The day Krista had been waiting for was finally here.
It had taken many days to plan and set everything up in the music plaza, and looking at the final product, she was proud. The second-floor resort looked a lot different to what people were used to. There was a stage in the middle of the music plaza, blocking the path between the plaza and the rest of the hallway. Surrounding the stage was four rectangular tables, three of which could seat up to six individuals and the fourth that was pressed against the door leading into the zen garden could seat up to four. There was plenty of space between the stage and tables, a dance floor if you want to call it as such. Beside the stage was another table pushed against the dining hall, a buffet of epic proportions sitting on the table waiting to be eaten.
The lights were off, but instead of darkness, there were lights everywhere. On top of each table were a few mason jars stuffed with multicoloured fairy lights picked up from the arts and crafts store from the third floor. Some lights were hanging from the walls, giving the room a faint glow, but the stage was lit up in a special way. The string lights behind the stage were sewn into the fabric, shaped as two penguins standing on either side of the wall facing each other. One was distinctly smaller than the other, a baby penguin, flailing towards the larger one. She thought it depicted a story of a child trying to return to family, one that Krista thought would personally touch many of the infinites.
One by one people filed into the music plaza, lead by one of four people: Daimyon, Bliss, Faith or Felix. Faith and Max searched each person thoroughly, only allowing them in once they had been checked for anything potentially dangerous such as a weapon. Once the searches were done and everybody was inside, Daimyon and Felix joined Krista on top of the stage. The poet's expression shone of relief as he looked over the gathered crowd from the stage. At first, he had been apprehensive about the turnout, but it looked like everyone found it within them to attend. He was, however, certain that this was in no small part thanks to the enthusiasm of the organisers. From the moment he had heard the plan from Felix in the break room that morning, the same motivation had been driving him. They would give the whole group something to remember.
He grabbed the microphone that was prepared for him on a stand, cleared his throat and began.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Infinites, every dear guest!” He waited until all attention was him, and continued once he was sure the sounding worked properly.
“We've overcome many a danger—now it's time to rest, and take a breather. Binge on the refreshments, and listen to some quality music, as you may have guessed. The great melodies and songs will be provided fully,” he motioned towards the members of the little band they had assembled, “by Krista here, Felix there, and yours truly. Of course, many more of us deserve praise.” Here, he opened his arms towards the crowd. “Everyone who helped organise; we are grateful, duly. I am not one to mince words—I am, but not this time, keeping you from entertainment further would be a crime. So I hereby welcome everyone to our gathering; let the concert begin. Showtime!”
Once Daimyon finished his introduction, Krista shared a look with Felix, hoisting her violin up to her shoulder and waiting for Felix to begin the opening melody of the first set of music. As the first notes on the wondrous instrument sounded, Daimyon, still silent, took one last glance at his notebook, at his lines, before sliding it into his pocket. He waited for a good timing to begin his own part, which he received soon enough. And so he started reciting his poem, with varying cadence and tone to match the piano play.
This is the story of a group of strangers Bonded by living through many dangers. They call us Infinites, blessed with talent But now our fates hang in the balance Freedom feels like an eternity ago Our prisons give us nothing but woe Locked into awful cages, left to die Will we fall apart, or will we fly?
Krista joined in the melody while the poet paused, bringing forth her grace with the violin. Daimyon took a deep breath: he would not stop now until the end of the song.
This is the story of life and death Of action and chilling aftermath Of heroes and heroics, of greatness Of the blackened and blameless Of strained trust and cruel betrayal Of disbelief, rage, misery and denial Of an endless struggle, a war waged Of a lot ventured, but little gained.
This is the story of light and darkness But where there is evil, there is also brightness Our valiant knight shone a star's worth Now she looks down from heaven on this earth She watched sorrowfully when one of our own Look as he might, took a life and was thrown Into the jaws of death himself for his offence Thus we lost our friend and our innocence.
