Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by LetMeDoStuff
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LetMeDoStuff The Token Cripple

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Welcome to the Metaverse



A strong shudder leapt the carriages around, tumbling them from side to side as if caused by the turbulence of a nearby aircraft. Down here in the tunnels, the deepened depths of London itself, the train soared by slowly and raced around the continuously unending rails. Even when the tracks themselves twisted and turned beyond normal comprehensible levels, the inside of the cabin remained firm and untouched. Barely a loop in the tracks themselves was capable of shifting even the cups of tea stirring upon the master's desk. Certainly out of place for what it was, the mahogany enrichment of his desk stuck out effortlessly. All around him sat the shadowed mists of passengers all with their heads facing towards the ground, as if asleep. Many were awaiting their reawakening and soon the time would allow for such to do so. Indeed, time was not a overly valuable concept, but those who prowled the metaverse with the intention of bloodlust, unjustified rulership and corrupt infliction were soon to be challenged. His own trick, his own gamble per se, was a necessary step into the generation of traversing travellers, ones who could bend the reality of the metaverse with the world around them at will. Some rumoured that perhaps it'd be a reformation of society, or a literal war between two raging parties that sought to gain the upper-hand, yet Igor himself was too entranced in the possibilities to know the truth for sure. Every thought and possibility left him chuckling, knowing that the stakes were either high or low depending on the outcome. He had no intention in leading them on a righteous path, that was for them to discover themselves of course. All he could do was watch over with interest and intrigue, commenting on their progress through finding purpose and psyching them up for what could be their final sacrifice.

From across the room, he noticed the attendant waltzing around with a care-free attitude, as if bored by the wait of the first arrivals. Igor couldn't but smile to himself at their movement, slinging back and forth amidst the carry-handles of the Underground Train carriage. Elegant in their formation, they seemed to be making great practice of their free time. However, Igor knew that their focus would have to be reevaluated sooner rather than later, knowing full well that the upcoming arrivals were to give them both a heap of work and scrutiny to commit towards. Taking a long sip from his blackened mug, a freshness of exhalation spewed from behind his gaping mouth before he broke the silent accompaniment of the train's murmur.


"Amari, if you may position yourself accordingly I would be most gratified." Snapping out of their wicked trance, the Attendant straightened their posture and neatly brushed their fingers between the filaments of their silvery hair, smiling as they did so. Without a word, Igor could tell they were excited to finally unveil their own true purpose as an attendant. This was, indeed, history within the making. An unforeseen pathway of either destruction, devastation or justice was to come, where the choices these individuals make were to shape their own future. Or something like that. "The time to place our bets, dear Amari, draws nigh. Compose yourself, and we'll be presentable for our new guests."

Amari nodded, watching over the lengthened carriage before them. Amongst the sea of shadowy silhouettes resting their heads downwards were the flickers of a few heartbeats. Amari wondered which would lift first, and what faces would form from beneath the misty figures' eyes. They'd always disliked the continuous grim-sky attitude of these shadowy figures, and yearned to see more colour brighten up the carriage as it was. Igor's message of it coming closer filled them with joy, intrigue and a sense of responsibility. Straightening themselves once more, Amari took to the right flank of Igor's out-of-place desk and folded their arms, preparing for the release of the first passengers.







An echoed roar of the alarm shot Laurence awake, rushing him out of the peaceful dream he'd been having beforehand. As his head lunged upwards, his forehead clipped the edge of his wall, forcing him to recoil once more in shock. If anything, he swore quietly to himself, cursing the amplified screech of the alarm clock and placing a heavy hand down upon it. As soon as the snooze button was hit, probably around the third attempt of trying to do so, Laurence sat up fully and stretched, rubbing his eyes gently and yawning without any real care for the time. If the alarm meant anything, he was on time and not exactly lacking behind on anything in general. It was a Tuesday after all, and the morning itself had less timetabled lessons than most days. If anything, it was a good day to rest, yet Laurence knew doing so for too long would spell out doom for his sleeping schedule. October wasn't too much of a busy period for the Year 13's lives, considering all that the applications for University and what-not came later at the end of the year and the start of the next. For now, he was at the least stressful part of the entire year, settling in once again to his humble student abode whilst wishing the days wouldn't be as slow. When rising out of his bed, Laurence made the daily tradition of checking his phone and walking to his mail box, hoping to find something written to him from a specific group of individuals. And yet, to his sadness and lack of surprise, all he saw was the empty message boxes of his previous family conversation groups. No letters had come through, other than the recent online order he'd made for a book he desperately wished to read.

Laurence unpacked it slowly, tearing away at the cardboard like some excited child on Christmas morning, surrounded by hundreds of familial cameras and faces waiting to see his reaction. Well, the last factor of such a simile was all but false now, wasn't it? With the thought crossing his mind that such a childhood would not be experienced ever again. Age was a weary opponent to life, continuously gnawing away and chewing away at his mind slowly. His body aged and grew as the minutes and days went by, now allowing him to become a semi-well presented young man. Even so, was he really a individual of his own accord? Still he tried to honestly reconnect and rely on the family that had so desperately tossed him aside yet he wanted to at least garner success under his own terms.

Oh well! Laurence didn't like to ponder on negativity too much, otherwise it would affect his willingness to keep studying and working here in Evergreen. He didn't have too many friends at the current time, but indeed made an effort to stay friendly with everyone he came across, even if he yearned for a true circle of camaraderie. Carefully, Laurence plucked the book out of the package and gazed upon it beautifully, seeing the illustrious formations of artwork laid upon its cover. A simplified maroon backdrop engraved with golden silky strings curling and twisting around one another. Together, in their intertwined dance, they spelt out the title: Beyond our Veil - A D.R. Isara novel. From a favourite author of his own, raised and drawn straight from Essex and arrived in London herself, Isara was definitely a figure that continued to inspire him throughout his youthful life. Opening the front cover, and looking at the foreword given by his idolised and acclaimed author, Laurence saw once again the infamous puzzle pieces that connected to her previous novels. It was her sort of quirk, one that made her famous as such. The foreword only stated: 'Spirits and Spooks watch you'. Laurence was at least enough of a fan to realise the reference was dating back to her debut novel, 'A View from the Reality Window', in which the supernatural world was used to heavily emphasise the reasons for people doing such bizarre things in life.


"Alluring me to a sequel, are you? Crafty genius just knows how to suck my pockets dry of change." Once again he yawned and packed the book straight into his bag, hoping to dress himself smartly under the school's attire. Once his blazer was neatly buttoned up, his teeth were clean and the bland taste of toast was propped gently between his teeth, he headed outside of the door and made his way to the courtyard of the student accommodation. Here was a hotspot for upper-education students of Evergreen and St. Paul's, making it a reliable meeting point for those who had upcoming plans. Laurence wasn't one of them, but didn't stray far from its comforting atmosphere. Every now and then someone would talk to him for a while, and other times he was left to his own devices to read and write to himself. But for now, all he did was take the morning air in, step outside and place his backside against the same table he always went to, as if by a natural instinct to do so. And from there, he opened the book slowly, unaware of the future cryptically written upon each paragraph.
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by addamas
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addamas Trust me, I'm a liar

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Interacting with @Typical




Beep…

Beep…

Beep…

“No news today...everything looks normal.”

“Thanks Miss Tomo.”

White walls adorned with various medical tools bounced around the sound of light footsteps as the nurse took her leave. Through the single window in the room shone a bright ray of sunshine as the sun began to rise, lighting up the only two figures in the room. As Ava sat down next to the bed and looked at the peaceful slumber her father was in, she wondered if he was enjoying a nice dream. It was completely silent, with the exception of a heart rate monitor that never stopped beeping. Although it was a continuous loop of the same sound over and over again, Ava always loved to sit and listen to it in silence; it was the only way her father could communicate after all.

Today was a day like any other, Ava would visit in the morning, get the same old update from the nurse, and water the flowers in the windowsill. It had become such a habit, that she often went about it on autopilot, though never without a smile.

“I made my first scrambled eggs yesterday.” She chirped. “I didn’t want to make them till now cuz I knew they’d never be as good as yours, but guess what! They weren’t.” Leaning back on her stool, she chuckled to herself. “Once you wake up, you’re gonna have to teach me...Owh! by the by, my studies are going great. I got an A on a test last week, and I didnt even study for it! Guess I really am amazing huh?” After laughing out loud at her own terrible joke, the sounds quickly escaped the room to leave only the beeps once more.

“Well-” Ava pushed her stool backwards and got up in a swift motion. “School starts in a bit, I gotta haul my ass over there.” Putting on her coat, Ava started walking to the exit, only stopping in the doorway to turn her torso around.

“See ya tomorrow.” She smiled and continued on her way.




on the way to school, Ava rolled down the street on her skateboard, occasionally evading the unwary pedestrian. When she started living in the dorms at her school, it became painfully obvious that walking everywhere would take too long, so a better mode of transportation was necessary. Although a bicycle worked well enough, it lacked the fun factor that a skateboard offers, so ever since then, she's been boarding her way around London.

“Ey! Jean! Get yo ass over here and play with us!” Slightly surprised by the comment, Ava looked to the side to see a group of thug-looking boys on a street basketball court. The one talking was holding a basketball, while the rest were acting tough like they do.

“Sorry boys! I have to get to school or my grades will get to your level!” She joked, pushing herself forward on the board. “Ha! One day I’ll show ya how to get on my level!” The boy shouted after her, causing Ava to smile even brighter.

Further down the road, a bustling crossroads presented itself to Ava. Normally she’d simply hurry through the madness but today she spotted an old man. He was clearly very short, stuck in the crowd, and had no idea where he was. Lucky for him, Ava was not about to let the elder be mistreated, so she puffed herself up to enter the masses.

“Make way! Make way!” She shouted as she slithered through the crowd until she reached the elder. “hi, where do you need to go?” She asked him.
“Owh, I would cross the south road, but my sense of direction is not what it used to be.”
“Lucky you, cuz that’s where I’m headed too.” Ava winked before extending her hand to the man. “Let’s go together.” With a small nod, the man took hold of her hand and Ava led the way through the crowd safely.

“Ah thank you girl, you have my gratitude.” The man stiffly bowed to Ava.
“No problem!” Ava responded as she hopped back onto her skateboard, and took off for St Paul.

Upon reaching the gates of her school, Ava stepped off her skateboard and popped it into her hand. Looking up at the gates and to the school beyond, she couldn’t help but sigh. For all the fun it offered, it equally drained her of energy, so after staring for a few seconds more, she turned around and went towards a different school; Evergreen.

Upon entering the school grounds, Ava quickly noticed someone she recognised. It was Merja, her lunch buddy, standing next to the courtyard entrance.
“Merja, Hey!” She cheered as she skipped over to the tall girl. “So…” She leaned in, her head facing up with a gleeful smile. “I forgot to make food, and I was hoping you’d have some extra.”
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by FalloutJack
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FalloutJack The Long Dark Nuka-Break of the Soul

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Hakuro Kuroda


He was just...always so bored when he was home.

He had an island paradise, but friends were few and far between, as guests came and went.

It was like being the king of nowhere and nothing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Take a child, just a young boy, and put him on an island beach. It's a fun place to be, to run and play and do all kinds of things that any kid could and would want to do in a place to themselves. Let him play and run around annd be himself for a while, until he finally tires himself out, exhausted all of his games.

