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Arcade let Despair take his hand, wondering who they were going to go find. He'd figure it out soon enough, he decided. Once he saw what was outside, however, he stopped.
Of course he was back in a desert. The familiar heat was already hitting his back. He seemed horrified for a moment before he slipped back into his lifeless state. He was reminded of the bench once again. This time of the moment he decided to enjoy the time away from the Wasteland before it was all over.
Despair was right, he should never hope for anything. It would all come crashing down.
I finally managed to cut all the strings, freeing him but also making him fall from his suspended state right into the invisible floor.
“Are you alright?” I tried to help him up, but the size difference would make it a little difficult especially for a girl like me.
He had landed in a pile of strings on the invisible ground, the strings that fell with him soon falling into the void and disappearing. He managed to get up, although he needed me to give him some support. He was very heavy, as it was to be expected from someone of his height and build, but since he was still feeling well enough to be able to keep himself standing, I didn’t have to lift his entire weight.
“Yeah...am now. Thanks, again,” He said, then looking at me. “I’m just...I feel weighed down, physically. I don’t know why.”
By the time he was fully standing, I let out a sigh of relief and also exhaustion from all the effort I’ve had to do in this brief time. When he thanked me, I responded with a smile, but once he mentioned feeling weighed down, my eyes went straight to the collar he was wearing. It was a slave collar, the same type I once had to wear. Why would he be wearing one of these? He didn’t look like he was a servant when I met him...
“That might be that iron collar you’re wearing,” I pointed out to him while trying to get a better look at the collar, only to find myself disappointed, “I’ve worn one of those before, but I don’t know how to take it off, sorry.”
He brought a hand up to his neck, touching the collar as if to confirm that it was really there.
“Well, yeah, there’s that, but I mean...it just feels like it takes more effort than it should to move anything. It was worse until you got me out of there...wait, you’ve worn one of these before?”
I shook my head, not wanting to distract us from the matter at hand. “It’s a long story we don’t have the time for right now, although…” I began looking around the void around us, seeing that there was really nothing but strings around us. “What do we do now? There’s nothing here other than us and these strings…”
He shrugged. “I dunno. We could explore but I doubt we’ll find anything. Do you have any idea what we’re doing here…?”
“And why are you translucent?”
“Um… Well, this might sound strange, but I think this is a dream.” I looked around once more to take in just how unpleasant this whole area was. “Well, more like a nightmare considering the state you were in… but either way, that’s probably why you’re seeing me as a transparent person”
“A dream…” He said, trailing off as he processed that information. “Well, that would have been nice to know earlier because then I might have tried willing myself out. It felt like I was like that for ages. So what does that make you, a figment of my imagination? Some sort of telepath? Are you supposed to feel tired and sedated in your sleep? How big is my ego that I dreamt I was in the stereotypical Christ pose?”
“I… I don’t know, this is all new to me as well, but I can say without doubt that I’m not just a part of your imagination.” I idly began scratching my right cheek slightly as I began thinking more about the subject as I knew much about myself. “I don’t really understand this much more than you do, but for you to be in that state when I got here… Maybe you feel like you’re trapped? Since dreams are made from our subconscious, then maybe this is all a reflection of how you’re feeling in the real world…” I theorized, giving him a worried look in fear that my guess was correct.
“So you are telepathic. Glad to know I’m not alone here, I guess.”
He stopped for a moment to think about what I said. “Well...I think I remember feeling that way consciously, but I can’t pinpoint why and I don’t think I could while awake either. Real insightful, I know. Um, maybe if we think about the symbolism of all this? Red strings...kind of an odd thing to hold someone in, y’know? If...I’m remembering right, and my memory feels a bit spotty, there’s a myth in Japan that an unseen red string binds two people destined to be together. Right?”
That was a little sudden. I didn’t really know much about symbolism, or what things were supposed to represent, but it was interesting to note how he knew things about Japanese culture. I decided to just go along with his idea, despite not being very sure about it.
“I… I guess so but…” I looked around again. “That’s a lot of red strings…”
“Got any other symbolic meanings for red string that could be relevant?”
“I… I don’t know… If the red strings are about a relationship with one person, then you being tied up in them would be a sign that it’s an unhealthy relationship, right…?” I suggested, not really confident in speaking about this subject.
He seemed to think hard about my suggestion, which meant one of two things: I was either wrong, or I was right but he had never thought of it in that way before.
“...I can't say I’ve been having relationship problems, no. Apart from...wait, I shouldn't say.”
“Alright…” I said, not wanting to press him into talking.
Afterwards we remained in silence. There was nothing really for us to do in this place and we didn’t really know each other much to talk about anything else. Not only that, but making small talk in a place like this wasn’t the most appropriate thing to do. Although it would be a good way to distract us from everything.
