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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by LetMeDoStuff
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LetMeDoStuff The Token Cripple

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Friday afternoon, already? Life was going far too quickly for Laurence's enjoyment. The hours were dragging out and becoming a sickly rendition of boredom. Wasn't he supposed to be enjoying his new life, free from the rulership of dictator-like parents and money hungry family members? Well, he was infinitely more happy now than he was back then. Yet, despite this he felt almost empty that morning. He'd spoken to a few nice people, amongst a few questionable individuals as well. Such conversations were invigorating for his mental wellbeing, helping him stay on track and keeping a smile upon his face. He remembered the likes of a few new individuals, from the sweet Finnish girl caught in the middle of everything to the crazy Russian wanting to put down the Kremlin. Amongst those were some more empathetic individuals, like classmates and participants in the debate. It was an eventful evening indeed. That night, Laurence had made it home with a deep smile plastered across his joyful mug, happy to have had the chance to interact and show his attention to many colleagues that he hoped to mingle with in the future. Life was all about those small moments, those interactions that were amplified by friendships and potential love-interests. Laurence himself wasn't one hundred percent on what his exact feelings were for those within that group, bar the first impressions, so he kept those judgements relatively low down. Benefits of the doubt were ruling his opinion on Mikhail, making him imagine that perhaps it was just the case of a strange joke or a bizarre drunken rant...though the latter raised questions about the school's alcohol prohibition policy.

Friday wasn't that much exciting. He'd had mostly Business and English lessons to go through, studying mostly the works of a 'Love and Relationship' poetry anthology in larger depth. Friday's was always the day when the teacher bombed out annotations and pressed the students for answers, interpretations and all sorts of forms of analysis. They were hard to deal with, but Laurence enjoyed them. They were different, in their own special way. Thomas Hardy's 'The Inn' was the focus that day, helping shed some more light on the reciprocation of unsolicited love affairs or desires that never quite come true. Though perhaps not on the romantic scale, the concept of desires being faltered by expectations was something Laurence related to more. He wondered if there were some form of alternative world or supposed universe that changed the rules of desires, where men and women could rush after their deepest connections without worry of repercussion. Sounded silly, stupid in fact, but it was a decent idea for a novel. Perhaps...could that be his breakthrough? Laurence still focused on what he wanted to write as a final product, making his name potentially in the writing industry only to prove his family wrong about his talents, but the inspiration was meekly withering away once more.

Now, he had an appointment. Ever since he'd came to Evergreen Grammar School for Sixth Form education, he'd never really encountered much with the staff. He was on good relations with Mr Sharp, the philosophy teacher, and had some decent connections to his English department but anything beyond the small and secluded circle of his A-Level Education was minimal at best. Considering it wasn't just an institute for A-Level students, there were students of ages 12-18 throughout the entire school. Years 7-11 made up the vast majority of Evergreen's population, without a doubt. Laurence never grew up within those years, not in this school at least, so his experiences were small and unrecognisable to most teaching staff. That was due to change though, especially today. The illusive vice-principal had called for Laurence to go meet him: Mr Ashcroft...




Introducing...


Awaiting outside of his office wasn't exactly easy. Laurence had no recollection of the man, other than the occasional rumours spread about him. Though, saying that...which teacher didn't have rumours about them? Students loved to joke around about their seniors, making them out to be worse than perhaps they really were. Negativity was a great fuel for getting through school. Seeing things through that bleak, narrow spyglass was a common trope, education didn't matter to some and only the embarrassment of humour against those they knew nothing about. Laurence couldn't judge the man until he'd actually spoken to him, yet even now he felt a strange anxiety overcome him. The atmosphere was seemingly...different. Every time he thought of setting foot inside the office his heart lunged and his stomach churned. Thousands of warning signs were plastering themselves within his mind and blaring out an intense siren. Each blast that shattered his ears caused disorientation. For a moment, he felt the world turn green around him, and the distorted looks of the walls started to warp in and out of themselves. A wavy texture overcame the environment and he simply began to feel sick inside. Anxiety was a bitch, no doubt, and Laurence wasn't fully prepared to deal with the nervousness that came out of waiting to be called in. Eventually, the door could be heard unclicking, its locks removing itself as a small gust of wind left it ajar, leaving a ghostly presence from within to seep out and draw Laurence inside. It took a few moments of hesitation to get Laurence ready, before the instincts of his kindness and willingness not to leave anyone waiting around drew him closer. A dark aura could be felt within, and yet Laurence heeded no attention towards such manifestations. Walking inside...he found who was waiting for him.

"Ahh, Mr Newman...please, take a seat..." Laurence tried his best to smile, walking gently and gracefully over to the humble leathery chair before his desk. For a Vice Principal, he was rather well equipped and treated in his office. A quaint aroma smitten with rich mahogany brought back melancholic memories of his old home, where his family indulged in the riches of their own self-profits with ostentatious furniture. And behind all of that richness, in this room at least, sat the man in question: Mr Ashcroft. "Don't dilly-dally, son."

As Laurence did as he was commanded, he scanned his face to see whatever he could. Indeed, old-fashioned was one way to go about it. Between both eyes and sat neatly on the bridge of his wrinkled nose were an old yet purely expensive brand of spectacles with St. George's Cross embedded into its frames. It felt more of an aesthetic choice at first, considering his walls were littered with paintings and scriptures of an old world. Red coats, brodies, conquest, formations of knights, villages and everything England was listed in the masses, setting the tone and scene of this Vice Principal. Laurence at first admired the use of textures, perhaps deducing that he was just a history fanatic from previous teaching days. Laurence didn't know that Ashcroft had never taught history. Not once.

More time passed, and Laurence silently sat down and folded his arms across his lap, locking his hands together nervously as he awaited for the beginning of their encounter. It was a rather sporadic and unprecedented call to alert. Laurence wasn't exactly a lacking student, so he knew that it couldn't be about his studies. Perhaps it were about a newfound opportunity for writers, or a chance to excel his education through a third-party course? The hopes of something so beneficial as those were endless, but the reality would sometimes be disappointing. Ashcroft held a stern face, smiling beneath the fingertips that were tightly wrapped around one another. Once again, that unfamiliar, sinister aura spread throughout the room, shimmering the once glowing brightness of Laurence's smile.


"It's finally nice to meet you, Mr Newman. I imagine you haven't heard that Principal Galbraith has taken temporary leave to sort out family related issues, have you not?" The curved conversation suddenly flanked Laurence, taking him by surprise. Obviously Principal Galbraith was the public face of the school; a shimmering beacon of hope, the press would say, from a female headteacher, she led the school through tough times and perfectly executed the oppositions of OFSTED inspections. Her temporary leave left the mantle of responsibility upon a now grinning elderly man, who seemed keen to share such news. Before Laurence could retort his response, Ashcroft continued after leaning heavily back into his leathery throne. "Obviously that's not why I called you here, boy. I was just...reminding us all of the situation, explaining why I am the one delivering such news to you. Say, have you heard of the London Writers' Guild?"

The question threw Laurence off guard once more. Why of course, the London Writers' was only the prestigious platform for newcomer authors and script-writers to influence the city with agencies, publishers and advertisement to the max. Only they were known for creating big names, many of which Laurence himself aspired to become. For a moment, Laurence smiled uncontrollably at the thought of the Guild, seeing them as the destination for all youth-writers in London to strive for.

"Uhh...yes, yes I have, Sir! It's a dream away from my grasp, but I know all about it."

"I thought you were a man of culture too, my boy!" Unlike the rumours before, he jovially smiled and chuckled to himself before twizzling away at his facial hair with the tips of his fingers. He placed a second hand down upon the table and murmured to himself, quietly thinking of his next thought process. "Personally, pure-breds like yourself are amongst the greatest students here. I noticed a science boy of the same stature as well. Always wonderful to see the legacy continue!"

The final phrase caught Laurence off guard. What ever could he have meant by that? Laurence was confused by the entire purpose of the meeting. Ashcroft made little sense. Laurence simply sat in silence, listening to his words carefully.

"Anyway, the meeting won't run itself. Newman, I've got reasons to believe that you've been mixing in with the wrong crowd." Laurence's eyes widened, unsure of what he meant or what he was getting at. Wrong crowd? Laurence was a rather confined soul anyway, rarely mingling with any sort of crowd. The conversation beforehand was going so positively, and then suddenly this bombshell had been tossed into the fray without any warning. Partially, he cleared his throat and prepared to respond, only for Ashcroft to once again take charge of the conversation. "Any student of mine should hold the honour of being in the position they are, Mr Newman. I've seen some investments you've made socially. I'm here to just give you a friendly nudge back into the right direction. You're an Englishman, dear Newman! This should be your time to take pride in your education, your writing! Y'know, the Principal always had her eye on you creatively, and thought you could do some good. Don't spoil that."

"I...don't quite follow, uhm...Sir?" His confusion was only met by the rather peculiar behaviour of Ashcroft, who stood up, shushing him with a finger to his own mouth, before walking over to a gramophone and putting on a dusty old record. To match the theme of his room, and his hidden agenda, the brightly coloured theme of 'A Long Way to Tipperary' sung out throughout the walls of his office. Laurence was confused...very confused. He started to wander around, circling Laurence strangely.

"This school is infested, young sir. Infested, I tell you! As acting principal, it is my duty...no...As a righteous man, it is my duty to uphold my expectations of the school and blend the best results for the future, as you must know. You may not see them, Newman, but there are rats everywhere, hiding amongst the students like the plague. You'll find them some day, or they'll find you. Be sure you stay on top, and I can guarantee you any place in London for writing." His speech was concluded with participation in the lyrics, singing and lulling away at the chants of his musicianship. Laurence, once again, spoke quietly in response, confused by the terms of his strange ordeal.

"S-Sir...students? I...uhm...I don't think that I could find them or...I don't know what you are implying? You want me t-"

"Enough of your questioning! This is a standard meeting I must adjourn with the students I see promise in, young boy. We're here as an institute, together! School and education helps pick out the intellectuals from the uneducated, poor masses. I'm not here to educate you on that matter, boy. I just want to remind you to keep you eyes and ears open. Now please, vacate my office. Oh...and next week...tell that 'Finnish' girl to come to my office. I have reports I need to make."

Finnish girl? Could Ashcroft be referring to Merja? Why would she need a report made against her? From the brief moment that Laurence laid his eyes and ears upon her distress, she did seem like an innocent or seemingly normal school girl. There was nothing about her that screamed of truancy, or insubordination. He didn't dare question it, once Ashcroft had raised his voice once it was a case of asserting dominance, scaring Laurence into submission as he quickly escaped the office as politely as humanly possible.

Outside, he took a breath. What was it that he meant? Everything that had just happened was a confusing mess of events. Laurence was so caught up in the veil of misunderstanding that as he exited the school, he didn't notice the transition of the scene around him. Everywhere, the world began to shift into a formation of unfinished pyramids, shapes and blocks floating around in the sky, where a darkness scattered above in the air. Laurence took a moment to dwell on the encounter before he made it outside, only for his jaw to drop and for his world to begin squirming into a twisted state of misunderstanding. Laurence's eyes fluttered, blinking uncontrollably. He stared, gaping mouth wide open. What was this? What the fuck was all of this? The series of events happened quickly. The scolding of his principal and now the sudden shift in the world outside. He continued to walk forward, his eyes blaring suddenly. No souls could be seen in the distance. All the world around him was devoid of life, life entirely. Only the faint squawking of a nearby Raven was audible. Only then...Laurence felt himself begin to shiver.
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Hidden 2 mos ago 1 day ago Post by Nimbus
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Nimbus Eudaimonia Seeker

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The Parton Residence, Cricklewood
Thursday Evening


“Hi, Dad, I’m back.”

