that knife. She knew that getting out of this would be tricky but she felt as though she can find a way out of this. This wasn’t the first time she was stuck between a rock and a hard place.

For now she will have to play along as the forced victim and make this launtic think he has the situation under his full control. Elizabeth just gave a quick nod to show that she will comply with his demand.

Synepeia shrugged and lit up a cigarette, tucking it into a gap between the wax plates. She swore she spotted purple, webbed flesh beneath the mask. Apparently her captor had nothing more to say to her. The door seemed unlocked so she stumbled toward it, keeping a wary eye on the figure the entire time. Their voice had been decidedly androgynous, though she could only guess that they were a man by the frame of their body. As she left that dingy little cell she came into a hall, one that stung her nose for it smelled like death itself. The walls and roof were canvas - it was a pavilion of some sort, one which made flapping noises under the wind - and it was packed from end to end with cots and the dying. There had to be at least two dozen people in the room with her, each lying amidst their own sick and stained linens. Her eye fell upon a particular one, an elderly man whose arm was taken up by a festering black slime. Parts of it stretched under his skin, moving up through his body. She thought for a moment that his face was covered in varicose veins but then they started moving and writhing like worms. He was less a man and more a paper bag filled with living maggots. The tenebraes within her shuddered with glee. ”More of us, more of us!” They clamoured, “Another colony!” She shushed them softly. Ever since that incident in the mines involving the Dousers they’d been more quiet and easily frightened, something which she’d never known them to be. Apparently coming face to face with a more perfect expression of the dark had shaken them somewhat. Now she had to be gentle with them, lest she hurt their feelings and made them sulk.

Everyone there stirred her memory somewhat when she looked upon them. They were familiar to her somehow, in the same way the presenter of the morning show had a face which she vaguely knew without being able to pick apart from a crowd. The sensation was odd and she knew better than to discount it as just being a triviality. She’d met these people before, somewhere. She wished she could ask them but they were all asleep, tossing and turning and moaning in pain. Victims of the figure, no doubt. She was lucky not to be among them. Her belongings were in a pile by the exit. There were a few racks of dry clothes too; she picked from them to replace her current garments, not really caring whether they belonged to anyone or not.

Well most of her current garment. The trench coat is staying on.

As she put aside her old clothing she would feel that the selection she picked was a bit too snug in some places but nothing too uncomfortable.

She tried to push aside any thoughts on who could have worn the clothing she now has as she walked to her items and began to pick them up and place them inside a backpack that was next to them.

Once she has everything set up she would place the pack on her back and leave the dwelling of the sick and their launatic caretaker. She tried not to run away once she was outside, trying to keep a brisk walk as long as she was still in visual range of the dwelling.

She would run away as fast as possible once no one could see her do so.



Slowly, as if syrup pouring down a narrow funnel, consciousness returned to the husk which others might’ve charitably called Paige Emery Cosette, as opposed to other names like “fucker” and “little bitch”. The folks at the Infernal Academy had given her a long list of aliases. Groaning, she raised himself up half expecting to open her eyes to the pearly gates. Instead, she beheld a lamp and a wooden ceiling. She sat up, pushing blankets off of herself. She was in some kind of hospital alongside all the others who’d been in the crash. Avarice, Pobeda, Venera, Kadoor, Constance, Kelli, Mervin, everyone except Elizabeth, McLeary and Valerian. The room was sparsely furnished and the cots were hard but it was warm, dry and cozy. A few anatomical diagrams hung from the walls and shelves stocked with various herbs and glass bottles with tiny labels on them filled them up. A kindly physician, a young man who paradoxically had crow’s feet, smiled at her from the chair he’d set in front of all the beds. “You’re up. I’m Doctor Eilis. A couple of men fished you out of the sand, half drowned and shivering. I had to clear the brine out of your lungs before you’d accept even a drop of warming tincture.”

She rubbed the crust out of her eyes, more likely to be salt than the usual dust and dry tears. “Where am I?” she queried groggily. The doctor spread his arms, smiling. “The land of dreams and opportunity, where normalcy doesn’t reach. You’re in Rubedo, my friend.” She groaned. A lingering desire to just go back to bed engulfed her but she resisted in the interest of not leaving herself at the mercy of a stranger. Who knew what this doctor had done to them, or what he was going to do? “Rubedo… fourth stage of alchemy, the penultimate colour of any good formulation.” Eilis nodded. “It’s an accurate name, if you ask me. This town is the penultimate step before we create a utopia, a free society where anyone can be what they want. But you’re here, which means you must’ve already known that.” Those were lofty promises. The fact that there was a town on the Aenigmata Archipelago - a place which was supposed to be entirely uninhabited - wasn’t lost on her either. The doctor raised a finger, having just been reminded of something. “Oh, just a word of advice. Your appearance has raised some eyebrows so I wouldn’t exactly go around talking about it.” Paige raised an eyebrow. Now her interest was piqued. “What do you mean?” He bit his lip, sucking in air as he wondered what he was going to say. “Well, it’s just that it’s been a very long time since anyone came here. About a month ago the seas got rough. Nobody’s been able to enter or leave since then. It’s ah, because of the Vathian.”

“Vathian?” She didn’t mean to keep asking questions but with everything the doctor said, she was simply left with more things she needed to know. “Oh, sorry, you probably don’t know what that is. It’s some kind of monster which attacks us every night, sending parts of itself to seize our children and drag them into the sea. Obviously, that means that naval travel of any kind is impossible. Just being near the shore can provoke an attack. Anyway!” He clapped his hands. “Once you’re all up, I’ll take you to the induction ceremony. Been a while since we’ve had one of those; it should be fun. We’ll show you around the town, you’ll get to meet the ruling council!”

The sound of bustle came through the walls. Out there were conversations and the sound of feet on pavement. The atmosphere was alive with the sound of labour. Paige sincerely hoped she wouldn’t be stuck on this island for long; she wanted to go home already. “Right, but um, while we’re here, can you tell me a little bit about Rubedo?” The doctor put a finger on his chin. “Sure. Hmm… well, let’s see. After all the business in Lludw Cigfrain, with all the killing and whatnot during Halloween, all the big cults, gangs and organisations from outside the town moved in and started seizing territory. There were a lot of fights and killings around that time: lotta innocent people caught in the crossfire as you can imagine. So some mariners had the idea to sail to an uninhabited place and to set up shop there, beyond where all the “normalcy” policing organisations could go. At first it was just a few dozen people who planned to camp on the island for a few years until it all blew over but eventually it became hundreds, all of ‘em refugees from the carnage. In no time at all, we were a town. Best part is that we don’t care about anomalies: devils can buy and sell souls without worry of being shot dead by spirifers’ unions, fae can live out in the open without being burnt at the stake by superstitious humans or being arrested by AEGIS - it really is a paradise.”
Last edited by Menschenfleisch on Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Menschenfleisch
Diplomat
 
Posts: 609
Founded: Nov 01, 2017
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Menschenfleisch » Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:33 am

The Great Wizarding Rosy Cheeks and Chamomile Eyes | Delilah and Anenasya (haha surnames funni)

“Well, to be frank, do we even need leaders?” Kiara glanced up from a slab of steak whose fat and nerves she’d pulled out and delicately strung up in a web. Miniscule, almost invisible needles danced between her fingers, shifting individual pockets of flesh and even singular cells. Kalmite technology was not necessarily assembled, sometimes it was grown. A stack of whale bones sat next to her, hewing knives and hammers arrayed in front of it. She was designing an interface, something as natural and alive as Polly’s own body. “I’m most comfortable treating you all as equals. We should be doing what we can all agree needs to be done, not mindlessly pursuing some goal or another because someone decided that it’s necessary. You all saw what happened at the sites, something which I suggested and led you into.” If there was any guilt there, she hid it well. “It’s alright to feel lost. I don’t think anyone knows what they want at heart, let alone how they’re going to find it. Nobody expects you to have everything figured out. But this is your world, these are your people. There’s nobody more qualified than you, Madi, to tell us what we should be doing. And, well, none of us are dead so far and most of the wizards at IMTIC escaped alive. That sounds like success to me.”

She placed electrodes on Polly’s shoulder, dug sewing needles beneath her skin and knitted strands of sinew into the woman’s own, leaving no injuries nor any boundaries where ‘Polly’ began and ended. The arm wasn’t going to be a prosthetic, it was to be a part of her. Permanent. Polly jolted and tensed up. There was a sort of membrane dangling from where her right arm had been, a transparent plastic sheet covered in masterwork electronics and mechanical devices so alive that they could be reasonably described as anatomical. Gears of enamel and copper mere micrometers apart interlocked, grazing silicon ribbons faceted with circuitry. All in all it must’ve weighed less than a few tenths of a gram. Shockingly flexible and thinner than paper, it served the purpose of sensing the world on Polly’s behalf. Kiara laid a finger on the sheet. Polly shivered. ”Yeah, yeah, I feel it,” she muttered.

”Um, I don’t really want my original arm back. It wouldn’t really be mine, would it? I mean, it’d carry my genes and such but someone else had those for forty odd years; much longer than I have. And Miria, it’s really not a big deal. I don’t want you to feel like you need to stick with me or anything just because we know each other. If I’m going to be your friend, I want to earn it.” The world had given them nothing but scars. Out of everyone in that room, she was by far the most innocent; even if they would take care of her if she never amounted to anything, it just wouldn’t be fair to them. She was already a liability in their eyes, she could sense it in the way that they spoke: a little too kindly, a little too sweetly when they were addressing her, like they were comforting a… well, a child. Or was that all in her head? “It’s not about pulling weight,” Kiara added absentmindedly, eyes closed and hand on Polly’s wrist. She was testing the receptors on her invention, making sure that everything had been calibrated correctly. She was leaving most of the actual motion of the arm - dynamos, frame, armour, et cetera - to Miria. “You’re here and you’re doing the best that you can. That’s more than any reasonable person could ask of you.” She tossed the room a kindly smile. She spoke lofty words but the ay in which she said them left no room to entertain the notion that she was wise. She was careful to seem present and amicable, not distant like some old sage. She might’ve been able to process more bits per second or whatever but in terms of maturity, she was no better than the worst of them. “You don’t need to come with me to PJSS. You need to recover, have some time off.” And what went left unsaid was the fact that she was simply uncomfortable with anyone hurting themselves on her behalf. Her life had been a gallery of moments in which she’d allowed those closest to her to come to harm. If she was doing anything for herself, she’d be doing it alone - not calling in favours as she’d done to get them all to MESS, something which plagued her with shame even then.

”I guess we’re all just trying to live up to each other; we really are a little messed up.” Polly giggled, shielding her mouth with the knuckle of her index. ”Well, if there’s anybody I’d want to impress, it’d be you guys.” And when she smiled, she honestly didn’t know if it was forced or not.

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Rostavykhan
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1930
Founded: Sep 30, 2017
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Rostavykhan » Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:25 pm

Seeds of Anxiety
Constance


Constance had nightmares sometimes, about death. She always thought it would be something more mundane, more depressing. Overdosing, drinking herself to death, maybe. She knew it was a messed up way to think. She knew that she had problems, though she wouldn't bring herself to stop. She had one memory in particular, that she often relived in those nightmares - she was still on the streets at the time, and she'd gotten the chance to spent the night in some trashy hotel in Boston with a couple friends. They'd all been indulging a little too much in their booze and their drugs of choice, whatever they could get their hands on and bring with them that night. Constance had indulged herself more than anyone else, however. Specifically, she'd been drinking a ton, and making an ass of herself in her stupor.

She didn't remember the first time that she had passed out. It had to have been around midnight. She remembered feeling like she'd crashed right back to Earth. Her head was swimming, but all of that feel-good fuzziness and warmth was gone. She could barely see more than a few feet, and her hearing was off. She could hear the radio, and she could hear the people around her talking, but it was like the words weren't registering. She was cold, and shivering. Her stomach quivered, and her throat constricted, and she realized that it was hard to breath. She found herself drifting in and out of consciousness.

Then, she convulsed. She knew what came next. She tried to speak, but she was too tired. She couldn't even move her fingers, it felt like. She was stuck on the floor, while her body ached and convulsed. She spent the next few hours vomiting, while her thoughts raced and her mind drifted in and out of sleep. The only two things that she could keep on her mind were that she needed to get as much alcohol out of her system as possible, and that she hoped that she would wake up in the morning.

She did wake up, eventually. For that, she was thankful. She still spent the next day shivering on the floor when she finally dragged herself to bed, too weak to pull herself up. She was always a moment away from puking again. She eventually got over it, but that memory stuck with her. She'd gotten drunk many times before, so she wasn't sure why that particular instance stuck out to her. She didn't really know, but she always thought of that when she thought about dying. It was slow, and uncomfortable, and scary, and she would be unable to stop it.

Being crushed by an angry sea monster wasn't as bad as drowning in vomit or having her heart stop. It was a little adventurous. She wondered if it was similar to how her Husband went; she didn't like to think it was so violent, though. He probably would've put up more of a fight than she did. At least she could close her eyes and pray for a moment before the beast's limb smashed the remains of the ship, before everything went black for good.

And then, just like that awful night, Constance woke up again. It was like she was out cold one moment, and then wide-awake the next. In an instant, colour filled her vision again, and her thoughts jumped from a muddied fog to a sharp focus. The absolute worst ache in her back cause her to wince and clench her jaw. She tried to move, to get up slowly. Something in her spine popped, and she jumped and practically fell to the floor, swearing under her breath. The pain resided slowly, but a dull ache still persisted; she could live with it. It wasn't as bad as the shivers she had, and the nausea. She'd been starting to experience those just before the ship was attacked, and they were even worse now that...however much time had passed. She clutched her stomach, and steadied herself so that she could get a good look at her body, making sure that nothing was seriously broken after their little accident at sea. "No, nothing serious.", She thought to herself, at least relieved to see that there were no bones sticking out. She winced again, and slowly positioned herself to sit up on her cot, glanced to her right and left to see who else was in the room, and then right ahead to Paige and the Doctor, who were already chatting. Constance wasn't sure how long they had been at it, or if they would want her to interject, so she simply sat there, crossing her legs and twiddling her thumbs, and silently taking another headcount of everyone in the room. Confirming that head count made her suddenly feel a bit sicker, a bit more nervous.

"Are we missing some people?", She finally asked, although her voice was timid, and a little groggy. She shivered again, crossing her arms and tugging her coat closer to her body. She had plenty more questions to ask, but the whereabouts of three people was the most important for her. The other questions she expected to be answered regardless - questions like "how long has it been?", and "where's the bathroom", and "We won't be stuck on this terrible Island for long, will we?", and other such questions.

The Great Wizarding Rebellion
Miria


Miria grunted. "Loyalty is everything.", She mumbled, already turning her head down to focus on her own work. Kiara didn't appreciate structure like she did, and Polly seemed to be too hard on herself when it came to wanting to prove herself to everyone. That was what she thought at that moment, any way. She might have been a different person, but she was a friend regardless, and Miria didn't like ignoring friends. Maybe it was because she just never had many friends, but she couldn't not treat the woman like a close friend, even if she would have preferred to be treated normally until she earned everyone's friendship back. Kiara was, well, a bit different. Miria sort of got the feeling that she was a bit distant from the rest of them, though she didn't understand or comprehend just how distant the Kalmite girl tried to make herself. Miria saw it as a "avoid getting close so you don't get hurt when they leave" sort of distancing, which, while probably not entirely wrong, it wasn't entirely correct either. It was how Miria herself had initially felt when she found herself ripped from her old life, so it was the closest thing that she had to go off of. Maybe, she though, it was because Kiara was afraid of hurting them like she had when AEGIS shot The Queen, when the reality anchors injured her. Admittedly, Miria was scared of Kiara because of that. There was something terrifying about the though that, through no fault of her own, she could be driven mad just because her own friend got a cut. It wasn't something that she could control, however, and it wasn't something that Miria was willing to let get in the way of her treating Kiara as a friend. Everybody needed a friend, the way she saw it, and friends needed to stick together.

What she probably couldn't comprehend was how Kiara thought of them in terms of bugs. She probably wouldn't have taken it literally, if she'd known that, but she would have just struggled to comprehend the huge difference in their intelligence or consciousness. It would've been like trying to comprehend some kind of god to Miria, even though Kiara wasn't very godly.

