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Monday, September 31st, 7:30 AM.

Spirits strike back.



It has been two weeks since the disaster that befell Lakewood. With the combined efforts of non-profit relief programs, government intervention, and community activism, the city was finally returning to something resembling its former condition. Business re-opened, roads and walls were patched up, and the school was finally back in a working order.

Aside from the persistent military presence, things finally seemed to be returning to normal. As the highschoolers were awaiting the first period in the cafeteria, a red sunset hue started to invade through the windows. The chattering of students had ceased, birds remained frozen in the air, and cars had become stuck in place. Time seemed to stand still to all but the spirits and those influenced by them. Reality was stained with this red hue, for miles around the town until borders of starlight and darkness cut the way.

A rift had opened once again above the school’s lake. Within the temporal scar, a parallel world could be seen, before closing. Rising from the red-tinted lake was a large arachnid creature. It resembled a spider, though its chitin body seemed heavily armored, possessing a rock-like texture. A giant eye existed under its large abdomen. The spider was about twenty meters across, each of its legs hooked with a sickle shaped barb. On its back, two giant wings that resembled that of a dragonfly lifted it into the air as it let out a startling cry. A fleshy siphon erupted out from between its fangs, extending rapidly and unnaturally. Within the cafeteria, the large fleshy tendril shot through the window and impaling one of the frozen students with several barbs. The siphon then seemed to start sucking in fluids in slow gulps, feeding the spider that was a few hundred meters away.
Team Dark

A day after the end




Steve tended to the camp fire he had set up in the woods, making sure to keep the smoke rising so that witch could find her way. He had hoped the smoke didn't alert any unwanted intrusion, especially from the military, but it ultimately wouldn't be anything more then a nuisance. After all, what could those mortals do? He had regretted not taking any of his servants with him. Life is much easier when you don't even have to lift a finger. His animosity towards his Animus kin only grew the more he thought about how they stuck him on this job. That hag's little pet...

"Oi." A familiar voice rose softly over the sound of the fire. The familiar form of Yui Tachibana had appeared from the woods, her approach almost completely silent. Her usual outfit came with the addition of a pair of jet-black sunglasses, which she quickly removed. A dark suitcase hung at her side.

"Am I interrupting anything?" The PHANTOM agent asked, looking at Steve with a genuine sense of curiosity.

Smoke signals--really, it might have been more discreet to shine the Bat-Signal into the sky. Not that Ravenna really had a reason to question anything about it. Expecting her benefactors to keep their heads in the current trends was probably too much. The medium hummed to herself softly as she ambled through the woods, images with too many unspoken words buried into each detail guiding her path. Somewhat.

Dear little Lyra was probably making it a point to take the barista on the scenic route.

'Lyra, dear, I do have to meet Steve eventually.'

Another flicker of an image. Annoyance. Impatience. Disapproval.

Lyra still cut to the chase, bringing her partner to the appointed destination. One that was occupied by two familiar faces instead of one. Amusing, perhaps. Ravenna flashed her usual smile at both, as though meeting acquaintances at the market instead of in the middle of the woods.

"My, my... I didn't expect a reunion so soon, dears." Lie. "And to what do I owe this pleasure?"

Steve had been dressed in an old-fashioned suit that looked like it came from the 19th century, a tail coat with a black vest and white cotton shirt. Not the proper place to be wearing such clothes, nor was it a modern trend. His hair was slick back, and after he was annoyed by an unwelcome guest, he fetched in his tailcoat pocket for a cigarrete. He'd light it with the tip of his thumb, before placing the smoke in his mouth. He leaned back on the log he sat on with his left leg crossed over his right.

"Well this meeting was for Animus only." He grumbled towards Yui, before he turned his attention to Ravenna's Arrival. Right on time at the very least. "But I suppose it wouldn't hurt to have you stay. I am sure the both of you are aware of the sudden...emergence of rogue spirit-wielding activity that spiked along with that raid we pulled."

"Perhaps it wouldn't have spiked if you hadn't needlessly attacked so many civilians." Yui said with a glare. "A life in danger is a great opportunity for any Shade looking to make a Pact." While moments ago she was in a good enough mood to return Ravenna's smile, said raid was still a sobering subject for her. She took a deep breath and let go of her aggression; better to look towards the future, for now.

"Though I don't see why this "spike" has to be a bad thing," Yui said, turning her gaze towards the trees. "At least for PHANTOM. It could be quite the opportunity, if we play our cards right."