Alistair’s voice drifts out into the hallway of his parents’ flat. The dwelling is mid-sized, humble for someone of his father’s means (even for London) but cosy, furnished with soft carpet in an inoffensive cream that gives way to a kitchen floor of varnished floor of warm wood and adorned with bits and bobs that the Partons have collected over the years – a little clock with flowers on the face here, a plush cat from the eponymous Belgian festival (attended on a holiday a few years ago) on the mantlepiece there, a wedding photo hanging on the wall over yonder. It’s all very nice.

Alistair sighs. Looking up, he traces his hand over a framed drawing in coloured pencil. One, small, black-haired stick figure stands in a line with one taller individual and several others standing at somewhere between the two. All wear pronounced smiles.

‘back’ still works.

“Hi, Alistair!” He draws his hand away as his dad’s voice echoes, warm, comforting and, as ever, imbued with that little bit of hope, from beyond the study door as it clicks open. Out Henry steps, expression reflecting his tone, the wiry man’s movements never firm, always a little hesitant and conscientious but still revealing latent purposefulness. Approaching, he extends his arms for a hug; Alistair, smiling a little, goes to meet him. “How was your day?”

“Fine,” is the answer Alistair gives. “We looked at different household structures in Sociology, which was interesting.” Slowly, still smiling, he disentangles himself.

“Oh, good!” Henry beams. “That’s wonderful to hear… Any clubs today or anything like that?”

The smile fades; Alistair shakes his head, pressing his lips together. “No… Did some reading in the library over lunch, though.”

Henry’s own smile turns sympathetic. “Well, as long as you’re happy.”

Slowly, Alistair nods.

There is a moment’s pause.

“I’m going to get on with my homework,” he finally says, breaking the silence. He offers that same, weak smile again. “Thanks, Dad.”

“You’re more than welcome.” Henry’s mouth opens a touch, then closes again. Alistair sees little else before his bedroom door closes.

––– ⛉ –––

“…worry about him, Steven.”

The muffled voices of his parents filter through the door, intelligible even amidst the evening traffic. Alistair, pausing in his typing, swipes at his laptop’s trackpad towards the volume control for his studying music to block them out.

I need to know.

His face takes on a pained expression. But it’s a betrayal of trust – but if it can help me – I – Alistair screws his eyes shut, focussing his mind towards the obliteration of his internal debate.

Of course, that means that he doesn’t turn the volume up.

“I get that but – Henry, he’s growing up. It’s around this time that you need to be doing this sort of thinking. We can’t solve this for him – he has to figure out who he is.” There’s a pause. “Or maybe it’s just that I can’t solve it and I’m projecting. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be hard on yourself, love… I just think that – yes, he does need to be doing that but he can’t do it if he doesn’t have any support. I remember how happy Alistair was with everyone else at the club and now… That’s not your fault – that’s not your fault, I’m sure there are lovely people at Evergreen for him to be friends with. He just seems so much more withdrawn now…”

“Could it be that he just needs a push?”

“I’ve tried… I… I don’t know, Ste-”

Alistair turns the music up.

I can’t.

I’m sorry.


––– ⛉ –––

That night, Alistair dreams – dreams of a shadowy bird on the wing, of beings half-formed and ethereal, of a tolling bell.

His eyes flash open, breath stolen from him; for a moment, he is grasped by terror’s claws. Then, slowly, he takes in his surroundings: an empty room, dim lights playing above the curtain, all silent but for the traffic outside. His body untenses and, as he fades back to sleep, he forgets.

After all, they are only dreams.
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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Savo
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Savo Sacrificial Priestess

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Alexander Furst

Confidants:: Amari, Ava (@addamas), Hakuro, Igor (@FalloutJack)
Whereabouts:: Velvet Room => Dorms
Day:: Tuesday Evening



Interesting.

Alex raised an eyebrow as his smile dulled a tinge, mouthing a silent "ours" to himself as he sat right back into his seat, sinking into it. As he did that, he tilted his head as each of the three cards whisked around, hovering out in the open. He leaned forward, reading only the roman numerals on each of the cards as he tried to get a better view of them, "Two, three, and ten? What kind of playing cards were these?"

To Alex, that's what they were to him - playing cards; cards that were used for solitaire, black jack, and poker were the first that came to mind. The other thing that came to mind was the fact that he calmly uttered, "Cool magic trick," as more cards began to hover around the three.

Seventeen, five, eight, those were the ones he was able to really notice before another card took their place with the number nineteen on it. Beyond that, he tried to read the other cards in-between Igor's explanation, slowly picking out the rest before Hakuro dropped his hat. Alex just rolled his eyes and shook his head, "Tch, unnecessary, buuut expected."

And before he could identify all of them, they dissipated into the air, leaving the original numbers he identified from earlier, but eighteen and nineteen behind. Before he could inquire further, the three cards flew to each respective person who came in, with Alex noticing the three was heading straight for him.

Brushing his hair with one hand and smiling, Alex pulled his hand back to the side and when the card was just about near, his own hand darted across, effortlessly snatching it out of mid-air with his mid and index finger. Taking a good look at it, the general appearance reminded him of a king, and he chuckled; "Kinda' looks like a king; not what I would expect out of myself, but whatever I suppose..."

Outside his musings, he nodded at Igor's words as the train began to come to a slow halt; mentally he was shaking his head, trying to make sense of his prior words before giving them their farewells. Welp, guess this was their stop.

Launching himself off the seat, Alex stretched for a moment before pirouetting and traversing towards the door he came from, "This was fun," the boy giggled blithely. "Hopefully, I'll see you two again soon," he walked out into the fog infested landscape, squinting his eyes before leaning back into the train.

"And hey, Amari, maybe once this fog clears up, we can go for coffee or something else with these other two, whaddya' say?"

His vision dimmed; he swore he saw the girls lips move while faintly feeling one of his own arms performing a gesture. However, he had no idea what her answer was, nor what he did with either arm as he fell into the blackness once more.


"Are you friggin' kidding me?"

Those were the first things he said out loud as he got a still picture of the scene before him. Ava was passed out near the couch, having god knows what kind of dream as he stood there, groggily wiping his eyes while stifling another yawn. Furthermore, half of his chips were gone and someone had cut a piece of not only his fish, but Ava's fish as well. "Doesn't he know... uuuugggghhhh, I'm just going to give him an earful tomorrow, like, seriously dude..."

They weren't big chunks, but they were enough for Alex to sigh and shake his head, sarcastically grumbling to himself about writing their names in permanent marker on their meals. Outside of this all, it really didn't feel right leaving Ava sprawled out on the floor, so he kneeled over her. Rolling the girl onto her back, he put one hand under her back, the other under her legs and scooped her up.

He then proceeded to carry her over to the couch and plopped her down before procuring his own dish and heading over to the counter to finish what remained of his dinner. He ate a little bit of it on the way before taking a proper seat and quickly devouring the rest of the meal.

Despite how swift it was, he mused on some of the more important details that transpired in that lucid dream, such as-

"I wonder if I based Amari off of Merja a bit..."

Yup. Truly the most important of details.


Confidants:: Laurence (@LetMeDoStuff), Merja (@Typical), Mikhail (@Letter Bee), Phillip (@Conscripts), Romani (@Sync)
Whereabouts:: Evergreen Library
Day:: Thursday Afternoon



Alex blinked, crossing his arms as he glowered at the blonde individual, raising an eyebrow at this boys assumptions. His initial thoughts were between that of identifying the straw man pretty quickly in this argument and how he started taking back his original thoughts on the weirdo with the hat. His mouth was left agape, though it was easily noted that he was grinding at his teeth.

He would let the boy continue to yammer on, staring blankly at the boy; it was difficult to say whether Alex was in utter disbelief or angry at how much of an imbecile this kid was. He dug his own nails into his arms, and if he could get any more hotheaded, steam would probably shoot out of his nose like a cartoon bull.

But, he showed restraint, even in the face of this boy, looking back to Merja every couple of seconds to notice her reactions to how they were acting. At times, Alex did ease up, but it wouldn't last too long as he would just return to his unflinching, malice-filled state.

At the end of his whole speech, pressing his index and thumb between the bridge of his nose, closing his eyes and sighing. "What the actual fuck," he murmured to himself, looking up to see the kid proudly puff up like a peacock. "Are you done knocking down your straw men? Good, because everything you said is fucking ri-"

Before he could get his own thoughts out about how asinine this whole conversation was, as well as tear down his points, the other boy who was a part of this whole conversation interjected. Honestly, Alex wasn't exactly happy by these turn of events, but if he wanted to weigh in, that was all fine by him, especially since he did noted he was kind of raising his voice.

The first words that left this guys (Laurence he thought he heard) mouth, outside of him asking Alex to lay off the insults for now, caused him to smirk for a split second and nod his head in agreement. "Yeah his whole story does sound some ridiculous backstory out of some book, but that's not the only weird thing about it," he pondered, keeping an ear to Laurence's every word.

This guy definitely had his head on straight; sure, there was a bit of bias that Alex noted on his own part, but he pointed out the fallacies of this guy. How does he expect high school students to figure this out when the best of the best couldn't? Furthermore, his thoughts drifted towards his final thoughts, finding them syncing with his own as he eased up a lot more.

Sure, Alex was still scowling and furrowing his brows, but at the very least, he wasn't digging into his arms anymore and instead rubbed his chin with a finger and thumb. There were so many things he probably didn't notice in his single-minded pursuit to prevent this kid from exploiting Merja, but outside of this all, Laurence didn't seem so bad.

Of course, their "interaction" was fleeting to say the least, as an unfamiliar character interjected themselves into the scene as well. Alex gave the boy a brief glance before returning to the subject matter at hand, considering his words. While he did open his mouth to interject a parting blow before heading out and (hopefully) bringing Merja with him, the guy from the other day who called the campus police proceeded to get his foot in the door as well.

Alex looked over with a blank, almost somber yet neutral look on his face and nodded, mouthing "apologies" silently to him before returning to his friend. "In any case, Mer-," that name. Alex's mouth clamped up as he whipped his head back in that boys direction. The astronomically intelligent young man who took silver for his home at the International Physics Olympiad? Alex clicked his tongue before shaking his head.

"What are the odds," he paused, continuing to listen to this annoying brats insistence on getting help. However, while most the Russian boy's words came in one ear and out the other, he was more trying to determine if that was his actual identity.

While he did hear a few students chatting about it, he never really confirmed it, or felt like confirming it as he stood there, musing. However, one thing was for certain as much as he was certain about being diagnosed for hypertension after this all - there was no way Leonhart, if he really was the Leonhart, would fall for such an obvious ruse.

"Merja, come on, I can't believe you would ask Leonhart to help him, especially after how he just acted," Alex despite how strident his comment was, it almost sounded like he was pleading for a little bit. Regardless, he rolled his eyes at the continuous barbs, though he did spitefully glare at the kid with a grimace.

"While Laurence does have a point, I do as well," he brought a hand to his mouth, clearing it before continuing. "Outside of the blandishments and sweet talking, don't you both find it kind of strange that the son of Chekov would just so happen to turn up at this school? I mean, there's a chance he could be, buuuuut..."

Alex shrugged.

"... even if he is, what person just decides to pour out their story to complete strangers? Isn't that kind of peculiar? Not only is it outlandish, it's also kind of suspicious as well, especially with him trying to use the both of you. His intentions might seem noble on the surface, but," Alex turned and pointed an accusatory finger at Mikhail, "is it really such a noble cause if he first resorted to manipulation? Is he really telling the truth?"

