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2 mos ago
Current I've been on this stupid site for an entire decade now and it's been fantastic, thank you all so much
11 likes
1 yr ago
Nine years seems a lot longer than it feels.
2 yrs ago
Ninety-nine bottles of bottles of bottles of bottles of bottles of bottles of bottles of bottles of bottles on the wall
4 likes
4 yrs ago
Biting Spider Writing
7 yrs ago
They will look for him from the white tower...but he will not return, from mountains or from sea...
2 likes

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Most Recent Posts

Righto, throwing my hat into the ring. Feel free to tell me if anything at all is off and I'll fix it as quick as I can, the last thing I want to do is mess stuff up.

In Lem's Stash 3 days ago Forum: Test Forum
Ooh, color me intrigued. Got an idea bubbling for the Soldier, if you'll have me.
In Lem's Stash 1 mo ago Forum: Test Forum


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Physical Description
Saiba Aoi is...not tall. Standing at a tiny 148cm (more or less 4'10"), she is head and shoulders below several of her classmates, and still significantly shorter than even the other 'short' students. Cornflower blue hair tied in twintails and bright blue eyes frame and sit atop a narrow, pale face that is nearly always sporting a big smile. Her frame is as small as the rest of her and as narrow as her face. Her legs are long (proportionately, at least) and as slender as the rest of her. She is fairly weak as far as appearances go, with relatively undeveloped musculature. Still, though she isn't strong by any means, she's much stronger than she looks. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the obvious appearance: her legs evaporate into pixels and electricity, and then nothingness, from her mid-shin down. She can't fly or anything, but it does mean she never needs to touch the ground.

It must be noticed that with her Quirk fully active--that is to say, with her entire body digitized--she changes appearance slightly on whatever screen she manifests on. Her cornflower blue hair fades to glowing electric blue at the tips, and her blue eyes turn to a bright turquoise-cyan. She gains a few digitized lines on each cheek. Whatever she's wearing or carrying at the time comes with her when she jumps in. Excepting, of course, her phone if she uses it to jump in.

While at school she wears her Ishin Academy uniform as per requirements, when she's got the choice to wear something else she is inordinately fond of a tracksuit jacket with hugely oversized sleeves into which her arms just about disappear.

Personal History
Aoi has always been a computer person.

Even when she was a small child, she was endlessly fascinated by them, often spending hours poking at them (and accomplishing nothing, of course, she was a small child after all). Her mother Kimiko, a four-armed programmer, indulged her daughter, let her fiddle around to her heart's content as long as she didn't touch the work stuff. Still, as Aoi grew, she nursed a private worry. Quirks were inherited. But Aoi didn't have four arms like her, and her husband...

...Well, Saiba Ryoutarou was Quirkless. And as Aoi grew and grew, past six, seven, eight, it looked like she might be Quirkless too. And some of the kids at school were starting to notice.

So both Kimiko and Aoi were delighted--though Kimiko was deeply confused--to find that Aoi's legs had flickered and faded into pixelated data. And when she proudly walked into the classroom, hand in her pocket with her phone, and fell due to her unfamiliar physiology...she vanished. The class was instantly freaked out, and the teacher, even more so, running over in fear. Until...

"Whoaaaa!"

Character Arc
Perhaps it's not obvious at first glance what's up with Aoi, and where her character development will go. Well, I point you to the above backstory and ask you to consider it. For as cheerful and chipper as Aoi is all the time, she's also burdened down by feelings of inadequacy. Being treated as Quirkless until mid-elementary school, and then being told, however gently, that her Quirk just wasn't cut out of hero work... well, it's left some marks on her psyche.