"Hm... I can't say I appreciate competition as much as the next person." The words were murmured under Ravenna's breath, the only hint of their contents left in the faintest fade of her default expression. A surreptitious glance drifted over toward Steve, quickly hidden behind a fluid transition to inspect her nails before she spoke for her audience of two. "Well... I certainly hope that I don't step on any of PHANTOM's toes then, dear. I'm afraid I'm not given much information to work with."

Ravenna wasn't entirely sure that was a lie.

"Though I suppose there aren't many cards little old me can play in this situation, yes?"

"We shouldn't have any trouble if you get them to defect to PHANTOM, but otherwise, they present an unknown variable in any further effort made here." He said before turning his attention to Ravenna. "Given your location of business in this town, I had to come to inform you that you're expected to... investigate anyone that happens to be like you. Nothing sinister, yet anyway, but we need to find out what kind of people are making contracts, and if they will be an obstacle in the future. More urgent, however.." He puffed his smoke, as he looked back between the two. "The titans we faced on the lake were the original guardians, but the removal of the orb and their destruction as left a rift between our worlds. Its expected that more spirits will enter this world through it periodically now. I suppose that would make it an ideal place for research among your PHANTOM folk, but there will be obvious potential for disaster here." The man tapped out his smoke, as he smirked over to the witch's pet. "Of course, if you were working for me I'd make sure you'd have a safe place to run your business."

"We know," Yui said with a nod. "My friend has been very interested in the lake since we received the key. She's been making me gather samples." She gestured to the suitcase at her side.

"These Spirits, though..." She continued, staring into the distance with a thoughtful frown. "Who are they, exactly? Those who were banished after the first Pact? Are you hoping to recruit them to ANIMUS?"

"Many of them are, I presume, however much of them are simple minded or feral. Some can be recruited, but many of them will just get in the way. With our little girl scout here, hopefully she can pick out which ones want to talk and which ones want to bite."

"Hm, such high praises. I'm sure I don't deserve them," Ravenna said. Part of her came to life at the thought of the assignment, a part that she wasn't comfortable with quite yet. So many years chasing it, and now she didn't quite know what to do with it. Fill? Bury? Flood? An airy laugh escaped her. "I'll be certain to leave some honey out for the flies then, though I'm quite certain that even I will reach maximum occupancy."

At least, that would have been the ideal.

"Though perhaps PHANTOM might be interested in any spirits that I can turn to a fresh recruit?"

"Perhaps," Yui said with a nod. "Any Spirit that might share our vision is of great value to our cause. I think it would be greatly appreciated." Of course, recruiting Spirits or Mediums was proving to be quite the ordeal, but perhaps that wasn't the best thing to say out loud.

"Of course, if we can't recruit them, then I humbly ask that you continue to allow me a share of the spoils." Yui produced her most recent card seemingly from nowhere, the image of a large wand shimmering faintly in the light. "They have proved to be extremely... lucrative." She wasn't sure if that was quite the right word, but she suspected it was close enough.

"Either way, unrecruited spirits on a feeding frenzy will prove to be an annoying obstacle. I'd like to emphasise that while we can recruit them, we aren't opposed to sending them back to where they came from. Ravenna, and I suppose you too since you seem to be hanging around, expect danger a bit more frequently here..." He motioned, as he looked over to the empty treelines. "Course it ain't only other spirits we have to worry about, I think those mortals know something too; keeping their soldiers here and all."

"Of course they do," Yui spat, letting out a weary laugh. "Not even one day passed by and the bastards already started rolling out plans to militarize the entire country. They knew something like this was going to happen and they knew exactly how to profit off of it. I think you should watch your backs; they're more of a threat than they seem."

"Well, humans are known for putting their noses into business that they don't belong in, yes?" Though it wasn't like Ravenna didn't understand. There were things that spirits were capable of that humanity simply wasn't. "I could always do a little more prodding if my dearest benefactor feels the need. That aside..."

Her smile grew.

"Using my name now, dear? Such an honor on this little pawn."

Steve rolled his eyes at her. "Don't get too attached dear." He smirked. "Regardless, Yui, you are right. We have to be a bit more careful here." He'd look over to the camp fire, as he smothered it with a boot. "We'll have to spy on them too. The last thing we need are spirit wielders joining their ranks."

Yui nodded.

"It's something I won't be able to help with." She admitted, frowning. "I've had to do my best to lay low. Let me know if you ever get the chance to get more... confrontational with them, though."