Alex shook his head, huffing as he looked to the side, "I have my doubts, especially since he cast a straw man into the midst of one of his earlier arguments... anyways, enough of this; Merja."

He addressed his friend before whipping out his phone and began sliding his finger all over the place before punching in a message, "Ava, Joey and I have been lookin' around for you for our study session and didn't find you here earlier."

He shrugged before pausing for a moment as Laurence's classmate interjected, obviously whispering something to her before delivering her a latte. Once the boy did what ever and departed, Alex continued, "Guess that's what we get for coming a bit too early," he muttered as an aside, "How about instead of studying here, per usual, we study back at the dorms to avoid any further disruptions."

Alex cleared his throat, studying the girl as he pivoted around and snatched up his stuff, "Sound good?"
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Typical
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Typical

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Merja “Mer” Aaltonen

Evergreen Library || Thursday Afternoon || @Letter Bee@Savo@Sync@Conscripts

Romani departed without saying anything to the group, which surprised Mer. Wishing him a hasty goodbye, she was interrupted by Alex, who’d started on another tirade of sorts. While she agreed with the ideas behind his points, she didn’t always agree with the points themselves. His reminder about the study session, however, prompted her to check the time on her phone, and she was relieved to find that she hadn’t run overtime in the library.

At this point, Romani returned to the table, surprising her when he down to whisper in her ear. His words, though, offered comfort, acting as a token of support passed her way, and she received the latte with a smile.

“Thank you, Romani. Take care too,” she said, waving as he left. The latte was warm in her hands, reminding her that even though others doubted her, it was possible for her to keep standing up for what she believed was right. In this case, that meant giving Mikhail some final words of support to help him set the record straight before she left to join her study group.

“Alex, Mikhail’s not lying about his past. He brought proof. Here,” Mer said, sliding the newspaper clippings she’d gotten from Mikhail towards the center of the table. On top was a headline with a picture of his young self, most likely a leaked press photo published for views rather than news. Below that were more shots from different angles, each another piece depicting the event’s public coverage.

But, pictures aside, Alex did have a point: How could she be sure Mikhail had honest intentions if he’d resorted to manipulation? The truth was a reliable weapon of persuasion, and while its effectiveness varied based on the audience, Mikhail’s lack of subtlety when it came to underhanded tactics made his case feel suspicious. Despite this, Mer had wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, and that didn’t change now. Mikhail had lived a hard life, much harder than her own, and she felt that it was only fair for her to try and lift what burden she could. Because she couldn’t lift much, she’d requested the help of Philip, and though she couldn’t fault him either way, she hoped he’d give Mikhail the benefit of the doubt like she did.

Her eyes fell onto a neutral point on the table as she thought over how she could communicate her final thoughts. On one hand, she didn’t want to hurt Mikhail by admitting that even she had doubts; on the other, Alex had valid points, and she knew from experience that ignoring them would only serve to rile him up when he was now close to settling down. What she needed to do, then, was continue to support Mikhail but maintain a stance supported by reasonable opinions. The last thing she wanted was for Alex and Mikhail to end on bad terms, and though that seemed likely at the moment, she wanted to do what she could to lessen their anger.

“I think Mikhail deserves the benefit of the doubt here. What he’s trying to do is for the greater good, not for personal gain. While his reasons might be personal, his goal is bigger than himself, and that’s admirable,” she said, alternating her gaze from Alex to Philip before she settled on Mikhail. “I want to help, but I don’t think I can do much, which is why I’m asking Philip to help instead. I’m not sure I can do more, but good luck, Mikhail. I really do hope you find someone who can help.”

With that, she wished Mikhail and Philip goodbye, packing up her notes and heading out behind Alex. The latte was still warm in her hands, and she wondered if she’d done enough to deserve such a kind gesture.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by LetMeDoStuff
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LetMeDoStuff The Token Cripple

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An emerald glare sprawled across the world. Nothing was near, and nothing was apparent. Domes of strange spires split into the sky and twisted amongst themselves whilst familiar buildings remained vacant and empty. An strange delusional whisper scraped by in the night sky. Wasn't it only the afternoon, though? Laurence had barely set foot outside of the school ground's having turned a corner to go for a long and blissful walk. And now? Well, the world seemed far too unfamiliar. Not another individual was in sight. Cars were either laid to rest or invisible entirely, as the empty streets suggested. A grim greyness overshadowed every corner of the road. London did not look like London anymore. Was he having some sort of hallucination? Parted by the separation of reality and the illusory departure now presented before his very eyes, Laurence trembled in his boots. The quake of his nightmarish experience caused his mind to ache. Surely this was but a trick of the eye? He wandered forward, slowly dragging his fingers across the walls of the alleyway he'd turned into to begin with. Retracing his steps got him nowhere. At first, he attempted to see if the same could be said for the way he'd came, but instead he saw only the now familiar greenness of the world, resembling the school and homely grounds previously recognised before. Feeling short of breath, the panic began to settle in. Laurence wandered, back and forth, his mind racing faster than his legs or eyes could keep up with.

Seconds, however, felt like hours. A painful twitch squandered his mental comfort from before and left him vulnerable, open to the elements of this strange experience. Perhaps...perhaps he was drugged, or something? But...who would drug him? Ashcroft? There wasn't any way he could, it wasn't like Laurence had recently taken in any liquids or substances that could contain such remedies. Without a doubt, that had to be ruled off, but he was no closer to any explanation than ever before. Having now returned through the alleyway he'd seemingly taken to enter this strange realm, he pressed his back against the wall and because to breathe heavily, unsure of what this was around him. Moments like these were draped in mystery. Laurence loved a mystery, but when the fate of his very existence was on the line, how could he keep calm and collected about such an investigation. Everything here was...other worldly? Was that the phrase? Nothing around him made any sense. Laurence tried to wrap the basic components of the emerald sunlight around his head but couldn't quite grasp the laws of such peculiar natures. With his back against the wall, he slowly brought his eyes to the sky, scouting out the clouds from the open top of the alleyway. He saw nothing different. The grassy sky was patched with rain clouds that began to gently dribble down onto him. It was October, yes, but the weather was supposed to be nice? Unless...nothing here was ultimately correspondent with the real world? These theories were all nonsense, especially when his mind dwelt upon them more and more. Instead, he took his back off of the alleyway wall and began to breathe heavily once more.


"Keep calm, Laurence. Keep...your head level. Panic only makes things worse. Let's...see if I can get something out of this." A dart suddenly swooped by his head, or what he thought was a dart. Now he was shaken, turned and flabbergasted by the shriek of a minute beast's squawk. Laurence ducked, instinctively taking it for an object being thrown at him, but instead he saw it positioning itself onto a flagless pole nearby.



Laurence's eyes met the bird at first, feeling a strange reaction jerk his mind. He'd completely blanked the cawing of the raven the second he traversed into this other world, and now he came almost face-to-face with the first living being to be seen since his arrival. If it weren't the three metres distance between the raven and Laurence, still stood on the ground in awe, then it'd have been a direct encounter, centimetres away from each other's face. Laurence stood extremely still, instinctively finding the passion to not scare it away. Whilst animals had never been under his care, they were a fantastic premise to the world. And now, the raven had become the first and only sign of life in this brutish emerald rendition of London. Laurence couldn't help but stare, eyeing up its ruffled feathers and smoother patches, as if someone had been taking care of the bird. It was a fantastical sight, definitely. But perhaps it signified hope? What did he mean by that? Laurence's hand fell onto his head, clutching it as if to humiliate himself for thinking some sort of interactive story-based enigma that would come out of the bird. It was a raven, an avian species! But...then again, this world around him didn't exactly feel natural. Were the properties of avian creatures the same, or was this single raven the only sign of life to be seen for miles, endless miles? It was a gamble, both physically and mentally, to suggest that a creature of such stature was his only companion in the desolate, foggy plains of this Emerald London. But...Laurence felt so lonely all of a sudden. He'd spent most of his days in the solitude of his own paternal dictatorship, whilst edging his way to freedom as the years went by. Yet despite all of that, he felt ever the more lonely here than he'd ever done before. The raven was the only thing keeping him from yelling out for help randomly, and without his knowledge that was probably for the better.

The bird took off from its pole and daintily fluttered down, circumnavigating the sky and alleyway until it landed onto Laurence's shoulder. It's beady eyes gazed into his as Laurence froze still, unsure of what to do. Clearly he'd never handled a bird before, as evident by his instant reaction to freeze in place. Laurence smiled in a whimpering fashion, as if to beg the bird to drop off. However, once his eyes met the birds, he felt a surge of calmness and familiarity burst into his heart. It was a strange feeling, as if he was meant to know the bird in the first place. Except, it was a bird. Laurence had never owned any pets, had he? The sleekness of its jet-black feathery attire drew him in to scrutinise it. The sleek shape of the avian body made for the perfect scouting animal. Perhaps, this was more inspiration for a future novel...If he could figure out how to rid himself of his horrid place.

Seeking the same comfort that the bird gave off in its aura, Laurence smiled elegantly and ruffled his own blonde hair lightly, as if mimicking the feathers on the spine of the raven. It was a rather sweet little creature, despite the connotations of death, deceit and plague that were sometimes imagined on first glance. Perhaps that deathly elegance was what drew Laurence in?


"Gosh, well...you're a pretty little bird, aren't you? Beautiful feathers. If only I had the pen and paper with me now, I could write down this memory, providing it's a dream of course." Hesitation fleeted his confidence for a second, but soon Laurence found the courage to gently curl a single finger down the head, neck and spine of the raven. In response, the bird twitched its head and shook it, like a dog ridding itself of its watery coating. At the curling of the neck, Laurence chuckled lightly, almost forgetting that he was seemingly locked in the strange world that he'd found himself in. Spreading its wings, the raven began to take off of his shoulder and circle his head slowly, peacefully... Laurence was unsure of what it was trying to do, but the raven's call began to break the silence of the foggy, windy London world. It flew in one direction, as slowly as possible, and Laurence instantly knew that perhaps, just perhaps...he'd have to see where it goes. After all, it seemed like there was no going back. He didn't know if anyone was going to come and get him, if that was a thing, so he stuck to his cards and trudged forwards, hands in pockets and filled with the watery downpour of the Emerald weather.
Hidden 2 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


'Oh my fucking god...'

Seemed like it was a huge mistake in hindsight to walk out and correct these people themselves. That Russian kid was looking for HIM directly. Upon realizing how Phillip was such a sensation back then - surprised that he still was even after all of that had died down - the guy immediately unleashed all the roses, all the red carpet he could think of from the top of his head to try and seduce the apparent genius in his eyes to come to his cause or something. The pompousness and cheesy dialogues made Phillip want to vomit. In fact, he was vomiting internally at the moment the dude was spewing them out, while attempting to keep a cold unfazed demeanor, hoping that he would stop this as soon as possible.

And it worked, eventually. He lowered the curtain after a while talking, though everything he revealed is nothing different from what Phillip had overheard a while ago, albeit barely even a part of it. It really made him wonder if the guy was specifically trying to limit the information flow to his side. What about the whole curbing down the Great Power that he boasted so confidently a while ago? It was made out of an emotional outburst, for sure, but curiously he didn't say it when talking to Phillip. Was he trying to make himself sympathetic?