Now, tell him he can never leave.

It's not to say that he was ever tricked into this life. They hadn't suddenly taken him here. He was always here, must like his parents, and THEIR parents, and so on. They weren't part of the country, not really. They didn't want to live there. Or at least, that was what his family wanted. But...a young boy wants something more. We live in a world where we don't wonder what's out there. We know. The internet tells us so, and it shares oh-so-many secrets and tales, so many things to do and be a part of...

But what if you can't go?

If the parents don't want to, and you're not old enough to go yourself, what can you do? The young boy sat on the beach, and felt his life becoming darker and grayer, lacking life and substance and feeling. Presently, he imagined the tide would be rising, only instead of how it normally does this, it would simply raise up on its own, like somebody filling a sink. It was constant, already reaching where he sat, and still going. He stood up, and it was already past his knees. He ran inland. It accelerated, engulfing the beach. Was the water raising or was the island sinking? Or worse...

Was it being eaten?

He ran harder, faster, climbed harder to make it up hill. No good. It was on his heels. There was a distant echoing groan. He HOPED it was just his father being overcome by the water. That was the tamest of all thoughts, at the moment. Higher and higher he went, until he'd reached the top of the tallest hill on the island, the lookout point of the hiking trail. The sea was everywhere. The ocean was eating everything. He had nowhere to go. The groan again, this time somehow everpresent, all around him, and then an arm stabbed out of the water and grabbed for him! Backing away, he saw himself...!

But it wasn't...was it?

The other boy had his clothes, his face, his build, but...everything was wrong. He had drowned gray-blue skin, with wrinkled hands and feet like prunes. His hair was just a ragged mess, his nails were like claws, and he looked malnourished. A savvy person would say he looked like a ghoul... Seemed to fit. His face looked like death, with rotten teeth and sunken black pits for eyes. He didn't look like a person. It was almost alien... And then, to top it all off, the apparition spoke in his voice, too. It said...

"Stop running. We belong down here."


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As you can imagine, the last few hours for Hakuro were not of normal sleep. He'd had a nightmare, one that he hadn't had since he was a young boy. The island dream was something he vividly remembered because it was his prime motivation to leave, to see the world. He'd had this thought that the ocean would just swallow everything up...and his young imagination conjured something pretty horrible in his sleep. That was when it started, or rather when he started it. The Hatto-san... Hatto Ken Ko-to. The refuge against severe boredom and dark thoughts. He was his own chief morale officer, a doctor with only one patient, the cure for the common rut.

For the moment, he was too tired to be particularly 'Hatto'. He'd woken up with the memory from long ago and needed to be upright. So, three hours before he was suppose to get up, he took to his swivel chair and his laptop with a blanket and absent-mindedly browsed through some of his files on the Hatto Site, smirking at all the goofy behavior there. He'd dozed, here and there, resting his head against the laptop, looking at the site again, resting again, looking at some comments... Hmmm. There was one from Sherry, of all people. Now, what did the Califoria Ninja-Girl want? He clicked on it.

...what?

"So, anybody else find this ironic? My little pupil told me he left home to get away from the isolation of living on an island, and now he's been living on a bigger island."

Sherry was the one who had transformed him from a roaming hat-boy who kinda' knew the basics of martial arts to a full-blown parkour specialist. Don't read too far into it. 'Specialist' just meant he didn't get severely injured by misjudging a jump or losing his grip at a critical moment, for the most part. It meant he was good, not godly. Anyway, she'd made this point, and...Hakuro hadn't even considered it. Was he just feeling some of home because the UK was a series of islands, separated from the rest of Europe like Okinawa from Japan? The parallel was...surprising. She might've been onto something... The difference, of course, was that London was bigger than his home. England was bigger. It was also harder to get use to, because of when they ate and some of the food and how certain things just aren't done.

Well, no matter. Since it was time to get up, may as well BE up. He put on some music from home and got to work.



Off with the blanket, whipping it around and tossing it at the bed. Bed clothes off, quick shower, dry and groom before picking out the day clo...oh right. One thing he'd liked about his time in America: The lax dress code, allowing him to wear more casual clothes instead of a uniform. Well, he got that on. It wouldn't matter, because he still had the finishing touch. Take that coat off the hook and pull it on with a flourish! Put that hat on with style! Hatto-san powers activate. He stepped on out and headed for the courtyard area. Let's see if there were any early bloomers out right now.

Yeah, some people here and there. I'd have a better look if I could get up high.

He looked at a promising tree to climb.

I wish I had a grappling hook...

Not actually aware of Laurence on the other side of said tree, Hakuro took a running jump - "Hatto-leap!" - and began scaling the thing, making good use of any of the knots and folds in the bark with his momentum and sure grip. It would have to be sheer smooth to defeat him, and that wasn't likely. He was gonna start making the squirrels jealous, a thought that made him laugh, suddenly.
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Typical
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Typical

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Merja “Mer” Aaltonen

Evergreen Campus || Monday Afternoon

Today was a footwork day. Usually, Mer didn’t mind these days; footwork was a monotonous task with few immediate benefits, and though repeating and holding the same movements and positions got dull after a few sets, it was a necessary repetition, especially in her case. For her to keep up with her teammates, she’d have to pick up many skills and tricks to make up for what she lacked in innate talent, and for that she needed a strong foundation to build on. Her scholarship was counting on it, as was her extracurricular list, which was conspicuously empty compared to her more social and club-involved classmates. Though she was reaching the end of her secondary school career, what she needed to do now was finish strong, and to do that she needed to ensure that she had her fundamentals down.

This particular afternoon, though, Mer wasn’t feeling footwork. More specifically, she wasn’t focusing on it, her mind on other things as she held positions, squats, and lunges. Lifting legs and stepping in place wasn't hard, but there was always a right and a wrong way to practice, and being mindful—that is, aware—is often the key difference. For Mer right now, with her head removed from her actions, going through the routines made little difference in the long run and took even less effort. Rather than thinking about where she was placing her legs and what muscles she needed to flex and relax, Mer found her thoughts being occupied by her classes. An exam was coming up for biology, and chemistry was never a class to let up on its workload. To top it all off, grades had come out for her last psychology assignment, and although she’d improved, her improvement was so minimal she doubted she could improve any less.

“Aaltonen, focus!”

Mer froze, then relaxed slowly, meeting her coach’s eyes. “Yes, coach!”

Her coach shot her a disapproving look but said nothing more on it, continuing to patrol the outskirts of the group as they moved in relative sync, shouting out transitions every now and then. While Mer might have been distracted, no one else seemed to be, and she scrambled for focus, a sinking feeling in her gut. Being preoccupied with schoolwork would lead to her slowing her progress as a fencer, and if she fell behind on the team, she would only have more to worry about. It all seemed like a never-ending downward spiral that, in all likelihood, was already in motion.

The hopelessness of the situation shook Mer, momentarily threatening to overwhelm her in the midst of bouncing to and fro on the balls of her feet, but another shout from the coach allowed Mer the break she needed to direct her attention back to the present. The careful back and forth, left and right hops became her sole focus, and afternoon practice progressed as usual.


Aaltonen Residence || Early Tuesday Morning

“Syödä, Kuu.” Mer smothered a yawn as she leaned down to replace Kuutar’s bowl, smoothing her fingers over Kuu’s fur as she straightened. Outside, the sun was still obscured by buildings, but the sky was lightening quickly. While the morning air was cool, the autumn humidity of London made for a muggy sort of day, especially with the rains so close in the past.

Munching on a piece of cucumber, Mer sat, watching as Kuu ate her food. She was by no means a late sleeper, and by some standards she may even be called an early riser, but her father always seemed to beat her out the door. Call it passion for or dedication to his job, but at this point Mer had a hard time picturing him without a stack of papers or a calculator in front of him. In fact, the tip-tap of calculator keys being pushed served as the best indication that her father was home nowadays, and the conspicuous silence in the house—aside from Kuu’s light crunches—was enough to confirm his departure for her.

Retrieving her psychology reading notes from her bag, Mer wondered if her lack of soreness was a problem. The workout yesterday hadn’t been very intensive, but legwork usually imparted her some tightness in her shins. Recently, such workouts hadn’t been leaving their marks like before, and it was worrying Mer. Was she perhaps not pushing herself hard enough during practice? It was very likely, considering her scattered focus as of late. Classes were in full swing, and her second round of tests was creeping up. Letting up now, though, wasn’t an option. If anything, Mer needed to push herself more and find a way to spread her focus over all her commitments, especially on the ones she was falling short on.

Her psychology notes were taken out precisely because of this. Afterschool was her weekly meeting with Mr. Roscoe, and she wanted to make sure everything was perfect. Despite her best efforts, psychology seemed like an enigma, alluding her whenever she thought she was finally understanding or making progress. Understanding one concept seemed to distract her from the key to another, and she was frustrated by her own shortcomings on many an assignment. What scared her more than her minimal rate of improvement, though, was the confidence that seemed to settle in whenever she completed an assignment or test. With biology and chemistry, she could accurately predict when and where she needed help, what subjects she didn’t quite have down, but psychology was the subject in which she frequently thought she was correct, only to find out afterwards that she was miserably wrong from the start. Fixing mistakes she couldn’t even catch herself seemed like an impossible task, which is why she was so glad Mr. Roscoe had offered to let her come in after school. Hopefully her scores would see improvement, and soon.

A buzz on her phone signalled that it was almost time to leave, and Mer stuck the last half of her egg into her mouth as she packed up her notes. Everything seemed to be in order, and she couldn’t see what she’d add or change to improve her notes, but she couldn’t shake the doubt in the corner of her mind as she gave Kuu her last pet of the morning. Wasn’t this feeling of security—of confidence—what she always felt with her psychology assignments? How could she be sure that this time she was right when she’d been wrong so many other times?

The Tube, though, waited for no one, and Mer kept a brisk pace as she scanned in and boarded, her mind wandering again. She’d try having confidence again because she needed to. Without it, she couldn’t guarantee she’d get anything done.


Courtyard || Tuesday Morning

Mer was early, as she often was when she kept a pace brisk enough to make the earlier boarding to Evergreen. Though it was a frequent scenario, she always found herself at a loss as to what to do with her bit of free time in the morning. Pulling out her classwork seemed like a poor choice since there usually wasn’t time to get anything substantial done, and attempting to read in the courtyard where people were often coming and going, chattering and laughing, was a lost cause. Talking to people, however, was something Mer didn’t even know how to begin, and she couldn’t imagine approaching anyone in the courtyard even now. Sure she saw some faces from the hallway, and maybe one or two were even in her class, but broaching a conversation seemed too much out of her comfort zone for a morning endeavor.

It was then that, while idling by the courtyard gates, conflicted about what exactly she should do with her newfound time, Mer heard a familiar, bubbly voice shout her name.

“Ava! Good morning!” Mer grinned, genuinely glad to see a face as friendly as Ava’s. Ava’s open enthusiasm was a trait she knew she’d do well to learn from, and it made time spent around her only that much more enjoyable.

The request for lunch, though, surprised Mer a little. The state of her stomach had been the last thing on her mind, having just eaten breakfast, and she couldn’t exactly predict how hungry she’d be come lunchtime, but Mer figured it wasn’t a big deal.

“Sure, I probably do,” she said, sliding her backpack around to rummage through her lunch. Matpakke and an apple were on the menu, and luckily Mer had a habit of packaging her one-slice sandwiches separately.