Quirk Description
Tsukiko has a particularly powerful utility Quirk known as Hypercognition


Description in brief: Passively, Aoi has digitized legs that have different properties than normal people, cutting off some avenues and opening up others. Actively, she can transform into computer data, jumping inside of a terminal. She can travel at internet-fast speeds on Wi-Fi, data cables, or wire connections, but needs to open a channel through cell data by making a call at the moment, and can only travel between devices; she can't jump out midway. If the device she's in is disconnected from all data, she can't exit it. If it's turned off, she goes unconscious until it goes back on. If it's destroyed, she dies.
As the world around them righted itself at Quinnlash's ministrations, Quinn let her fingers slowly uncurl from her biceps, and her arms fall back to her sides as the remnants of panic and fear grew distant once more. She gave a soft groan and titled her head backwards, staring up at the uncanny stars as they folded themselves back into the midnight fabric of the sky, and the flat sticker of the moon warped and deepened until it felt right.

Something about the way Quinnlash spoke, acted, had a way of calming her down. She tilted her head back down and regarded her. Perhaps, she wondered idly, it was because it put her into the role of the 'elder sister' for once.

Despite that, when her younger self stared up at the empty cliff, she felt a shiver go through her, carrying in its wake a tangle of horror and fury and something else she couldn't quite identify. "Darkness is a cage," she breathed. Was that what the presence in the shadows last night was? Not a presence at all, but rather an absence?

"Maybe the dark wants us back."

She shuddered. But before she could respond, Quinnlash had stepped down from her perch, walked down the air, and looked up at her, once again meeting her eye. "We're happy now. We won't go back. We'll fight if we have to, we're good at that—it's what we were made for. I don't...want to be scared. We don't deserve it."

"No," she murmured softly in response, "no, we don't." She paused, a long pause that stretched the dream. When she finally spoke again, her eye went to the decking, and her voice was filled with a quiet desolation:

"I want to go home."
Quinn wanted to go to bed. She did. She was already exhausted. But she couldn't bring herself to turn the lights off, in case the thing in the shadows came creeping back under her door. She wanted to believe Toussaint. She wanted it to have been nothing. She so desperately wanted it to have been nothing.

She couldn't.

The darkness slinking down the hallway after her as she ran. The sick feeling in the pit of her stomach she'd felt standing in front of the window, knowing she wasn't alone. The strange broadcast over the PA, just before it. Quinn was the first to admit that she had a tendency to overthink and overreact to things. She could name several such incidents off the top of her head, she thought, as she sat perched on the edge of her bed, head still gripped—though more gently, now—between her hands. But...but this wasn't like those. She'd felt the thing looming just beyond her door as the lights wavered. She wasn't imagining this. She knew she wasn't. And so the darkness held a special fear for her that night.

As her mind wandered in an effort to not think about what had happened, she rewound to the expressions on the faces of the people that had stood in her door. The pity from Sybil. Cyril's concern. And, of course, the look on Camille's face. The utter contempt. I ruined it. I always ruin it.

And so the next 'morning' came and went with her still sitting on the bed, trying to distract herself with her phone. When she finally stood to find something to fill her hollow stomach, she could already feel the fatigue knotting weights to her ankles. Resigning herself to a miserable day, she cracked her joints, tossed her clothes off to replace them with a fresh set, then plodded to the door and slapped the button. Maybe she could get something from the vending machines. Despite the gnawing hunger, she simply didn't have it in her to go deal with all the people in the common area right now.

...or Camille.



That night, after the mercifully uneventful day, despite the fear that still bubbled inside her, she closed her eye...

...and opened it to the lake. She blinked a few times, taking in the strange atmosphere that permeated it. The gaps, the strange way the waves moved. The ankle-deep water in the boat that she couldn't actually feel. She cocked her head in confusion.

And then she was slammed into by a shadowy figure that, after a moment, resolved it—herself into the ever-comfortable Quinnlash. It was strange. She seemed so...worried. Almost afraid. Quinn felt—and then briefly acted upon—the urge to embrace her before she pulled away. It was...nice.

"We’re still here! You can still dream. You’re okay! It’s okay..."

The boat mended itself then, and the lack of water once more made sense. The reflection of the moon, though it was still haphazard, was now present. The buoy on which Dahlia and Safie clung resolved into a more reasonable shape.