"I like leaders.", She said, while carefully shaping some thinner metal, and looking for a file with which to smooth the edges of other parts. "But, I guess I already gave that away. I'm, well…", She paused. How would she word it? "I enjoy order. Yes-yes.", She said, mumbling that last bit to herself and nodding. "Any way, enough of that - I have some parts finished again, but to be honest, I'm, um - ", She glanced at Polly's new arm. "Well, I'm in an awkward spot here. Do you still want some armour or supports? I think Kiara grew a better arm than I could craft.", She said. She felt a little envious, but also relieved. She didn't think that it would be an easy project, so she would gladly go with the grown arm. It probably felt better for Polly any way. Maybe she couldn't quite live up to Kiara's natural knack for bio-engineering, but at least she got to flex her own little mechanical knowledge some.

Katya

Katya scoffed. "Well, I mean - oh, never mind.", She said, dismissing Elliot's reaction with a wave of her hand. "Any way, I'm here now, obviously. I wasn't expecting you -", She nodded to Thriller, " - to show up at the same time. I wasn't expecting it at all, actually. I don't like when ghosts drop in on me."

She sighed and crossed her arms, swinging her hip out and rolling her eyes. "It's no matter.", She mumbled. Thriller - the ghost she was speaking of - had her attention again. She was frowning, but she didn't come off as particularly upset. It was more like she had just gotten serious, and let the playful attitude that she'd had moments before slip away. "If you're stuck here, then I'd advise getting comfortable. It might be some time until anyone can get a chance to leave. Rifting is so unreliable these days, no?"
Last edited by Rostavykhan on Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 

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Wysten
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Wysten » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:56 pm

Seeds of Anxiety

Kelli

Kelli’s eyes peeled open slowly into the seemingly cold of the night around her. The soaked SVR pushed herself off the ground before vomiting water, her throat burning as the waterlogged contents of her stomach emptied themselves on the beach. Merely crouching Kelli was able to wave her hands and in her hands spawned a long, black, sleek A-545 assault rifle with a single red dot sight, quickly looking over the camouflaged detail Kelli felt her chest become heavy as her webbing became filled with magazines. Keeping crouched the Russian scanned her surroundings, behind her the ocean continued on its natural course with the constant sound of waves crashing the coast bringing up some fragments of the ship causing Kelli to give a slight shiver. “Damn Levithan figured that only happened to the unfaithful.” The SVR agent said to herself as she looked along the coast before quickly seeing her newfound comrades laid out on the beach. Trying to stand up her legs wobbled a bit and Kelli knelt back down again trying to catch her breath. Rising again the Russian walked forward with her rifle at low ready she looked over her company and quickly got to work checking pulses on the odd-looking forms below her. “Didn’t know the Guardians recruited this young.” She said with some curiosity as she looked over the three trolls. Seeing that they were going to be fine Kelli then moved over to the now disabled robot. “This is above my paygrade and understanding so here’s hoping.” She said after tapping its metallic shoulder before looking forward and seeing a woman running towards her. Kelli quickly raised her rifle and put the red dot on the woman’s head and aimed a little to the right and breathed deeply before dropping the safety and a two-round burst near the woman’s head meant to act as a warning shot.
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Petrokovia
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Petrokovia » Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:10 am

Seeds of Anxiety


Corneria City, Corneria

General Pepper walked confidently and dutifully down a thin, brightly lit corridor. His boots sank slightly in the spotless green carpet, his red military uniform contrasting well with the deep blue walls. He passed several wooden doors-clearly the doors to apartments-on his way to one door in particular. It didn't look any different than the others, with a simple placard under the peephole which read "Room 803 - Marcus Erskine" in both English and an artfully drawn line of Cornerian calligraphy. Pepper knocked, then took a manila folder out from under his left arm as he waited for the door to open.

The doorknob turned, and the door swung open casually, revealing nobody at the door. Nonplussed, Pepper walked just inside the door-
I couldn't go through his house without boot covers. That would be rude.

Rather than walk fully into the room, Pepper stood on the large rubberized mat which was common at Cornerian entryways.

"Don't mind the floor." Marcus waved his hand dismissively. "I don't. So what brings you here?"

Marcus peered around the corner of a wall, coming from his study. His eyes glowed for a second, and the front door quickly shut.

Pepper held out the folder, which Marcus took and opened immediately. The canine general cleared his throat before speaking.
"It's a new type of emotional therapy made available because of the advent of medical UT-Field technology. It's fascinating stuff, but it may be what you're seeking."

Marcus read the file, which essentially described the use of psychic forcefields while the patient was in a dreamlike state in order to induce growth of empathetic response... Coming out of the war, Corneria had figured out how to reverse psychopathy.
If I am to survive and continue a stable life in a world with other life-which is a given-I must learn how the others around me think...

Marcus nodded, placing the file on a short, wooden coffee table.
"I will look into it-it's certainly intriguing."

"I had hoped so." Pepper smiled warmly, nodding. "How is your current therapy going?"

Marcus glanced over to Pepper. The leader of the Cornerians seemed almost cheerful. This surprised Marcus, who had at one point hacked into the canine's mind.
"That would probably be better answered by my therapist."

Pepper shook his head.
"I want to know how you're feeling about all of this."

Marcus sighed, sitting on the plush couch in front of the coffee table. He gave some thought to everything he had been through, everything he had done, and his experience as a POW on Corneria. Over the course of several years, Marcus had learned a new core philosophy, living alongside Cornerian society in a way despite not really understanding it.

"It's honestly confusing. I underestimated how difficult it would be."

Pepper nodded in agreement.
"Over time, it will get easier. Especially with that new UT-field!"

He shifted his weight subconsciously, tail swishing through the air.
"Anyway, it seems to me that you're doing well so far. I'm proud of the effort you've put in."

"Thank you. I suppose I should let you get to that big parade, then."
Marcus stood up with a soft smile, and extended his left hand.

Pepper extended his right paw; while he used to wear gloves to hide his prosthetic arm, he had stopped partway through the war.
"Doesn't it remind you of your time back on Titania?" Marcus asked, surprised.
"Don't mind it. I don't." Cornelius replied with a wink.

Marcus shook Pepper's paw, and opened the door for him. With a friendly wave, the dog general bid the man farewell, and headed back down the hall in the direction he had come.

Once General Pepper walked out of the building door, he pulled sunglasses out from his breast pocket, flicked them open, and placed them gently on the bridge of his snout. An adjutant standing in front of a black sedan snapped to a salute, which Pepper returned before getting into the car. Sitting next to him was none other than Minister of Defense Peppy Hare, who gave Pepper a warm hug.

On a small television screen housed within the back of the median, a display of the Star Fox logo came on briefly, before transitioning to a view of the main bridge, where Fay was front and center in a blue jumpsuit. Peppy looked over to the screen for a moment, before adjusting his round-framed glasses. He sank back into his seat.
"It's nice to see you again, Köruniliús. We'll really have to meet again when things are less busy."

Pepper smiled, his tail swaying to and fro just behind his calves; the Cornerian car seats were made with a small crevice running down the center, to avoid sitting on one's own tail.
"Yes, we've got a lot to catch up on, gawisüne."

The car pulled away from the apartment building, driving quickly down the elevated highway to the city center. They passed just over the top of the large forest which made up the majority of Corneria City outside of the center, the soft rustling of the leaves in the wind mimicking the waves of the ocean. Pepper took a moment to lose himself in the comforting sounds of the songbirds and the trees. As they got closer to the city center, he could hear a cacophony of celebratory sounds; a marching band playing various marches, long chains of temporary merchant stalls with various homemade goods, and crowds of people united in dance and standing in formations to create messages and displays across the wide open central square.

Pepper's heart felt warm, as he turned his attention back to Peppy and Fay.

"Gawijülailät, Perupeza sanyáünhe!" Fay greeted her uncle happily, tail wagging enthusiastically.
"Gawijülailät, Fhei!" Pepper replied.

"We've found another rift, out near Sector Z."

The cockapoo pressed a button on a remote, and the display switched to show a large spherical anomaly in space, whose event horizon glowed with green and blue light. The center of the sphere was a pitch black void.
"We can't tell where it leads, just that it goes to somewhere we haven't been before. However, given that the rift formed on its own, I'm guessing there's some deeper link this universe must share with ours."

Peppy chuckled as he saw the rift.
"The defense ministry wansta send'em through. They've cleared the budget, and we're sendin' 'em provisions an' spare parts. All we need now is yer authorization fer the mission."

The rabbit minister pulled a letter from inside his suit jacket and handed it to the general. The hound read it to himself, and finding nothing amiss, took out a black and gold pen and signed it. He turned to Fay with an official but proud look.
"Star Fox, your mission is to fly through the multiversal rift and collect data on the new universe as your primary objective. Your secondary objective is to provide aid and offer political aid to any allies in the region, and to search for new groups. If any other intelligent life is found, gather as much data as you can without contact, and call us as soon as possible. Fay... Star Fox... I believe you can make it through anything. Good luck!"

He gave a salute, and signed off. Like clockwork, the car arrived at Pepper's destination.
"Well, I suppose I'll be seeing you later this week, then." he said, turning to Peppy.

"Yeah." the rabbit replied, giving another brief hug farewell. "Hey, uh, have fun at the festival, gawisüne."

Pepper exited the car, but turned to hold the doorway for a final thought.
"The main parade isn't for another couple of hours, so I figure I'll check out some of the vendors. I'll be sure to pick something up for you."

Peppy smiled warmly.
"Aww, shucks. Thank you, Peza."

"Oho, it's no biggie." Pepper dismissed in a friendly tone. He closed the car door, and was off to the celebrations.


Sector Z, Lylat System

Fay glanced around the bridge of the Great Fox. Morrigan, Kongou, Chase, Terrell, Marguerite, Teru, Muffet, Ovelia, Averie, and Ursla were huddled around Marguerite's station, where they were watching a military parade on Telluria in celebration of the anniversary of the end of the Multiversal War. Hiei and Hyuuga were having a chess match with R.O.B. 64 observing. Miyu, Saru, Rex, Dora, Isidora, Aleksander, and Lawrence were playing a card game from Terapoma called "Banyeshora," which Lawrence had introduced to them.

Fay looked down from the telescreen and through the transparaverinossium viewport around the massive command deck. Through it, she could see her next mission, and pretty soon Maya and Kassadi would return with-

"안녕하세요!" Maya came bouncing and spinning through the main entrance with two bags full of fruit. One a bag of assorted, common fruits; apples, oranges, kiwi, bananas, peaches, various berries... The other a bag of durians; the seemingly paper bag held up surprisingly well against the heavy, spiked fruits due to the use of nanocarbon reinforcements.

Next to Maya walked Kassadi, a tallish, confident woman of color and one of the group of Vesperians which had arrived on Titania as the result of a freak accident onboard their cruiser involving an experimental warpdrive. Having immigrated to Corneria with some friends after a delegation between the MSPA and the VPU, she was a skilled pilot and huntress.

"Tseivaobe, chokjao'tsoum! The Cornerian Army's arrived." Kassadi smiled brightly, partially revealing her enlarged incisors, an adaptation her people had made in response to the meat and fiber heavy staple diet of the planet of Rumatara. "The supplies brought by the Cornerian drones have been placed in the main loading bay."

She gave a dutiful yet playful salute while handing over a smart tablet, both of which Fay returned after signing.

"So with that, everything should be in order, right?" Fay double checked. Kassadi nodded in response. "Awesome."

The canine leader turned to the ship's main AI.
"ROB, spool up the M-Drives and send us through that rift!"
"Aye aye!" R.O.B. 64 droned bemusedly.

"M-Drive is reporting ready." Averie called out, checking her console.
"Sensors indicate a traversable path." Terrell announced right after. He sat down in his console's chair just as Kassadi placed a small, pink flower into a mug being used as a pencil holder. Terrell glanced upwards to meet the woman's gaze with a smile.
"It's made of felt! This'll last forever." he chuckled. "It's beautiful. Thank you."

Kassadi leaned casually on the back of his chair, her face flush with a reddened hue.
"Oh, don't mention it." she grinned, giving the top of his head a soft smooch.

As the new Star Fox crew crossed through the void, they braced for what they may find on the other end of the-


???

The ship shook violently and unpredictably in any direction but still. The main lights cut out, replaced by red emergency lights, while a loud, piercing alarm rang out.
"Status!" Fay called out, desperately holding onto a railing near one of the consoles as the ship swayed.

"We have arrived fully submerged in water on a planet with atmospheric makeup not unlike Corneria, Earth, or Terapoma with life immediately detected within visual range. The use of the M-Field to traverse the rift allowed for safe passage through but caused acute localized wave motion hypercompression around the engines of our ship. They are currently taking on water, but the automatic systems repair is quarantining each bulkhead now."

Fay gave a deep sigh, as the ship became relatively calm.
"Mori, Kongou, Kassi, you three are with me. We're goin' up top to check things out. Hiei, send a message with all pertinent data to General Pepper; if he calls back or anything else happens, use channel four to reach us. Engineering, you're on repairs. Saru, Rex, Dora, go to the pilot ready room. Aleksander and Isidora, gear up in spec ops gear in case of surprise boarding operations. Everyone else stay on standby at your stations just in case. Set the ship to Condition One."

The Great Fox lay submerged far out from the coast, the waterline churning violently just over the top of the ship. From a large hatch at a raised section at the front of the tail fin, Fay peered outside around the ship, spotting nothing through the seawater-obscured cupola. The canine captain heaved open the heavy alloy gate, fighting against its weight and the wind raging around them at it whipped at Fay's fur and ears. Standing on the ladder, the hatch still wasn't much above the waterline, and Fay found herself pelted with salty sea spray as she brought out a large pair of binoculars.

As Morrigan, Kongou, and Kassadi poked their heads out of the hatch, they saw the distant coast. The now heavy coat and ushanka clad trio of women looked expectantly between the horizon and their elected leader. Fay zoomed in on some jagged islands, the sea swells obscuring her vision periodically.

"Can you make anything out?" asked Kongou. "It's out of my normal visual range."
"Eh!?" Fay called out over the choppy water surrounding them. "I can't make out much from normal or infra right now, but the Mikotorma detectors are going wild. Check out these field lines."

She handed the binoculars down the line for each of the group to see. The binoculars showed an outline of the flow of life energy around the island; The island was strangely active, with a beautiful rainbow gradient of energy filling the sky, ever flowing and changing like the underwater currents deep under the sea. Dense areas of more concentrated energy arced their way through the sky overhead, various lines of different fields intersecting in a complicated web standing out against the dimmer background gradient.
"It's beautiful." gasped Morrigan, speechless.

Kassadi nodded in agreement.
"It never gets old. Actually the opposite; it only gets cooler with time."

Fay couldn't help but giggle to herself, though her bemusement would be interrupted by the buzzing and ringing of Kassadi's tablet.
"Oh, it's Pepper. I'll just..."

The woman's silvery eyes glowed dimly, and the tablet floated in between the group so everyone could see it. Fay reached out and pressed the answer call button. Immediately, the image of Pepper with a bag mostly full of trinkets and crafts in one paw and a big puffy cloud of cotton candy on a stick in the other appeared on screen.
"Oh, hello!" the bloodhound chuckled to himself, barely visible behind the large swab of sugary delight. "I didn't expect to hear back quite so fast! But it's a pleasure. Can you give me a quick sitrep?"

Fay nodded and explained the situation, to which Pepper thought for a moment.

"I believe this needs to be investigated. I would suggest starting with non-physical contact, and see if you receive a response of some kind. If not, gather as much intel as you can, then make contact if possible. Good luck, all of you."

As Pepper signed off, Fay chatted on her headset with Hiei.
"Send a communications request on all possible radio and light communication frequencies and the Mikotormic pulse communicator, and play a short tone on the fog horn and large bell. Activate the flood lamps, and flash them a morse code message, too. We want all of our bases covered."