According to the other girl in the group, Merja, the Russian guy's name is Mikhail, and he seemed to have coerced her into the cause. The guy, whom Phillip remembered back in that tree incident, began to talk logically for once. Although he sounded pretty rash for a person with thin skin, Phillip must admit, he had a lot of points correct that he internally thanked the man that Phillip need not repeat the same point. Though apparently, one of the fact that him being involved in the Chekhov incident is somewhat validated, thooouuggghh by a tabloid made by journalists that does not cite ANY sources whatsoever. Chances that it is the result of false information is quite problematic, but hey, even if it's the truth, it wouldn't make his goals any believable.

"If things are taken at face value, things would have been too simple." Phillip finally spoke. "Intent is very hard to measure. I cannot take the benefit of the doubt that it's for a greater good just because you said it. But let's just give it anyway."

He probably wouldn't leave until Phillip break this to him, so he will.

"If you don't trust scientists, then why do you trust a son of a scientist anyway? You know that I am, do you?"

That was in fact pretty unsettling that Mikhail knew a little too much.

"In addition, how do you know so certainly that the antidote has never been made. In the years ever since, assuming it's the first case of using that poison, how do you know if the scientists haven't figured it out already? If somewhere in the archive there already exists the antidote, you are wasting a good chunk of your time." Phillip put his index fingers on his chin, breaking down all of Mikhail's scheme coldly. "And finally, even if you manage to create a sample antidote, then how do you know if it actually work perfectly, or rather just a delay of the symptoms? And guess who will verify that your antidote works? The scientists and authority that YOU distrust. All the scientific progress in this universe in the last few centuries are verified through thorough peer-review process done by those people you intentionally not place your trust in."

With that he crossed his arms while facing Mikhail face to face.

"And I haven't glossed over your wild ambition with politics yet. You should think this through before approaching me again young one."
@Savo@Typical@Letter Bee
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Letter Bee
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Mikhail Chekhov

Mikhail felt a burst of respect for Merja as he saw her defend his actions and give Alex the Dense a reinforcing explanation that confirmed what he himself had said. He also felt a slight feeling of warmth at Romani as he saw that despite the latter's skepticism, he was willing to help Merja.

"Nice, nice, coffee boy." he said to the other foriegn-born student. He was French, right? Or actual Romani? "Thanks for the help - You can now go -"

Then everything went to hell in a handbasket again, with Alex the Dense Snob opening his wide big bouth to express his doubt. Gritting his teeth, Mikhail said to Alex, "I am Mikhail Chekhov. That part is - " Then he was taken aback by Merja's kindness and attempt to settle things between them.

Sincerely surprised, he gave a slight bow to the Finnish girl before saying, "Thank you. This means a lot and I appreciate your kindness." There was a firmness to his tone that was lacking before, a firmness that implied genuine respect. "Goodbye for now, both of you, and... Thanks." Then he glanced at Philip, waiting for the older boy's reply to darken the day once more.

And Philip tore through him like a knife through butter. Mikhail looked away from the other young man, saying, "I approached you because we're both kids - Because we are both part of the same age group."

He then recovered his nerve, and said, "You aren't as honest as you think, if you believe that adults don't deserve any resentment. Tell me, if you had full trust in the establishment, scientific or otherwise, you'd be following your father's footsteps in a University already - You're that smart. Instead, you're studying at either Evergreen or St. Paul's."

Mikhail presses on, "And why is that? I don't presume your parents would approve of you 'lowering yourself' or being percieved as lowering yourself, so I think you did this against their wishes. So I think you have your own rebellious streak as well."

Then to Philip's genuine points regarding the antidote. "And okay, true, the antidote probably already exists, but how are we supposed to know the adults will produce it in enough amounts to be useful? And how do we know that they won't just forget about it if the Russian Government shifts to a different poison? Too many variables left in the hands of an establishment that is deaf-mute to the grievances of those below it. At the very least, redundancy is important. And finally, peer-review is a problem, but I can swallow my distrust long enough to secure at least nominal recognition."

A pause. "And as for my obsession with politics, well, what do you recommend instead? That I go on with my life? Or wait for a day that might never come?"

@LetMeDoStuff@FalloutJack@Conscripts
Hidden 2 mos ago 1 mo ago Post by Conscripts
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Phillip Leonhart


Does he think this is some sort of anime? Kids changing the world. Against an oppressive imaginary empire that isn't even there. Sure, Phillip would admit, even the British governments had some shady stuffs going around, and distrust is a common thing to do. But distrusting all the scientific community, the one formed by millions of established scientist around the world, each with non-intersecting and even conflicting interests and biases is just equivalent to the modern movements of conspiracy theorists nowadays. One of Mikhail's statement even go as far as offending the St Paul student.

"I go to St Paul because I want to, not because of some of your distrust theory bullshit." A rebuttal escaped Phillip as soon as it formed in his head, though the man half-regretted it being blurted out. It was rather not very polite of him to say that, in front of whoever he didn't care.

He closed his eyes a little, trying to calm himself down while trying to compile a response to what he said next.

"And how much of the antidote do you know is useful? Is this some sort of pandemics? Do people just carry around these antidotes in case the Russian governments decide to use it, which in chances are like extremely rare? Not to mention the cost of research, manufacturing. Not to mention the Russians can simply use another method of assassination, disclaiming that drugs don't work like a magic bullet. Too many variables left out of your naive conspiracy theorist minds who doesn't think things through."

With that, Phillip turned around to the door of his library room, hoping to mop this pointless debate up. He's sick of this.

"If you think having ambition is enough to get you anywhere in this world, then you are sorely mistaken. Ambition without knowledge is like birds without wings. You will very soon crash."

And he closed the door. Even if his words didn't get to Mikhail, Phillip's fine with it. He never appeared to be someone deserving of help, and he didn't deserve one with that demeanor. No one's gonna spend time for you if you're always angry and complaining.
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Mikhail Chekhov

Ouch. It was only Mikhail's respect for libraries that prevented him from screaming obsceneties at Philip when he departed. Nevertheless, denied help and having only made things unpleasant, he left as well, either for his remaining classes or if school was over, for home.

@Conscripts




LATER...

It was Friday now, and Mikhail was 'enjoying' his free period by stalking the hallways, lost in dark thoughts and trying to radiate a demeanor of intimidation that would keep people away from him. And by that, he hoped that his perpetual scowl would act as a barrier keeping away busybodies and interlopers. But alas, it seemed that not all would get the memo - Some people are just that blindly optimistic to the point of denseness.

Well, if by blind, you mean 'He never saw him coming', then yes. Hakuro had been along and completely failed a spot check, as it were. The lad in the hat and coat was fiddling about with his phone and walking in a direction he'd more-or-less memorized, turned a corner, and ran smack dab into Mikhail. Hakuro tripped, fell over into the hall in Mikhail's midst, landed on his ass, but then managed to catch his phone, which had flown free from his hands just a second ago.

"Okay... Not my best save, but I'll take it."

Yeah... Mikhail, you've seen this guy around. It's the hat guy from P.E.!

Mikhail was the first to get up, shouting at the 'Hat guy from P.E', "You're lucky that profanity and violence are looked down on in this school, or I'd be making your face weird, you cosplaying freak!"

He purses his lips, "First I get denied help and pushed back to square one, and now I have to deal with weirdos worse than I am who live happy-go-lucky lives like a ball of sunshine - I'm sick of it!"

Cosplaying? Cosplaying?!

Now, Hakuro may've recognized the guy from the gym, but he didn't have nearly as much animosity towards him, if any at all. However, when Mikhail spoke to him the way that he did...he was up on his feet in an instant.

"Hey, I'm original character, alright? I don't dress this way out of fandom."

He said this, straightening out said coat and putting his phone away, and then followed up with a look of confusion.

"Now uhh...what the hell are you talking about?"

Language!

Mikhail could not help but chuckle at Hakuro claiming he was an 'original character', prompting him to dial the hostility forward in order to compensate. "Well, my dear weirdo, if you want to know, you make me sick, being happy and peppy and optimistic and just blindly assuming others would be happy just because you joke and clown around."

Okay, that was hostile, but not exactly an escalation. Hakuro must have made a better impression on his subconcious than he thought. Mikhail then decided to give a further explanation, "And as for getting denied help, well, let's just say I had an... Argument with several people in the library a few days ago. Not that you can help with that matter unless you're a genius at Chemistry, which you're not as I'd have seen you in Chem class earlier on."

"Making alot of assumptions there, doncha' think? I mean, just because I'm in a good mood now doesn't mean I'm always Mr. Sunshine."

Or Mr. Blue Sky, or Mr. Sparkles... Take your pick.

"Mind you, it looks like you could use a picker-upper, and less people walking into you. I'm sorry about that. Let me make it up to you?"

Hakuro had made his own bad assumption earlier. He assumed there wouldn't be anybody in his way as he headed off to the cafeteria, and he was wrong. But hey, no sense not having company there.

Mikhail blinks and says, "All right, I want Ice Cream. Let's see if there's any cookies-and-cream in the cafeteria."

And with that, he then added, "Oh, and you're paying if the Cafeteria issues extra fees for ice cream!"

Well, that was easy. What is it they say about this? The best way to a person's heart is through the stomach? Might've been a beast. Best not to mention that, then, just in case. But yeah, this miserable guy needed a moment, and it seemed like that moment would be served by ice cream. So, Hakuro shrugged and said "Okay, follow me.", heading for the cafeteria. He knew for a fact that they would charge him for the ice cream, because he'd had other deserts and it resulted in the same thing. So! Coming to the cafeteria, Hakuro wasted no time in asking one of the ladies on staff there about cookies-and-cream ice cream. No brainer. That was a popular flavor. They always had it. He then asked for some pie-of-the-day and was given a choice of apple or rhubarb. Here, the young man did what he often did in these circumstances, just pulled out a coin and flipped it to decide.

"Tails. One rhubarb pie, please."

Mikhail was handed his ice cream as Hakuro paid without even worry. Then, he accepted this pie that looked like it was packed with...something pinkish-purple. Rhubarb is an acquired taste. The Hatto-san wasn't even sure he'd acquire it now, as he took a seat.

"So...what're the pressing need for a genius all about?"

Mikhail said, "You know of the Chekhov Incident, right? Vasily Chekhov, defector from Russia, getting poisoned and dying from it."

He then hands Hakuro several newspaper cuttings, this time from The Guardian, detailing the incident. "Basically, Vasily is my father, I'm the crying and sullen kid on the pictures, and people just refused to help me do some chemistry work to help me break down the chemical code for the poison so that I can make an antidote for it."

Mikhail felt bad for fudging the truth about that last part in order to hide the fact that he wanted to poison his father's killer himself should he find him. But only towards Hakuro and perhaps Merja - Everyone else can f**k themselves.

That cut to a rather serious topic in a hurry. Hakuro felt he'd heard the name somewhere, but needed to whip out his phone to get a bit of background on who Mikhail was talking about. Of course, no sooner had he done that than te boy showed just how on top of the subject he was. He had clippings of the subject in question. Hakuro looked them over as the boy went on about wanting to engineer an antidote to the poison.

'...he is survived by his son, Mikhail Chekov.'

For a moment, the Hatto-san didn't taste the tartness of the rhubarb pie. He'd seen some lives harshly-affected by everything from circumstance to outright deliberate attack. It's the price of wanting to see the world and know the people in it: You get more than you bargained for. The picture, the report, the attitude - it made Hakuro think...

He's drowning...

He shut his eyes for a second, shutting that thought away. It wasn't wrong to think that, because Mikhail must've been in a bad way, losing his father like that, but at the same time...it wasn't the right thought, either. He then gave it a little more thought.

"Mikhail, you don't think someone's gonna poison you too, do you?"