“Here. And here’s an apple too. Hope it’s enough!”

Handing Ava a packaged ham-and-bread-slice ‘sandwich’ and an apple, Mer made sure Ava put both items in her bag, not taking no for an answer at this point. Half her lunch didn’t seem like a big deal, and she didn’t tend to get too hungry at lunch anyway.

A shout in the courtyard caught Mer’s attention, and she looked over to see a boy scaling a tree—a tree.

Her jaw dropped, and she grabbed Ava, tugging her along as she made for the base of the tree. She’d seen him in the hallways before, though not frequently. His hat, however, made him stick out like a sore thumb, and it was also why Mer could so readily pinpoint him in her memory. That said, what was he thinking, with a fedora on his head and the ground so far below him? Sure he might be making good progress up the tree, but coming down hard terrain was liable to be just as hard, if not more hazardous. ‘Suicidal’ was the word that came to mind, and Merja regretted it immediately because now she was only more alarmed by the entire scenario, baffled as she watched the boy laugh, as if finding the situation amusing in some incomprehensible way.

At the base of the tree, Mer looked around at the people who were either staring or gathering with her, wondering what she could do. Offer help? She didn’t exactly want to insult boy, but not offering didn’t sit right with her either.

“Should we do something?” Mer glanced to Ava for guidance. As the more outspoken of the two, surely Ava would have some solution to this madness, because Mer was completely and utterly lost.


@Addamas@FalloutJack
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by KenjuGuy
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KenjuGuy Luminary of the Stars

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Cherished Chariot of Charity
----
Joey Grayson


The hustle and bustle of London traffic should be no surprise to anyone, especially on a weekday morning. There's everyone from the young and old trying to get to their daily destinations. So of course there would be a bit of annoyance pilling up right? Well what if you add in the fact that the sun was unleashing hell on earth with the amount of heat pouring down and that you were in a car with three other people? Something like that would surely start making you frustrated!

"Ah! This is a pain in the ass! At this rate we're going to be late!"

A rough voice echoed throughout the silver van and even a bit onto the outside streets because of the open windows that tried to help ease the molting heat surrounding them. The voice came from Shane, a blond-haired young man that always wore sunglasses, even indoors. Though it certainly isn't out of place in their current situation.

"It's totally Joey's fault,"

A red-headed girl with too much make-up spoke from the passenger seat. Her name was Samantha, and at this rate, her sweat would start smearing away at her make-up.

"Yeah Joey, why the heck were you late at coming to your pick-up spot?"

This time the voice came from the backseat. It belonged to a short girl with also short brown hair. Her name was Claire and like the rest, she wasn't too happy about their current situation. So her eyes darted at the target of their aggression, sitting in the back seat next to her. That unfortunate target being the pony-tail-having boy with a sly grin on his face. This was the perpetrator named Joey Grayson. He held up his hands and spoke in a way to calm them down,

"Cut me some slack here. I just so happened to see something amazing while I was on the way and happened to get side-tracked!"

He made his declaration in an attempt to defend himself against barrage of mean glares that surrounded him on all sides. "What was so 'amazing'?" asked Samantha with doubt in her voice. In response, a genuine smile spread across Joey's lips as he looked ahead at nothing in particular. "You wouldn't believe it if I just tell you but, it was something so beautiful! I was waiting at our usual meet up spot, until I saw this small elderly man surrounded in a crowd of people and he couldn't get out!"

"Let me guess, you helped him out?" Claire interrupted,

"No, that's just the thing! I was on my way to help him until this white-haired girl with a skateboard comes over and gives him a hand instead! I was so touched I had to take dozens of pictures on my phone camera while I was following them. Ah, maybe there's hope for this generation after all,.."

He wiped the corner of his eyes as he reminisced into the past momentarily. He didn't know who that girl was but he was proud of her kindness to help the elderly. That was a topic Joey took to heart and got emotional about. Sadly however, to the other people in the van with him, this was just another day with him. So they only expressions they could give were ones of disgust. "Would you stop talking like that? You're a teenager!" Shane commented as he drove. Claire also had something to say that caught her attention.

"Also, you were taking a bunch of pics of a chick while she didn't know? Wow, what a perv!"

"H-How dare you! I'll have you know I was taking the pictures because of the old man!"

"I think that's worse..." From the looks of it. They were starting to make some headway along the traffic. It was thanks to this that the hostility started to die down a bit. "Don't you take long getting ready in the morning anyways?" Samantha said while resting her elbow on the door. Joey nodded in approval and followed up, "You got it. Besides breakfast and cleaning myself up, I exercise, make sure I got my tennis ball and most importantly....," before finishing, the boy lightly runs his hand along his long ponytail and gracefully flicks it to the side. "I got to take care of this luscious hair of mine of course. That's right, Rapunzel ain't got nothin' on me, baby," he flaunts his hair, which he obviously takes pride in. You don't have hair like that by just being nonchalant about it. He was lucky to be born with such hair, but perhaps even luckier that he knew people that taught him how to take care of it.

It was actually rare that Joey showed signs of arrogance on his behalf, but the others couldn't miss that chance to take a shot at it. "You know, with how many old people you hang around. I wouldn't be surprised if it's an omen of all your hair falling out someday when you get old," Claire made that ridiculous remark with a devious grin but despite its outlandishness, a chill crawled up Joey's spine as he bounced and almost hit his head on the roof. "Don't be ridiculous! Something like that would never happen in a million years! Don't even put that kind of energy into the universe!" despite his proclamations, Joey held his ponytail close to his chest as if to protect it from the threats of the outside world. Unlike most, he was someone that was accepting of all the wonders and woes of old age,...except for when it came to his hair. Even the folks at the village community tease him about it at times.

While he was tucking himself away into a ball, something caught his eye outside the open car window. Rather it was someone. A young man with slicked-back hair and most noticeably a scar on the center of his forehead. Joey knew this person that was walking on the sidewalk, it was someone that he shared PE with. His name was... "Hey Romani, over here! Want a ride? There's room for one more!" he called out while sticking out of the window and waving his arm out to catch the lad's attention. The sudden outburst caught the other three in the van by surprise, and in a hushed yet alarmed tone, began rambling one after the other,

"Joey! Are you crazy!? That's Romani Bogart! I've heard he's bad news!"

"I heard a rumor that he's a mobster, and the scar was apart of the initiation process,"

"No way, I heard he took a bullet to the head, survived and then killed the guy that shot him,"


"Haha, what are you guys' talking about? Romani is nothing like that. Well I don't know alot about him, but I think he's swell. Hey come on, don't be shy! They're nice people!" he urged the other boy to come, all with a welcoming grin on his face that highlighted the single fang on the left side of his teeth.


@Sync

Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Sync
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Sync The Wildcard

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Romaní Bogart
@KenjuGuy
Savaging Savant of Strength
theme



Certainty wavered, and through a sunlit morning where the bustle of the city streets formed the canvas which prelude Romaní's memories, like a sudden stroke of flash. Reliving a moment not so far apart from what was today, where night strobes glistened through the glints of rain. The chilly night lends it self for the critters such as toads and ducklings to wonder out, but in this night there stood a youth with hands extended towards his farthest distance, and although the umbrella that grasped his hands would shield him from the rain, there wasn't any form to stop the rain from landing on him, as its shielding was directed a another youth who knelt before some flowers before her, perhaps lost in her thought as well. With dreary silence suggesting she wasn't in any mood to speak to the individual before her.

"Why are you here?" Her words faintly displayed the mirror which was her displeasure with everything. Romaní didn't retort, but instead looked at her feet, soaked through the sandals and socks, bright cyan and shivering. Romaní shoes were old, rippled through all sides and loosing pigment through wear and tear. They were small, too small and the fingers of his feet almost curled into a grip. But... extending the umbrella towards the young girl, Romaní proceeded to look at her with the warmth of a small, inviting her to hold it. Before another few moment passed, she finally took it upon herself to hold it. Reluctantly so, but... noting that he then removed his shoes, her face oozed of confusion.

"Maybe later we can get you new one, but for now you can keep these." The young girl, probably of age twelve or thirteen at most was a neighbor to Romaní, a young girl who's father has abandoned her at a young age. Perhaps not the most excellent, neither the most soft, but her heart was at the right place. At a moments notice when Romaní arrived home for the weekend to stay with his parents, he heard the loud shouts coming from shed next to his room, from there a lot of clanging and bashing before a young girl ran aimlessly towards the distance in the middle of the rain. Hands resting on his knees, leveling with her so that they can see each other eye to eye, his hands removed her hair, which hid a bruise that seemed to have begun to swell... Her hands swatted his away.

"Don't look!" Romaní breath began to become shaken, and her voice trembled ever so slightly with the words emanating from her breath: "Did you see?" A gash which lend itself from one side of her face to the next, reflexively Romaní reached to his own scar felling its broken surface as a reminds or days past through etched misfortunes. Tearing the lower half of his shirt, he entered the nearest coffee shopped and asked if they could allow him to have a couple of ice cubes, the barista at the back looked at him curiously, but amidst her confusion she replied to his request. Placing it over her head, with a strong pressure to hold and bleeding off, they began to walk towards the distance.

"Why are you doing this? You barely even know me."

"Who knows?" Her expression soured ever further, she walked a couple of steps in front, attempting to avoid his presence even though she was wearing his shoes, and holding an ice pack over her head. Drenched and soaked in the rain, Romaní continued to follow her regardless of the circumstances. For a moment's time, it seems she was dragging her feet to wherever the winds took her, but really, she was pacing through an empty city of light wondering where she would go next. Wondering if this cold she felt was permanent, and perhaps hoping that the weird kid next door wouldn't simply get tired and decide to head home. A challenge perhaps, but one she would endure-- "There's no need to keep looking, you know?"

"Huh?"

"It's okay to be lost once in awhile. You can always ask for help." Her teeth gritted, almost as if lashing at the very suggestion of conceding. "What the hell do you know, freak? Just one good look at you and everyone can see you're nothing but trouble!" Her fangs were definitely sharp, and they were ready to bite at anyone remotely close enough she could get a hold of. Like a rabid street dog corner into a wall, she was prepared to fight any sense of danger she could receive. A laugh escaped him "Oh this, yeah it's never been to pretty look at. Maybe I should tattoo it or something." He deflected her animosity entirely, baffled almost at her quips resulting in nothing, she turned and lashed again "Can't you hear me!? I said get lost, freak!"

"Maybe later, when you've chilled out a bit--"

She began to grip her hand into a fist, noticeably looking more and more frustrated, before Romaní spoke. "It's pretty bad, y'know? Being the only person who seems to see everything that's wrong in something. Somehow also being the problem of that 'everything'. While everyone else counts their graces and wonder in blissful ignorance." His sight trained into the puddle before him, the ripples tides with the sounds of droplets hitting the earth. the auburn of his iris reflecting the glittering dance of fractals permeating the night's rain. "But I know a bit of ice cream could help--"

--

Awakening, a push had returned him back to reality, where he now faced a myriad of people shoving him and pushing to move so they can cross the street to the other side, attempting and fumbling to sustain his fooding, Romaní grasp his handbag tight so all the books wouldn't fall off and his homework would be safe from the tyranny that was outburst of gust and wind. A voice echoed from the distance, capturing his attention as a young man with smooth long lavished locks spread his hand out the window of a vehicle. "Joey Grayson?" Spontaneous, and lively as always, it seemed that he and a couple of other's were heading to school as well, he took a glance at his watch, and looked at the distance he had to travel... He didn't want to make things awkward, and he wasn't particularly fond with other members of his class. But.. he also didn't want to be late. So he proceeded to walk towards the vehicle and open the door, sitting the most immediate seat.