"Right away!" Hiei smiled, and the Great Fox sent out communications requests on a gambit of frequencies. Who-or what-may hear and respond?
Last edited by Petrokovia on Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:37 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Naval Monte
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Posts: 13389
Founded: Sep 04, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Naval Monte » Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:25 am

Seeds of Anxiety
Aenigmata Archipelago
Elizabeth Ashwood


"I hope someone in the group is a healer because I rather not live the rest of my life with a missing bit of my tongue. That would raise questions I rather not answer." Elizabeth thought as she placed her arms around herself. The wet clothing not doing her any favors on retaining any heat as the cold air only made her body chill even faster.

In her mind she already came up with a good lie on how to explain what happened to her tongue once she was found by a possible healer. That she somehow bit it off during the leviathan's attack on the ship. With how chaotic the attack was no one can blame her for not knowing everything that happened.

As Elizabeth walked through the forest she can sense the anomalous energy that coated the islands and can see the high concentration of esoteric energies coming from it. She will admit that it adds some nice color to the landscape but she wasn't in the mood for aesthetic since she now needs to find a way to escape the clutches of a deranged and vengeful cultists without putting her mother and Jackie at risk.

It was while she was in deep thought over her predicament that she would find her way to the others right around the coast. Whether it was by sheer dumb luck or by the will of some higher force the witch manage to find some of the members from the boat.

However she would soon find a rude awakening as two loud bangs would take her out of her thoughts as the witch screamed in surprise, backing away as she reach down and took out her knife and revolver out in defense.

The witch would notice Kelli aiming a gun at her and she would aim her gun at the young woman. "Oi! What the hell is wrong with you!?" she shouted as she put her finger on the hammer and cocked it back encase she needs to use the gun.

As Elizabeth waited to see what Kelli will say for herself for almost blowing Elizabeth's brains out the witch would feel another rift opening somewhere close, but this time it felt different.

The witch would suddenly be startled by a fog horn blaring out and feel a burst of some energy that felt psionic in nature but yet different to the one she was familiar with.

She looked out and can see a mysterious light source from out on sea. "Is that a ship?" she asked the group. She was confused on how another ship can appear her and be so close to the island without being attacked by the Rogons and other sea monsters.
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Skylus
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Posts: 6452
Founded: Oct 25, 2016
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Skylus » Wed Feb 03, 2021 4:30 am

TGWR
Some random flat (seriously where is it); Dublin, Ireland
February 11, 2020


Madi was silent, she had returned to sitting on the nearby table, watching as Kiara messed around with trying to fix Polly’s arm. “So... I’ve never really been able to just... be myself. Have free time, go places... honestly, even though all of this has sucked... I’ve enjoyed it because I got to go out and do things.

The witch held out a hand and summoned a fireball, letting it rest in her palm as she gazed at it. “I haven’t heard from the guys in a while. I wonder what they’re up to... or if they’ve gone to the college yet. Figured they’d let us know if they did...” She de summoned the fireball. “I’ve been thinking... I haven’t really explored Dublin myself. Sure I checked out the college briefly and a few restaurants, but not everything...” Madi seemed to be debating something in her head, then she grinned. “How do the three of you feel about going shopping? Just going into store and looking at things?”



Meanwhile...

Shanter had gotten the group in contact with the people at the college and now they were on their way there. Colton was learning that Elliot was fully accustomed to this world already and was just listening in silence as the other Hylian compared things between Terra and Hyrule.

“So you have the metal horseless carriages, the various ways of communicating and giving information to the masses, other ways of transportation, lighting systems, how streets and houses are laid out, how food is prepared, how people are healed... I can’t understand some of it, it’s just too much, but it’s all fascinating.”

There were lots of various eateries and churches spread out across the vast city, as well as massive old buildings and small houses in rows next to each other. At least it was easy to figure out where to go for destinations.

A large river was directly to the group’s left, barricaded by a large iron fence. Thankfully those that passed them paid no attention, those that did merely waved or complimented on their attire before walking away. It was nice.
Last edited by Skylus on Wed Feb 03, 2021 5:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Rostavykhan
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1930
Founded: Sep 30, 2017
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Rostavykhan » Wed Feb 03, 2021 6:44 pm

The Great Wizarding Rebellion
Miria


Miria began to twiddle her thumbs again. "A s-shopping trip?", She asked aloud. She'd hardly seen the town much herself, preferring to bury herself in her own room and dip her toes into the internet there. She was always feeling a tiny bit self-conscious, wondering if anyone was giving her weird looks for being so small, or having weird eyes, or noticing her teeth. She obviously wasn't Human, she thought. Maybe, she thought, some of them would have thought her to be one of those wizard sorts. She was afraid of being judged by them regardless of whether they thought she was a wizard or not. She felt a little scared, exploring a strange, massive city on her own, without any of her friends nearby. Even with the knowledge that the other girls would be with her, she still felt uneasy.

She chuckled, but it wasn't because she was amused. She was nervous. Maybe she was overreacting. Maybe it would be fun! She did wonder what kinds of interesting baubles or items she could possibly find in the stores there. At the very least, it was an opportunity to spend some time with her friends that didn't involve them nearly dying. She still had a little money on her...Human money, that was. Janavar coinage and exchange notes wouldn't likely be of use in Dublin, though she didn't have a whole lot of that on her either. She had enough for a little bit of fun, however. She wondered if they would go to a mall. She hadn't been to a big mall or market in a while, and it was always neat to go, even if it was simply to enjoy the scenery or hang out at the food court. She hoped the food was good. Good food was a quick way to get her to lighten up and enjoy herself.

"Maybe that's, uh - maybe it's not a bad idea.", She nodded, forcing a smile. "But you'll need to show me around. New to town and all."
 

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Menschenfleisch
Diplomat
 
Posts: 609
Founded: Nov 01, 2017
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Menschenfleisch » Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:58 pm

The Great Wizarding Warning: Demonic presence threat level 5 entering main laboratory

Polly frowned just a mite when Madi suggested they go out. She was comfortable living on her own, even knew how to cook somewhat, but life as an everyday person was nevertheless thoroughly beyond her. It seemed silly, that going shopping could be a more daunting task for her than wading into the line of fire or staring down death, but she was just so unused to doing that sort of thing that it may as well have been as beyond her as constructing a helicopter from scratch. Where did she even start? How did she pay for things, what was the protocol, what kind of items did she have to pursue? She cringed at herself, thinking of an entertaining afternoon at the mall in terms of military jargon. That was all she had though, beyond halcyon dreams of childhood and the vaguest recollections of her earliest years. "Well, it... sounds good? Ahah, I wouldn't know. Are we going to write a list of things that we want?"

"No it's more likely they'll- we'll be seeing what's on offer and purchasing things on a whim. Like a healthy crossroad between impulse buying and self care. Can you move your arm?" The results of the girls' combined efforts was something halfway between birthed and engineered, painted steel plates and bleached whalebones sliding silently over infinitesimal mechanisms, powered in part by sugars drawn from the body and Janavaar magic. From the outside it resembled a sculptor's vision of an arm, all angles and seams running along where supple skin would've creased or bent. When Polly flexed her fingers and curled her forearm back however, those segments displaced for a second and revealed an interior lined with irregular gears and electronics every bit as gruesome as biological innards. It really was a marvel, formed from the union of disparate intelligences. Polly pulled her sleeve down past her wrist and tightened a black glove around her fingers. Her arm was silent and slightly inhumanly flexible. She clenched her fist in front of her face and heard clicking - like the collision of insect legs - as her fingers met her palm. "Yeah. I can." She had to hold in a giggle. This was quite possibly the nicest thing anyone had done for her since she'd gotten here, the first real show of kindness. To have her arm back... she hadn't expected to become emotional but she felt something climb up her throat, an emotion that wished to be expressed. The arm that she'd had since birth darted to her cheek and swept something out of her eye. "It's great. Thank you." She nodded in smiling awe at the two that'd built the limb for her.

"A shopping trip sounds great, actually!" Polly's face lit up like a lightbulb. Suddenly, with all her faculties back, she seemed a new person. "It'll be good to take in the sights and sounds, meet some new people! Haven't gotten enough fresh air, I've been spending almost all my time at home or at work. Plus, I really need new clothes; I can't expect my old shirts to last forever." Her shirts from before her memory loss. She'd counted the stains and rips on them, learned the thickness of their threads by touch. Everything that she owned had a story to it, like a single word from a terrible book. A new pair of, well, everything would be nice; she wanted a fresh start. "I'm glad you like it." Kiara was chuffed. That was one person that she'd made up the three raids to. "Good work, Miria!" She offered a high-five. She really did love to play the part of the cool aunt, didn't she? Or the goth younger sister, whatever she felt like being at any given time.

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Demincia
Minister
 
Posts: 2325
Founded: Jul 08, 2010
Democratic Socialists

Postby Demincia » Thu Feb 04, 2021 12:14 am

Most people found repetition to be boring. The average person would likely go mad doing the same thing at the office every day for years, let alone millennia. To some, repetition was pleasant. It was familiarity. It was stability. Everything died, and everything that died had to have its soul taken to the appropriate place. If it didn't, well, that would just be pure chaos wouldn't it?

Unfortunately it seemed today would not be boring. Since creation, there had been few things that truly surprised Death. A strange energy in the universe was one such thing. It wasn't Death's place to investigate it, so he simply ignored it. When the angel that had went to investigate it died, well now Death had to go near it. After returning the lost soul to the Pearly Gates, Death arrived back at the scene of the incident to discover a cause. That angel's name was not on his list, and hardly anyone died without being on the list.

Death was not afraid of meeting the same fate as the angel, after all who could kill that which kills? It seemed that that was not the only risk this new energy source posed, however, and suddenly it began to feel as if space itself was closing in. How very curious. Suddenly, the surroundings were not the dark coldness of space; instead it was still dark, yet warm bordering on tropical.

Seeds of Anxiety
Aenigmata Archipelago


How very curious indeed.

The figure reached into the pocket of his waistcoat, removing a small golden object on a chain. He pressed in the button on the left, and the face popped open to reveal a compass. The needle was spinning wildly, as if defective. "Oh dear, how unpleasant." the man said with a slight frown on his face. "Ah well, no sense waiting idly while someone figures out the problem. Might as well put some work in while I'm here." He closed the faceplate and pushed the right button, revealing a a clock. "Oh my. So much death. Seems I won't be short of work." He closed the watch and replaced it in his pocket.

Gunfire nearby broke the silence of the evening, and seemed like as good a place as any to start. He held his arms behind him as a dark brown coat slid onto his back. Once it was in place, he reached forward and lifted a derby hat off of a hat rack that didn't exist before placing it on his head. He retrieved a pair of gloves from the pocket of his coat and began to head towards the disturbance. There were faster ways to get there, but this way was more scenic.

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The Japanese Americans
Envoy
 
Posts: 313
Founded: Jun 24, 2018
Left-Leaning College State

Postby The Japanese Americans » Thu Feb 04, 2021 7:30 am

TGWR
Lee

The streets were peaceful, almost too peaceful if one asked Lee. He adjusted the green beanie that Anda had brought him to cover a bit of his blue hair that had stuck out. The disguise he had was a bit weak, but it covered the most distinguishing factor about him. As far as he could tell, no one had recognized him for who he was. A ping from Anda came through their link, she had reached the building Madi, Kiara, Polly, and Miria was in. Too bad his map couldn't tell what floor they were on. Anyways, Elliot seemed to be fascinated with the scientific advancements this world had. Instantly, he was reminded of what he had built in his childhood, and rebuilt a couple days ago in the Instant Dungeon. "Elliot, I'm curious about something. Does your world have steam engines?"
I'm an autistic 16 year old who used to read a library's worth of books.

Name: Lee
Gender: Male
Species: Human
Level: 20
Total HP: 158
Total MP: 540
Power: 28
Strength: 26
Luck: 9
Intelligence: 96
Wisdom: 35
Relevant Skills: Mana Arrows, Mana Bomb, Weapon Charge, Energy Slice, Slice and Dice, Observation, Hard Hit, Spinning Mana Bomb, Spinning Mana Arrows, Heal, Body Scan, Electricity Control, Summon Spirit, Lumos, Hacking, and Idiotic Acts

Call me JA. It's easier than typing out Japanese Americans.

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Rostavykhan
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1930
Founded: Sep 30, 2017
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Rostavykhan » Sun Feb 07, 2021 10:17 am

The Great Wizarding Rebellion
Katya


Katya had been quieter than usual since leaving the tavern. She trailed just slightly behind Link and Lee, walking with her arms up and hands behind her head, staring at nothing in particular as they traversed the streets of Dublin. Her mind was in a different place entirely, it seemed; she still kept aware enough to pick up on the chatter around her, however. "I've seen more impressive cities.", She commented, blinking slowly. "Not that Dublin is unimpressive - it's got quite the history to it. If it's technology that you're interested in, however, then I could always show you a thing or two. Some other time, that is."

She trailed off again. For a moment, Katya stared sideways at the river bank, and then to the various buildings that sat along it. Then, she craned her head back. The SHIELD Agents, the Cyborg and his companion, and her; "So.", She drawled. "I guess I should probably fill you in a bit more on why we're here, shouldn't I?", She asked Thriller. "I'm kind of new to this, too. Well, I'm new to this whole adventure, any way. Not my first time dealing with this group."

Miria

Miria accepted that high-five with a bright, toothy grin. How long had it been since she'd been offered on? Too long, by her estimates. She felt giddy, seeing their hard work pay off like that. Polly was happy, Kiara was happy, and Madi was going to be happy, once they got out and got some fresh air. She giggled, suddenly feeling her own anxiety wash away, and began to shake her hands and rock on her heels. "We should all have enough money on hand to have a decent time together. This is nice.", She said with a nod, echoing Madi's sentiments. She began to take off her bandolier that she'd been wearing, however. She already stuck out enough, and she didn't want to draw more by visibly carrying weapons. She slipped her knives up her sleeve, where they'd stay nice and hidden, and then began to search out her backpack.
 

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Germanic Templars
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 20630
Founded: Jul 01, 2011
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Germanic Templars » Mon Feb 08, 2021 12:00 am

Rostavykhan wrote:The Great Wizarding Rebellion
Katya


Katya had been quieter than usual since leaving the tavern. She trailed just slightly behind Link and Lee, walking with her arms up and hands behind her head, staring at nothing in particular as they traversed the streets of Dublin. Her mind was in a different place entirely, it seemed; she still kept aware enough to pick up on the chatter around her, however. "I've seen more impressive cities.", She commented, blinking slowly. "Not that Dublin is unimpressive - it's got quite the history to it. If it's technology that you're interested in, however, then I could always show you a thing or two. Some other time, that is."

She trailed off again. For a moment, Katya stared sideways at the riverbank, and then to the various buildings that sat along it. Then, she craned her head back. The SHIELD Agents, the Cyborg and his companion, and her; "So.", She drawled. "I guess I should probably fill you in a bit more on why we're here, shouldn't I?", She asked Thriller. "I'm kind of new to this, too. Well, I'm new to this whole adventure, any way. Not my first time dealing with this group."\

Thriller
Thriller was internally seething at the thought of being exposed as he has been being an 8-foot mech without any form of cloth or robe to conceal most of his machine parts. That knowledge plus the fact that his portal closed on him leaving him and his student trapped in another dimension, something he surprising did not prepare for in this instant. Should have painted a fuckin General Dynamics or Raytheon logo on my arms or something, maybe then I might have fitted in with the setting. Thriller thought to himself at the moment before hearing Katya speak to him. "That makes two of us," Thriller replied. "Well, on the group part at least, though as far as adventuring goes, let's just say I have done more than my fair share." Thriller took in the sights and sounds around him, "Not going to lie, a part of me misses old Earth. How things were before the rapid expansion of technology. You know, when we use to all be on Earth and bickering who was right and wrong. I mean, it's the same now but in space, and trying to call someone a dumbass in space doesn't travel too well."
Julianna

Julianna seemed rather lost in the world she heard about but never knew in detail or visited. She kept herself about 5 or so feet behind Thriller due to the constant wondering of her eyes at all the sights there were to behold. This was one of a few times she found this curse of being cut off from her time and space rather a blessing as now things seemed more peaceful and less stressful with the tasks of learning how to be on the crew of caretakers for the emperor.
While under normal circumstances her cloak would only cover her left shoulder leaving the right one exposed with the Roman numeral four showing, however, in this instance of an irregular circumstance her cloak covered both shoulders but her mask was off and her hood was down. After all, it does seem like a nice day and the air is breathable so no need to cover everything up.