This is the story of bravery and cowardice What was meant to defeat only empowered us Take heart—a new resolve filled our souls To see our journey through, though the tolls Still weighed on us heavily; high we rose And took the fight to our enemy to depose The machine that stood in our way For its aid in our folly, we made it pay.
This is the story of truth and deception Of ruthlessly playing on our perception Not everyone was who they seemed to be We were shown his true colours, 'twas surreal He played us like marionettes, that roach He deserved his final, fatal reproach Our grief then was another reminder Of the reality of our prison: a meat grinder.
This is the story of noise and silence Eight murderers' ruthless violence Once again we fought for one we loved Marred victory was ours, pyrrhic, bathed in blood Two were taken, ripped from this world They sacrificed it all, and our hearts churned Yet, many of us bore incredible resilience And we made them rue re-experience.
This is the story of weakness and strength Of keeping the Grim Reaper at arm's length We won our peace for now and became One step closer to ending this sick game Nothing is stronger than an indomitable will An unyielding spirit, a beating heart that will Instill the fiery courage that we need to bring Us our freedom, and turn this winter into spring!
This is the story of the hopeful and despaired And it's my plea to you, my friends: don't be scared! Show our captors that we are not to be ensnared! Let's be the ones who did not give in, but dared To break out of this unholy cage, and be prepared To keep your faith, like before, when it flared Share the burden, and the reward too shall be shared When our freedom, our joyous freedom, will finally be declared!
The instruments struck their final notes on a dramatic high, and Daimyon raised his hand, balled into a triumphant fist, in the air for his last words as well. With the music swelling to an end, Krista let her arms fall back to her sides. “Thank you for being here, everybody! I really want to thank Bliss and Faith for helping me plan this concert, as well as Daimyon and Felix for helping me with the concert. You guys are the best!” She gave each member of her party a grateful smile. After all, this concert couldn’t happen without their help! Daimyon beamed back, happy with the note this concert took. With his part in the performance over, he walked off the stage and took a seat at his assigned table, watching Krista as she took a deep breath and addressed the audience this time.
“It’s been… a rough few days… or weeks, actually… I don’t even know how long it’s been since we all woke up in that elevator but… err...” She laughed slightly awkwardly.
“I have a few reasons I wanted to talk to you all. I… I’m aware I’ve been a pain to you all since the beginning and I want to apologise for it. I’ve caused you all a lot of trouble and I’ve never once thanked any of you for tolerating me this long.
“Bliss… you helped me set up this concert even though I never thanked you for helping me when the first motive was released. I cannot thank you enough for all you’ve done for me.” She gave Bliss a large, grateful smile before turning to Cyrus.
“And… I’m sure you know that this concert was largely inspired by you. Even from the beginning, I questioned myself but you told me not to underestimate my ability to be a mood maker. I… I’m not sure how well I’ve done my job, but I hope that I did well this concert. You’ve done a lot for this group… and even if you can be a little mean at times, you only have the best intentions so...” She gave him a bright smile too. “Thank you for being my motivation!”
With that out of the way, Krista’s smile faltered and she addressed the rest of the audience, clearly nervous about the next part of her speech. Krista bowed deeply on stage, her hair almost touching the floor. “I also want to apologise for all I’ve done wrong. Everything. I’ve put my trust in the wrong people and it’s always lead to trouble. I’m sorry Zach, Jezabel, to those that lost their life because of my naivety.” She holds her position for a few moments before standing upright.
“I was told that keeping secrets was bad, and I apologise for not telling anybody about the handbook but… after my handbook got stolen by Justiciar… I couldn’t risk someone stealing it and using it for anything bad… But… I agree. No more secrets, not from me. And so… I’ll tell you my most guarded secret.”
“I’m sorry but this will be a long one…” Krista sheepishly admitted.