"G'morning. Thanks and... sorry for the inconvenience."


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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Savo
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Savo Sacrificial Priestess

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Alexander Furst

Confidants:: N/A
Whereabouts:: Dorms => Evergreen Campus => Dorms



The sound of his breath.

The cool morning breeze.

Alex couldn't help but feel the wonderful chill of the wind tickling his backside as he stifled a yawn, basking in the silence of the campus. The boy was going through the motions of his daily schedule, usually routine stretches and a brisk run in the early recesses of the morn.

Stretching one leg out and upwards, he held himself in place for a couple of seconds before switching legs and performing the same stretch for a couple of seconds. This took a couple of minutes, and upon completion he did a light ten second stretch with his arms. Once those seconds were up, he started to lunge forward, switching with each leg just like he did with the prior exercise.

These stretches were nothing but appetizers to the entree continued for a couple of minutes as he went over the numerous amounts of information they were given in their prior biology class before seguing into the anatomy of the body and somehow going on to the types of brain damage and disease. "... the myelin degenerates... autoimmune... sclerosis..." He sighed before putting those thoughts on hold.

The boy couldn't help but sigh and chuckle to himself; he sometimes knew too much for his own good as he went on to cross his arm across the body before holding it in place with his other arm. After a couple of more stretches, he rotated his arms a bit before glancing around. Sucking in some air and breathing out, he jogged in place for a couple of seconds before breaking out into a run.

At times like these, he smiled to himself, or what he thought looked like a smile to him as he made his way around every nook and cranny of the campus, unhindered by curfews or people in his way. Sure, there were other people lingering about the place as Alex shot some of them sidelong glances. He was positive that one or two of them awkwardly shuffled away as they attempted to avoid eye contact.

The boy could only grimace and raise an eyebrow in their direction, clicking his tongue against the front of his teeth. How utterly ridiculous.

He kept running, each footing tapping on the pavement in sync with the beat of his humming. His mind restarted once more, going over the lessons again, reassuring himself that he finished all the assignments and listing them all off ten times, and so on. This rinsed and repeated itself a couple of times throughout the run, interspersed with myriads of miscellaneous thoughts.

This continued full well until he worked up a decent enough sweat, coming to a halt as he approached the dorms. He felt the pressure of wanting to bend over and rest his laurels, but resisted the temptation as he entered in the building, standing tall and proud with a resting bitch face.

In a minute, he found himself in the kitchen sandwiching an avocado and an egg in-between an English muffin. Further more, he went between munching away at his delicious breakfast and his lunch, consisting of a spicy-chicken lettuce wrap. This only lasted a couple of minutes as he packed it all into a nice plastic container with his name on it. He gave dirty look at one of the doors down the hallway before placing it into the fridge and bolted towards his room.

Once back inside, he stripped and tossed the tank-top he wore onto the bed before swiping up one of the few pens up from his desk and drawing a check-mark in his planner. Well, that was that.

With a sigh and a yawn, he kept to the schedule, starting with hopping into the shower, getting into his uniform, ensuring all the materials for his classes was in order, and forcing himself to check up on his instrument. It took him around forty-five minutes, so he was probably early, but it never hurt to check. Glancing at the digital clock situated on a stand across the room, it was noted that he had less than an hour left before departure.

What now? Alex collapsed onto the bed, stifling another yawn as he turned his head, eyes drifting to the the first thing that could be noted across the furbished room - a shelf he and his mom purchased for him upon moving here. The other was his dads old PlayStation 2; now that he thought about it, he never got back around to finishing Silent Hill 2.

Eh.

Nah.

Instead, Alex prompted to lie back in his bed staring at the ceiling, unblinking for a couple of seconds before whipping his head over and glancing at his cellphone on the opposite side of his desk. It was fully charged, so Alex just reached over and plucked it and detached the phone from the charged before performing a few swipes.

Staring stone faced at the illuminated screen, tapped something on it before continuing to look. That lasted only for a bit until he began punching in characters on the screen. He furrowed his brows as he began relaying the message, punching in more and more letters, speeding up at his own tempo before abruptly stopping. Alex froze on the spot, finger hovering over the next character as he analyzed what he typed.

As he looked, Alex pursed his lips before sighing, weakly pressing a single character with his thumb before tapping the power button on the side.

"Uggh, Christ," he murmured to himself, somehow finding a way to have an even harsher frown than what he displayed on a daily basis. Groaning, he crossed his arm over his head, obscuring his eyes as he basked in the dull silence of his own room.



...?

Huh?

Alex rubbed his eyes and scowled before looking over at his blurry clock. It took a few minutes for his eyes to adjust, but he could see that it was well pass the time he wanted to leave. He only seemed to curse himself as he launched himself out of bed, stretching and snatching red bandana from the closet. He couldn't help but give himself a wistful smile before deftly wrapping it around his right arm.

Giving everything one final check, he sauntered out of the door, noting that one of the doors was left ajar. Rolling his eyes, he shut it before heading for the fridge and finding, lo and behold, his meal was there. At least one of them had the decency not to take it this time. "I really should invest in a friggin' mini fridge," Alex muttered as he placed it careful into the bag.

And with that said and done, he was ready to tackle the day, dashing to the exit and gently shutting and locking the door before nimbly weaving his way down the stairs.

Confidants:: Ava (@addamas), Merja (@Typical), and Some Jackass Climbing a Tree (@FalloutJack)
Whereabouts:: Evergreen Campus


Alex was gonna be late, well, at least by his standards. Despite the leisurely pace he was going at, the boy would make it to his class, not a second too late. Most other people were taking their own time too, as Alex made a sidelong glance at one of them, before noticing them awkwardly swivel their heads away from the boys general direction.

He scoffed and ruffled his hair, turning away to eye a different set of students, noting this time that they didn't exactly turn away, but Alex could easily tell that they seemed uncomfortable. Crossing his arms, he decided to just keep his eyes to himself as he returned his focus forward.

This walk barely two minutes before he found himself in the courtyard, a far cry from the whispers and minute chattering was now replaced with a cacophony of different voices; could be compared to a mosh pit on "bad" days, but for now, he strolled through campus, intermixing with the crowds of people. Yawning, he cracked his neck before noticing a familiar girl.

Helped that her height made her stand out like a sore thumb - Merja. Along with her, he briefly noted a much shorter lady accompanying her, Ava. He glimpsed at the the two has he was drawn towards their location, a moth to flame, noticing a small exchange of an apple. While it was a rare event for her not to have food, it nevertheless caused Alex to scowl, grinding his canines against one another.

Of course, as he was approaching the duo, a shout managed to catch his attention. If anything, that meant something was brewing and the boy pivoted to look in their direction, only to find a boy scaling a tree.

Alex blinked.

Why was someone scaling a tree?! He groaned and sighed, feeling a lump form in the back of his throat. Either he had just formed a tumor, had tonsillitis, or was just generally baffled at the sight of this all as he began pinching the bridge of his nose.

He was going to get this shit sorted out as he trudged over there with a fire in his dead coal eyes that could burn the nine circles of hell, possibly thaw the ninth as well. Coming towards the base of the tree, he gathered with the menagerie of students, joining them all in staring up into the tree.

And, predictably, he heard Merja look to someone guidance, primarily Ava this time around. "Y'know, maybe not being so indecisive could be a start," he flatly interjected, answering in Ava's stead as he approached the two before continuing on.

"After that, how about getting security or shouting at the idiot to get down." He coughed before taking in a large breath of air and hollering at the kid.

"OY! Why the hell are you doing climbing that tree and giggling?! Actually, scratch that, get down from there before you fall on your ass and hurt someone!"
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Nimbus
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Nimbus Eudaimonia Seeker

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Room P3, Evergreen Grammar School
Monday Afternoon


“Yesterday we looked at Jeremy Bentham and Act Utilitarianism and discussed its advantages and disadvantages – I think most of us concluded that it was well-intentioned but had some fundamental problems to it. Yes, Farina, I know you think differently – you’ll get the chance to debate later, don’t worry! So, today we’re going to go over Bentham’s successor, John Stuart Mill, and his attempt to fix some of those problems.”

Evergreen Grammar School’s Lower Sixth Monday afternoon Philosophy class is fundamentally divided. Among the students there, about half of them are slouching, elbows on desks, eyes half-lidded – waiting for the first day of the week to be over so they can reclaim what semblance of weekend remained back at home. These are those who took Philosophy under the impression that it would be an easy, if slightly boring, subject. Working on Natural Law at the start of the year put paid to that idea.

The other half, on the other hand, listen closely, some nodding and many taking notes.

Alistair Parton is a part of the latter group.

Dr Brower walks to the side, tapping at his spacebar to advance to the new black-text-on-yellow-background-with-accompanying-photo slide. “Mill was born not far from here in Middlesex. His father was a friend of Bentham’s and agreed with his views on Utilitarianism, so he decided to raise Mill as a genius who’d be able to think his way through the Hedonic Calculus as Bentham set out.” Dr Brower grimaces. “Basically, Mill was hot-housed – he learned Greek and Latin before his teens and his father actually had him teach his older siblings himself, among other things. This brought him close to suicide before he was twenty.”

Brower’s face takes on a more open expression, looking out across the room. “It was this experience that made Mill realise that a person just can’t figure out the right and wrong thing to do in every circumstance – or, well, I suppose that they could, with enough work, but it wouldn’t be practical or desirable to make everyone go through that work.”

Alistair purses his lips, considering. That’s basically… He presses his pen to his notepad a little more firmly.

Dr Brower steps back towards his computer, smiling. “Mill put forward his own version of Bentham’s principle of utility, which modern philosophers see as the first form of ‘Rule Utilitarianism’.” With a flourish, he presses the spacebar again. “Instead of taking actions that maximise pleasure and minimise pain, he argued that people should follow the set of rules that maximise pleasure and minimise pain; that way, they have a guide to make those decisions. The mental burden is laid on coming up with the rules beforehand and tweaking them every so often, not on working out every action in the moment, meaning that a Rule Utilitarian won’t get overwhelmed like an Act Utilitarian would. Mill compared it to the idea of a ship’s captain taking an almanac with him, which held information about the night sky that allowed him to navigate, rather than trying to work out all of those details in the middle of a storm.” He looks up. “Yes, Jeremy?”

Okay, good start, but… That’s not enough, right?

A tallish, boy with blond hair and glasses speaks from the middle of the class. “Sir, wouldn’t that just become Act Utilitarianism again after a while? A set of rules that really maximised utility would be so… So huge and complicated that someone wouldn’t be able to follow it, right?”

Brower nods. “You could argue that, yes. Alternatively, you could make the case that that set of rules wouldn’t maximise utility for that reason – that a system of rules would have to be useable to do so in the first place.” He grins. “Keep thinking that way, though; it’ll be useful in the debate.” He glances around the class again. “Alistair?”

Alistair lowers his hand – then brushes his hair out of his steely eyes, his earlier headshaking ineffectual. Need to get that sorted soon… Where was – right. “Did Mill set out the rules he thought would maximise utility?”