  • INTP
  • All American Patriotic Constitutionalist/Classic libertarian (with fiscal conservatism)
  • Religiously Tolerant
  • Roman Catholic
  • Hoplophilic/ammosexual
  • X=3.13, Y=2.41
  • Supports the Blue


I support Capitalism do you? If so, put this in your sig.

XY = Male, XX = Female

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Nagakawa
Diplomat
 
Posts: 553
Founded: May 01, 2019
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nagakawa » Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:00 am

??? (An unknown world)

In a world concealed in a deep corner of the multiverse stood a great white palace, its pointed ivory spires touching the dark, cloudy skies. Along the single paved road leading through the barren steppes to the gates of the white palace rode a lone rider atop a black horse, clutching under his arm a jar containing a stack of yellowed pages bound with leather.

“The fifth section of the Codex has arrived.”

The white palace consisted of a single gigantic hall, oval in shape and flanked by a long round pedestal, upon which was thirty six thrones. Seated upon twenty of the thrones were old men in business suits- the remaining sixteen thrones were empty, their vacancies marked by black orchids resting over black sashes draped upon the seats.

Carrying the jar with the pages within, the rider dismounted from his horse and bowed to the twenty men seated upon the thrones, before bringing the jar into the oval hall.

“Break the jar.” One of the men commanded, his booming voice echoing through the halls and granting him a far greater presence than his slight physique accorded him.

The rider did so. Immediately, as the glass shattered upon the marble floor, tongues of black fire leapt from the ground and consumed the rider, melting his flesh from his bones and dissolving him in a whirlwind of excruciating cries. The horse, shocked by the spectacle, whinnied and galloped out of the hall, into the darkness. No smoke rose from the gruesome spectacle, but by the time the fires died, the rider was gone- there was not a trace of his body remaining.

“Only one sixth of the Codex remains missing”, said one of the old men. “Of the six demons born from the Duke’s soul, only Beleth remains.”

“For five hundred years she has eluded us”, said another. “But it will not be long now.”

Soon, the resurrection will be complete.

...


Image
Naval Monte and Nagakawa present
THE EIGHT LINE TALE - Resurrected

Image

Part I: The Dreaming Empress



‘Nimel’ - a barren and frozen world • Dimension 336-C

“Alright... here goes...”

The howling of the late blizzard winds tore the white landscape apart, hurling shards of ice across great distances and obscuring everything from sight. This deep blue curtain of snow that glowed ever so faintly beneath the eerie light of Nimel’s three moons was interrupted by the sudden appearance of a circular rift, one that throbbed and pulsated like a heart, allowing warm air from another dimension to seep through into the frigid world.

From the rift stepped forth a young man in a coat with a scarf and goggles covering his face, carrying a large box on his back and gripping an energy rifle in his gloved hands. Leaving the rifle slung over his neck, the young man quickly whipped out a device shaped like a chocolate bar, gingerly pressing a few buttons and sticking it into his belt. Behind him, the rift slowly contracted, till it was but a singular point, glowing like a firefly, suspended in the air.

“Ugh, damn it, I can’t see a thing.”

The man took a few steps forward, pushing against the snow and the monolithic winds. Clutching his rifle tightly, he stopped for a moment to look around.

That moment, the howling of the wind was suddenly broken by the sound of a deep growl. Turning to face the direction from which the growl came, the young man saw, emerging from the darkness, three glowing red eyes, unlike any animal he’d ever seen in his travels across different dimensions. He raised his rifle, preparing to shoot at whatever it was, but at that moment, an eerie presence seemed to descend upon him and the immediate vicinity, warning him not to fire.

“...”

All of a sudden, without any warning whatsoever, the three red eyes widened ferociously. As if the beast, whatever it was, had spotted its prey.

“Shit!”

Without tarrying any longer, the young man took a sharp about turn and made a dash for the singular point of light hanging in the air, fumbling at his belt for the chocolate bar shaped device and pressing one of the buttons hard. The rift reopened, and in that quick instant, he leapt through, shutting it off the moment he’d returned to the other side.

...

‘Frihed City’ - a great city, and the world between worlds • Dimension 001-A
‘The Feral Feline’


“What? Shiro’s back already?”

“I told you so. Nimel is an impenetrable world, even for the strongest dimension jumpers.”

It was late, and the Feral Feline, the only bar in the 33rd District of Frihed City, was now empty. Only a few people remained- the pianist and the waitress- but the lights stayed on nonetheless. The bar had to remain open for a little bit longer.

“Damn”, said the waitress, a sprightly and tomboyish young lady in her late 20s, with pale blue eyes and a bob of bubblegum pink hair. “Even Shiro couldn’t do it.”

“It’s entirely possible that Nimel has degraded well beyond what any normal human can handle”, said the pianist, a bald and muscular man in his 50s dressed in a tuxedo. “And dimension jumping is fuckin’ hard already. Like, really fuckin’ hard. There’s a buddy of mine who jumped an illegal gate and ended up dropping his chocolate bar without realising it. It took him, I think it was almost three days on our side, for him to find his way back. The corporates, well, they think it’s just like smuggling, but it’s way harder than that...”

A flurry of footsteps came from the staircase leading to the bedrooms and bathrooms on the second floor, and down came the young man, now dressed in a tracksuit and slippers. His hair was in a mess, and his gaze fell listlessly upon nothing in particular.

“The great hero Shiro Kurono returns.”

“Hey Ash. Hey Joe.” Shiro waved at the two. “I’m in a pretty damn horrible mood now. A drink would be great.”

“You know the rules”, came the voice of an older man, following along behind Shiro down the staircase. “No alcohol for four hours before and after crossing a dimension gate. It applies to everyone, not just those of us using the illegal gates.”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake.”

He stumbled over to the booth seat where Ash and Joe sat, plonking himself down and face-planting into the table. The older man, clad in a set of mismatched pink pyjamas, struck an imposing figure even in his rather silly getup, towering over the more muscular but quite a fair bit shorter Joe.

“What was it?” Ash asked, slipping her hand between Shiro’s face and the table and lifting it up to look into his rusty-brown eyes.

“I didn’t manage to get anything”, Shiro replied wearily. “There’s a lot of good shit left behind in the DebuCorp wreck on Nimel, but that’s only if anyone can get to it. Not at this rate.”

“No, I mean... was it the snow? Or was it something else?”

“No, not the snow.” At the mention of that something else, Shiro’s voice darkened. “It was... yea, something else. I don’t know what it was. I’ve never seen anything like it. Or rather... I’ve never experienced anything like it.”

“What do you...”

“...”

Falling silent, Shiro looked up at a pillar near the booth seat where he, Ash, Joe, and now the older man sat. Plastered upon the pillar was a poster, otherwise nondescript in its design, but with big words in bright blue advertising a very specific yet vaguely worded job opening.

HELP WANTED


Anybody looking for an adventure.

Come to the Feral Feline, located in the XXXIII DISTRICT, FRIHED CITY

Ask to speak to Shiro

In return, we will help you with whatever stuff you need help with too


“I guess we’ll stick to the old plan, then?” Joe asked.

“Same plan”, Shiro affirmed, yawning heartily. Clearly disproportionately exhausted by his short ordeal in the frozen world, it seemed he would fall asleep any moment. “Ash managed to get McGregor’s help on this one. It’s a calculated risk, but I think it’ll pay off well. We’ve got three dimensional gates left open now- yours upstairs, Dr Erwin’s across the street, and the Pro Wrestling guys’ gate, one block down from here. All these posters should hopefully catch the attention of anybody coming through.”

“Recruiting people from different dimensions to become dimension jumpers?” Joe scratched his chin. “It’s entirely possible that this will backfire badly. Whoever comes through those gates might be fuckin’ insane.”

“Hey, Joe, I’m not afraid of risks.” Shiro planted his face into the table again.

“Yea”, Ash chirped, crossing her legs and leaning back in the booth seat. “It’s still early. I heard the weather’s good today. We might just see some folks show up.”

“Hope so.”

...
.____________永 河 帝 國____________.
.____________自 他 共 栄____________.


Population: 89 million (2020)
Landmass: 328,036 km²
Capital: Inada
Most populous city: Rushima

Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Emperor: Tomohito
Prime Minister: Hideyoshi Kaburagi (Republican)
Speaker: Yasuo Isogai
Chief Justice: Hideki Motobu

GDP (PPP): $4.917 trillion
Inequality index: 0.373 (medium)
HDI: 0.902 (very high)
IDI: 85.1 (very highly developed)

Currency: Nagakawan yen (¥)
Internet TLD: .nk
Country code: NGK
Driving side: left
Call code: +133

National flower: empress tree paulownia (Paulownia fortunei)
National bird: red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis)
National sport: judo

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Menschenfleisch
Diplomat
 
Posts: 609
Founded: Nov 01, 2017
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Menschenfleisch » Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:26 am

Seeds of Anxiety

Five CCs morphine. Swab the lips, check the mouth for phlegm and stoke the fire. Clean the lesions, excise the dying flesh, inject saline and wrap in linens. Two pills doxycycline dissolved in water, wipe the forehead, turn the eyes away from the light. Black mucus means the room isn’t warm enough. Take acidity measurements, administer vitamins, fill the blood bags. The patient’s anemia is in recession, cinch the intake tube. The tub is full of pneumothoracic fluid, tighten the catheter and transfer it to a different container. Empty the rest onto the dirt outside and watch the red and yellow sink into the ground. Glance at the electroencephalogram. No outstanding activity, typical concentration of delta waves. Boil poppies and watch it condense as rime. Seven milligrams salt and sugar to the basilic vein. Pass a twelve gauge syringe, high bevel, into the armpit and drain the lymph. Squirt it into a bottle and cork it before the smell becomes unbearable. Sit on the ground, rub the bags beneath your eyes: hold a cup of tea beneath your face with shaky hands and breathe deeply.

“... residents of the Advent District may soon be returning to their homes as the last of the chemical spill which caused the deaths of dozens - including popular singer and actor Vincent Aligherty - is cleaned up. Mr. Aligherty had no next of kin and his property is currently planned to be donated to the community. Fans will miss him no doubt and several marches of solidarity have already begun around the country. Meanwhile, rates of gang violence throughout Lludw Cigfrain continue to rise, with many witnesses citing a ritualistic element to the killings. A notice from the office of the mayor was released last night advising citizens to remain in their homes and avoid travel through districts unfamiliar to them...”

Seven CCs morphine. Swab the lips, clear the mouth of phlegm and stoke the fire. Clean the lesions, excise the dying flesh, inject saline and wrap in linens. Two pills doxycycline dissolved in water, wipe the forehead, turn the eyes away from the light. Clear the nostrils of black mucus. Take acidity measurements, administer vitamins, fill the blood bags and watch your skin turn white. Let the anemia worsen, cinch the intake tube. The tub is full of pneumothoracic fluid, tighten the catheter and transfer it to a different container. Empty the rest onto the dirt outside and look away. Glance at the electroencephalogram. No outstanding activity, typical concentration of delta waves. Boil poppies and hope the batch is pure. Ten milligrams salt and sugar to the basilic vein. Pass a twelve gauge syringe, high bevel, into the armpit and drain the lymph. Squirt it into a bottle; you’re used to the smell by now. Sit on the ground, listen to the radio crackle. Wonder why you’re here.

“... as morgues around the town continue to experience overcrowding, some have taken to leaving the dead in their homes or holding illegal burials in the countryside. County authorities have started cracking down on these activities and have warned that any corpses found outside of officially sanctioned graveyards will be exhumed and cremated. On a related note, the mayor issued a declaration this morning that all homes, apartments and other living spaces which only had one resident as of the October census should be treated as necrohazards; a list of such residences has not been published due to concerns that it will incite looting. Attempted entry into the home of a possibly deceased person will be treated as a burglary regardless of one’s relationship to the departed. Citizens of Lludw Cigfrain are advised to come forward and register themselves as alive to avoid no-knock intrusions by body disposal services...”

Fifteen CCs morphine. Swab the lips, clear the mouth of phlegm and try to keep the fire alive. Clean the lesions, scrape away the dead flesh, inject saline and wash the linens. Two pills doxycycline dissolved in water, wipe the forehead, turn the eyes away from the light. Clear the nostrils and throat of black mucus. Take acidity measurements, administer vitamins, squeeze what’s left out of the blood bags. Watch the anemia worsen. The tubs are full of pneumothoracic fluid, tighten the catheter and transfer it to a different container. Empty the rest onto the dirt outside. Glance at the electroencephalogram. Delta waves. Boil poppies. Ten milligrams salt and sugar to the basilic vein. Pass a twelve gauge syringe, high bevel, into the armpit and drain some lymph. Squirt it into a bottle; you’re used to the smell by now. Sit on the ground, pass a hand over your face and reminisce.

“... hundreds have gathered in Oldgrove Square to mourn the passing of one pastor Albert White, whose body was recently discovered in his home, lying in bed. The cause of death is as of yet undetermined pending the chief coroner’s examination. Many know him for his donations to charity, including his funding of the construction of the St. Kalinin Orphanage and the renovation of the old Branwen Pediatrics Hospital. Unfortunately, said hospital has been temporarily shut down as law enforcement take steps to contain the situation in Ashville South, putting in place curfews and strict travel regulations. They have advised citizens in the area to report sightings of masked men or tall figures wearing robes as soon as they are able to. Missing persons posters are also no longer being taken down by the police, although the constabulary continue to insist that it constitutes vandalism, an opinion for which they have been criticized by commentators both within and without Lludw Cigfrain...”

Sylvia Pryce dreamt of the happiest days of her life. Months that felt like decades, spent under rainy sky and in the company of dreamers. She remembered expeditions into unknown places, close huddles around dying fires and the dozen different horizons she’d come to know. She recollected a vague sense of camaraderie and the slow bloom of friendship. It was attachment, the kind that gives one the ability to place their trust wholly in another individual and to reciprocate trust given back. She didn’t fixate on the trials they endured: not the way that the cold forced them together or harsh terrain forced them to cling to one another. She didn’t think about the happiness they shared either; she had only the vaguest impression that some time in the past they’d done something enjoyable together and even that feeling was fading. Rather, she obsessed over moments that implied a debt. Times that she’d been pulled out of the dirt, tended to and saved. It made her obligation feel more meaningful. This way, she had something to be accountable for.

Waking up to blue dawnlight didn’t feel like emergence from sleep, it was more like being plunged into a pessimistic vision of the future. She peeled a note torn by the nib of the pen off of her face and sat up, breathing in the smell of death. Her clothes were filthy with blood and lymph but before she could start to be concerned about herself she heard a moan. She was in a long wooden room with holes in the walls and a roof that let light slip through the cracks. A dozen men and women lay around her in various states of decay. Some were in drug-induced stupors. All had veins flowing with something that one could grow desensitized to; dreamless sleep was more merciful than waking pain. She approached the cot from which she’d heard the noise and resisted the urge to avert her eyes. She didn’t like to look at their faces, so full of insidious sentiments and painful memories. This man had taught her how to tie fly lures on a yellow shore, arranged one of her birthdays, scaled a mountainside with her just to show her the view… done much more for her. White linens covered his eyes and cheek but at their edges a little bit of livid purple flesh still peeked through, blackened like putrefying fruit. He croaked out rusty breaths. She knelt by his bedside and grasped his hand with her cold gloves. He flinched and pulled away by a centimetre. She didn’t chase it. “Coulter...” Her voice trailed off. What was there to say that wouldn’t break his heart? She wrapped her fingers around the back of his palm. “... I’m here, it’s just me.” He took in a shallow breath and paused for a terribly long time.