It didn't seem likely, but what Hakuro wondered was if the boy was concerned that his own life was in danger, as well.

Mikhail laughs. "Doubt it, they underestimate me. No, I just want to protect future defectors from Russia."

That last part was a lie.

And Hakuro really didn't know enough about defections from Russia to really know otherwise on the matter. Even if he never came in contact with another person in the same situation as his father, it made sense that Mikhail would want the cure to this poison, just to say that he did something about the whole ordeal. People need all kinds of closure. That said...the anger and the attitude...

"And the other people... They didn't want to help you, presumably, because that meant working with the poison, in the first place?"

The chemistry lab on-campus would - no doubt - have volitile chemicals for the various classroom assignments, and so on, but that was all in due-course towards the cause of science and education. This was 'I want to work with this concoction that was used to kill someone'. It was a bit different in motivation.

Mikhail tilted his head slightly to the left, and said, "You're smarter than you look, and that's part of it. The others just didn't believe me except Merja, and she regards herself as unable to help. Well, that and they regard me as a jerk who spouts out 'manipulative' nonsense. Hypocrites with no purpose in life, all of them. Especially Philip from St. Paul's,that asshole."

It was clear that Mikhail was genuinely bitter about that ordeal.

Hakuro gave him a flat look as he got back into his remaining pie and went "Calm down. You got free ice cream out of it." before thinking this over. Now, he could be trying to create an antidote to this one poison that was used on his father, or...he could be after the poison itself. Yeah, Hakuro was plenty smart, enough so to see that a wounded heart might turn to bloody vengeance, if given the chance. It sounded so crazy, thinking he was talking to a guy that looking for revenge, but he was pissed off and he was carrying around news clippings, for god's sake!

Can't just ask him about it. He'll either deny it, or worse...confirm it. Either way. bad news, there.

Suddenly, Hakuro was glad he wasn't a genius. Or rather, not one in chemistry. Jury's still out if he was a brilliant mastermind in other ways.

"In any case, it probably sounded weird to them because they haven't been where you've been or felt what you've felt. You can't expect miracles when out of people you've barely met, and it's not gonna do any good to shout at people."

Mikhail leaned in closer, suspecting that Hakuro knew more than he let on. "Then who can give me the miracle I need? There is no God or Gods, or a Buddha. So I have to extract help from other people by any means possible."

Extract? Did he hear that right? Hakuro paused, staring at him for a second. How did this guy talk to people before his tragedy? Was he getting a bad translation because a Russian-born youth was talking to a boy from Okinawa, neither of them using their first language?

"I mean, you have to get to know people before you ask them to work on something like that. A friend'll loan you a little money faster than some guy on the street, if you know what I mean."

Mikhail nods. "Well, I don't know how to make friends now. I used to have some but I left my old school because I was afraid of hurting them after my father died."

"Well, you should ease up, for starters. I don't really know anyone from Chemistry, but this isn't a thing you just ask people. If they feel a little weirded out later, tell 'em you just can't stop thinking about what happened and it's made it hard to cope. You don't seem like a manipulator to me. You just want one thing, very badly."

He finished his pie, then looked over at Mikhail, extending a hand.

"Hakuro Kuroda, though some people call me the Hatto-san."

A smile - A genuine one - from the sixteen-year old as he shakes Hakuro's hand, "Nice to meet you, then, 'Hatto-san'. I hope associating with me won't get you tarred by others."

"No worries there, I assure you."

The Russian kid didn't even know he had a following. And besides that...

I'm gonna make sure you don't go doing what I THINK you're gonna do with that concoct...oh man, I forgot to get a drink. I NEED MILK!!

They don't charge extra for that, at least.
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Savo
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Savo Sacrificial Priestess

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Alexander Furst

Confidants:: Ava (@addamas), Laurence (@LetMeDoStuff))
Whereabouts:: Evergreen Campus => ???
Day:: Friday Afternoon



"- and so, that's all you need to know about COPD," Alex remarked, holding two fingers up as he traversed across the landscape that was as flat as his inflections. Despite the frown and crease in his brows, he wasn't exactly aggravated by Ava as he continued to chatter on, summarizing their whole "discussion."

To be fair, it was more of a one-sided explanation before he cleared his throat. "In any case, you sh-," Alex momentarily cut himself off, eyes drawn to a familiar figure from the other day. While it wasn't obvious to him, his own head faintly tilted in the direction of the boy before fully revolving to look at where he just exited.

There was a mundane display of surprise forming on his face, his eyes widening slight, lips slightly parted with a deep scowl as he gazed upon where he, Laurence, was it, departed from. Most of the schools faculty had their offices, especially the principal and vice-principals office. -ould be good for your upcoming tests..."

His grimace was much more visible than before as cogs began turning in his head once more, the words that he parted with Ava sounding much more venomous than before. Was it that time of the month again? Alex gripped his hands tightly, nails digging into his palms as he deviated from their original path as they were heading back to their dorms, now heading in Laurence's direction.

"That son of a bitch," Alex muttered, spite straining at the back of his throat; even if there were a few people lingering about, only Ava would really be able to hear the boy as he trudged in the boys general direction. Anyone who was in his way received a quick, piercing glance, enough to cause them to scurry off.

Whispers and rumors flew as much as the remaining students, murmurs of getting the security whilst others nervously stated to not raise any false alarms. It didn't matter to him, as Alex made it evidently clear who his target was, "Hey, Laurence, we need to talk."

As harsh and reverberating his voice was, it didn't seem to reach the boy as Laurence turned a corner. Whether or not he was in his own little world, as well as whether or not Ava attempted to stop him, it did not deter Alex as he jogged to catch up. It only took a couple of seconds before he reached the corner and saw that Laurence had vanished.

Under normal circumstances, Alex would probably understand, but one thing was off.

Namely, the fact that there was no way Laurence could disappear in under two seconds. No door in sight, no windows to climb through (or trees for that matter), no anything that could suggest that he left the area. Alex normally would of shrugged it off, as well as continue walking with Ava, but he was genuinely bewildered at the turn of events as he stood there, eyes bigger than before.

As he stood there, basking in this strangeness, one statement really came to mind - "Where in the seven hells did he go?" That statement was spoken crisply, coolly, but his body language said otherwise as he took a step forward and another, whipping his head from side to side. This continued for a good minute or two, grumbling and sighing as he continued to scan the vicinity "Ava, did you see where he went," he blinked and turned, "Ay... va?"

Did he pass out? No, he always had a healthy amount of sleep, but this whole scene was just too bizarre as he looked up. A sickly emerald sky stole away the clear, blue hue of the sky. Instead of the few clouds that littered the sky, there was a thick mist and a foul miasma in its place. He trembled, eyes glued to the vacant skyline as he felt his heart beat.

*Thump.*

*Thump.*

This didn't feel like a dream, like the lucid one he had a few days ago; however, he couldn't help draw his face away from that layer of mist and fog. It was eerily similar to the one he had in his dream as well. Maybe he did fall unconscious, but fear was still with him as he turned to look for signs of life.

There was none, bar Ava, who was just as dumbfounded, if not appearing more frightened than him. He tightened a fist up, mentally repeating a few words in his head, a mantra of sorts, for a couple of seconds. There was no one around, but them; a few vehicles that he swore were there had dissipated into thin air or had been displaced.

A bit of rain began to settle as he felt the drops began to pitter patter on his face as he turned to look at Ava with an intense stare. "Ava, stay close and don't deviate from the path I take unless I say so," his own command was just as intense as his appearance, though his voice to warble briefly as he gulped.

Just what the hell is going on?
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addamas Trust me, I'm a liar

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“Ahaha, I know you’re trying to be stoic but, you’re not that reliable.” Ava joked with a smile layered in fear. It was easy to tell she was confused and scared as she cautiously surveyed her surroundings while holding her hands close to her heart. One second, she was running behind Alex as he chased after laurence for some reason or another, and the next, every living being in sight disappeared. It felt unreal and Ava was unsure whether it actually was. But although her knees were trembling, Ava tried to put considerable effort into keeping her composure, taking a deep breath in and out, and turning her gaze to Alexander.

Taking a step towards him, she extended her hand until it gently pushed against Alex’s chest. From her expression, it seemed like she was testing something, but as she looked at Alex, blinking a few times, she quickly retracted her hand.
“Answer a few questions for me won’t ya?” Although she still sounded confused and on edge, a sparkle in her eyes revealed a sense of curiosity emerging. “Laurence just disappeared behind a corner that leads nowhere, and when you went after him, we uhh…” She raised her arm to point towards the sky. “The sky turned green, and all the cars and people disappeared right?” As soon as she finished her question, she stared at Alex for multiple seconds before starting to walk back and forth, frantically mumbling to herself.

“Please, just confirm I’m not going crazy over here.” She snapped at Alex, who returned nothing but a grim, stoney glare. His eyes honestly looked a bit dead as she continued to pace, murmuring to herself before being interrupted by a firm grip. Looking up, she saw Alex looking down at her, perpetually looking pissed off per usual.

"You aren't, but we can't just loaf around here like a buncha' chucklenuts." Eloquent as usual as she felt Alex gently tug her arm with that same steely expression he always had, though she swore he looked a tad softer at the moment. "We need to get going if we are going to find a way out of here; lets walk and talk."

Still dazed by their circumstances, Ava looked up at the tall boy. It was somewhat comforting to know she wasn’t all alone, and that combined with her curiosity to find out what’s going on gave her enough courage to start walking. “Y-yeah sure.”
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by FalloutJack
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FalloutJack The Long Dark Nuka-Break of the Soul

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WAIT!

There was someone else coming... When people are just a bit - or alot - afraid and they're listening VERY carefully for signs of something ordinary or OUT of the ordinary, they tend to pick up on things pretty quickly. To wit, there was a sound that was coming closer. It was definitely the footsteps of another person, although in this place, you only HOPE it's a person...and not a creature. This was not normal London they found themselves in. This was some bizarre twist on the thing, and they didn't even know how they got here, when just a moment ago, they'd been walking into a normal alley.

Just like those footsteps were about to. There's no doubt that they were being followed.

They were coming closer, closer...

Hold on, that's no creature, there, and he certainly wasn't a serial killer or alley grifter either. It was just...

Hakuro Kuroda


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

A Few Minutes Ago...

Freedom!

The last class of the day had spent itself, and he could finally relax! Well...he could almost relax. There were a couple things on his mind, right now. One was his earlier encounter with Mikhail. If he could find out which one was Merja or Philip, or anyone else in the boy's Chemistry class, he could try to confer what he thought the guy was up to. If it was as he suspected, the Russian boy was gonna need some help getting his life together before he did something that landed him in jail. Can't have that.

The second thing, he just remembered as he saw two figures moving rather quickly. Well, hey! Just the people he wanted to see, the people he met at the tree! Hakuro had lately been getting this weird feeling of deja vu around them, but it wasn't a good time to talk about it, because he was pretty sure it was about this dream he had about a train with them on it... The whole feeling was kind of vague and he didn't remember it all. Well, he remembered that Alex had a better attitude there than at the tree, but then again he'd been talking to someone and...

Hey, where'd they go?

Hakuro had been following them, but then around a corner...nothing! Actually, first he'd been distracted by something he thought he saw - a flicker of motion on the walls - but then when he couldn't fiind a trace of it, he noticed that Alex and Ava were gone and...what the hell? So, he walked into the alley-

Everything flickered with a sudden change of light and surroundings, to the point where he had to guard his eyes, and then...it was all different. He almost felt...like he'd been pushing against something, something that then POPPED, and here he was...looking at a hazy green sky and an alleyway just slghtly on wrong angles. You could just about see it, the changes... Oh, and Alex and Ava were here too.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

NOW...