Dr Brower frowns; he walks forward, then leans against his desk. “I don’t think he ever sat down and wrote out a list like Aquinas did, not really… He was an MP and a political thinker, though, and a lot of his thinking in that area is in a book called On Liberty. A lot of people don’t think it’s fully consistent with his views on Utilitarianism but it’s still a good place to look.”

Alistair nods, his gaze turning resolute even as he angles it back towards his notes.

“Now, Mill differed from Bentham in another important way: what pleasure actually was. If you remember, Bentham…”

King Henry’s Mound, Richmond Park
Monday Evening


‘…the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.’

What’s ‘harm’, though?


Alistair sighs. He swings his legs from atop the metal lattice, planting his solidly-shod feet on the ground and resting his head on the pillar of his hand and arm. Down at the book he gazes. “It’s… It’s like the pleasure machine. What’s to stop someone locking people up to prevent them from getting hurt – in the most specific sense?” He growls. “Or, in the other direction, to convince people to trust no-one in academia because they think they’re part of some nonsensical conspiracy?”

He shakes his head, lying back against the metal post. It’s just too vague. You could use this to justify anything. Then he closes his fist – the one not holding the book – and shakes his head again, leaning down to drop the text into his bag and standing, picking the whole thing up in a single, fluid motion. “Need to keep reading. Probably explains later.” Still…

His thoughts trail to a halt as he looks behind him, confirming the appearance of an elderly couple waiting patiently and a little nervously off to the side. Alistair opens his mouth slightly, then shuts it, hunching over a little in guilt and walking away to allow them to use the telescope. As he does so, he looks up slightly to take in the view of London, then back to the hole through the hedges to where he knows by now St Paul’s Cathedral is, crowning the City. And it doesn’t solve the main issue, either. No matter how much thought I put into rules, or how much I think I might be protecting people…

I could still just be hurting them.


Courtyard, Evergreen Grammar School
Tuesday Morning


Alistair heads through Evergreen’s main quad towards the school library, his stride neither long nor short, energised nor trudging. His head is down, his lips pressed firmly together.

A burst of noise catches his attention; he looks over. Apparently, somebody – likely Upper Sixth, since he doesn’t recognise him (not that that’s a hugely reliable indicator these days) – has taken it upon himself to climb into the boughs of one of the school’s many trees. He’s not the only one who’s noticed, either; a small group of onlookers is gathering beneath him. Frowning incredulously, Alistair stops. Then he turns to walk over…

And an expression of sorrowful, painful conflict manifests on his face. He glances down, away.

Then he sighs and, shaking his head, walks on.
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by KenjuGuy
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KenjuGuy Luminary of the Stars

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Joey Grayson

Low Souls with A High Spirit


---


Now there was Romani, who sat to Joey's left side, while the boy himself scooched over in the middle. The position was one he couldn't help but take delight in. Sitting between Claire and Romani, his joy welled and erupted like a volcano. He brought his arms around both their shoulders, as if to bring them along his merry wave of companionship. "Sitting here with my friends, now this is the life," Joey spoke in a tone similar to an oldman cherishing the last years of his life, despite his far too youthful demeanor.

Joey was a being of gratitude. Despite how that may sound, he was not a devout servant of god. Still, he did go to church whenever he could. No, his gratitude rested upon something more grounded. For all the love that he had been nurtured with, it was only natural that affection would eventually overflow and spill out to those around him. Though to put it simply, having taken notice of his fortune in one circumstance, this trickled into him being aware of the other blessings around him.

And if there was one thing his folks at the Retirement Community taught him; it was to keep his friends close to heart. Therefor, for Joey Grayson, this van was akin to a ship-, or rather, a chariot, filled with treasure. So in his rambunctious mind, what else could he do besides play with and admire them?

However, the others were not so starry eyed. In contrast to the radiating sunshine that came from Joey's face, everyone else was all too silent. It was a silence with an underlying air of nervousness. The youth had pondered for a moment but soon realized what was the source of this unease. Right, from what he recalls barely 5 minutes ago, the other three weren't too fond of Romani on account of the rumors that had infested the campus.

"Ah, my memory isn't as good as it used to be," he commented to himself, regretting his thoughtlessness. Though only for a fraction of a second. He was actually just too strung up by his surging emotions. Shane looks like he wants to say something about Joey's previous remark, but the nervousness holds back his tongue. 'This isn't good. I need to get the atmosphere back on track. So I just need to show them that Romani isn't a bad guy!' His plan formulating, Joey's face shifted into an all too obvious and almost comically devious sneer.

"Romani, lets play a game while we wait to get there!" Joey boldly declared, energetic as he rested his chin on his palm. His eyes latched onto Romani with a gaze of fondness. In truth, he didn't know much about the boy besides some talk about movies and sports here and there. Therefor this would be the perfect moment to solidify their hazy connection. "It's a game to decide whether someone is good or evil! I'll ask three questions, and depending in your answers, I'll decide whether you're good or evil. I just made it up."

Joey was about as subtle as a megaphone, but nevertheless he was positive this would assure Romani's credibility. He would tear through this air of nervousness was threatened to chokeout his friendship! Regardless of the daggers of annoyance that his other companions eyed him with, Joey commenced.

"Question number 1; What are cuter, babies or old people?

Question number 2; How many Christmas gifts did you give out last year?

And Question 3!.....D-...D- Do you think I have a chance at marrying Serena Williams someday?.."


@Sync
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Conscripts
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Conscripts An Atom Trying to Understand Itself

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Phillip Leonhart

Location: St Paul Campus -> Evergreen Campus
∇ƒ =〈ƒx , ƒy〉= (∂ƒ/∂𝐱)*𝓲 + (∂ƒ/∂𝐲)*𝓳



That should help the purpose well.

"The argument parameter should be directly coming from the location sensor, while the return value is a vector object. That's the direction of the ascent you're finding."

The day had still yet to ripen up, yet the three men in this room was already primed and ready for the day. Well, at least for two of them. Exam periods were picking up the pace for the students this term, both Evergreen and St Paul students alike. The amounting knowledge to squeeze in a 3 pound organism composite, the growing impatience of every minutes of studying and revision in the ever-moving environment, and the rising tension of the hours before the pen would be called to lay firmly on the table. That's why these two hatchlings of engineering and program designing were making use of every minutes they could. They wanted to splat the itching bugs that had been running around in this program of theirs for so long, all the while trying to tie up as many loose ends as possible with the software. Funnily enough, they never would have thought to be making this much progress whilst still somewhat only being in second year of St Paul. They knew that their hard work had a lot to do with their overall fruit of the labor, but still the majority was still down to the third member of the project team.

"So now is just trying to implement the numerical partial derivative as a separate function?" The student in front of the computer asked, to which the man wearing the suit nodded, with two fingers raised.

"Two. To make it safe." The man replied, as quickly and concisely like a cube, seemingly certain of every suggestions to come out.

They surely didn't regret saying yes to Phillip Leonhart when the renowned genius of St Paul decided to take up their side-project. The guy is really a genius. Doing these practical side projects are particularly challenging for many students because they do not fill the role of accomplishing a class assignment or earning a particular grade for their degree. Things are not so perfectly fine tuned for the students to make use of only what they have learnt. Undesired knowledge gap would sometimes seep in to humble their progress. It turned out so well for them that it would be somewhat filled by the genius who won the International Physics Olympiad at merely the age of 15. Things they didn't know, he knew. Things he didn't know, that statement would be falsified in a couple of days or so. It wouldn't be a surprise that they wondered why he decided to take up their project instead of just building his own project from scratch, to which the man is totally capable of if he's interested.

"Bah, I'll do this once I finish these triple midterms I have tomorrow." The same student sighed as he closed the laptop screen. "I should study for that today. You want to join us Albert?"

"Nah, I have class in a few minutes. I need to leave now if nothing else." The other student, Albert replied, as he began to pack things up in a hurry.

"That's a shame, how about you Phillip?"

The man in the suit simply gave an apologizing headshake, and a shrug of a shoulder.

"See you then."

And there goes the fun he was expecting in this early morning. Well it was indeed so while it lasted.

Unlike the two of these students, Phillip had already finished most of his midterms and assignments, with relative ease. Classes had avoided the day for him, so he had a little too much time in his hand, and too little direction to give him a sense of work and purpose. Maybe perhaps joining a group of people would help him. And he did, but unfortunately they were normal students, with struggles of their own.

Should he just go back to dorm? There seemed to be little that he could find enjoyment at right now. But the same could be said with the same sight of the white wall, ceiling and the soft bed. Wasn't the reason that he go out to St Paul today was to enjoy something more than a mind-numbing repetition?

A slid of his hands on his pockets, and Phillip's gaze wandered around like a horizontal pendulum, whilst he strode down the St Paul's campus hallway to the courtyard, basking himself in the sunlight as the glory of the new day was finally approaching. Then, through some heaven to earth force, his gaze landed on the gate. The gate leading outside. And his thought back to his old high school: Evergreen. He didn't know what exactly caused him to do so, but it seemed like Evergreen was like the only place that he could find something interesting there. Perhaps a mathematical probability that Evergreen would be the most likely places to have something entertaining. It had been his home for a while before he picked this new one, and since it was so tightly connected, events were very likely to happen there.

'Oh well.'

He started walking. Back to then.

Along the way, he bought some biscuits to accompany his somewhat uncalming stomach that didn't get enough for breakfast. Once he reached the school ground, however, is when things seem to get a little more interesting. A little. Highest probability indeed. Some of our next generation, one of our 'brightest minds' of our future, had decided to climb a tree at the school courtyard...for some reasons. It didn't seem like valid reasoning though. Look at his laugh. Like what was he even thinking?

It drew a crowd, for sure. A small one, but someone. Phillip was standing from afar, his left hand enjoying the biscuit while his right one was fiddling with the phone in his pocket. Should he call the security on this? It may be necessary, or be a waste of time. It didn't seem like a suicidal attempt or anything. But still, someone may get hurt, including the guy on the tree too.

'Hmmmmm...'

The scale is somewhat tipping.
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Sync
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Romaní Bogart
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The car ride towards school felt longer than anticipated. The air hadn't felt thinner, but his lungs felt somewhat at their capacity. Looking beyond the window, gazing approximately at nothing was about as much of an anodyne for this awkward lift with people who certain weren't too fond of this situation. Joey Grayson was about as beyond standard as it got, his personality and wit was that of an old man blended together with the fancy of an Irish man in glee of their own bourbon. He smiled profusely and eyed out for goodness and greatness for the sake of some devilishly- or rather, heavenly grace to his own moral compass. Regardless, Joey was also one of the few who didn't seem to take his shortcomings as a sign of intractability. Perhaps this fall under naivety, or rather more so, altruism. And so, suggesting that a car ride towards school was out of the blue wasn't too far off from something he would do, but rather he's more the victim of something perhaps even far worse in this society... And that's the lack of social cues- But to be rather frank about it all, it wasn't until the rev of the engine indicated the movement of the car that Romaní seriously took to account what could probably be depicted as social suicide right at this moment.