“Sylvia.” His pitch rose toward the end as relief threatened to cross his features. She smiled and let out a breathful, single-beat laugh. “You’re awake.” His Adam's apple rose and he swallowed, slowly. “What put me to bed?” She glanced at the bandages across his face, covering his eyes and a good portion of his neck. They disappeared below the blankets but she knew how far down they continued, all the way to his hip. Little splotches of livid purple flesh poked out of the corners. “Playing the hero. Burns on your shoulder and face. Nothing’s wrong with your eyes, though. Is there anything you need?” He didn’t give her an answer, just turned his head and made eye contact through five layers of gauze. “You sound tired.” She just had to chuckle at that. Had to, or risk letting weeks of exhaustion catch up to her. “It’s nothing. Compared to how sleepy you’ve been, I mean. You’ve been on painkillers for days, it was… well, you were meat and bones when I pulled you in. But you’re going to be alright.” He met her with a grimace. “Now that you mention it, it does sting. Haven’t grafted my buttocks to my face, have you?” “Nope, just your scrote.” And he tched, tched at her like he was her dad. She pouted, though he couldn’t see it. He cleared his throat and visibly squirmed. She leaned over him, thinking he was in pain. He might well have been, but that wasn’t the cause for his anxiety. “Did we win?” Sylvia drew shallow breaths, spoke slowly so he couldn’t hear the emotional backbone of her answer. It was a kind of dishonesty more subtle than even lying by omission. “We got what we wanted. Andarta’s out there somewhere, reshaping the world little by little. Things are getting better.”

Coulter sniffed the air. He must’ve known he wasn’t alone. Sylvia couldn’t help but wonder if he knew how many people were in the room with them. Did he know his best friend was dying across the room from him, wheezing into a mechanical ventilator? Did he know that an ocean away the people they’d left behind were living in fear, even more endangered than they had been before? He didn’t even know that they’d run away from Lludw Cigfrain. ”The Crimsonites are dead,” she wanted to say, but it seemed too cruel. To let this man linger, helpless on his bed, knowing that everything he’d come to love and fight for had been destroyed. Better to break the news gently and over time… and hope he didn’t hate her for it. “It’s funny,” he said at last, breaking the monotonous drone of laboured breathing and medical drips. “For some reason I thought I’d open my eyes and we’d be in paradise. I was so prepared to live out the rest of my life.” She clasped her palms around his, squeezing tightly. He was cold and his pulse was meagre. “Don’t say that shit. You’re honestly going to be okay.” She sat in tense silence, watching his chest rise and fall. She couldn’t help but count his heartbeats and watch for irregularities in his breath. She’d spent so long obsessing over others’ health that now it was second nature. The truth was that she didn’t know if he was going to make it or not. If sepsis set in, there was little she could do. The room wasn’t exactly the more sterile of places, either. She saw the muscles in his jaw unclench and felt his hand unwind from around hers. “I’d like to go back to bed now,” he whispered. In silence she stood, and as an afterthought, turned up the morphine pump. She never would have admitted it, not even to herself, but she was glad to have left the conversation there. She dreaded him waking up completely, she dreaded any of her friends asking her difficult questions and possibly being hurt by the answers. It was a selfish fear, she knew that, but it still didn’t help to settle the butterflies in her stomach. Speaking of which, she needed air.

Stepping outside was like entering a mirage. The room in which she worked, slept and ate felt like her whole world; everything she cared about was wrapped up within it. To behold the sky above her, to breathe clean air, it was all a bit surreal. Just beyond a familiar doorway there was long grass and black trunks. Blue forest air, coloured by streaks of fluorescent spores which glided above the ground. It was dreadfully silent. No foxes stalked the underbrush, no birds nested in the high branches. The grass had no substance to it and the dirt was chalky to the touch without moisture or softness. Despite all appearances - and lord was the forest lush - it was a dead place. Whatever the plants were made of, it certainly wasn’t cellulose. Still, the smell of dew and damp moss lingered, and every breath that Sylvia took had a chill which filled her chest with a minty vigour. Above her was darkness but all around there was a saturated bluish teal glow, clouds of spores carving roads into the mist using ribbons of light. She’d wandered the woods before, following those lines, but had never found anything of note. It seemed to stretch on forever, unfurling like a fractal; always samey but never identical to any other part of itself. She chose a well-travelled trail and started walking, never straying from the given path.

She left behind the oppressive stench of the cabin. The aroma of imagined petals overwhelmed the odour that surely emanated from her bloodied clothes. What felt like a decade ago, she had done this as a lifestyle: wandered unknown worlds and catalogued all manner of flora, fauna and phenomena. She remembered golden steppes and moonlit plateaus, an ocean of tar speckled with growing coronas of fire. Brilliant sights, sweeping vistas, natural architecture of unimaginable proportion. Now, instead of being free as the wind, she was tethered to this place. What might’ve once registered as beautiful to her now seemed completely homogenous and unremarkable. Yet she clung to a road that she’d gone down before. It wasn’t out of sentiment, god no, her shyness from exploration was the result of fear. The forest was vast; not wide but deep, like an abyss. She suspected that nothing lived here because anything that entered the forest got lost, being devoured by infinity. An irrational fear? Probably, but not necessarily one without precedent.

Her walk wasn’t doing it for her. If anything, it was just deepening her dread of the future. She came upon the forest’s edge, where sunlight happened to brighten one half of the world, causing rays to spill between the trunks without piercing the fog. When she looked toward the implied horizon, where silhouettes hid like blurred pastel streaks, it was like staring into the sky during the middle of a lightning strike; light squeezed through billowing, neon clouds. From far away came the roar of the ocean - deep waters and salt that stung her eyes - droning as a protracted exhalation would. It was dark even under the spores’ glow; she almost missed the body lying by a tree flanked by wings of splattered blood. She was at its side immediately, grabbing its shoulders and turning it over. Not all of the liquid around it was blood, she observed; some was seawater. She laid hands on it... and it was warm, it had a pulse! He was an old and blonde man, though stout, with a thick stubble and what might’ve once been a handsome face, though softened by age and broken up by what had most assuredly been a forceful impact with the ground. His chest was deformed too, though judging by the air emitting from his nostrils neither of his lungs had been punctured. Even then, his breath was ragged and his pulse was incredibly weak.

Sylvia was in a state of acute focus by then, her every thought consumed by the present crisis of whether the man would live or not. She peeled his outermost garments off, sticky with blood and water, and felt her heart sink. There was a tremendous gash, around half an inch deep and shaped like the head of a baseball bat when viewed from the side, right underneath his collarbone. A little nodule of flesh in the middle told her that there was a much smaller puncture wound going through the man’s body. Sure enough, he had a hole in his back: the massive gap in his chest could’ve only been produced by an exit wound. Ergo, he’d been shot from behind. His sternum was… well, it was just gone, and fragments of bone glinted from within the wound. She made a checklist: pack the wound, elevate the body, debride by hand what will only get in the way. She used a pocket knife to hew off the loose strips of skin dangling from the edge of the wound which did nothing but lose blood and she stripped the sleeve off her jacket to stuff the wound. Staunching the bleeding was far beyond what she could achieve, her priority was on buying enough time to get him back to the shack. She pressed down on the edges of the wound hard, watching helplessly as blood gathered at the edges nonetheless. She was engrossed in her work, chemical fear and adrenaline denying any thoughts beyond what was in front of her right now. She almost didn’t hear the gunshot, nor feel the splatter of wet dirt on her ear.

“Get away from him and put your hands in the air!” Someone barked through his gasmask, one of two soldiers in fatigues who faced her a few feet away. They were dressed in greys and greens, definitely not the shades of the woods. While one of them stood in front of her, the other moved around to flank. “If I let go of this man, he’ll die!” The man simply reiterated his command; “So will you if you don’t step away!” She took in a deep breath. She raised one hand. “I’m going to bind the wound.” She stated with forced neutrality, desperate not to let her anxiety creep into her voice. She reached toward a roll of dressing on the ground. A single shot passed through the side of her gut and then the shock blacked her out.



She awoke to muted conversation and the feeling of ropes digging into her extremities. Her eyes took some time to adjust to the darkness, the long shadows cast by an oil lamp in the corner of the room bathing the floor in streaks of orange and black. She blinked, dislodging the crust from her eyelids, while muffled voices interacted in a room nearby. She struggled against her restraints until the pain in her stomach made her double over, leaving her breathing heavy and with a thousand yard stare. Even then, neither the ropes nor the anchor point budged. She was forced to kneel in a corner, stone-tiled floor reflecting the vaguest impression of her face. There were bandages beneath her shirt. She didn’t know who her captors were, though she had a good guess. Even if she’d been certain, though, she wouldn’t have known why they kept her alive. A door swung open in front of her and the outline of a man occupied it, backed by the light of day. She stared at his shoulder and her suspicions were confirmed. He wore a patch with a certain emblem on it, extremely distinct in its complexity. A circle with a cross and an eye in the centre, many inscrutable runes placed around its circumference. The Nota Devotio, if she remembered correctly.

The man strode toward her and she sank into the corner as much as she could, wall permitting. She wondered if her eyes were betraying her at that moment, if they could even be seen in the half light. “Prisoner. Medical supplies bearing the serial numbers and insignia of Rubedo were discovered on your person. Members of the Grand Militia discovered you rendering aid to a felon. As such, you have been found guilty of theft of essential goods and crimes against the state. The punishment is death.” His mannerisms spoke to experience in delivering such news. “I’m not from your state!” she yelled at the man, suddenly overcome with manic anger. “In which case you are guilty of trespassing on the island of Aenigmata and the marine territories of the Rubedan government. That is all.” He turned around and stepped out of the room, pulling the door shut even as she commanded him to come back, to release her so she could get back to the people who needed her, or at least to tell her whether the man she’d tended to had survived or not. When she could no longer hear his fading footsteps, she collapsed back against the wall. Right when the reality of her situation began to set in, the door opened again. A different figure entered the room, treading softly. She kept her head down and stilled her breath. Maybe if he approached close enough she could bring him down, kick his shins in and take a knife. Probably not, but… well, the alternative was guaranteed death.

“When I saw who they’d pulled in, I didn’t want to believe my eyes. I guess there’s no doubting it now.” Boots stomped closer, rising up and down in the uppermost portion of her periphery. “Sylvia, what on god’s earth are you doing here?” With the clatter of plastic and the snip of clips being undone, the man pulled the mask off his face and knelt in front of her. She raised her head to his, recognition dawning on both sides. She probed his eyes for something to latch onto, an emotion to read. He was inscrutable, save for a slight smile. “Euan,” she stated matter-of-factly. Nothing followed. He broke the silence, with her being unwilling to. “Who else did you bring with you to the island? You’ve been taking far too much medicine to service the needs of just one person.” She stayed silent a few seconds longer, still trying to collect her thoughts. She trusted him, they’d both served on the same side of the conflict in Lludw Cigfrain, it was just that she’d gone so long without having anyone she could trust that opening up again was like trying to pry open a door that had rusted shut. “A dozen of our people, all in critical condition. Mostly from the battle against the Ashwood Coalition, but a few from before that.” Her fellow ran a hand through his hair, exhaling deeply. “Damn. Not a good time to be a Crimsonite. Former, I mean.” “I know, I know,” She interrupted; “listen, they’ll be dead in days, I need to get back to where they are.” She tugged on the ropes for emphasis.

Euan shook his head. “You’re miles from where you were picked up. The forest is notoriously difficult to navigate, what makes you think you can return?” Sylvia spoke in a low and rapid whisper, enunciating each of her words harshly, bordering on frenzy. “I have a map in my personal belongings and I know the woods well. Just cut me loose, we can’t afford to waste any time.” Euan’s eyes fell to the knife on his belt. He laid his fingers loosely around the grip. And then he turned his face back to hers. “There are hundreds of refugees on this island, all with a reason to hate us. We’ve had them under our heel for decades, killed who knows how many of their leaders.” “That was all for the greater good!” Sylvia hissed, only to be interrupted herself. “It’s not about conscience, it’s about my own survival. Do you know how bad it would be if they found out who I am? They’d fucking crucify me, or worse. I can’t risk either you or your patients letting the truth come out.” Realisation seeped into her bones, heavy as a lead cloak. She kept her eyes on his, looking deep, hoping that this was just some sort of twisted joke. “No, no, you can’t do this.” He struck a piece of tape from his pocket, grabbed her chin and planted it over her lips before she could react. She made muffled pleas through the gag even as he talked over her. “We lost, Andarta is gone. Now the best I can do for you is make your death as comfortable as possible.” He stood as the man from earlier, who’d read her sentence out to her, strode into the room alongside a gaggle of other soldiers. “Sir!” Euan saluted his superior. “We’re ready.” He received a nod in return.

When they detached her bindings from the floor she rushed the soldier right ahead of her, striking his chest with her shoulder and vaulting toward the door. She was met with the butt of a rifle. Her head slammed into the ground and the world lost its clarity. Her vision was murky, lost amidst a screen of blood leaking from all the burst capillaries in her eyes. Everything got very bright and grey, with a wooden stage coming into view. There was a crowd, mostly silent, and they watched her get dragged on her knees up to a podium. Clarity returned to her senses right as the noose was fitted around her neck and tightened. She stood precariously atop a wooden stool. The hemp dug into her throat and her hands were still immobile behind her back. The light of the sun, even through a thicket of clouds, was blinding. Her eyes swam across a sea of spectators, their violating gazes taking in her fear, the musk of her distress. She struggled with her fetters, squirming like some sort of snake on stage; the object of humiliation. She felt the rope go slick with her blood, smearing against her now raw and savaged wrists. Only snippets of some kind of announcement reached her; her ears were roaring at her, overly warm. “... stands strong against outsiders that would destroy the unity that we have so struggled to achieve… has weakened us, costing our soldiers their lives by depleting our stocks of medicine which are so vital in our defence against the monsters from the sea...” A light rain fell on her shoulders and hair. It masked the tears welling in her eyes. Right up until the end, she tried to find a way to pull her head out of the loop or work her hands free. It was only when the announcer went silent that she realised that there was nothing more to be done. The stool was ripped from under her feet and the noose went taut around her neck.

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Menschenfleisch
Diplomat
 
Posts: 609
Founded: Nov 01, 2017
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Menschenfleisch » Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:59 pm

Seeds of Anxiety

Sparsely furnished, the hospital - one room and a corner cordoned off to serve as the doctor’s office - was nothing to gawk at. It didn’t have any of the hallmarks of an actual medical establishment, neither the sterility nor the equipment. Rather, a couple of herbs hung from different lines and shelves hung up on the walls. Overhead, flowers bloomed beneath the light slipping through the cracks in the ceiling. The door squealed as it swung open, bouncing off the wall with a violent judder which reminded the assembly too much of the sound of a sinking ship. A fine mist rolled in, wreathing the militiaman in the doorway to dramatic effect. He wasn’t dressed like a lawman or an officer, bearing a white shirt and bomber jacket in place of any kind of uniform. The only defining feature that could be discerned was his mask, which clung to him like some sort of parasite and which had a symbol engraved on the forehead: a circle with a cross in the centre, an eye even more in the middle than that. Runes, unreadable to anyone present, decorated the empty space between the spokes of the cross. The doctor turned his head, eyes widening in interest at the intrusion. The partisan gestured out the door with his thumb. “Another exhibition. Barnett wants them to see it.” The doctor shot a look at the new arrivals, still damp and a little tired. “They’re barely awake, I don’t think that’s a-” “They fail to show, it’s my ass or yours on the grill. You’re a good man but I’m not taking the fall for you. Come on...” He gestured at the group. “This is something you need to see.”

The doctor stood and pushed out his chair, turning slowly to face the doorway. “Look, they’re really not in any condition to-” “It’s fine, we’re alright.” Paige stood up to emphasize her point. Mervin followed, albeit shakily and without a great deal of shivering and deep breaths. The partisan nodded. “Good man… woman, whatever. Come on then, you’re with me.” Outside was cold and still. No wind, just a cloudy sky through which white light seeped, giving everything a floaty pale outline. The town was stretched like a crescent around the rim of a circular cliff, causing one end of the settlement to be backed up against a wall of oppressive brown rock and the other to inhabit a gently sloping field that curled up toward what promised to be further grass and trees. The buildings were all wood and brick, scaffolding still in place for many of them. Half had straw-stuffed planks for roofs. The roads were trampled instead of paved and wherever there was space, so along the roads and between the many houses, there were piles of crates, unsorted belongings and construction materials. Flat tents could be seen sporadically around the place as well; the town’s inhabitants had essentially only just gotten here. The presence of these buildings at all implied a great deal. So where were the workers and families? The place should’ve been packed but not a soul could be seen. That was the question that Paige fielded, and their escort responded curtly. “They’ve been called to the town square.” Very nondescript, but she didn’t press the issue further.