"I don't think subtlety is one of our fortes. I'm sure we'll tip you off if explosions don't," Ravenna chuckled. Though she had to be fair, there hadn't really been explosions in their last little tiff--just very large guardians and veritable monsters. The woman twisted a stray lock of hair around her finger as she leaned lightly against a tree. "Dear little Yilan and I can handle reconnaissance to an extent. So long as it doesn't lead unsavory types to my little cafe."

Steve nodded to the both of them. "Good then, well, thats all the info I had to share with you." He yawned as he stretched his arms. "All this travel just for that..."

"I'd best be on my way, then." Yui said, giving a quick wave. "Take care, you two." She put her sunglasses back on and slipped away into the woods.

"Well, she's an interesting one, isn't she?" Ravenna hummed. "I wonder what we can expect from our dear allies in the future."

It might be interesting, after all.

"Maybe you'd like to discuss it over some coffee, dear?"

He'd nod to Yui as she left, before turning back to Ravenna. He had an awful grin.

"That sounds just lovely, 'dear'." He mocked, as he put out the fire with his boot. "You'll have to cover my tab though."
In Skybound 3 mos ago Forum: Casual Roleplay


In Skybound 3 mos ago Forum: Casual Roleplay


The Aftermath





In the day that followed the disaster, news spread like wildfire. Survivors told their accounts, and evidence had leaked far too wide to be covered up. The relief responses were immediate. Nonprofit organizations came to provide food, shelter, and aid in reconstruction. The Coast Guard started to perform hourly patrols, a local military force with militia recruitment had been set up in the woods between the city and the suburbs. School had been cancelled for two weeks due to the damages and casualties. Hospital tents and makeshift infirmaries were created from old buildings and parking lots to help care for the mass of injured victims of the disaster. Although a terrible incident, recovery had been surprisingly swift. Almost as if they had been expecting this to happen. Across the nation, news outlets broadcasted a state of address from the President himself, Michael Quintons.

"My fellow Americans. It is with great sadness and horror that I report over the disaster at Lakewood, Maryland. This was not the result of any natural disaster, or simple terrorist attack. Strange monsters have laid waste to the humble city. We do not know much of this enemy, but we know they came from the sea. We believe that these attacks will continue, and thus we will make our best efforts to repel such a threat. Effective immediately, we will have defensive measures across every bit of land in this great country. I implore all to remain near or within the closest city available to your location, as there is strength in numbers. More updates will follow on this strange threat. God Bless America."

News outlets covered what footage had been leaked of the incident: Sightings of violent crustaceans and a great white beast. A sky alit with flames and towering monstrosities. Humanoids flying across the sky. It wasn't of the best quality, but enough to capture attention world wide. The public has now been made aware of spirits, or at least, the surface level threat of them. Though exact information of these monsters and heroics weren't elaborated on by officials, much speculations and theorycrafting has went around from aliens to super heroes to wizards and demons.




Titan Fightan | 11:45 EST

A collab with @PapiTan@Kamen Evie@Scribe of Thoth@banjoanjo





The Lake | 11:15 EST

A collab with @PapiTan@Kamen Evie



















The Foxhole | Monday | 8:00 AM



Mornings in the Foxhole were always different from the rest of the day.

Ravenna hummed softly to herself, the smell of hot coffee wafting through the establishment even in the earliest hours of the cafe's opening. In the afternoon, the little shop was already in the swing of things, and if she were completely honest, typically had more teens than other age groups. The woman didn't mind, of course, but there was something pleasant about the mornings, where the only people around were the regulars that came in a set schedule. The shop would be bustling later, but in the morning, it was a quiet domain. Peaceful, maybe.

That was probably why she'd seen familiar faces coming by more often than not, if she were honest. There had been unrest in the city as of late, a stark uptick in crime coming in response to paranoia, terrorism, and people that simply...vanished. That, added to the sudden groups of religious extremists and theorists, had probably been enough for anyone to seek out the comfort of routine. Better than routine, even, considering the decided lack of any attempts to invade the Foxhole, as far as the public was aware.

Ravenna couldn't really take credit for that though. Not with Rust being Rust.

"Hmmm, Ron will want a scone with extra jam, and Laura will want her bagel untoasted..." Those two were like clockwork. Every morning at the same time, the same order. After a while, the barista had managed to get the timing for having their orders ready as soon as they walked through the door. "Must be a fulfilling routine..."