With waning gazed and turning stares, the atmosphere felt like stumbling on quick sand. No matter the circumstances, they were all trap upon this vehicle with each other as their company and although four out of five were perhaps perfectly comfortable with each other, one of them stood out like a sore thumb. And that one happened to be the auburn eyed, silver haired youth who just happened to be invited here. Joey didn't hesitate for a moments notice and clutched his shoulder, pressing Romaní and the neighboring against himself in a warm embrace with was perhaps wholly unwelcome at the moment. But perhaps it was he's aloof attitude towards everything that embellished his presence with a radiance he's not too aware of himself. Or maybe--

"Ah, my memory isn't as good as it used to be, Romani, lets play a game while we wait to get there! It's a game to decide whether someone is good or evil! I'll ask three questions, and depending in your answers, I'll decide whether you're good or evil. I just made it up."

He's a complete idiot. The colorful remark was perhaps his way to clear up tension, a nervous laugh escaped him in attempts to relieve the situation, but Joey seemed dedicated to rummage through some test to prove his innocence. Appreciated, but perhaps not as effective as they would like it to be. The driver clenched his grip tighter on the wheel, gulping his intention down with a swallow so lough Romaní could hear it, the other shifted their gaze away, one stealing a few every so often and so, a rock and a hard place was his location at the moment. Maybe he would be walking on eggshells by participating, maybe not. But even so, he rested his chin on his hand, grin brewing on his lips before sighing and posturing his hand before Joey, asking to follow up without much tension in the middle. First question swung out his lips with quickness like if he recited it longingly before his mirror. Babies or the Elderly? Trick question, Romaní personally didn't use the word or expression cute towards anything when it came the use of people. Also, there didn't seem to be a wrong answer in that statement, if he used any of the other he could be seen as a paragon, but to be honest, that wouldn't be go to either. His notability was important, after all...

"What an odd question. Maybe it's because I expect people to usually pick animals over people. But, I guess I'll answer earnestly. I never found either 'cute' a day in my life. That word escapes me a lot of the times, more than I like to think. But if anything, there's nothing better than seeing their potential... y'know? When an old man gives the last piece of bread to give it to the pigeons on the side walk, or when a toddler shares their lollipop with their friend. I guess in that sense, that aspect of people is something I can... admire."

A memory swung across his thoughts for a moment. Maybe that explanation was a bit winded, but to be honest he didn't feel like it was. Next question was how many Christmas gifts did he give last year. That question felt more personal than Romaní liked to admit, harmless at the surface. But perhaps not so much when it came to his circumstances. For a moment, the grin simmered and a drought of silence overtook the car for a moment. thoughts coursing through the light of eyes, like a scenery displayed before him. "None." Quite the opposite from the past question, Romaní didn't feel the need to expand any further beyond that one line, he just pondered about that one girl he gave his old dirty rundown shoes to on a rainy night some time ago. But...

--Right the final question. Serena Williams, huh? Did he hear that right? He didn't even know the first thing about that woman other than she was a professional athlete of some kind in the states. Wasn't she married already? There was a myriad of question that popped up, but a laughter was all that came out of Romaní at first. "Seriously, now? Serena Williams? Who knows? She is a married woman, but maybe if you propel yourself higher and higher in that chariot of yours, maybe you can even reach the stars themselves." He didn't have much of an opinion when it came to his interest--

"But, then again. Icarus flew too close to the Sun, and he burnt his wings in the process." Strength was all which could propel man to higher standing, and even if this misfortune that surrounded the boy left him in a state of wonderment, perhaps this was his way of obtaining that notability he so cherished. There were many mysteries in the world of his, man made perception was one of them. The social structure which built itself on a mountain of slat and sand, the ever changing clan of human evolution. Or rather, the continuous cycle- "You aren't an Icarus, though. Or at least, you don't seem like one." He said, listlessly observing the outside of the window once more.

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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by KenjuGuy
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Joey Grayson

Soft Yet Piercing, Like A Whistle


---


Joey couldn't believe the words entering his ears. He gave off the expression of someone finding a rotten sandwich in their refrigerator. It was repulsive! This was not the type of behavior he wanted to see out of his friend. Nevertheless, it was starring right in front of him. Exposed and naked, like the scar Romani provided for all to bare witness. The more he spoke, the more his words pummeled him relentlessly. The cracks began to spill like water out of dam. His fist clenching and his jaw tightening. Until his raging spirit burst forth, "EVIL!!"

He bellowed his declaration, as if to condemn Romani for all eternity, or at least for the rest of this ride. All of the answers given were not to his satisfaction, to say the least. For one thing, he didn't even provide a direct answer on the first question. Did he somehow overestimate Joey's intelligence? The very thought of that, causes his anger to stir further. Yet even so, the main core of this corruption and the source of Joey's exaggerated fury; was his response to that third question. The deciding factor to all of this.

"The correct answer, was that of course I would marry Serena someday! It's obvious if you think about it a bit. We're two peas in a pod!" Joey spoke proudly and loud enough as if to fight back the very hands of logic itself. He paused to let the words resonate with everyone, but he might as well have been talking to a wall. To label someone evil based on a trivial topic like that was ludicrous. Still, Joey felt a deep-seated instinct to defend this fantasy. "Sorry Romani but I think everyone else would agre-"

"Actually...he seems like a normal guy.." Samantha shattered Joey's forthcoming thoughts with ease. They were sudden and abrupt, thus they staggered his reaction. The stagnated nervousness now whittling away, Shane couldn't help but let his similar thoughts be heard as well, "Yeah,..he's kinda weird but he's not like a gangster or anything. The answers he gave didn't seem all that out of place.". Like street lights being switched on one after the other, their relief illuminating sequentially. Even Claire, with her usual sour self, loosened up to the somewhat rigid youth, "Anyone that doesn't agree with Joey's nonsense has to be somewhat of a normal person."
The tides had been turned and the only thing left for Joey was the tear at the corner of his eye. This act of betrayal had left him plagued with despair! "You guy's can't be serious! There's no doubt that I certainly have a chanc-"

"Alright we made it! And with time to spare too!" Shane announced, his excitement blossoming another wave of relief within the now parking van. As the vehicle became empty with each of his comrades leaving, the life in his eyes grew dim. They each headed their own ways with parting goodbyes until they see each other again in the next few hours. All that remained, were Romani and Joey now standing in the parking lot. "Romani..." Joey whimpered out as his body swayed around to face his fellow student. "I'll see you in P.E!" a promise of revenge lashes out from his lips. Like a curse left in the air, he turns away in huff.

Like a hurricane, he rummages off in an exaggerated fit.......Then, his speed slows down, muscles relaxing with steps becoming as light asa leaf. That hurricane settles down into a breeze. There, Joey turns his head to the side to flash Romani a grin of sparkles. Like a child after playtime, he giggles happily. "See, I told them you weren't a bad guy after all!"

Of course all that from earlier was simply fun and games. Ever the playful sort he is, this was the nature that gave him so much favor with others. The joking and teasing was always apart of their fun, never an ill willed insult around. Only the delightful pleasures one could get with those they considered allies.

That merriment allowed the golden chance for the others to warm up to Romani. Even if it were only a little bit. Joey could atleast hope that warmth would reach Romani, who always seemed so solemn. Who always seemed to have some stubborn designation of strength within him. He wanted to believe that.

He runs a hand through his braided ponytail.

With a parting devilish wink at the other boy, Joey strolled off leisurely as if he were riding with the gentle wind.

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Romaní Bogart
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Surprise is defined as: a brief mental and physiological state, a startle response experienced by animals and humans as the result of an unexpected event. Surprise can have any valence; that is, it can be neutral/moderate, pleasant, unpleasant, positive, or negative. And perhaps you would think this would ultimately apply to circumstances of the people in the vehicle other than Joey himself. Like explained earlier, Joey held a standard for goodness that was rather different than other would perceive, his own notable gleam that propelled him ever so bright across the myriad. He was weird, but similarly that weirdness of his drew humanity closer to a sense of closure among themselves. The acceptance of the others came forth, but this wasn't to Romaní surprise, or interest to that matter. They were part of the people who joined the grayscale tone of the world, parts of a cycle of running colors which never found their hue. Shaken and stirred by the world's concious, a wavering strength which rendered them subjects of their own fears. Joey, on the other hands, surprised Romaní entirely, as he went off his way to develop a rather obtuse ruse to liberate him from the shackles of his people's perception. Three other people were now on the thought that he was just some ordinary high school student, that's just a little bit weird. A laugh escaped him, wavering to his classmate before he disappeared from the scenery entirely in the seams of people in this parking lot.

It felt solemn, even in this wavering sense of time he spent with these people. Romaní to some extent, thanked Joey Grayson for liberating him of the tick of his shoulder. But similarly... without it, it felt as if those people now categorized him among the many. There wasn't much Romaní excelled in, in much less he wanted to do to improve on that. The world spins endlessly and time become shorter and shorter. He doesn't have the time to change the world, that would be impossible, but bending it ever so slightly. That notability would stay with him until the ends of the earth, people would remember his name and he would finally be able to open the doors to something greater than himself, for someone greater than himself. Placing his hand on his forehead, lightly pressing his fingers on the rapture which now embellished his skin. The cause for all this tension around him.

"Yeah, see you in P.E."

He mumbled under his breath, perhaps as a means to declare a sense of rivalry himself, or rather just a means of gratitude. This wouldn't change anything, or perhaps it will. Soon such would spread across the school, cleansing the thought of him one person at a time. Joey might've just done it for his friends to change their mind, but they would tell someone else, and then that person to someone else and so, and so on. Soon, he would be just another person, who happened to have a garishly ugly scar on his head. His notability would be skewered entirely-- all by the innocent act of a boy with long hair, and a devilish-- or should he say, heavenly grace to his own moral compass. All because someone "...Was a bit too benevolent."

Strength is what propels man towards the future, and that first step Romaní took to meet the entrance declared something to himself once again, that his crown was fragile and the ceiling of his world was made of glass. For a moment, he felt himself see something. Warped and unimaginable, dense while similarly heavy on his shoulders. And echo, perhaps rang on his mind before it dispersed in the delicate fog of his memory. Searching, like a faint murmur which spoke his name in the distance, he caught a glimpse of nothing but the normalcy of every day. A shrug, maybe he's been day dreaming to much, he should probably stop reading so much comic books late at night after studying. What the hell, though? He was only seventeen years old and he wanted to enjoy something before going to bed. Why does his brain want to punish him by demonstrating these weird images before class? He shook it off, like a pup after its first bath and continued. A smile on face, hand gripping the strap of his bag. "Maybe I should've actually told him that I did give a Christmas gift to someone... naaahhh"
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Smike
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Elizabeth Astor
Morning, School


Even after this time away from her family, Elizabeth still couldn't quite believe that she was free from them. It was almost too good to be true. Nineteen years old and already a member of the one percent, she had the means to do whatever she wanted whenever she wanted and there was no one around to say no. She had successfully squirmed her way out from under the thumb of two disgustingly rich families who had every intention of dragging her into the soulless and amoral world of business and had the freedom to make her own choices. She was young, beautiful (or so she liked to think, in actuality she knew she was "pretty" at best) single, and a multimillionaire. For many people this would look like the golden opportunity to drink and party all day everyday!

But she had never been the type to get trashed and make poor decisions while under the influence, she enjoyed alcohol of all kinds but not to that extent. So instead she had signed for college and literally picked her course at random. Sociology was as good a time filler as any and that's all she was looking for. Every day of the work week except for Tuesday she would go to class and listen dutifully, paying enough attention to earn a B. Solid but not outstanding, a delightful change of pace from the forced excellence her tutors had dragged out of her as a child. But today was her off day. There was no class to go to, just a routine to slip into like a comfortable sweater. She slipped out of her Carolean four post bed at 5 AM sharp (later than usual, she was usually awake by 4) and lazily exchanged her nightshirt for a blouse and jeans. The two most important creatures in her life were already waiting patiently for her at the foot of the bed, Basker and Buck looking up at her with hunger clearly visible in their eyes.