"Fear. Look what it’s done to us. How it hurts us. Our mind. We’re still scared."

Fear.

Quinn hugged herself. Not hard or tight enough to hurt, she didn't dig her fingernails into her arms; but noteworthy still, given how detached negative emotions seemed to be within the dreams. She opened her mouth. Closed it. Opened it again, and spoke a trio of strangled words:

"What was that?"
The first thing that told Quinn something was very wrong was the voice.

It was someone—a voice—that she'd never heard before. And certainly a voice she'd never heard, or expected to hear, over the loudspeaker. Decide where the power lies. There is no king in the mirror. What? What on Illun was that supposed to mean? Kings? Mirrors? It sounded a bit like a poem, she thought, but...off. Wrong. Admittedly, her exposure to things like poetry and literature had been very limited, but there was something about it—some deep piece of her—that told her it wasn't supposed to be. Perhaps it was the tremulous quality of the voice, but she felt certain that it was...a message, maybe for her. A quiet message, like it didn't want something to hear.

A scared message.

Only a throne, a crown, and a promise. And with great pains, I will see this done.

More things she didn't understand. Kings, thrones, crowns, mirrors? She frowned. It was supposed to fit together somehow. Puzzle pieces, but they didn't make any sense. She tried to ponder what it could mean.

And then the lights went out.

Curfew is now in effect. Non-pilot personnel please exit the floor.

And Quinn suddenly had the terrible feeling of someone—something—behind her. An instinctual and crushing feeling that she wasn't alone. And whatever was here now was dangerous. Just like the voice, it was...wrong. The darkness stretched out, and it felt somehow like a living thing. Her breaths came short and sharp.

Go.

And all at once, galvanized by the sudden voice, she snapped into motion, and she ran.

She sprinted through the hall, driven onward by that horrible feeling of something. The lights came on as the power began to cycle, and she spared a moment to glance behind her.

It was still dark. And as she ran, the darkness raced after her, suffocating the fitful nascent light. She didn't know what would happen if the darkness caught up with her, but she was in no hurry to find out.

Doors flew past, and she kept her eyes glued to them as best she could. Everything looked the same here! And just as she felt herself flagging, felt the thing in the dark creeping up behind her: Quinnlash Loughvein. She skidded to a stop, nearly passing the door in her desperation, and at her gaze, it opened—thank god, THANK GOD that still worked—revealing the lights still barely working. The hair on the back of her neck stood on end. It was RIGHT BEHIND HER she bolted in and slammed the button hard enough to sting her hand. It shuttered closed again, and she raced over to the opposite wall, pressing herself to it as she stared wide-eyed in fear as the thing in the darkness...

...didn't follow.

But still, she could feel it. Waiting, hunting, just outside of her door. She knew, sure as anything, that if she opened it, whatever was out there would find her. Her breaths refused to slow. Her whole body shook. As tears began to stream from her eye, she hugged herself tight, digging tense clawed fingers into her biceps. Please, please, please, leave, go away, let it be over—

And then the lights flashed back on, bright enough to hurt her her wide, scared eye. The thing in the shadows was gone. And it was over.

She uncoiled herself bit by bit, and her body, no longer so tense her muscles ached, fell limp from relief. She slid down the window glass, falling to the floor with a thump. She stared at the door still. The fear lingered inside of her; both her own, and another. The instinctual fear of whatever had been out there. The escaping tension and fear bulged in her throat. She clenched her head between her hands like it would fall apart if she didn't hold it in. The tension in her throat grew too great to hold, and wrenched her mouth open.

Quinnlash screamed.
At some point during their study session, Quinn had excused herself to take the dress off so as not to mess it up or something, hanging it up and reclaiming the ubiquitous t-shirt and sweats. So when the curfew announcement suddenly chimed out—she definitely jerked and made a surprised half-sound, what, it had really been that long already?—she was more than happy to take any excuse to spend as much time with Tillie as she could.

"Uh huh, for sure! I'd love to do this again!"