“This... what I'm about to tell you, it's about a good person named Arno Bauman." Krista paused, realising most of them wouldn’t recognise the name. She shows her violin to the audience, pointing out the name etched onto the instrument carefully. “I met him when I was ten when I moved to central Berlin for school. He was my best friend, we did everything together. I even joined his violin classes to understand him, but back then I never really played it properly. I just wanted to listen to him play. I fell in love with music because of him. I wanted to play with him, but Arno was always better than me.
“It was all okay at first. I thought we'd stick together forever, just the two of us. His mother had died years ago, so he and his father would visit us often for dinner. We were all very close. Did you know he would play the violin while I would do homework? He was the one that realised that music helped me think." She began running her finger along the instrument to distract herself. “But, I woke up two months before my birthday, and I felt sick. Usually, I wouldn't skip because Arno was always too shy and nervous to be on his own, but I could barely get out of bed. That morning he came to see me so we could walk to school together, but I had to tell him we’d see each other later." She paused briefly. “We never did."
“There was a storm and it had been raining constantly for what felt like months. Heavy stuff. Arno never liked the rain." Keeping her eyes averted, she takes a moment to think about how she was going to carry on. “That day the roof of our old school building collapsed. Because of the tragedy, building maintenance was never a big deal and so… 14 kids had to lose their lives that day, and Arno was one of them. They held his funeral that weekend. I couldn't get myself to leave my room that day, so I never went. A few days later, Arno's father came to visit with some of Arno's things in a box. He was planning on giving some items away to charity but thought that I might want to keep some of them. I took everything. I wanted to cherish his memory.
“He left me his violin and sheet music. One of the sheets had an incomplete piece; Arno was planning on surprising me with something he would've created for my birthday. I saw the sheets and pushed the whole box under my bed. I couldn't bear to touch them for a while after that, but I never stopped thinking about his incomplete music. I hated that he left something open-ended, that he wasn't there to finish it and to play it for me, so I finished it myself. I don't know whether he wanted me to finish it this way, but it was the best I could do. And on my birthday, I played it for him at his gravesite." She sighed. “I... My parents ended up moving me and Herman to the US to help me move on, but I never stopped playing Arno's song. I even joined the music club in high school to keep practising with the violin to get better at playing his piece. I played nothing else; I wanted to do nothing else. But then my teacher told me she had put forward my name for a competition being held across the nation. Fairly known competition too, it was sponsored by the Infinity Initiative. They wanted us to try and wow them, and I didn't know anything other than Arno's song, so I played that. I was 15 when I first went viral, and it was to a song I didn't even compose myself but still had to take full credit for. I even won the competition and won my title as the Infinite Violinist as a result. Things should’ve been better, right? But no. I don’t deserve my title as the infinite violinist, because I’m a fraud. I was discovered because I took somebody else’s property.”
“People praise my skills but… I don’t deserve it. Arno should be here instead, as the infinite violinist, but here I am instead.” She swallowed uncomfortably. This was the first time she had admitted such a thing aloud, the only other time being to her therapist right after winning the competition.
“I... I also have something I found in Marianne's room back at the last trial. A note. I don't know what it says because it's been a very busy few days." She admitted. “However, we can all read it together next time when I do have the note." And with that, Krista grew silent.
Krista waited for a moment, letting people react to her secret before she could continue. That was a lot to react to, and Krista wanted to give everyone enough time to come to terms with her reveals. “I know I shouldn’t be standing here after telling you what I just did but… if there is one thing I hate more than this situation we’re in… is that I hate leaving things unfinished. And so... if there is one last thing I can do for you all… I’d like to finish this concert with a bang! Despair will never win against our hope!”
She pulled her violin up to her shoulder again, looking at Felix. “Whenever you’re ready.” And with that, the duet played together once again. The first set was somewhat a tragedy, in remembrance for those they have lost along the way: Shona, Mondatta, Marianne, Rika, Aleecia… even all the blackeneds.