"Good morning my handsome boys." the young woman cooed, rubbing their furry heads lovingly. "Whose got a kiss for Mama?" They did, of course, Buck resting his front paws on Elizabeth's shoulders and lapping at her nose. The little human nearly buckled under more than double her weight's worth of Doberman, and again when Basker got his turn. "Thank you my dears. Let's get some breakfast." She led her children to the kitchen, eight paws and two slippered feet padding softly against the rich black carpet of her bedroom before clacking against the marble flooring of the hallways in a cacophony of claws. Lazily Elizabeth flicked on a light in the spacious kitchen before snapping her fingers. "Basker, table time!" Her good boy snapped into action, taking up position in front of the high cabinets so that his mama could carefully clamber up onto his back and then shift to the counter top. She retrieved the tea kettle and mugs, setting them down before before hopping daintly to the floor. "Thanks my sweet creature." The Ovcharka earned himself a pat between the ears as she went about setting up breakfast. A bit of busy work later and she was sitting cross-legged on the floor with a plate of steak and eggs, adding vintage whiskey from her well-stocked liquor cabinets to her tea as Basker and Buck chowed down on their own matching meals. The young heiress eyed the antique grandfather clock, ("Cost me more than twenty thousand dollars" her mother had shared over the phone when it was shipped over as a gift) praising the time. 6:30, time for a walk.

Three sets of fine china were quickly cleared and cleaned, placed in the rack to dry as Elizabeth led her brood to the private elevator that led from her high rise to the ground floor. They didn't need leashes, much too well trained and cared for to ever try to run away. As the metal box descended she could see the adopted brother snap to attention, ears flickering and noses sniffing as the doors opened. They were her boys of course, but they were also her bodyguards first and foremost. They weren't going to let her go unless they were sure the coast was clear. Cautiously they stepped out and checked the lobby, finally looking back to her. "Ready?" Let's go!"

The little family sprinted out the doors of the lobby and onto the sidewalk, engaging in their daily run. When they returned all three of them were panting heavily, Elizabeth nodding a tired and dreamy expression to the doorman as she hustled her boys back upstairs and hopping into the shower as they rested on the cool tile flooring. She brushed her teeth as she washed off, not really seeing a point not to, and dried off before tugging her clothes back on. "Be good for me!" She instructed them unnecessarily. She had decided to head to school on her off day simply because she didn't have anything better to do. The thirty minute drive was a little annoying but it would at least keep her occupied. Sure she could walk but she didn't feel like it after a two mile run. She had grabbed her helmet and tugged on a leather jacket, already knowing what she was going to drive as she descended into the garage. She owned five different vehicles and categorically refused to use all but two of them whenever she could avoid it. Her family lacked the humanity and care required to come up with thoughtful gifts so she had ended up needing to sign for a total of five vehicles in the space of three days which made her feel like a royal asshole.

TheFerrari 488 Spider and Lamborghini Murciélago were gifts from her mother and father respectively. Loud and ostentatious, they screamed "too much disposable income" so loudly it was embarrassing. The car from her maternal was worse however, much much worse. A Dodge Charger painted a garish green with red racing stripes and a spoiler that had its muffler removed, she wanted to throw up every time she so much as glanced at the thing. It embodied all the worst stereotypes about rednecks in a way that made her skin crawl.

The fourth car was positively kick-ass however. A perfect recreation of the Pursuit Special from Mad Max, the only reason she didn't drive it everywhere was because how quickly it burned through gas. That left her with the bike, a lightweight Machia Nera ConceptIt was for the better anyway, the tiny girl knew she looked somewhat ridiculous in those massive cars. She hopped on, put on her helmet, revved the engine and took off towards school.

She rejected the common room for the courtyard, shaking the hair out of her eyes as she removed her helmet and took a seat next to boy that seemed to be about her age. She had never seen him before, looking curiously at him for a moment as he read. "Good book?" she asked, not even bothering to mention the strange boy climbing the tree.
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Hidden 3 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by LetMeDoStuff
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LetMeDoStuff The Token Cripple

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Within the space of around five minutes, chaos seemed to ensue. The very fabrics of peace and tranquillity were brought to their knees when a unfathomable act of discouragement subjugated his perfect harmony. Chaos came in many forms. Be it the transgressions of war, conflict and disorder or the lawlessness of mankind, chaos spread like a wildfire on a hot Australian morning. Even the hardest of rules or cruellest of punishments could not cease such agitations. This time, however, it became peculiar and fell under strange manifestations. Laurence scanned ahead, only gifting the unresting creature but half a glance. It was all that was needed. For Laurence, such trivial behaviours were fun, definitely welcomed by many, but it seemed very strange how his nearest tree was taken for such a task. There was no shortage of trees around, especially ones without people reading beneath them. Ideally, silence was but the best tool for a man to continue his studies, or analyse the meanings behind further cryptic languages, yet Laurence wasn't the type of person to shun or agitate those who wanted to do as they wished. It wasn't his job. Any teachers or locational staff for the accommodation would be paid to stop such strange and possibly reckless behaviour, if it could be considered that. Instead, Laurence tried to block out some of the noises of the approaching spectators, seemingly eyeing him up like a primate in a zoo-cage. How peculiar, indeed..? Laurence was never one to be uninviting, but when reading, when divulging in his passion, he could never encourage the distractions at hand. Reading was what he lived for, and it was the only thing to distract him from the cruel infestations of his family values: forced musical conscription, or whatever they would deem it as. Hideous, it felt, to be stripped of his freedom in the past for such unfathomable extents. Even now, Laurence felt like a tool, only this time he was lost out of the toolbox and awaiting to be recollected.

Laurence let a smile slowly grow upon his face. Several unseen faces outside of the halls of his school were spying on such a strange boy, who clambered and chomped away at the heights he conquered. Asian-descent, though that was not a reason to explain nor justify his strange behaviour. Instead, Laurence saw it as entertainment, light-hearted joy that spewed the means of a happy morning. How encouraging. With that in mind, Laurence returned his gaze to the words upon the sheets before him. The first few chapters were short, very short indeed, and were built from the ground up of a strange spiritual endeavour. Speculating an imperative importance behind it, as most rereads of a book would reveal anyway, he flipped over to the next page, his eyes canning across the articulation of words that twizzled before him. As he read each word, his mouth mimicked the vocalisation in his head:


"Ceaseless as the night before, Roderigo stalked through the shadows of his own corridor, knowing well and truly that the spectres he'd seen were not a figment of his imagination. They had to be real. The very foundations of such a Venetian home were bound to be sprawling with the supernatural life. He did not hesitate and drew our the candlelight. The walls peeled their gawky eyes upon Roderigo, whispering the names of fallen homesteaders that may have entitled such riches to their name. Iago. Lavantio. Caesar. Augustus. Johanna. Oh they all spoke so quietly, yet the latter of the list caught his attention. Johanna was the same name as his pursuit's target. The goal must be close, yet the journey had only begun? Was this going to be a-"

Suddenly, his immersion was shattered when two words curled out from behind the lips of a quaintly delicate tone, seemingly interested in what he had buried beneath his fingertips. He hadn't previously heard the roar of an engine pull up, nor the rather alluring way someone threw their helmet off, unleashed their hair and placed their protection down near him. Laurence was completely indulged into the book again, wasn't he? Though, it was likely a good thing they had. If his mind were drawn away then perhaps he'd have been there the whole morning, or afternoon, reading away until he missed all his lessons. How disappointing that would've been..? Instead, Laurence looked upwards, seeing where the strangely familiar accent of an American came from. Before him laid Elizabeth; well, he didn't know her name, but it was her nonetheless. She looked down intriguingly, questioning the book in his hand with two simply words: 'Good book?'. How difficult to summarise it so quickly? Yet, Laurence was not going to be one to awkward-ise the conversation, and instead cleared his throat and rubbed his eyes, returning to the real world that so disappointed him.

"Oh, uhm...well, so far it is. It's kind of hard to summarise it without a full, retrospective understanding of what's to come, but...well it's definitely a good start, I'll give it that." Unfortunately, that was the simplest answer he could've thought of in the moment. No simple 'yes' or 'no' like most normal individuals would do, but at least he shared the fact he was passionate about it. For some, that was the best way to introduce oneself, for others it was the opposite. Here, Laurence felt at least charmed by his own straightforwardness. Speaking of straightforward, without hesitation Laurence suddenly held out a gentle hand, gesturing for a shake towards the American princess that approached, at least in the terms of her social-aura that gave off. It wasn't an easy thing to detect, but Laurence had spent his years near enough rich fellows to know one when he saw one. "Laurence, Laurence Newman. Local reading-beneath-a-tree stereotype, if I couldn't describe myself any worse."

With that, he gave his friendliest smile and chuckled lightly to himself, twisting his head to finally eye up what was going on around him...and above him. It was a strange spectator sport, watching spirited Okinawan kids climb and leap around trees like some unknown breed of squirrel, and to be honest Laurence did find the bewilderment of its extraordinary premise rather interesting. As the chuckle settled, he looked back up to the American girl and pointed feebly upwards.

"Judging by your accent, this wasn't what you had in mind when someone described British culture? To be frank, this isn't what I expected either and I was born here." With another light-hearted smirk, he slowly began to bring himself to his feet, shutting the book quietly and placing it inside his bag. He saw a few students getting closer, gathering around to watch the continuously inhuman child scale the wooden equivalent to Mt. Fuji. "Glad someone approached me, though. I was starting to get lost in my own book. Speaking of which...you look a lot like how I would imagine Johanna would...she's a character in the book, I believe. A fair skinned woman with a lot of passion behind their eyes. That's their words, not mine."

It wasn't unlike Laurence to crack a little provocative joke here and there, especially one that was in good faith and for the comfort of the conversation. Even with teachers or perhaps other students he joked around with the best smile he could provide, hoping that he could come across as the boy that people could turn to if they needed a good cheering up. It at least kept him going at night knowing that someday someone would turn to him for answers. Yet...that day was yet to come. No one ever wanted his answers. Saying that: did...Laurence even have any answers? For a second, his face dribbled away and his smile vanished, staring blankly into the empty space behind the girl. Certain thoughts returned, the same ones that had been coming back ever since he moved to London to escape them. A year. No...nearly two years now? How...distracting...

Quickly, Laurence snapped back into the reality once again and held out the gentle hand again, offering it to Elizabeth with a kind smile once more. He felt more like himself yet again, or at least what he told himself he was like. As he waited for her to either reciprocate or brutally destroy his hopes and dreams of acquainting with her, such as most of the students loved to do on a regular morning, Laurence at least gave his kind regards before hoping to leave to his lessons for the morning.


"I'm sorry to have to go so soon, I was surely enjoying our little chit-chat. Hope we can meet again and do this soon! You'll know me when you see me: Laurence Newman, residential helper and go-lucky smiler for all your needs!" And with that, he laughed the truth and irony away with a quaint wave, wandering towards Evergreen's entrance to start his day. Once again, all he could do was use the day to distract himself. Distractions were all that he seemed to be good at nowadays.