So, walking over to the door, she slapped the button and waited for Tillie to leave before she hopped out herself and let it close behind her.

They walked back in companionable silence. Every so often one of them would say something and the other would respond in turn, but there was something about the hushed ivory halls that seemed to exert a hush on whoever walked through them. Even Tillie.

So instead of speaking, Quinn mulled over what she'd learned. It was...a lot. The text document was more than a few pages long, and there was a disorganized pile of scribbled-over scratch paper clustered around her bed like a nest. Energy. Singularity energy. Weapon-pulling energy. Modir regeneration. Whatever was going on with Ablaze's eye. It was an interesting way to think about it: her—her...?—just doing to the Modir what Modir had always done to their pilots instead. She wasn't sure whether to be proud, intrigued, or terrified; but she found it...slightly off-putting, all the same.

The walk passed quickly enough, lost in thought as she was. In fact, she nearly missed the lift altogether, pitched backwards, and conked her head on the wall. But with that embarrassment out of the way, she looked up into the glass globe that hung above the polished steel door, similar to the one in front of her room, and as it lit up green, the door dinged open. As Tillie boarded, Quinn waved back with enthusiasm to mirror Tillie's own until it finally slid closed, and the silence asserted itself once more.

Heaving a drawn-out sigh, she began the trek back to her room again.

...Felt a little longer that time.
"Uhhhh..."

Did she have any more questions to ask? She hadn't even asked much already, but she knew almost nothing about modiology. Her only experience was practical, which was...different. Which was to say, she didn't really know where to start. She wanted to learn more, but she wasn't quite sure where to go from here.

"Maybe..." What did Tillie know the most about? She'd mentioned knowing about 'this side' of modiology, the what and not the why. So asking a why wouldn't be very useful at...

Well, she might ask one more why. Because something that Tillie had mentioned in her first wordvomit, Quinn did understand: that every Modir, Savior or no, was supposed to return to its 'template' state. Except Ablaze. And she'd mentioned that it was a new theory that needed studying. Which meant there were people studying it, right? Even if it was only her.

Quinn pondered how to say it for a moment, then: "You said that there was a new thing to study because of Ablaze. It's the eye thing, right?" She hummed low in her throat, then added a page break to her document before writing a new line: The Eye Thing. That done, she returned her gaze to Tillie, face writ with curiosity and more than a hint of trepidation. "Does anyone know why it isn't regenerating yet?"

Deep inside her, a long, long way down...she felt something stirring.
Quinn's face cleared up considerably as Tillie backtracked and began to explain things again, and a little more clearly this time. Ex nihilo just meant it came out of nowhere. Wasn't eaten by anything, wasn't summoned out of mini singularities: it just happened. It was an exceptionally strange concept for Quinn to wrap her head around; but then again, most things to do with Modir were a little tricky for her to wrap her head around anyway, that was just how bizarre they were.

And now she had to get in one, of course.

With the newfound clarity of meaning, Quinn made sure to write down everything important that Tillie said, so she could read back over it later. The fact that pieces chopped off of the Modir immediately melted was more than well known to her—she'd been on both ends of Savior-on-Modir combat enough times to know that, at least, if not too much more—but it was still so strange, she didn't get it in the slightest bit.

Modir, she decided, were weird.

But then, out of nowhere, "Maybe the Modir are secretly just big, nasty cans of soup!"

Quinn couldn't help it any more than she could help breathing: at the sudden joke, she burst out laughing. She wouldn't have found it funny in most situations; but here, now, filled with stress in a foreign country isolated from everybody—ALMOST everybody—she knew and loved? It was about the funniest thing she'd ever heard, and the release of tension could practically be HEARD independently in that frayed Quinnlash laugh. Her body, already leaning, went almost limp, and she just about flopped into Tillie as she laughed harder at the stupid joke than she had any right, and for longer.

When it had finally passed, she peeled herself off Tillie and sat up again, still choking back giggles. “Sorry, sorry!"

At length, it passed completely, and she exhaled a long breath. "It's just...been a long couple days, you know?
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