Speaking of which, the school year was starting up again, wasn't it? That would mean a lot of returning business after the lengthy summer holidays, wouldn't it? She hummed to herself ever the more as she thought of how productive the mornings were bound to become.

There was a jingle at the door, the sign of a customer. A familiar brown haired man in a tank top and sweat pants had arrived, right on schedule. He took his usual seat at the bar, smiling with a wave toward the barista. "Morning Rav, I'll have my usual." The gym teacher leaned back in his stool, with one hand idly moving through his own messy brown hair. He had a bit of stubble yet to be shaved, and his eyes showed hints of improper sleep. Typical from his summer habits of a night owl.

On schedule, as always... if a little more unkempt than usual. Ravenna flashed a smile at John as she removed a portion of said usual from the toaster oven.

"Morning, Digiorno. Coming back to being diurnal?" A cup of fresh coffee was poured and set in its usual place, the light teasing note in Ravenna's voice impossible to miss even while she busied herself with plating the rest of the gym teacher's breakfast.

He was never able to avoid a smile hearing that stupid nickname, with an exaggerated sigh and eye roll that followed like a routine. "I swear if you didn't have this cafe I would have abandoned mornings altogether." He humored, taking a sip of his coffee. "I don't know how you can get yourself every morning for this."

"Could be plenty of reasons," Ravenna started. Plates and utensils were set with a sense of familiarity that came with years of practice, the sound minimal despite the movement. "Like maybe I look forward to seeing your cute face in the morning?"

A laugh fell upon the mildly tan teacher, his cheeks lightly flushed. "Always so forward Rav. You're lucky you don't have any other customers at the moment."

"My, my, saying I'm lucky to be spending a morning alone with you? And you call me forward." The barista chuckled, a soft melodic sound that didn't disturb the peace of the cafe. "So, what have you been doing all summer, John? Thinking of new ways to make sure your kids are tired and hungry after class?"

"If I was that dedicated I should have went for a drill sergeant." He took another sip of his coffee after a quick chuckle. "What about you? How has your summer been?"

"Hmm, nothing too different. I missed a few regulars, I guess." Ravenna claimed, the easy smile still lingering on her lips as she returned to the task of prepping for the next regulars that would inevitably come through the door. "Luckily, it looks like crime doesn't like my little shop."

She smiled at her first customer of the day, even as she heard some semblance of a scoff resound in her head. Tyet had never been much for the small talk.

"But it is less lonely in the mornings with all the Lakewood High regulars on their way back. I guess I should welcome you home."

"Well I missed you too Rav." He said with a smile as he downed the rest of his morning brew. "Maybe we could catch a movie sometime. You free friday night?"

"Only with a coupon," Ravenna teased in response. [color=cf9af]"But I can make an exception just for you. Friday night sounds lovely."[/color]

"Alright, I'll pick you up at 8." He finished his morning fix, and already started to fish in his pockets for his wallets. "That work for you?" He'd pay his usual bill with a 20% tip, teacher's salaries be damned.

""More than enough, Digiorno."

The teacher gave a smirk at her once last time before waving his hand as he left the store.
Chapter 0

Prelude


It's always calm before a storm. Unbeknownst to most, disaster will strike soon. This will be an optional slice of life interaction period, to those that want to engage in some pre-disaster interactions feel free to run some collabs with people. You don't have to participate, this is mostly just to pad out some time for those that still haven't made their sheets but give something to the players that are waiting. If you wanna wait for the big event TM that is perfectly fine. Your social collabs can include time periods from the first week prior to friday, or the week prior with the closing of summer break. Friday the 13th at 12:15 is the cut off point to where the main event will happen.
Solo posts can generally be about whatever too, recommended to situate yourself near that event time, especially to those not at the school. If you also want some solo posts with npc's or want npcs in your collab feel free to hit me up. Keep in mind you are allowed to make your own minor npc's provided they are just ordinary people.

For collabs I recommend using this
pad.riseup.net
and contacting whoever you wish to collab with. You may also join in other collabs if you feel like you'd want your character there or to show up, just feel free to communicate among yourselves n all that. Make your posts in the pad and someone will be in charge of posting the whole thing here.
Any questions feel free to pm me, especially to characters who aren't in the school and need direction.
Chapter one will start next monday in real time to close off this interaction period, that should give enough time for those to finish their characters and get out your social interactions; however delays can happen if there are those that still need time for characters and/or posting. If you feel like you can't get your character up within the week that is fine, but we will be moving on without you. You are still free to join in later of course!





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