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FalloutJack The Long Dark Nuka-Break of the Soul

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This wasn't as easy as it looked...and it didn't look easy at all. But even with all that in mind, Hakuro had learned the important tennants of that running-jumping-climbing urban sport known as parkour, and its rules applied to every surface and every structure. The first thing is momentum. You can seemingly defy gravity if you have the right speed applied in the right fashion, the force of your momentum pressing against the tilt of the world. It only lasts a couple seconds, and then it's all down to you, but it does work. Velocity is a great force-multiplier in every situation, provided to don't do something that'll just get you hurt...and Hakuro spent time falling down alot before getting the hang of it. Second thing: your grip can be maintained temporarily - i.e. long enough - on even a small outset. Rock climbers do it, professional tree-climbers do it, and so too does this hold in parkour. The skills are interchangeable. It's just that one is meant for the urban setting and must be adapted accordingly. Even still, Hakuro had been taught how to get up a brick wall, so a tree with many grooves in its bark wasn't going to be as challenging. Finally, you need to be sure of yourself AND be consciously aware of your limits at all times...but Hakuro didn't really have that problem, considering he must've climbed EVERY TREE on his island, at home!

I'm not even using 15% of my strength!

He was up that tree, enough so that people were starting to get a little concerned. Nobody official, mind you. In fact, Hakuro wasn't even aware of anybody really watching - Your focus is important, in some situation. - until someone decided to shout up at him from the base of the tree. Seems he didn't want him up here for reasons of... Ah, what do they say here in Endgland? Oh right, Health and Safety. Well, by the time that call had been made, Hakuro had managed to pull himself up to a nice thick branch for sitting on and looked down at whoever was talking...which in this case was one of the local boys and a pair of girls that he...hadn't been around enough to know their names or anything. Kind of sad, really. He usually got on with people faster than this. Certainly worked in Japan, and the Americans loved him! Well, mostly. He had a feeling that the boy shouting at him wasn't going to be pleased with this smiling magpie. Even still, he called back down, still unaware that Laurence had been reading on the other side of the tree.

"Oh, hey there! Good morning! Why's it more a problem if I hit someone? I'm someone! Suppose I fall down and hit no one! Then what? I mean, I could just not fall, but what I'm trying to say is that I don't understand the position!"

We interrupt this episode of Persona: The Calling to present Hakuro Kuroda being a smartarse, followed by a clicking sound and a flash as his phone got whipped out suddenly and he took a picture, followed by him doing more of the same with his surroundings. Granted, it was going to be on a phone camera's resolution, but it wasn't bad. He'd have to review them later, and the people and sights contained therein. Now, the only question was that...he was here, but didn't he have class soon?
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addamas Trust me, I'm a liar

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Interacting with @Typical@Savo@FalloutJack



As Ava had grown to expect of her Merja, she was quick to offer half her livelihood for absolutely free. Ava had rarely if ever met such a nice person in her life so if it wasn’t for Ava’s rumbling stomach, she might have felt severely guilty about stealing that lunch. As she took the food and carelessly stuffed it in into her satchel, she felt like the least she could do was give a heartfelt thanks, but as she moved in for a hug, she found herself being tugged along like a puppy on a leash; quite exciting really.

Arriving at their destination after ten long seconds, Ava positioned herself behind her tall friend, pretending to be the shy little sister that she never had. As she extended her head from behind Merja, she surveyed the area of interest, which seemed to be a tree. Beneath the tree sat a bookworm who looked to be chatting it up with a pretty lass, but after debating the matter shortly, she decided that Merja was not dumb enough to be so shocked by a man talking to a woman, so she looked up.

Taking a bite from the apple she had just received, Ava sheepishly peered at the Asian boy who was having a jolly time in his jungle kingdom. And as it seems, the shock factor did originate from the boy as it didn't take long for Merja to ask for guidance, which Ava promptly answered, by not saying anything at all, or rather, someone answered for her.

Alex, as usual, was being as rude as ever, and it was no surprise that the boy in the tree would reciprocate. To be honest, Ava was surprised at the odd response that Hakuro gave, but as she let it sink in, the reply was actually fairly normal compared the corny cosplay and the fact that he was still in the tree. Try as she might, Ava couldn’t suppress the smirk for very long as she burst out laughing at Hakuro’s remark. It wasn’t even that funny, but this whole situation was just too stupid to take serious.

“That’s what you get for being rude to strangers,” She playfully winked at Alex as she walked towards the tree, waving up to get Hakuro’s attention. “Don’t mind Alex, he’s always like that; but more importantly, show me how to get up there too!” she positively grinned with excitement.
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Typical

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Merja “Mer” Aaltonen

Courtyard || Tuesday Morning || @Addamas@FalloutJack@Savo

A familiar, scowly voice sounded after Mer asked her question, and she cringed back, turning to see none other than Alex. As someone who called her out on the daily—or as often as she was in his presence—he was someone she struggled to like as much as she respected. There were a lot of rough edges with his character, and Mer couldn’t say she enjoyed spending time around him, especially since most of that time saw her struggling away with biology as he sped ahead and Joey trekked along somewhere between them. Still, he was smart, hard working, and often correct, so she couldn’t fault him, even if he had a tendency to slam her with some brutal honesty every now and then.

His particular word choice, ‘indecisive,’ was an accusation he’d shot at her before, and it was perhaps his most common jab at her. Though yes, she’d been able to catch herself at times these days, thanks to the penchant for his accusations to leave a mental mark or two, Mer still had a hard time shaking the habit. To her, the confidence others brandished with ease seemed almost unattainable, existing only as a constant, faraway dream that she might one day hope to mature up to. But, then again, she had thought she’d naturally develop that same confidence by the time she became an Evergreen senior, and here she was at that age with none of the presumed confidence.

Alex’s next lines, though, were aimed at the boy in the tree, and they sadly contained all the barbs that Mer had come to expect of him. Cringing on the climber’s behalf this time, she glanced up, then around the courtyard, looking for some member of the school staff to appear and resolve the situation. Unfortunately, there seemed to be none available, likely a side effect of the current time.

Ava, thankfully, took the entire situation better than Mer did, even bursting out into laughter when the boy in the tree responded. She was quick to snap back at Alex, too, about his shot at the climber, and Mer sent silent thanks to her grinning friend for being the supportive voice against Alex's harsh one. That thanks, though, stopped when Ava continued, citing her own desire to climb the tree, and Mer had to take a second to process what she was hearing, mostly because she couldn’t believe anyone would want to climb the tree in question. Here they were on the campus courtyard in the early morning, waiting for class to begin, and Ava thought it’d be a good idea to climb a tree?

“Ava, no,” Mer said, touching the shorter girl’s arm. “He just suggested he might fall, and he’s taking pictures now. We should go find some staff to help him down before he hurts himself.”

Looking back up at the boy, Mer hesitated, then glanced down at the people around her, hoping someone might say something else. But, catching Alex’s eye, she grit her teeth and looked up again, cupping her hands around her mouth to help her voice carry.

“Hi, do you need any help getting down from the tree?”
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Hidden 3 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Conscripts
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Conscripts An Atom Trying to Understand Itself

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Phillip Leonhart


The scale is definitely not balanced.

The impolite remark from the young boy, the willingly-ignorant response from the guy on the tree, the naïve and air-headed response from the girl trying to climb the tree along with him, and the ineffective solution from the other girl, Phillip's cellphone has never been pulled out so quickly. Scrolling quickly through the contact list, he pressed the one fairly forgotten number that he rarely ever touched, but glad that he kept it just in case of this stupid incident: Evergreen Security.

'Is this really the next generation of great students?'

Even though the dissonance between Evergreen and Phillip's level was relatively a huge canyon apart, but to a normal student, the standards are demanding. You couldn't be some nobodies and get in Evergreen. But then again, geniuses and social skills are almost two opposite spectrums. Doesn't imply causation, but correlations are too common too be ignored. Phillip couldn't really say that he was complete stranger to the whole concept of eccentricity. He too had a couple of hobbies and interests that probably would not line up with societal norms. And sometimes he would lean on his own self-serving bias for justification, but to that degree of obnoxiousness is a little over the top for Phillip's sympathy. And besides, he's putting both himself and potential others in danger. That much was already more than enough.

"Hello, is this Evergreen Security?" Phillip was just dying for the phone to be picked up. "We have a student on one of the trees up here...Yeah, do you mind coming here quickly, he's recruiting people. Thank you."

The call was then hung up. Sliding it back into his pocket, Phillip began approaching the group below the tree. If they weren't going to help him down safely, then at least Phillip would stop him from doing anything rash. He seemed to be talking to someone else, then hopefully the guy would proceed to keep that conversation going. When two people are talking, they're not in any state or form to do anything else, anything else drastic. Would he be smart enough to do that? He wouldn't put much hopes on that, but he had no choice.

"No need to call them." Phillip said as he was approaching the two girls and the rude fellow. "I already did. If you can't convince him to come down, then keep him occupied."
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Savo
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Savo Sacrificial Priestess

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Alexander Furst

Confidants:: Ava (@addamas), Merja (@Typical), Logically Sound Guy (@Conscripts), Mentally Hatatonic Kid (@FalloutJack)
Whereabouts:: Dorms => Evergreen Campus => Dorms



What.

Alex, for a very brief second, was befuddled; that searing death glare and hard line scowl had marginally dissipated, instead his jaw dropped and he raised an eyebrow, blinking for a couple of seconds. As he tried to speak, nothing really escaped his lips as he went between pressing his lips tightly together to contorting it in other ways. However, there was only one thing he thought of when he received such a response.

"Are you daft?"

He was about to fire off another retort against this guy, only for Ava to pull the trigger on her on her own response. While it was primarily aimed at Alex, he sighed and shook his head, muttering "Do you even understand the situation right now," freeing him from his shaken stupor.

Well, briefly anyways as Ava gleefully encouraged this kind of undisciplined behavior, even more so wanting to learn how to get up there and possibly hurt herself. Honestly, it felt like he was having an aneurysm at this point as he facepalmed, massaging the sides of his temples with his index and thumb as he scraped his teeth together.

Before the symptoms could get exceedingly worse, Merja decided to reign the wild child in, all while pointing out the boys statement and making a decision. If anything, some line of logic was able to pacify the boy as he sucked in a bit of breath as he withdrew his phone and began swiping on it. As he did that, he approached with the duo, looking straight at the introverted girl with a pensive gaze.

"Good, glad to see someone is thinking of the consequences," he eyed Ava briefly before glancing back at Merja "as well as thinking of a proper solution; I'll call security to get him down." Returning his attention to the mentally hatatonic boy taking picture of the area around him, Alex pursed his lips and began punching in some numbers on the screen as Merja began chatting with the fellow.

Before he could make the call, someone announced that they had beaten him to the punch already, saving Alex the trouble as he powered down his phone and popped it back into his pocket. Despite his resting bitch face, he was ecstatic as he slightly turned to nod at the newcomer, acknowledging not only his presence, but the fact that he took some action!

"Gotcha; glad to see that someone other than Merja has their heads screwed on straight," he uttered coldly before putting his attention to the tall girl beside him. "In any case, I don't think he needs much help getting down; lets just preoccupy the dude for now." Clearing his throat, he looked back up into the trees with a neutral expression before hollering out to the kid.

"Hey, kid, what are you... uh taking photos of?"
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