All around them there was an intricate weave of greenery, trees and ferns bursting from the ground, with the grass growing taller than one’s waist at times. The town and the land it was built on had been deforested but everything around it was an almost impenetrable thicket of equal parts fog and plant life. Paige looked high, onto the ridge that overlooked the entirety of Rubedo. She spied the glint of metal and the pallor of hewn wood. There was a palisade up there, and patrolmen looking down. “Cover your nose,” the guide suggested on a whim while they passed by a stack of ashes. Bones gleamed from within the pile, as did strips of dessicated green skin. Rogons. She could even see a few burnt bullet casings amidst the heap, lead blossoms moulded to the shape of the Rogons’ impenetrable bones. It smelled of hell, all sulphur and decay. The grass nearby was blackened too, as if blighted, and even the fog turned greener as they approached. She hadn’t noticed it until then but many of the buildings were scarred. There were marks on the walls, bits gouged out of them whose marks were still bright and not the shade of the surrounding wood, the only explanation for which was a recent sharp impact. Some had a green-blue stain to accompany them. Or, in more morbid cases, a spot of red. A few doors had an odd symbol on them too, a cross of white paint on top of an eye, the two perpendicular lines converging on the centre of the iris. They were the most ramshackle houses, their windows boarded over and their floors falling apart.

“So who’s in charge around here?” Mervin asked to break the silence as much to gather information. The man with them waved his hand dismissively, murmuring an answer. “Nobody. It’s a community effort.” He took a moment to greet a passing member of the militia. They’d seen more of them in the distance, often standing around piles covered in cloth or outside buildings, but none had come close enough to converse with. “Fresh faces?” The passerby remarked. Their guide didn’t reply but he must’ve conveyed something with his face because the man continued as if he’d had his suspicions confirmed. “Don’t make a scene,” he asserted, passing his eyes over the group. He lingered on the trolls for a few seconds, only looking away once they were side by side. “know whose side you’re on.” he added in a hush. Then he was behind them.

The town square was silent, packed: they knew they were close when they started seeing normal people in the street. There was a stage set up in the middle of a wide clearing; the only polished surface for hundreds of metres. An older, slimmer man was up next to a pole shaped like an upside down L. The group walked in on the midway point of a speech. His voice was sweet and infectious, eliciting shivers from all there. “Incubus,” Paige mumbled under her breath. “... discarded all the arbitrary boundaries that once divided us. I see members of different cults, wards and communities all in one place. I see brotherhood between men who were shooting at each other a few weeks ago. Who would’ve thought that angels and demons would be sharing houses, even? I am so proud of you all for setting aside your differences and for coming together to tame this new world. Aenigmata is our home now. And I know that many of you have family and friends left behind in Lludw Cigfrain who were unable to make the journey and who can no longer come over due to the Rogons prowling the sea. We will be back, and we will save all those who wish to escape all the vultures in Wales. But first, we must fortify ourselves and establish our presence on this island. The raids have been growing more frequent and it has been due to the efforts of the Grand Militia that we are still standing. Those brave men and women make incredible sacrifices for all our sakes, selflessly giving their lives so that this island may be a haven for all. That is why it is doubly disappointing to know that there are outsiders who would take advantage of your kindness, stealing from this community and its defenders in order to service their own selfishness.”

The sound of muffled screaming heralded the appearance of a woman on the stage. She was young, barely older than Paige who was herself fresh out of university. Her arms were tied behind her back, blood poured down her wrists and a length of tape had been slapped across her mouth. Two guards pulled her up to the pole, one holding her securely while the other slung a rope across the top and tied a deft noose. Mervin turned toward the militiaman that’d brought them there, still standing amidst them. “What is this?” He hissed, and in return the soldier gave him a disdainful glare. “Law and order. This is what happens if you take advantage of us.” The woman was made to stand on a bench while the rope was tightened around her neck. Paige instinctively touched her own throat. Revulsion got the better of her and she turned away only for the guard to grab her shoulder and turn her back toward the scene. “Watch.” He commanded. “The woman you see here has been stealing medicine and food from you, all while we’ve struggled to treat injuries and keep our children fed. Is that fair?” The crowd rose up into a heated murmur, their morbid fascination being honed into a razor point of resentment. Now that he mentioned it, Paige noticed that most of the people surrounding her looked pale and famished. They wore clothes too large for themselves and had skin covered in unhealthy discolourations. The soldiers, notably, didn’t have any such showings. “I know that you are good people, I would place my utmost trust in you any day; yet there are those who claim to be one of us while taking our belongings right from under our noses. To those who would break apart this union, I want this to be a warning.” The announcer pivoted on his heel to face the prisoner and the soldier standing behind her. She was writhing on stage, elbows jutting out from behind her back and she tried to free herself or speak. Her head was raised so as to put no pressure on her neck but it was clear to see that she couldn’t slip out. Paige placed the webbing between her thumb and index beneath her chin, swallowing in deep discomfort. The announcer raised three fingers. Paige turned to Avarice, something dreadful in how she spoke. "Ma'am, are we going to do something about this?"
Last edited by Menschenfleisch on Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Rostavykhan
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1930
Founded: Sep 30, 2017
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Rostavykhan » Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:03 pm

The Eight Line Tale
Frantzeska


Avilgion

The halls leading from the entrance of the New Royal Palace were a sight to behold; to think that there was more to the building, and that those rooms were more intricate and more breathtaking, was almost inconceivable. The sunlight that spilled from the building's tall windows reflected off of the marble floors and pillars, making them seem to almost sparkle. At the far end of the hall, two large, red double doors waited, and behind them the throne room. The length of the hall made it so that any visitor would have to walk for a good minute at best in order to reach the throne room, a walk that seemed to make one's arrival there feel a bit weightier. The design choice was likely intentional.

The messenger awaited entrance at those doors. When the guards finally allowed him in, they opened to reveal the royal court, deep in debate. The debate fell silent, and many eyes fell on the messenger, including one pair of eyes which seemed to bore into the poor soul. "Come.", Said the young woman; it was all that she needed to say. Despite her young age and the softness of her voice, there was something about her that commanded authority. She spoke slowly, deliberately, but she didn't drag on with her words. Her voice was soft, but the tone in which she spoke assertive. The messenger, wearing the burgundy of House D'ageusseau, entered. Upon her throne, Frantzeska Iolanthe watched, and her lips curled. D'aguesseau, her distant cousin, if she believed her parents. D'ageusseau, her mentor and sparring partner. D'aguesseau, the damned traitor. She knew why he'd sent the messenger to her. He'd sent many before. "Get it out.", She said, caring not for manners. The messenger was obviously worried, but nonetheless he cleared his throat and spoke clearly to the Archduchess, which elicited some respect from her, if anything. "Lord D'ageusseau and this court bring word from Aquintum. He would like to request of you a -"

Frantzeska cut him off immediately. For a brief moment, he thought he had said something wrong, from the way her fingers tightened around the hilt of her sword, as she sat in a throne that was slightly too big for her, her legs tucked together and her blade resting between them. He could already see her standing, raising the sword to cut him down. She certainly looked like she would, but...she didn't. Her voice boomed out again. "Another request for peace talks?", She asked, quirking her brow. "Does he think me the sort to capitulate, still?"

The messenger gulped. "Lord D'aguesseau doesn't wish to subject the rest of the nation to further violence, Your Highness.", He said. "It's his hope, and the hope of his court, that -"

"That I'll come to my senses and abdicate like they wanted me to. Yes, yes, I'm well aware of what that D'aguesseau and the rest of the nobility want.", She said, nodding. "Tell me, Messenger, does D'aguesseau have the right to rule as I do? Do the rest of the nobility?", She asked. The Messenger had to pause for a moment, to comprehend what The Archduchess had asked him. "Do they have the right to rule?", He said, confused.

Frantzeska nodded again. "The Rebels down south seem to believe it The People who have the right to rule themselves. It's a silly notion, but one can sympathize with them, I suppose. But, what of Lord D'aguesseau? Of his camp? What right to they have?", She asked again. "Your Lord claims to want only to look for the best interests of the nation. By what right does he rule, though? The nobility are land owners, but it's under the rule of me and my predecessors that they retain the power that they do to rule it. Do they think that they can merely remove me and enjoy unlimited power without devolving into infighting as they had before my family united them? Do you think that The People can rule themselves without infighting and anarchy taking over? These Rebels, These Insurrectionists, Lord D'aguesseau - what right do they have to lead? The people who have brought us into a war that they now lament?"

The Messenger was still confused, though he was beginning to understand. Frantzeska thrust a finger into the air. "It's by the Grace of God that I rule, alone. It was by the grace of God that my parents ruled. We didn't start this conflict, but we will most certainly finish it. So, why don't you tell your Lord that he would do best to stop asking for peace, and instead make the attempt himself? Otherwise, he'll only damn himself further, and continue the suffering of our people."

With her rant done, Frantzeska fell back into her seat. Her grip on the hilt of her blade loosened, and she propped on elbow on the arm of her throne, supporting her head. "Now.", She said, sighing. "You may go."

Evening

Why did she say any of that!? Frantzeska ruled by the grace of god? She did, but...

She didn't enjoy it. The sitting, The debating. She governing. The ruling. However she phrased it. She didn't enjoy any of it; she hated it, in fact. It was a nightmare, but she was damned if that meant that she would give it up just to appease those bastards. They insulted her family, and she couldn't allow herself to just roll over and take it. She wouldn't give up everything like that.

She'd been pacing back and forth in her bedchamber for the last twenty minutes, thinking about it, ignoring the work that she'd started when she sat down earlier. She sighed and quickly walked back to her seat, crashing into it and holding her head for a moment. "Take a deep breath.", She thought. That would help. It had do! She inhaled, exhaled, and shook her head, and then leaned back into her chair.

The sight of the Grand Cathedral against the dusk horizon was always a sight to behold, she thought, cocking her head to gaze out towards it. It was one of the sights that, when Frantzeska had first entered the Upper City of Hyraklion, left her breathless. Sure, she had seen impressive churches and manors before, but none were so impressive as those within the upper stratem of the nation's capital, and few within that were as beautiful as The Cathedral, with its great bridge and high towers and buttresses.

It was that sight that she would often spent her free time watching from the balcony of her new bedchamber, if or when she had the opportunity. The large opening provided a perfect view of the sky, from its spot along the corner of the palace. It was calming, being able to sit without any window or barrier between herself and the sky. It helped her to concentrate - something that she desperately needed as she sat back in her seat, skimming over letters and notices, and running her pen over one paper or the other. It was a very small collection of petitions, requests, and forms, but she still found it a bore to grind through. Finally putting her signature on the last piece, the young woman pushed her papers aside, and released a deep, exasperated sigh.

"Pointless.", She thought to herself. Sitting before the court. Handling documents. Sitting alone, trapped in her own home, gazing at the Cathedral. She was certain that Fredreich was there at that moment; the paladin and her had been good friends, but now she was always so tired from handling governing matters, and he was actually enjoying himself in his work for The Church. To say that she was envious would have been an understatement. Perhaps she would pay her old sparring partner an impromptu visit.

She sighed again, and stood from her seat to stretch and pop her back. With her more pressing work done, she could at least save the evening for herself, and relax for some time. She rubbed her eyes and pushed her seat in, then turned to approach the balcony. The cool night air was calming, helping to alleviate her stress somewhat. She'd been sitting all day, actually. A walk would do her some good, she thought. Maybe she would walk to The Cathedral, if it didn't take too long. It would do her good to get the exercise, too.

Frantzeska grabbed her sword and left the Palace. She left without an escort, which was sure to earn her some rebuke when she returned, not that she cared. The Capital was relatively safe now, particularly in the Upper City, and besides that, she felt more at peace when she didn't have eyes on her. The street lamps were lit, casting dim light on the cobbled streets, and the sight felt almost surreal to her. The sun still lingered on the horizon, but it was dark as the night in the shadow of the tall buildings and cliffs that lingered over the city streets. The street that she was one would go for some time, before bending to the right, forking, and leading to the great bridge of the Grand Cathedral. She had travelled the path many times, including on the day of her coronation, but her lone walks in the evening were always the most special to her. It was a good way to set the moot before she reached it and greeted her friend.

It was then that, as Frantzeska crossed by one of the smaller streets that broke off into a market area, a deafening boom interrupted the twilight's silence. She jumped and tensed up, and - no, she was safe. She was safe, she reassured herself. The people who were closer to the noise weren't as lucky, if the cries that were beginning to wail out were any indication. Down the street, she saw what looked to be soldiers rushing to the scene. At the moment, she knew that her visit to The Cathedral would have to be postponed; she sprung into action, and started making her way down the street to see what had caused the commotion. She only made it a few feet down the road before a pair of footsteps echoed on the pavement behind her, followed by the sound of something being pulled from a sheathe. Frantzeska instinctively reached for her own blade, grabbing its hilt, and then dashing forward. The attacker's sabre barely missed her. Dust and leaves were kicked up around them, and the faintest glow of ethereal wings flashed for just a moment, flapping and giving The Archduchess the momentum she needed to avoid getting slashed in the back. She tore her sword from its own sheathe and spun around with the moment it provided, bit her heels into the ground, and thrust her warped blade towards the would-be assassin who dared to attack her. The person she met bore a familiar face, but they were no friend. Judging by their attire, dirty and worn as it was, they were likely either a rebel or a bandit, and it was likely that they were with the ones who had just set off the bombs further down the street. "Are you too cowardly to face me from the front?", She asked, widening her stance and preparing to fight.

She hadn't quite expected the figure who attacked her to be a familiar face. Now Frantzeska knew how rebels had gotten into the Upper City. "Margeaux?", She asked, quirking her brow. Margeaux, one of her old friends, had been quick to betray her when the fighting broke out; her parents had been disgraced for prior actions against The Crown, when the two of them were still in school, and it seemed that once Frantzeska's parents were out of the picture, that she would be quick to follow after her own. "Fancy meeting you here.", The girl replied, brandishing her sword and stepping forward. "Snuck out again, didn't you?"

"You know me well.", Said Frantzeska, raising a hand to her forehead with a dramatic flourish. "I'd not be surprised if those fireworks of yours were a lure? Please tell me that they were!", She exclaimed. Margeaux scoffed. "I'd do no such thing just to make you feel more important than you are.", She explained. Indeed, in the distance, amid gunshots and screams, the cries of the girl's comrades rang out, calling for her to follow. Frantzeska smirked. "Raiding shops, then? The smithy, perhaps? Have the armouries below been run dry already?", She asked, half-mocking the rebel girl. "As dry as your family's coffers, perhaps?"

Anger flared in Margeaux's eyes. She lunged towards Frantzeska, who narrowly dodged once more, and followed with a powerful downward swing. The power of her sword tore the sabre from Margueax's hands, and embedded it into the stone road at their feet. In an instant, Frantzeska tilted the blade towards her body, and then swung again. Margeau'x dove back, but the sword knicked her collarbone, eliciting a cry from the girl. She gripped her saber and tore it from the ground, chipping the blade, but not breaking it entirely. As she ran and neared the corner of the street, Frantzeska followed, and the two bolted past a group of bewildered soldiers, who barely had time to react before Frantzeska's wing manifested again. Her wings propelled her forward. She crashed into Margeaux, and the two of them tumbled into the broken-open doors of the building that her comrades had just ransacked and abandoned. Some fire had already begun to take to the interior, born from cinders left in the wake of the initial blast. In an instant, Frantzeska's would-be assassin bolted to the stairs, while she climbed back to her feet and searched for her sword. Margeaux's feet hit the mid-point of the stairs, and Frantzeska found her blade. She swung, and it sunk into the side of the stairs, splitting the wooden beams and lodging itself just shy of the girl's foot. She jumped and continued to ascend the stairs. Frantzeska dislodged her sword and rounded the stairs to follow, hopping over the shattered stair and continuing her pursuit, but she was stopped suddenly when Margeaux reappeared on the stairs. Something large tipped over the edge of the stairs above her - a shelf, it seemed - and began to tumble down the stairwell. She barely had time to react, placing one hand to the wall and kicking with her good leg, knocking it partially to the side and stopping it from running her over entirely. The falling furniture still hit her, bruising her shoulder and knocking her over.