This was not the world as they knew it.

It had to be some kind of other place. Everything was just a bit off. There were twists and oddities in the walls. The ground seemed almost to slope, thanks to the surrounding buildings, even though it didn't. The buildings seemed imposing and...was that one drifting in the distance? Was Big Ben TILTED at an angle?! Hakuro shook his head. He'd been to some strange places before, but never somewhere that was trying to fool the very sense of his surroundings. How did this happen? How did it come to be like this, so suddenly?

Did he eat some bad pie?

No! Bad Hakuro! You NEVER blame the pie!

In any case, he was heading over to where Alex and Ava were now. The look on their faces told him everything: This wasn't a hallucination, not unless they were all having it. This was real, and really weird.

"Guessing this isn't normal London weather we're having. I'm glad I caught up with you two, but..."

Wait, hold on... There was something he remembered, about Big Ben... Nah, he couldn't place it.

"...this isn't where we were a second ago, right?"

Oh yeah. They were in the thick of it, now.
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Savo
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Savo Sacrificial Priestess

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Alexander Furst

Confidants:: Ava (@addamas), Hat Kid (@FalloutJack))
Whereabouts:: ???
Day:: Friday Afternoon



Before he even had the chance to lead Ava elsewhere, a familiar voice rang out to the side of him. Instead of using his peripheral vision, Alex acted completely on instinct as he held an arm up to block whatever was approaching him. Pivoting swiftly around, he had a deep scowl painted on his face as he barred his teeth, only to pause and somewhat drop his rather aggressive stance.

Instead of looking like an attack dog that was prepared to rip and tear, he, instead, drooped his arms a little with his scowl becoming a little more sullen. He blinked and instead of answering the boy's question, paused, taking a small step back as he analyzed the boy, scanning him from his toes to his hat. Raising a brow, he sighed and groaned, rubbing his neck as he looked to the side. "Like hell we aren't... and, again, less talking, more moving."

Shifting around, Alex swirled back around to face their way out, taking one last glance behind as his eyes widened. "Wait a minute, this isn't where we came from," he mused, seeing as the alley behind him had now contorted into something else. Instead of Evergreen, there was, what looked to be a ghastly facsimile of a market, but that wasn't the most peculiar thing about this place.

While there were two ways out of this alley, the thing about this all was how did they get here? The sharp turn that they made to get here would of meant that they came through some sort of brick wall. Alex could only walk over and press his hands against where he predicted that they came before giving it a solid knock with the back of his hand.

Hard. Why wouldn't it be? "Just what is going on," he murmured, turning once more to the closest alleyway exit, staring out into the open as the sickly green miasma continued to swirl about. He kept a stone-cold face as he took a couple of steps forward, completely unfazed by the fact that he could barely make out not only the tilted Big Ben, but the London Eye as well.

"Why is it moving like that," he murmured, trying to squint through the thick mist as he eventually a meter away from leaving the alley. Instead of departing, he suddenly plastered his back onto the wall, moving piece by piece before he was on the rim of the exit.

He had no idea what sights the streets would offer, but he wasn't going to just cower in fear here, as he bit his lip and began to slowly peek around the corner.
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Nimbus
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Nimbus Eudaimonia Seeker

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Just before the corner joining the Psychology Corridor to the Sociology Corridor, Evergreen Grammar School
Friday Morning


It does seem to fit… Alistair wanders through the bustling corridor to his next lesson, head resting on the unsupported pillar of his arm and hand as he does his best to keep himself from falling totally asleep. The cloud-covered sky doesn’t exactly help matters; the daylight that might supply him a touch of extra vigour is, at best, much reduced. With the world now… Feminism, populism, all the… ‘isms’. All fighting power gaps. Some more than others.

He sighs, mind too exhausted even for indignation. It… I can’t believe it. Conflict Theory’s Marx’s. He saw society having an end state – that’s not right, and if it’s not right… People can’t spread their work across humanity; they help people they care about. Enough people with good ideas, there’s a new power gap, new conflict. No room for growth past it.

On Alistair pushes; a few rays of sunlight splash in through the window. I suppose… Communications? Get the world joined up, throw those ideas arou-

And then he feels a weight.

Alistair lets go of his forehead – and then lets his hand drop to one side, falling into a slightly more regular walking position even as he shrinks, shoulders subconsciously hunching, head bowing. Along the corridor powerful, shuddering steps ring out, beating a drum of submission and order. Mr Ashcroft, Vice-Principal of Evergreen Grammar School, marches forth; his eyes flick over his charges, trapping and dissecting students caught in their burning gaze. As he strides past, Alistair feels the imprint of his aura, authoritative and judging, undeniable, unbreakable and imposing. He shrinks further, the force crushing him downwards, unresisted and irresistable.

From within his deep recesses of his mind, the tolling returns – and his conscious mind misses it, not even processing it enough to dismiss it as imagination.

Ashcroft passes. Behind him, Alistair slows, dampened.

What was I…

He comes to a standstill, expression near-blank. People shove around him; a couple grumble irritably.

He misses them, too.
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Letter Bee
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Letter Bee Filipino RPer

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Mikhail Chekhov

It only took one lecture from Ashcroft before Mikhail was on the verge of emotional collapse once more. Mis-educated... Unreliable... A powderkeg who is one step away from Juvenile Detention - What does that bastard think he is?!

Mikhail did not like that, being held powerless by an adult in authority who had a talent for tearing into what was left of vulnerable people's composure and self-worth. What a smug prick! he thought, And the veiled references to the losses of the Russian people and their supposed 'backwardness' were something he knew I'd get! Driven into a mixture of anger and despair at this, Mikhail was not paying attention.

And so when he crashed into yet another student, possibly sending the both of them tumbling down on the floor, the Russian lost his patience. Snarling at Alistair's prone form, he got up and readied a punch, his right fist speeding full-force towards the young man's nose -

Only to stop once Mikhail got a good look at the (presumably) distressed guy's face. Mikhail's first thoughts were, Wow, he's sorta cute. Still frowning, shifting his stance to stand up once more, Mikhail offers his hand out to help Alistair up, saying, "Oi, babyface, I nearly socked you for a moment for bumping into me, so watch where you're going!"

He gave the other young man a glance, a thorough scan of that face and eyes, and concluded, There's something on his mind. So if Alistair accepted the hand-up, Mikhail would ask less rudely than before, "Why weren't you paying attention anyway? Something weighing down your mind?"

If Alistair didn't accept the hand-up and chose to get back up by himself, Mikhail will decide to phrase it more rudely and say, "What was bugging you so much that you had to bump into innocent students in the halls, anyway?!" Note that again, this was only if Mikhail didn't accept the hand-up. Either way, Mikhail would continue.

"Anyway, my name is Mikhail. Mikhail Chekhov. If you want to make it up to me, go buy me some... Pie. Not Rubharb, that sh - stuff is gross."

@Nimbus
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Typical
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Typical

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Biology Study Group

Evergreen Library || Thursday Afternoon || ft. — Alex @Savo, Ava @Addamas, Joey @KenjuGuy, Merja @Typical

As the duo were walking towards the exit, Alex stopped in his tracks for a brief moment and peered behind him. "You mind if I have a sec'? There's one last thing I want to say before I leave this all behind for good… hopefully," he waved Merja off as he glared at the boy with a sullen look and a slight scowl.

Mer’s eyes widened as she glanced back to see what Alex was looking at. Mikhail? The last thing she needed now was for Alex to get in another fight, and especially not one with Mikhail.

“Oh, um, I have a few questions about our last biology class if that’s okay,” she said, interrupting him before he could leave. “And, um, how do you get to your dorm again?”

Alex gazed back at Merja; while his face was still a bit scrunched, for the most part he looked a little tamer when addressing his friend. "Oh? Uh, sure, I'll answer your questions and lead the way in a sec'," he calmly replied with a bit of strain in his voice as he pivoted around and began walking towards Phillip and Mikhail.

Mer hesitated, racking her brain for a distraction. At the corner of her eyes she spotted a recruitment poster for the basketball team, and she hit upon an idea.

“Hold on, today’s Thursday right? I need to show you something,” she said, grabbing Alex’s arm and pulling him away from the library.

"Huh," he shouted out, taken aback by the fact that not only Merja was latching onto his arm, but dragging him elsewhere because of something important.

Well, that's what he would think for a brief moment as he stumbled a bit, trying to regain some semblance of balance after she caught him off balance a bit.

As they walked out of the library, Alex was able to stabilize himself a bit and dig his heels into the tile floor. It was somewhat ineffective, though it was mostly remedied by the fact that Alex was planting himself firmly in place, making it a lot more challenging for the girl to string him along. "Woah, woah, woah, Merja, what's this all about, what do you need to show me?"

Letting go of his hand, Mer met his eyes with a sheepish smile. “The fencing team is recruiting today, and I thought to bring you around to see if you’d like to try it?”

Alex paused, looking at the girl and taking a mental glance at her own offering before sighing. While most of the vexation displayed on his face had vanished and gave him the appearance of a mild surprise, it began to contort into something else. His face seemed to droop, a little expressionless aside from his frown; honestly, it wasn't unexpected to see him with one, but it was a little more somber this time. "Merja," he murmured, "what's this really about?"

Mer’s smile slid from her face when she realized that in trying to distract Alex, she’d inadvertently managed to hurt him. While she’d hoped to avoid conflict by distracting him, it was clear that he preferred honesty, and she felt a stab of guilt when she realized that he’d been nothing but honest with her.

“Sorry, Alex. I just… I didn’t want you to start again with Mikhail,” she admitted. “I think you going back in will just escalate things again, especially after we already left.”

He sighed, rubbing his cheeks with his only free hand as he looked downward, musing about the events that transpired. "I wouldn't rule the possibility of that happening out, but I was only going to tell him to stay away from you, Joey, and Ava." Alex eased up a little, still frowning, but it was more neutral and unremarkable to be precise.

Pinching his bottom lip, he stood there with Merja, amidst the silence of the halls. Sure, it was bustling elsewhere, but it gave him time to ponder, think. Breathing in and breathing out through his nose, he rubbed the side of his head for a bit before continuing. "Maybe it was for the best that you kept me from dragging it out any longer... and giving him any more ideas."

Relieved to see that Alex had taken her words somewhat well, Mer tried another smile. “Let head to your dorm then? Ava and Joey are waiting, right?”

Alex nodded, "Yeah, they should be," he jabbed a thumb behind him before gesturing with his eyes. As he pivoted around and began walking, they were mostly left to bask in the silence once more as they traversed down the empty hallways. However, before they made any distance, Alex turned and looked over at Merja, tilting his head just a little.

"By the way... was what Mikhail saying true? I mean, he said he wasn't interested in dating or anything like that, but, erm," he stopped, looking behind him for a second biting his lip before stopping and returning his gaze to Merja. "Is he telling the truth? You both aren't dating, right?"

Mer’s eyes widened, and she rushed to put her hands up, waving them frantically. “No, not dating, definitely not. The library was the first time I spoke to him outside of class, and I had no idea he had all that happen to him.”

"Is that so," he mused, as he looked over Merja before raising a hand to his chin and looked to the side while rubbing it. "Good," that was the only word that left his now smiling face as he nodded to himself.


School Dorms || Thursday Afternoon

"Hey Joey?" Ava pondered as she bit off the edge of a particularly large potato chip."Weren't Alex and Mer supposed to be here already?" From the sound of her tone, it didn't seem to annoy her at all as she nonchalantly put her feet onto the couch and continued to watch a sappy drama on TV.