The second set, however, was the opposite. Where the first was filled with despair and sorrowful pieces, the second set had many upbeat songs to inspire hope and joy in the audience. The concert went on for an hour long, filled with emotion from the two players.
When the concert was finally over, Krista spoke again after thanking everybody for listening. “And now, please enjoy the party!” With that, the party had begun.
A seating plan created by the infinite goddess matchmaker herself! Each seat is decorated specifically for an infinite so everybody will know which table they're supposed to sit at.
Table 1: Cyrus, Bliss, Caora, Lucy and Thomas Table 2: Felix, Mercy, Max, Noel, Daimyon and Mary Table 3: Faith, Alice, Ice, Calvin and Emily Table 4: Denis, Braden, Jez and Zach
Everything was far too chaotic. Krista almost wished to return back to the assumed safety of the morgue. At least no one could hurt them in the morgue!
...Oh, wait. That was a lie. Her gunshot wound and Rika’s (dead?) body was proof enough that even the morgue was not safe for them. But was it really a good idea to wander towards the sounds of screams and fighting? They had no choice if they wanted to escape the morgue and head to wherever Mercy was currently stationed.
They could see danger at the intersection between the pharmacy, implant workshop and POD rooms. Krista looked between Cyrus and the intersection. To save Rika, they had to pass through. She shivered, her Junko attire doing little to keep her warm. The blood loss was making her shake in her spot and look almost as pale and lifeless as Rika herself.
Cyrus trudged them along slowly. Not only did he have to pay attention to the state Krista (and Rika, but he’s pretty sure she’s dead anyway) was in, he also had to be on the lookout for the oncoming threat. They were going to need an opening of sorts. Was that even possible?
They had to make a choice. Risk getting in the way of the attack teams, or stay back at the morgue but risk herself dying from the blood loss.
“Should we go find Mercy?” She believed that Cyrus would choose whatever was best for them.
Cyrus nodded solemnly. “You need medical attention, as soon as possible.” He asserted. He preferred if he could’ve taken the medical help to Krista, so she could’ve stayed still. However, this was very much not an option. “Though perhaps we can go to cosmetic surgery. We need that wound tended.”
Krista could faintly remember a time where Cyrus and Noel had been taking inventory of the second floor when they’d gotten access to it. If anything, Cyrus would know where the things were they’d need to deal with her wounds. However, before they could make it to the cosmetic surgery lab however… They’d have to make it past the intersection first.
@TheSeriousJoke I’m sorry but I feel I must bow out. I’ve started a new job this week and that leaves me no free time to maintain another rp right now. I’m sorry again. You can do what you like to Reina, I don’t know how useful she was gonna be anyway.
If there is anybody I owe a lot to after the week I've had, it's definitely @Melo. He's been patiently dealing with whatever life has been throwing my way and I could never ask for a better significant other. Thanks lovely.
[color=835d65][center][centre]╔══════════════╗[/centre][h3][i][color=8e4d59]a e w i n[/color][/i][/h3][sup][i][color=5e4148]also known as the weirdo that fangirls a lot[/color][/i][/sup]
[sup][color=8e4d59][color=5e4148]•[/color] annie [color=5e4148]•[/color] 20 [color=5e4148]•[/color] united kingdom [color=5e4148]•[/color][/color][/sup][/center]
<div style="white-space:pre-wrap;"><font color="#835d65"><div class="bb-center"><div class="bb-center">╔══════════════╗</div><div class="bb-h3"><span class="bb-i"><font color="#8e4d59">a e w i n</font></span></div><sup><span class="bb-i"><font color="#5e4148">also known as the weirdo that fangirls a lot</font></span></sup><br><sup><font color="#8e4d59"><font color="#5e4148">•</font> annie <font color="#5e4148">•</font> 20 <font color="#5e4148">•</font> united kingdom <font color="#5e4148">•</font></font></sup></div><br><div class="bb-center">╚══════════════╝</div></font></div>