"Damnit.", She thought, wheezing to catch her breath. She tumbled over until her head was above her feet again, hoisted herself up, and clambered up the stairs, reaching the top and drawing her blade once more. She'd been annoyed by the pursuit before, but now she was angry. "Where are you!?", She called, struggling to see her enemy through the darkness and the smoke. "Come out! Didn't you want to fight me!?", She taunted once more. Still, no response; she cursed again, and began to walk around the room, filled with empty and half-empty shelves, smithing equipment, barrels, and the occasional crate and bucket. Then, she noticed a faint light. It was barely noticeable through the smoke and the dust, but she saw it, and then she saw it flicker. Movement! "You can't hide.", She said aloud, moving towards it. An old shelve sat in her way. She destroyed it with a mighty swing, and kicked it out of her way. "What motivated you to strike me? Did you break from your comrades because you saw me? What, did you think it an opportunity to end it all while you had the chance? Or did you fancy yourself some sort of hero? Hmm?"

The haze broke, and the light grew stronger. Frantzeska lunged forward, and raised her sword to deal a mighty blow, but when she swung, she met only air. The shadow at her feet dash aside again. Her old friend sat in the open window from which the last vestiges of sunlight poured. She looked terrified, but there was also something else there. There was a twinkle in her eye; there was a hint of defiance. She raised her blade once more, this time certain that she would be able to hit the other girl before she lept from the window. She stepped forward...

A soft click made her freeze. Suddenly, the attacker threw herself from the window. Frantzeska looked down, and saw the gleam of glass, metal, and sparks. She looked towards the window, and attempted to dive for it as well, but the makeshift bomb that her rival had planted was already too close to detonation. She felt a lick of heat at the back of her neck, and felt the shock wave hit her. A deafening boom knocked her hearing out, and all that she could see, hear, and feel were the light fading, wooden boards snapping, and the weightlessness of a hard, sudden fall. For a moment, the light flickered once more, but not from the window; the walls split, and shingles from the roof fell into the crumbling building. A support beam right under her had been snapped, and Frantzeska fell along with half of the structure. She felt a sharp impact, and everything went black...

Frihed City

Frantzeska was awake. She was aware of her surroundings. The young woman sprung to life, partially out of panic, partially out of relief. For a moment, all she did was pat herself down; surprisingly, nothing was broken! Not a scratch or a blemish, and even her uniform was...well, oddly clean. That didn't seem right.

She wasn't in the old warehouse any more. Had she been pulled from the rubble? She wasn't at The Palace, either...

She suddenly began to panic, and searched for her sword. It was still there, however. If she'd been captured, then why would she have it? There was no way that a soldier or Royal Guard would just leave her alone if they saw her, either. Nothing seemed to make sense about her surroundings, it seemed. She was alone, but not without her sword, and she was outside of the destroyed building, but not in a familiar area.

She was alone...she needed to move. She needed to find someone.

After what seemed like a long walk - although it was likely just her still readjusting to regaining consciousness - Frantzeska found herself leaving the alley she was in, and approaching the quaint little bar. She'd no recollection of one existing nearby, although she'd never cared to seek any out or learn of their locations. She was angry that she was lost, and wanted to get the bottom of her being seemingly abandoned. Along the way, she noticed a handful of posters, though she didn't pay them much mind - not until she actually found herself approaching the building. She merely considered them to be standard "help wanted" notices, flyers left for commoners who sought some sort of employment and the sort. When she finally slowed down to give one a proper look, she found that it...well, it didn't make sense. It seemed like the sort of thing she would see written in one of her fiction books, but that was the least confusing part. What really sent her head spinning was the address that was apparently associated with it, which was nowhere that she was familiar with. Surely, it must have been a joke, she thought, although she had no logical way to explain how it could be. She pushed her way into the bar, nonetheless, and if her distinctive attire didn't draw any eyes her way, then her voice certainly did. "Where am I?", She asked, quite bluntly, not caring who would answer her. "Where am I, and who owns this establishment? This is an important matter."

The Great Wizarding Rebellion
Katya


"It is rather quaint.", Said Katya, nodding slowly. "This is a nice enough city, I suppose. It's not quite as impressive as Rostov - that is, my Rostov. It's safe enough, however, and safe is really all we could ask for as the moment. Lucky for you, I believe you've just missed a bit a dangerous spot that we were all in.", She explained. "It's nothing to be worried about, just some minor disagreements with The British, a few war crimes, but it's not really worth fretting over. Thankfully, our Irish friends seem to be more than happy to accommodate us for the favour."

It was a joke, but...well, it was a half-joke, but Katya did find herself wondering why exactly they were being allowed to not only lead refugees to safety in Dublin, but roam its streets freely themselves. They would be getting some answers soon, she knew, although somehow she already had the feeling that their hosts' hospitality wasn't just out of the kindness of their hearts. Even if they didn't want the group to do anything for them directly, they'd have to do something to handle the refugees or The UK or AEGIS, before trouble spilled over onto Irish soil. She wasn't looking forward to figuring that one out!
 

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Trapoletanius
Lobbyist
 
Posts: 19
Founded: Jul 15, 2017
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Trapoletanius » Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:58 pm

Seeds of Anxiety
The Ravanche

Pobeda awoke in a dim haze, his head throbbing as his eyes adjusted to the light of his surroundings. He tried to recall what happened to get him here: the ship, the fight, the leviathan, then nothing. His eyes adjusted to the light quickly, revealing a wooden ceiling above his head. He heard some voices nearby, people talking about where they were, and what the place was like. Slowly, he sat up in his bed, rubbing the salt from his eyes and looking down to see himself back in his normal clothes. He stretched his upper body and let out a yawn before looking over to the doctor with crow feet.

“A paradise, you say? Having a monster attack and devour children doesn’t sound much like a paradise, if you ask me.”

Constance then asked if anyone was missing, causing Pobeda to take a headcount of all present.

“Seems we are missing some. Elizabeth and the captain aren't here.” The Mage quickly got out of the bed, putting his hands in his coat pockets.

Venera was the next to awake, yawning loudly and rubbing her eyes, “What the hell happened? And where are we?”

Pobeda said, “We were knocked out, and now we’re in a town called Rubedo. Supposedly a sort of paradise where everyone is free to be whatever they want.”

Venera got out of bed and stretched, “Sounds like my kinda place.” It was then that she finally noticed the doctor in the room. “Oh, didn’t see you there, guessin you’re the one who patched us up. Guess we oughta be thankin you for that, then.”

The doctor let out a chuckle and spread his hands. “Well, wasn’t really me. The boys from the Grand Militia fished you out of the sand half drowned. You’re mighty lucky to have washed up face-up, almost anyone would’ve drowned out in those conditions. It might not be my place to ask, but how didn’t you get dragged under by one of them freaky fishfolk? The Rogons, we call them.”

“Oh, they tried to drag us down.” Venera said. Tried. she gave a sly smile.

“They took out our ship, though, and they could’ve taken a few of us with it.” Pobeda added in. “Not sure where else the missing people would be.”

The doctor let out a long breath, perhaps not feeling comfortable giving his honest thoughts on Venera’s response. What kind of person would he seem to be, expressing mirth when these people had friends at the bottom of the sea? “I’m sorry to hear that some of your crew are gone. I… wouldn’t be optimistic. Still, you’re here and that’s all that matters. I’ll put in a word with the militia, maybe they can find out where your peers went. In the meantime you should relax, take some time to rest.”

“Can do,” Venera said. “Would love a look around this town, in the meantime.”
clay_the_awsome: Horny teens are what made this species great to begin with

What is honor compared to a woman's love? What is duty against the feel of a newborn son in your arms ... or the memory of a brother's smile? - Aemon Targaryen

The life of a single human being is worth a million times more than all the property of the richest man on earth. - Che Guevara

By striving to do the impossible, man has always achieved what is possible. Those who have cautiously done no more than they believed possible have never taken a single step forward. - Mikhail Bakunin

User avatar
Nagakawa
Diplomat
 
Posts: 553
Founded: May 01, 2019
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nagakawa » Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:31 am

The Eight Line Tale
Frihed City
33rd District - ‘The Feral Feline’

Friday - 9:58PM


“Ah, a customer.”

At the sound of Frantzeska appearing in the bar, Ash stood up and waltzed over to the door to greet the customer, while Joe and Shiro remained seated at the booth seat. Nikolaas, the bartender and proprietor of the Feral Feline, resumed his place behind the bar counter, clasping his hands and forcing a tight-lipped smile.

“Welcome.” Ash approached Frantzeska and smiled, gesturing to the booth where Shiro and Joe sat.

“Hey”, said Shiro, from the booth. “We’ve been expecting you. Have a seat.”

In the short amount of time it took for Ash to usher Frantzeska to the seat where Joe and Shiro sat, Nikolaas had silently whipped up a couple of drinks- three rum colas, and a glass of tea. Leaving the newcomer for a short while, Ash headed to the counter and returned with the drinks.

“English breakfast tea for Shiro, and Mojito for the rest of you.”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake.”

Shiro rubbed his temples in annoyance, but took the tea anyway, sipping from the steaming cup and turning to Frantzeska. “Anyway... my name is Shiro Kurono. I’m the one who put up those posters round town. You’ve probably seen them, the ones with the blue words.”

“And I’m Joe Hogan”, said the bald, muscular pianist in a tuxedo. “It’s, uh, great to see you.”

“You’ve probably got a lot of questions right now, so I’ll try to answer them”, said Shiro, stifling a yawn and clearly trying to hide his fatigue. “Right now, we are in Frihed City. It’s a city located in... how do I say it... in a part of the multiverse that intersects readily with other worlds.”

“So just think of universes as, like, bubbles floating around randomly”, Joe chimed in, trying to add on to Shiro’s explanation. “Now, Frihed City is like a bubble that stays put in one place, and all the other bubbles are always coming close to it, so it’s easy to jump from here to another place, and there’s a bunch of people who figured out how it works, about six or seven hundred years ago, and they built a city to, like, connect it all together. ”

“Essentially, yea.” Shiro shrugged.

“Crazy stuff, man”, said Joe, his gaze, and evidently his mind too, drifting off. “By the way, have you ever tried DMT?”

“The gist of it is that you’ve found yourself transported from another world- your home world- into this city”, said Shiro, ignoring Joe’s question and finishing the rest of his tea. “That’s... really all we know.”

An awkward silence fell over the bar for a moment. The slow whirring of the ceiling fan overhead was punctuated by the rhythmic ticking of a pendulum clock in the corner of the bar, which suddenly chimed to herald a new hour of the night.

“So what’s your name, anyway?” Joe asked Frantzeska. “What world are you from?”

...
Last edited by Nagakawa on Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
.____________永 河 帝 國____________.
.____________自 他 共 栄____________.


Population: 89 million (2020)
Landmass: 328,036 km²
Capital: Inada
Most populous city: Rushima

Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Emperor: Tomohito
Prime Minister: Hideyoshi Kaburagi (Republican)
Speaker: Yasuo Isogai
Chief Justice: Hideki Motobu

GDP (PPP): $4.917 trillion
Inequality index: 0.373 (medium)
HDI: 0.902 (very high)
IDI: 85.1 (very highly developed)

Currency: Nagakawan yen (¥)
Internet TLD: .nk
Country code: NGK
Driving side: left
Call code: +133

National flower: empress tree paulownia (Paulownia fortunei)
National bird: red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis)
National sport: judo

User avatar
Rostavykhan
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1930
Founded: Sep 30, 2017
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Rostavykhan » Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:02 pm

The Eight Line Tale
Frantzeska


For a good half minute, the only response that any of the group would receive from Frantzeska would be total silence, and utter bewilderment. How did she respond to any of what she'd just been told? Her memory was still foggy, and she'd only been conscious for a few minutes, if that, so the story that she'd just been given wasn't helping her to come to her senses at all. Shiro, Joe, Ash - all of them had to have been off their rockers. Frantzeska seemed to almost speak up, paused, winced slightly as if she were thinking of what to say, and then gave up and sighed. "You jest, surely. This is an attempt at deception, right? Or...you're mad? No.", She said. The no was to herself, as she placed one hand to her chin. The other stayed resting on her sword. It wasn't that she didn't understand what they were saying, but more the fact that it seemed so sudden and wildly unbelievable that she couldn't fathom it being true. She wasn't the sort to deny the obvious when it was smacking her in the face, but she still hadn't seen too much of her surroundings for it to seem justified yet. Yes, she was in a strange and unfamiliar location, but she had no reason to believe herself to be terribly far from her own home yet.

She swallowed hard, and paused again. Where did she even begin? "I...", She stopped; she didn't know if she should give her name yet. "I believe you already know who I am.", She said. They had to, right? "Don't you? Forgive me, but I'm simply having a hard time accepting what I've just been told. I hope you'll understand where I'm coming from."
 

User avatar
Nagakawa
Diplomat
 
Posts: 553
Founded: May 01, 2019
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nagakawa » Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:38 pm

The Eight Line Tale
Frihed City
2nd District - City Square

Friday - 9:00PM


A motorcade of heavily armoured cars escorted by an entourage of motorcyclists in black tactical suits snaked down the complex streets of Frihed City’s largest commercial district, silently cutting through the throngs of people eager to spend their Friday night squandering their spare savings for the week on frivolities. It was a conspicuously well-protected motorcade, yet did not stick to the memory- the sort of thing that one would notice easily, yet also put out of mind forever afterwards, never to remember again.

Several sharp turns soon brought the motorcade to a large gated compound, fenced off with two fences each armed with triple concertina wires, the guardhouse boasting two heavily armed guards with their weapons loaded.

The driver wound down the tinted window and leaned only his arm out of the window, flashing a security card at the sentry standing guard outside.

“Access level A”, said the driver in a muffled voice. “Cargo sanctioned by the G2 branch.”

“Carry on.”

The barriers opened, and the motorcade passed through into the installation- a large, spartan complex, with all the buildings little more than solid blocks of hollow grey concrete, save for a single glass and marble building in the centre of the complex, not unlike a luxury hotel, were it not also surrounded by armed soldiers.

Going down a ramp into the basement of the polished marble building, the motorcade came to a halt at a lobby, upon which the suited bodyguards inside the main car simultaneously emerged from the doors, escorting from the car an old man in a business suit.

“We’re barely on time”, said the old man to his bodyguards. “Let us make haste.”

...

19th District - Restricted area

Friday - 9:20PM


Inside a large meeting hall in the hotel-like building, the old man walked up to a little desk in the middle of the room, where he proceeded to set up his computers and awaited the beginning of the meeting. Once he’d sat down, the sound of a holographic display crackling to life filled the void, and as the speakers in the room began to transmit sound, the image of a woman appeared before the old man.

“The construction of Indra IV is as scheduled”, said the old man, switching on his computers and shuffling a stack of papers he took from his briefcase. “Within two months, we will be ready for our final test with the Vajra bolt, following which Indra IV will become the latest ship in Débuchin Corporation’s fleet.”

Professor Romanescu”, said the woman on the other end of the line, her holographic image shaky, “While I appreciate the speed with which the military science branch has delivered results, I must ask that you exercise more restraint with the Vajra bolts. Six of them were lost when the Indra III went missing, four years ago. We must manage our stock... at least until Project 1071 is complete.

“Understood, Madam Fujinuma”, said the Professor, carefully typing notes into his computer with his frail, arthritic hands.

How many Vajra bolts do we possess in our stockpile?

“Fifteen”, the Professor replied. “Two are currently under construction- by next month, we will have seventeen.”

Hm, more than I remembered. Still...

“What of the other project?”

Which other project?

“Project 1115.” The Professor sifted through his papers and adjusted the frameless pince-nez hooked to the bridge of his nose. “Our one remaining subject has been in confinement for about three months now. It’s unlikely we’ll be able to integrate him into our operations, given his, uh, defects. We’re still awaiting your orders on what to do with him.”