The boy, Joey, rested lazily on the couch alongside Ava. Well this particular way of resting was rather him laying upside down on the couch with his legs in the air. Instead of this being another case of him being weird, it was just a case of him being bored. “At our age, it’s better to have patience, but you’re right they’re taking awhile,” he pondered abit while staring at the television screen in front of them. Judging by the distant look in his eyes, the young athlete wasn’t very moved by the exaggerated acting skills displayed on the screen.

“You know, back in the good old days, actors used to put real passion in their work. No matter the role they were put in. Sure, they were in black-and-white but that didn’t stop them putting their all into it. At least that’s what I’ve seen of the tapes the elders showed me,”, after finishing his small rant, Joey slid his hand into the potato chip bag and tossed one of the chips into his mouth.

“You watch old movies with your grandparents? Hahah that's so cute!" Ava beamed at Joey before suddenly pouting. "Though I can't believe you would insult chacky Jan like that, like, he is like so like...you just don't understand." She frowned at Joey for a good few seconds longer than considered comfortable, and reached out for the bag of chips, putting a few too many chips in her mouth. "If you can make me laugh and cry just by acting, you are totally passionate about your job." Talking with her mouth full, her words could just barely be understood, and as she reached out for the potato chips yet again, her frown had already turned upside down.

Looking at Ava, Joey couldn’t help but grimace at her unsightly manner of eating. Mostly because the crumbs were flying in his face. “You wanna talk about passion?” after stating that, the boy spun around to properly sit his bottom on the couch. With reinvigorated enthusiasm, a smile slid its way across his mouth as he removed his cellphone from his pocket. “Let me a real woman with grace. Real ladylike unlike the girls today,” he allowed his proclamation to ring out through the room as he swiped his thumb across the phone screen.

Once he had gotten to his phone gallery, Joey lowered his device for Ava to see. Then, like a tour guide, began expressing his emotions over the series of photos that displayed a young girl, around his age, helping an elderly man out of a crowd of people and walking him across the street;“See this? This is how young ladies- no, this is how every youngster should be conducting themselves! This should be the role model that you should strive to be! Although I couldn’t get a picture of her face, I’m sure that woman is out there doing something amazing right now!,”

Face flushed with pride and joy. Joey waved the picture-displayed phone around as if it were some sort of holy relic.

Looking at the pictures, then Joey, then the pictures again, Ava’s crumb littered cheeks began to heat up. As if trying to grasp for safety, she reached out behind her back to scratch it with a forcefully subdued smile. “Ahah, you think so, huh?” relaxing ever so slightly, she removed her feet from the couch and laid her hands on her lap. Her cheeks didn't lose their color, but as she peered at the TV, her smile seemed to grow much more comfortable.

“I think she’ll like the compliment-” She smiled before abruptly raising her finger towards Joey. “But you can’t just take pictures of ladies without permission!”

As the two talked, the door behind them slowly opened, the creaking drowned out by the chatter of the two and the sound of a commercial playing in the background. However, there was the sound of a familiar voice, speaking to another individual.

"-sibly consider it sometime... also, Sibell-oh." The door fully opened, revealing two familiar faces - their tall friend, Merja and even taller 'friend,' Alex. From the looks of it, the latter of the two had a resting bitch face, which was not an uncommon sight, but it was difficult to tell if he was disappointed, irritated, or generally any other verb that could be used to describe initial impressions upon arrival.

"Course you two are slacking off," he sighed, holding the door open with one hand and two fingers to the bridge of his nose. "At least you two didn't start without us," he murmured, looking over to Merja. Despite everything, he looked a bit weary, moving his hand off his face and gesturing for Merja to enter in.

“Thanks. Hey Ava, Joey,” Mer said, entering to stare at the TV along with them. “Sorry to keep you both waiting. What're you watching?”

On the screen was an ad, meaning she and Alex had just missed the show, unfortunately—or fortunately. From Alex’s comment, it was clear he wasn’t looking to join in on the program, but Mer was partial to a break. After the whole library debacle, a relaxing moment or two in front of the TV sounded pretty nice, and right on cue the commercials ended to resume the show.

“Oh, which drama is this?” she asked, walking over to the couch.

“It’s called Good Times, Bad Times.” Ava mumbled with a mouthful while extending the chips bag to Merja. “Totally up your alley.” Ava’s smile brightened as she looked Merja in the eyes, but her gaze soon settled on Alex, turning it into a frown. “Why so Gloomy?” Although her tone was somewhat playful, there was an underlying worry.

Mer thanked Ava as she helped herself to a chip, nodding as she tuned into the show. At Ava’s mention of Alex’s mood, however, she shifted her eyes to Alex. Were they really about to go into this?

"Don't listen to her Mer, this show doesn't have any sophistication or heart to it." Joey gave an accusing point of the finger to the television screen. Truth be told, he hated studying and wouldn't mind if they'd rather just hang around and watch TV. However the boy couldn't deny the importance of studying, that's why he was here in the first place.
"I'm sure Alex is just as upset as I am about having to watch this. You'd rather watch an old western show right!?" Joey questioned with eyes glimmering with charm.

Alex merely offered the boy a shrug with a flatline expression, "I could really care less about TV; I'll sit down for a movie or somethin', but I prefer something more... well..." He paused as he tread into the room behind Merja, quietly closing the door as he made himself at home, hauling the bag off his back as he began unzipping it, "Interactive? Stimulating?"

Setting his bag beside the couch, he began digging through, continuing to mutter a couple of other things, "Something that generally forces you to think in one way or another, not-"

He hefted a medical book out of his bag, "-most shows; if anything, they're comparable to empty calories."

“Wow, that’s harsh.” Ava quipped as she took the last potato chip from the bag. Noticing the medical book, she got up and nonchalantly stretched her arms. “We ought to get productive huh?”

Quickly swallowing the rest of the chip, Mer nodded, unpacking her things as well. Since the only textbook she had for biology was the one the school had assigned, she had nothing near the size of Alex’s book. She’d learned a while ago that Alex had a tendency to self-study more than what was taught, but looking at the medical book now, she wondered how she’d managed to get a good score on her A-level when she was competing with the likes of him.

That aside, though, it seemed that biology was about to be in full swing, so Mer set aside her thoughts and focused on her notes. “Let’s start on Friday’s notes then?”

The books dropping down on the table felt like bricks weighing down Joey's spirit. Wiping the nervous sweat off his temple, the youngster reached into his own backpack for his own biology material."You know, this may seem uncalled for considering I'm new here,..buuut I'm actually missing some of my notes..haha..," he awkwardly laughed while running his fingers through his ponytail.

Joey hoped they would be forgiving of his little slip up, but even with that, the boy didn't stop.

"Now before you guys think I'm just some careless idiot, I'll have you know there's a very good reason why I wasn't paying attention at the time!"
The tennis player lent over for the others to hear, his face somewhat stern. "You see, Lance, the guy who sits next to me in class, was telling me about his grandmother, who used to be a nun and apparently had spiritual powers! The night before, his grandmother went bonkers in the middle of her sleep. Said he never saw her act this way before or even knew she had the energy to run around the house as much as she did. From what she was yelling about, she had a vision and saw that London was overrun demons…"
Joey paused to let his words hang, but then quickly shot back to talking once he realized how he probably sounded.

"Now look, I didn't see any of this myself but I think it's very important that we all take the words of our elders very seriously!.....Now that is an important reason to not be paying attention in class, right?" Well, Alex didn't look to be having any of that based on the that piercing glare he was giving Joey. "You can remember everything your classmate did, as well as to watch some TV, yet you couldn't recall bringing your notes," he groaned under his breath, grinding his teeth as another book came calmly down onto the table, followed by his own notebook as he stared at the boy.

"I'm gonna need to give Lance a bit of a talk considering you both got distracted during class," he grumbled, shaking his head as he leaned on the side of the couch, pressing a fist up on his face as he pointed to the notes and pages he was on. "We were covering genetics, primarily the types of genetic diseases that arise from genetics; cystic fibrosis, Huntington's, trisomy 21, how they're generally inherited and such," Alex began circling his hand as he continued looking intensely at the boy.

"While these are dominant and recessive diseases, there are some others as well, like Alzheimer's and Dementia, the former of which is unable to be diagnosed unless postmortem, as well as-"

“Wait wait, those sound like tough subjects, did you guys learn that stuff in class?”

“I don’t think so,” Mer said, flipping over her notes. “Maybe the teacher mentioned those diseases briefly, but I don’t think we covered them in detail.”

She glanced at Alex’s book, pressing her lips together for a moment. “Do you think we’ll have to know all that for our A-level?”

It was only for a mere moment but Joey winced at the words 'Alzheimer' and 'Dementia'. Someone as young and full of vigor of course shouldn't have to worry about such things. Only, it wasn't himself that he was worried about.
"Right, Alzheimer's and Dementia...diseases normally noticed in the later years of life.."

Gone was the energy that radiated from him earlier. Instead his mind wandered into thoughts of the short remaining futures of elderly community that he called family. What diseases could peel away what was left of their lives? His eyes distant and unfocused, an incredibly small shimmer of anxiety crept it's way into his chest.

Yet, Joey was someone that kept his allies in mind. It was for that reason that he temporarily disposed of that fear growing inside of him. He wouldn't let himself bring down the moods of the others in the group. His trademark smile made sure of that,"Our coach always tells us to be prepared for anything the opponent might throw at us. It couldn't hurt to know about it anyways right?"

He pulled a tennis ball out of his pocket and began to lightly toss it up and down. Despite keeping his body busy, he also used it as a way to calm himself. Still, he kept his attention on the subject at hand,"There's no point if we don't go full throttle,"

"I mean, it could help us a bit when it comes to the future, but now?" Alex looked over a couple of the books as he began stroking his chin, blinking for a second before snatching up the medical book and closing before inserting it back into his bag. "Joey, I wouldn't mind going over some of these other diseases with you some other time, but to be fair, we didn't learn most of this in Bio."

Rubbing his neck, he looked sheepishly over to the bag before looking back at the trio, and then to the TV, and then back to the three, "Lets not squander this time about things our professor didn't go over in class... that being said, if you all wanted, I would be more than happy to arrange a separate study session with you all," Alex smirked a little before shrugging, "or somethin' like that."

Clearing his throat, he then proceeded to lean over and flip through his notes, "In any case, here's what he explained during class..."
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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by FalloutJack
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FalloutJack The Long Dark Nuka-Break of the Soul

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It was strange, all of it. In fact, it had to be worse for all those who were better-acquainted with London than he was. For Big Ben, the London Eye, and other buildings to be tilted and drifting slowly along in the distance - Indeed, for there to be even this close-by slight noise of stone-grinding, here and there - was disconcerting in the extreme. Hakuro had experimentally pulled out his phone to see if he could get anything going, maybe test just how much Ray has gone bye-bye while Alex was taking a more hands-on approach at the moment, like testing the wall that should've been the direction of the school.

There was nothing. His phone just didn't turn on.

I know it's got a charge. It just won't function. If this were a dream, I'd be willing it to at least light up.

Not that he actually believed it was a dream, but he had to see just how 'real' everything was, just in case, and at least someone had to see if they could get out something as simple as a phone call, use a camera, or whatever else. That was going to be a decided NO, though. Finally, Hakuro saw that Alex was creeping along the wall while Ava watched, and he decided to take up the other side, basically across from him, to {A} get his own perspective and {B} cover him if anything happened. They were getting close to looking more clearly...

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

RAVEN


Somewhere... Going somewhere. Leading someone there. Somewhere safe. Lost track. Looked back. No one there. Who was it, again?

...you're a pretty bird...

Who said that? Did someone say that? What was she thinking about again? Lost focus. Pecking the ground a bit. Heard the distant lurch of stone movement and flew off.

"CAW! CAW!"

...pretty bird...

So hard to think. Always something slipping. Avian thoughts instead of her own, crowding her mind...

That.

There.

Something there.

People. Three people.

Oh no...

They were almost in the thick of it, on the very precipice of it, the Charnel Square where the feral ones would often feast. It was their feeding ground, a place to swarm and destroy and swell their numbers. Lately, they'd been thinner, but these three would provide new blood if they weren't careful. Her thoughts rang true on this, stronger now than before.

Before when?

Nevermind, this is important!

She headed towards the alley, calling to them.

Don't go in there! You can't go in that place!

"CAW! CAW! CAW!"

She flew down, crying her lungs out to be heard, but they didn't notice! They didn't understand...!

NO! You have to listen to me! You have to-

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

"...STOP!"

"What the...?"

Someone shouted at them from nearby, away from the corner that he and Alex were about to investigate, trying to warn them. It sounded like a young lady, maybe only a few feet from Ava, but there was nothing there but a bird, a raven...



The hat boy sort of stared as the bird landed, almost looking out of breath, but very clearly anxious about something. The fact that it continued talking quickly explained matters...sort of.

"My voice...! I can talk! Thank god... You can hear me, right?"

"Yes, we can hear you. Who-"

Before Hakuro could even ask, she suddenly interrupted, almost out of fear that she'd lose herself again.

"Don't go down that way! Don't ever approach a marketplace! They go on a feeding frenzy every time someone does!"

"Hey, we don't even know where we are or what this is."

"I know, I know... I'm sorry."

She held her wing up to her head, as though to wipe her brow in relief, then looked back up at the three of them.

"This place is dangerous, a real labyrinth, but I can guide you out of here. I remember that much now."

At the word 'Guide', all three of them would suddenly recall something very important.

One you must seek and one you must find. The Moon will wander along the path to this world. The Sun will guide you in this place.

Hakuro, not wanting to sound entirely crazy just yet, tested the proverbial waters.

"Uhh...so...listen...birdy-"

"Raven."

Her beak didn't even move when she spoke.

"Right. Of course. Has...anyone else been lost here, recently?"

Raven's eyes - those little red beady things - visibly widened.

You're a pretty little bird, aren't you?

"Oh no..."

She hopped in place, turning around to face the other direction.

"Oh shit... I left him."

"Who?"

She returned her focus to the there here now.

"Err...blonde guy, tall or at least I think he was tall, blue eyes? He was...nice to me, and I was trying to help, but...I lost my head for a while. We should find him, if we can. I won't consign someone to this place. The labyrinth alone is treacherous, but I can see it all from above, see alot of things. I can get us all to safety, I promise! Will you trust me?"

Will they? By that description, she'd seen Laurence. Even Hakuro knew who she meant, because he remembered that he'd taken his picture - among other things - from the tree. This Raven seemed like a decent enough sort, though. It sounded like she was struggling to keep herself focused before the three of them came along. No, make that four of them...
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by addamas
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addamas Trust me, I'm a liar

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There were footsteps; distant, but coming closer with each passing moment. As soon as Ava noticed it, her head slowly turned toward the noise; her breaths becoming shallower with each inhale, and then Hakuro appeared.

To be honest, Ava wasn’t sure what she expected to see, but it sure wasn’t the asian tarzan from yesterday. Though looking at him, his appearance did stir Ava’s thoughts. He was still wearing the ridiculous outfit from yesterday, so it might not be cosplay after all, but having a nimble guy like him around could come in handy, as his traversing skills could definitely be useful in these anomalous surroundings.

But as Ava was pondering about potential uses for hatman, her attention was suddenly pulled in by Alexander. He had been saying god knows what, and was now pressing his back against a wall, probably pretending to be a detective or sneaky dude or something; everyone had their own way to deal with stressful situations, but wasn’t that a little extreme? Maybe Ava was the odd one out, as her preferred way of dealing with stress involved facing it, followed by running towards it at full force, getting to the root of it, and pulling it out completely.

Unfortunately, she had not gotten such an opportunity, as her stress levels skyrocketed again due to the sudden voice appearing behind her, resulting in Ava releasing a squeaky yelp. When she turned around, her confusion once more reached peak levels, her glassy eyes barely able to register the bird in front of her. Really, blinking occasionally was the only sign that she was still alive as her entire body froze in front of the raven, who was talking with Hakuro; why was he not shocked by this entire scenario anyway?

The bird spoke again, but it’s words didn’t make sense at all, in fact, none of this made sense, not their surroundings, nor the raven itself. Ava would’ve been absolutely sure she was hallucinating if it wasn’t for Alexander and Hakuro experiencing the exact same events; to be honest, Ava wanted to slap them for actually making her believe the raven.

And then it mentioned something; it was Laurence. The sudden shock of being teleported to a different world completely stole her attention, but it was right after Ava and Alex followed him into the alley that it started; it was Laurence who got them stuck here. Ava looked up to the raven, her eyes regaining their spark, followed by a loud slap, both of her hands pushing against her cheeks as her eyes filled with determination.

“Let’s do it, let’s get to Laurence. If he stumbled into this place like us, he’ll be alone.” Her worried eyebrows raised slightly as she thought of what Laurence might be experiencing. “You two might not think much of it, but I would be terrified to be-” She clenched her fist as she looked to the ground for a second before pulling her chin up again. “I’d be scared.” Her cheeks still red and stinging from her little pep-up, Ava’s stress finally dimmed and the root had been pulled out as she walked up to Alex and softly punched his shoulder with a smile. “Besides, Alex is totally right, staying in this cramped corner won’t fix anything.”
Hidden 1 mo ago 6 days ago Post by Nimbus
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Nimbus Eudaimonia Seeker

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The Sociology Corridor, Evergreen Grammar School
Friday Morning


Of course, he’s still standing stock-still in the middle of a corridor in the minutes between lessons; said corridor is very busy. It is perhaps inevitable that, at that moment, one element of that business takes the form of an unstoppable force.

At this moment, Alistair is distinctly not an immovable object.

Sent sprawling, he’s barely in time with his arms to stop his head from hitting the polished stone floor; no sooner has that happened than he freezes, his eyes widening as some great thing – a fist – stops centimetres before his face. Said fist withdraws, opening to become an up-helping hand. “Oi, babyface, I nearly socked you for a moment for bumping into me, so watch where you're going!”

Now, Alistair these days is not a person frequently found in the moment, always casting his thoughts backwards to mine the past for ideas or extrapolating towards the future to test them. What time he spends in the present is, in general, in service to these, listlessness conserving energy for his higher functions. This, though? The potent combination of reaction to perceived danger and utter confusion as to both the chain of events that has brought him to this point and what exactly this person is doing now throws him rudely out of listlessness and back towards currency.

Even so, his head is still a touch hazy, instinctually accepting the hand up. Things did happen rather quickly. Alistair shakes it, working to clear his mind, before examining the person standing before him. A little shorter but looks about my age, mid-length sand-blond hair… The boy’s appearance is tinged with familiarity but nothing more than that. Probably a year above or below.

For a moment, he grapples with what to say next; the other participant in the conversation, however, examining him curiously, jumps in first. “Why weren't you paying attention anyway? Something weighing down your mind?”

Oh, no, just grappling with how to avoid potentially triggering a societal backlash against any efforts meant to advance a given socio-political cause! Nothing major! “Sorry, just… Just working through something.” Perhaps realising that the person in front of him – who, he notes, seems unusually highly strung (if the fist didn’t support that conclusion already) – won’t accept this as a complete answer, he continues: “I’ve been stuck with something of a… An ideological dilemma over the past few years.” He breathes, offering a sad, quiet smile. “Sorry it got in your way.” Also, please don’t almost punch me again…

Wait, no. That would mean –


He’s already talking. “Anyway, my name is Mikhail. Mikhail Chekhov. If you want to make it up to me, go buy me some... Pie. Not rubharb, that sh - stuff is gross.”

That’s ‘rhubarb’, right? That accent sounds eastern European… And haven’t I heard the name ‘Mikhail Chekhov’ before – wasn’t there a rumour or something… Alistair considers for a moment, then dismisses the idea. Don’t know. Probably just passed someone in the hall talking – subconscious. “Alistair – Parton. I, ah…” He bites his lip, edging away as it gradually dawns on him that he’s talking to a complete stranger who nearly punched him in the face. “I don’t really know any good bakeries. Walk mostly in parks.” Alistair glances behind him. “And I need to – sorry, I think I’m already late – ah – bye.”

Away he skitters.
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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Sync
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Sync The Wildcard

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Romaní Bogart
Strength Blares When the Candles Fade
Friday Morning, ???
theme




Here I stand in the center of a large building, towering over a city of lights. Each light represents a home, and each home represents a person. Perhaps with each bellow of the winds howl, I realizes the grossing population this city has. But it never stopped raining... The clouds were sparse, clear skies and darkness embellished by beautiful sparks of luminescent stars, but it was still raining. The moon was bright, visage of greatness in the dimness of the dark like light-bulb that refuses to go out. But it was still raining. The world smiled and brightened with each passing moment without much thought of who it leaves behind. But it was still raining...

The moon seems larger at this time, like it came closer to the Earth to hear it's subtle whispers of a day gone by. Cradling the weariness into a bedside where we are told bedtime stories so that we can drift onto slumber. But it was still raining. Everything felt like it held a purpose, but simultaneously nothing did. In a world where I could hear nothing and each tune that was uttered seemed to be a silent whisper. In the center of this large building I realized that the world, although each building held a light and each light represents a person, was exuberantly empty. Where everyone was a milestone away from a broken dream and many, many mistakes shattered the pace of many fluent sprinters.

The world held a very niche idea of who it favored and those that it did were notorious. Strength is what develops man to become what others recognize as extraordinary. So greatness to me is not a hobby, but a habit. To become better than who I was yesterday is greater than to be lesser than someone who the world recognizes as marvelous.

But it was still raining.

In this still place. I feel like the world is continuously raining.

--*--*--*--

The shift was seamless. Almost like a transaction between hallway and bedroom, the world shifted into a darker tone without a moments notice. The bleak atmosphere painted the world in gloom, the walls oozed terror and the sky unwelcoming. Pillars in the distance, embellishing scenery in a oddities of strange patterns. The air itself felt heavy, and Romani's chest tightened, condensing the amount of air he could inhale before fatigue took its toll on his body. Vertigo felt short, it was almost like a complete distortion of reality had overtaken the world. The streets were empty, the cars were either vaulted or entirely devoid of any life. Was this real? He immediately pinched himself on his arm, the pain was there and he was forced to admit that this world was no figment of his imagination.

"Where am I? I was sure that I--" A headache. His hands instinctively made to his temple, as if trying to sustain whatever force threatened to tumble him. His feet were loosing footing and his movements began to seem uncalculated. His breathing became heavier, his teeth gritted before a voice seemed to called out for him. It wasn't distinct and he couldn't discern any of what it was saying. But the more it attempted to reach him, the more his head felt like it going to collapse. Witnessing a crow meet the skies was his only form of salvation in this hoarse existence.

He didn't trust it, crows were usually an indication of a bad omen. But where else could he go, he didn't really see where it went, but he knew where it was. That was a start, perhaps there he could find some type of answer to the craziness that seemed to have unraveled before him.

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