“...”

The professor, awaiting the reply of the woman on the other end of the line, nervously typed more notes into his computer. A notification popped up on his screen- Professor Mihail Romanescu, report to the DebuCorp Cyberbionics Branch, Saturday 10:00AM. The sight of the message made the professor flinch, the little remaining colour in his sunken cheeks draining from his already pallid face.

“So, uh, shall we proceed to terminate Subject 1115-F?”

No. Let’s make use of him. Send him to one of the rogue districts and have him cause trouble. He won’t last long, but he ought to be able to wreak a fair bit of destruction.

“Madam, there is a high likelihood that due to the failure of that iteration of the engine... we may not be able to retain control over him. Without going into the details... neither 1115-F nor any of the other subjects in Project 1115 displayed levels of subservience within acceptable parameters for DebuCorp’s standards.”

It’s a risk I’m willing to take. Have him suited up and dispatched. Have him monitored via the retinal processors. We can use the results to make patches to Unit 1126 before they turn operational.

“Understood, Madam Fujinuma.”

...

33rd District
‘The Feral Feline’

Friday - 10:01PM


“Hey, I know it’s hard to believe”, said Ash in as reassuring a tone as she could muster up. She took a seat beside Frantzeska. “I bet the majority of people out there don’t even know that there are other worlds other than their own. It’s a scary thought, the more you dwell on it.”

“I know, right?” Joe chipped in. “It’s fucking insane.”

Shiro looked up at the ceiling in silence.

Was it really right to be doing this? He pondered, tapping his finger rhythmically on the table and breathing contemplatively, a slight whistling sound barely audible each time he exhaled. Taking advantage of people who were being sucked through anomalous dimensional gates and bringing them into his and the resistance’s struggles was ethically questionable, no doubt about it. But few else in the multiverse had the capability to turn the gates both ways- to send people back to the other side. By keeping the gates open and redirecting the anomalous rifts, in other words, they were in a way saving these people from certain doom.

Of course, it was probably best not to talk about that bit for the time being.

“We’re happy to help you back to your world”, he said to Frantzeska. “We have the means to do that. But it‘s gonna take a while. We don’t know the coordinates of your world.”

“Yea.” Ash took a sip from her rum cola, plucking the lime out and squeezing the juice into the cocktail. “What happened to you was an accident. A major rarity in the grand, cosmic scheme of things. But we can help you out, if you want.”

Shiro leaned back in his seat.

“Whatever the case, just take it easy for now”, he added. “We’ve got an extra bed upstairs that you can take. I’ll show you around the place later, if you like.” He still didn’t know Frantzeska’s name, but figured it was fine either way- none of them were in a rush to get to know her faster than the poor woman was comfortable with.

“If you don’t mind me...” Joe climbed out of his seat, loosened his bowtie, and made for the exit. “I’ll see y’all tomorrow.”

“Alright, bye Joe.”

“Bye.”

...

119th District- Restricted Area

Friday - 10:02PM


In an underground facility located within a protected enclosure in the far south of Frihed City, an officer in the command room was startled awake by the sound of a ringing phone, which he scrambled to receive.

You have orders from Professor Romanescu”, said the man on the other end of the phone. “Get Unit 1115-F suited up and send him off to District 56. We’re doing a trial run.

“Project 1115 is going to be shut down in a few months. Isn’t 1115-F slated for termination?”

No clue, mate. I think Romanescu wants to send him on a suicide mission so he can troubleshoot the newer units.

“Alright, then. We’ll be dispatching him within ten minutes.”

...
.____________永 河 帝 國____________.
.____________自 他 共 栄____________.


Population: 89 million (2020)
Landmass: 328,036 km²
Capital: Inada
Most populous city: Rushima

Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Emperor: Tomohito
Prime Minister: Hideyoshi Kaburagi (Republican)
Speaker: Yasuo Isogai
Chief Justice: Hideki Motobu

GDP (PPP): $4.917 trillion
Inequality index: 0.373 (medium)
HDI: 0.902 (very high)
IDI: 85.1 (very highly developed)

Currency: Nagakawan yen (¥)
Internet TLD: .nk
Country code: NGK
Driving side: left
Call code: +133

National flower: empress tree paulownia (Paulownia fortunei)
National bird: red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis)
National sport: judo

User avatar
Rostavykhan
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1930
Founded: Sep 30, 2017
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Rostavykhan » Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:38 pm

Seeds of Anxiety
Constance


Constance could hardly keep herself upright, let alone pay attention to the droning of the guards or the rest of the crew once she'd been made to stand. "We're missing a few" was the most she seemed to catch that she cared about. "The fuck are you?", She mumbled, following everyone else out of the building; it wasn't by choice, either. She wouldn't have left her cot if she had the choice at that moment. She felt that peculiar tension, that pressure right at the back of her throat, like she was about to vomit. She was glad that she didn't, but -

Well, the smell didn't help at all. She lagged just a bit behind the others, not falling too far behind, but definitely struggling a little. She picked her pace when they passed the Rogon corpses, though. That smell almost made her gag. She stopped hugging herself and clutching her chest long enough to cover her nose with a gloved hand, only reverting to her shivering once they were far enough ahead for the scent to dissipate. At the very least, they could have found a better place to dispose of the bodies, she thought. It seemed like pretty poor planning, tossing them all so close by. Surely the Rogon attacks weren't so frequent that they couldn't do that? She guessed they had to have been, since she couldn't fathom anyone in the town being particularly fond of it all.

Putting that those aside, Constance still didn't know why they were being told to follow some stranger when they'd all just regained consciousness. She didn't want to just stay at The Doctor's because she was feeling sick; she wanted to see if Elizabeth or Valerian were just out and coming back, or if The Captain had survived the whole ordeal. Those three seemed to be the ones in charge, and without them, then it was hard to imagine the rest of them getting off of that island any time soon. She cursed under her breath and shook her head, thinking about it and worrying about the immediate future, until the town square came into view, and the chatter sucked her back into the present.

"What the hell?", She murmured. Is that what they were being taken to see? "What kind of medieval shit is this?". she asked, whispering to Ava and Paige. She didn't think Mervin would know any more than they seemed to. Dealing with the magic people and weird communes was more their speed, wasn't it? She didn't know, but one of them had to have some sort of plan, she thought. Her only plan to to reach for her revolver and...well, that was it. How could she be sure that the hanging wasn't justified? They said that the girl was stealing, and that she was an enemy, but something about it all still felt wrong, not least of all because it was a public hanging. Why did she need to be gagged? That detail stuck with her for some reason, and Constance resolved to ask it out loud before the platform gave way, assuming nobody else did.

The Eight Line Tale
Frantzeska


Frantzeska didn't want to be rude. Despite having just met them, she still bid Joe farewell, and then returned to her little confused stupor at the bar. "A major rarity in the grand, cosmic scheme of things", was the way the situation was phrased. She glanced up and around the room, taking in what details she could. No torches, no oil lamps. Were they electric? She knew only a little about such things; it was only recently that the concept was really explored, and even then it was only with batteries and telegraphs. She didn't think that it was possible to use such a thing for lighting, if that was what she was seeing.

Then again, lightning shone quite brilliantly, so perhaps making electric light wasn't entirely out of the realm of possibility.

"That's electricity, is it not?", She asked, pointing to them. "And the pavement outside; it didn't resemble any stonework that I'm familiar with. Neither do your attires.", She added, almost about to go on a tangent, before stopping herself. "What I'm trying to say is, I still don't want to believe your stories, but you don't seem to harbour any ill will, and it's difficult to deny when all details seem to point to you telling the truth. I believe you. I'll need some time to let this sink in, however.", She explained, glancing away for another moment.

She felt a little bad that she'd just missed Joe; she'd finished their introduction the next time the two of them met. "Frantzeska.", She said, giving Shiro and Ash her name. She was still cautious, but willing to open up to them. "Frantzeska Iolanthe. If you really don't know my name, then I certainly am far from home."
 

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Germanic Templars
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 20630
Founded: Jul 01, 2011
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Germanic Templars » Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:02 pm

Rostavykhan wrote:The Great Wizarding Rebellion

Katya

Katya scoffed. "Well, I mean - oh, never mind.", She said, dismissing Elliot's reaction with a wave of her hand. "Anyway, I'm here now, obviously. I wasn't expecting you -", She nodded to Thriller, " - to show up at the same time. I wasn't expecting it at all, actually. I don't like when ghosts drop in on me."

She sighed and crossed her arms, swinging her hip out and rolling her eyes. "It's no matter.", She mumbled. Thriller - the ghost she was speaking of - had her attention again. She was frowning, but she didn't come off as particularly upset. It was more like she had just gotten serious, and let the playful attitude that she'd had moments before slip away. "If you're stuck here, then I'd advise getting comfortable. It might be some time until anyone can get a chance to leave. Rifting is so unreliable these days, no?"

Thriller

Thriller chuckled at the thought of being a ghost in this case. "Well, trust this ghost in that despite how surprised I was at getting stuck here, I came here with a plan on how to get back. After all, I am aware that the scientist who made the portal open opened it blindly into another dimension. We are lucky they didn't open it to some Eldritch horror dimension or something. You know, the one where the creatures might as well be the size of battleships or buses or the likes? Those are bad, not that I had experience in those realms as this was the first test of having a more personal dimensional door of sorts to work." Thriller gave out a sigh after his long-winded rambling - a rather unnecessary sigh since he doesn't need to breathe.

He turned his head down at Katya and replied, "As for rifting, well, technology can be finicky at times so I would agree there in this case. On a side question, for someone who just got here with his assistant - where are we going and what are we doing? I mean I am here for the ride at this point until I know what is going on."
Last edited by Germanic Templars on Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  • INTP
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Nagakawa
Diplomat
 
Posts: 553
Founded: May 01, 2019
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Nagakawa » Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:07 am

The Eight Line Tale
Frihed City
61st District - a rogue district

Friday - 10:00PM


In a run down part of the rogue 61st District, which stood far isolated from even the nearest districts not under the control of DebuCorp, a motorcade of black vans weaved quietly through the dark, partially-lit streets, evading the potholes and cracks in the asphalt, before grinding to a halt at an old, run-down office building. From the vans emerged several squads of heavily-armed commandos in black tactical suits, which quickly surrounded the building, broke down the doors, and began clearing out the rooms.

“CSD! CSD! Surrender now!”

The call by the commandos for the occupants of the building to stand down was promptly disobeyed- as they went up the stairs, two men fired back at the commandos, the energy bullets ricocheting off the walls and showering plumes of red sparks in bursts around the staircase. In retaliation, the commandos fired back, but with significantly more precision and accuracy- the two men hiding at the top of the staircase were promptly silenced.

"There's only one room on the second floor." The leader of the black-clad commandos hammered on the door forcefully, before kicking it hard- though made of thick rosewood, the door shattered into many tiny splinters, having been hit with a force that could be produced by no ordinary human.

Inside the large room, connected only to a bathroom, the windows boarded up crudely, was only a single mattress atop a metal frame. The commandos quickly surrounded the bed and aimed their weapons, trigger fingers itching to open fire- atop the bed was two men in their mid-forties, making passionate love and paying no attention to the men pointing their weapons at them.

The leader of the commando teams pushed past his men, motioning to them to lower their weapons, before violently kicking the bed and sending both of the men falling off the bed and onto the ground, stark naked.

"Jesus", murmured one of the men, clambering to his feet and looking up at the leader of the team, his eyes tired yet defiant. Two of the commandos grabbed him from behind and held his hands behind his back. "Let a man enjoy his private life in peace, will you?"

The leader took off his helmet, revealing a handsome face no older than 20, his silver hair buzzed off 2 by 1. One of his eyes was blind- a gash ran across his face, from the top left to the bottom right, crossing the blind eye.

"We've been looking for you", said the leader, smirking sadistically as his men grabbed the other man and dragged him out of the room. "Vladimir Mikhailovich Glazunov. Also known as 'the Razor'. You are being charged under the Security Act, on 88 counts of dimension jumping, 22 counts of murder, 84 counts of trespassing on restricted DebuCorp property, and 112 counts of association with unlawful organisations."

A gunshot was heard.

"Fuck!" Vladimir screamed and flailed his arms wildly, only to be suddenly taken down and slammed into the ground by the commandos, who took out zip ties and strung him up in a tight hogtie. "You assholes. You- fuck you- the fuck do you want?"

The leader crouched down, took out a pen torch, and shone it in Vladimir's eye, peeling the lid open with his finger.

"I'm going to need you to give me a bit of information about some people", he said in a mockingly affectionate voice. "Pavel Ramilov, also known as 'the Cannon', wanted on 116 counts of dimension jumping. Nina Laukkanen, also known as 'the One-eyed Dragon', wanted on 125 counts of dimension jumping among other charges. Shiro Kurono, also known as 'the Cat', wanted on 112 charges of dimension jumping among other charges. Anastasia Mhlongo, also known as 'the Besieger', wanted on 76 charges of dimension jumping among other charges. Dmitry Alliluyev, also known as 'the Baron', wanted on 75 charges of dimension jumping among other charges-"

"You're not here for any of that information", said Vladimir. "There's something else you want, isn't there?"

"And of course", the leader continued prattling on, ignoring Vladimir, "there's the prize catch... Shota Gigauri, also known as 'the Kite', wanted on, my goodness, 226 counts of dimension jumping and 18 counts of murder! That's a hell of a criminal record for someone who's only 19."

"I'm not gonna tell you shit!" Vladimir yelled. "You can find that out on your own! Fuck you!"

"Get him in the van", said the leader to his men, pressing his foot down on Vladimir's back, squarely between his shoulder blades. "We'll get him to talk back at base."

...

33rd District
‘The Feral Feline’

Friday - 10:05PM


"Fran-Frantzeska." Shiro evidently had a bit of trouble pronouncing Frantzeska's name, tired as he was, though he tried hard not to show it. "It's a pleasure to meet you, either way. We don't know how, but we'll think of a way to get you back home."

"Wherever that is."

Having become a bit twitchy from the caffeine in his tea, to which he was extremely sensitive, Shiro climbed out of the booth and landed softly on his feet, without making a single sound. He stretched his arms and looked up at the ceiling.

"I'll be staying here tonight", he said to Frantzeska, "as will Ash and Nick. You should get some rest soon. Tomorrow I'll show you around the neighbourhood a bit. This city... boy, it's a mess."

...

???th District- Restricted area
10:10PM


"CHQ to Eagle-5, you are clear for takeoff. Drop your payload over your target, and then get back here as soon as you can."

Across the starless night sky, pierced by endless glass skyscrapers, a pitch black helicopter sped forward, weaving between the skyscrapers and emerging from the blinding bling of the shopping districts and the business districts. Its operators had been given a set of coordinates by the higher command of DebuCorp's military forces.

In the helicopter was a cargo that higher command had ordered to be delivered to one of the rogue districts of Frihed City. This cargo was a man clad from head to toe in a tactical suit of sorts, his face hidden by a black vizor. He was restrained to a chair from the neck down to the ankles, unable to move an inch.

In a few moments, he would be dropped over one of the rogue districts, selected randomly by the commander of the DebuCorp military wing's research department- none other than the wily, arthritic Mihail Romanescu. What was to happen next was anybody's guess- this man was a discarded test subject, one that DebuCorp had deemed incapable of serving in its military or security forces in any capacity.

A rogue programme.

A failure.

"This is Eagle-5 to CHQ. Estimated time to arrival in the 33rd District: five minutes."

...
.____________永 河 帝 國____________.
.____________自 他 共 栄____________.


Population: 89 million (2020)
Landmass: 328,036 km²
Capital: Inada
Most populous city: Rushima

Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Emperor: Tomohito
Prime Minister: Hideyoshi Kaburagi (Republican)
Speaker: Yasuo Isogai
Chief Justice: Hideki Motobu

GDP (PPP): $4.917 trillion
Inequality index: 0.373 (medium)
HDI: 0.902 (very high)
IDI: 85.1 (very highly developed)

Currency: Nagakawan yen (¥)
Internet TLD: .nk
Country code: NGK
Driving side: left
Call code: +133

National flower: empress tree paulownia (Paulownia fortunei)
National bird: red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis)
National sport: judo

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