“...This kid attacked me with a knife, so a friend tied him up in a tree. Left him literally hanging, and gagged him to keep him from calling out. Then my mas—” He stopped for a moment. “My...girlfriend took this amulet from him. He’d said before that it was some power limiter the librarian gave him, but she didn't trust the librarian so she took it. He went into a panic. That's the earliest I remember...feeling that way.”
I was surprised that he gave me all that information. He wasn’t the one who ended up being all tied up but he still felt something similar to it. It was strange and I couldn’t help but get bad feelings from all this.
“But it wasn’t you who got tied up, so for you to be feeling that way… Do you think it was wrong to treat the boy like that?” I asked, wanting to see what else he had to say.
“He tried to knife me, I didn’t do anything,” He countered, due to how quickly he responded, it looked like he did it reflexively. “I don’t know why it started then, the trapped feeling I mean, it just...struck a nerve, or something. I don’t know.”
“He didn’t seem like a bad kid, more like one of those that gets manipulated into something scummy. Insisted on trying to help us...least before he did it. I’d been warned about that sort of thing only a while before, people who can play you like a fiddle and then casually stab you in the back. Still, I guess I thought I could reach him…"
“...I’ve said too much. Can you...keep all this from everyone, unless I tell you otherwise?”
“A-Are you sure you don’t want help? This sounds serious,” I asked, caught a little off-guard by the request.
“It’ll be dangerous if word gets out. If the wrong people know the kind of stuff I’ve told you, it’ll end with myself, my love, and everyone who stuck their literal or metaphorical neck out for us as a pile of bodies somewhere. I can’t risk it, and that’s why I need you to keep this a secret.”
I wasn’t sure of what to answer. I didn’t want to lie about what I intended to do, betraying his trust wouldn’t do either of us any good. But this whole thing… I didn’t think I could do anything to help by myself.
I took a long time to think, trying to decide what was the best option. Eventually I decided that even if I promise to never tell about anything that’s transpired in this dream, I could still get help through other means.
“Alright,” I sighed, still feeling a little hesitant, “I won’t tell.”
There was another brief period of silence between the two of us, though I noticed Lewis was looking at me the whole time.
“...What happens if you bleed out in a dream?” He asked, pointing at my injured shoulder.
“... I don’t know, this is only the second time I’ve done this and I didn’t get injured the first time,” I replied, rather casually considering the subject, but since this was a dream I knew I wasn’t in risk of anything bad happening to my real body. Not only that, but it didn’t hurt.
“Well, hopefully the answer isn’t ‘you leave me alone in this place until I wake up hours from now’ because this place sucks,” He joked, giggling.
The attempt at lightening the mood was sudden, but appreciated. “Well, this is your dream, can’t you change the scenery as you wish?” I reminded him, with a little smile.
“...I did not think of that. Still prefer your company to being alone but it’s worth a shot.”
He then got more thoughtful and offhandedly tapping his foot on the invisible floor as he tried to figure out how to do this. Suddenly a wood walkway appeared under us, with a purple carpet extending endlessly ahead. I could still see the strings around us and thinking about it, it did look like there were more than there were when I first got here.
“Hey, that worked, mostly,” He said as he looked at what he did and also drew my attention back to him.
“Looks like it,”
Now that I saw what he could do, I began thinking about myself. I wasn’t a part of this dream, so he couldn’t just fix my wound, but since the me here was projection of my own mind, then perhaps I could change myself as I wanted. I closed my eyes and tried to focus. When I opened them again, I saw that my shoulder wound was gone.
“So... I can affect myself even if the dream isn’t mine, this makes things easier,” I said, pleasantly surprised.
“Yeah, no worry about you zapping out on me. Can’t seem to get rid of the strings, though, shame.”
edited 25th Jun '17 5:26:02 PM by FullMoon
All in all it was a good way to end the day. While Yoshika's story fell flat on its face, it was still marginally better than some of the things he heard in Saturn Valley, for as little as that was worth. A nice meal and an entertaining, if not for the right reason, story. Perfect ending to a day. Maybe the conversation would continue more, maybe not, but Lucas hadn't slept a wink yesterday so now he needed to repay his sleep debt a bit.
Of course, Lucas was roused from his slumber by the cry of the wild Morty. The startling wake up resulted in Lucas, who was resting his head on the ground the night beforehand, inhaling a fair bit of sugary sand. Needless to say, he was wide awake after the body's normal way to deal with inhaling a substance not meant to be inhaled. Having experienced the nature of the terrain in such an unpleasant manner, it didn't take long for Lucas to synthesize that which he saw into a general idea of the day theme. Of course, the next thing he realized was the different appearance of all the other people. He looked down at his own attire and... oh dear.
First there was the orange hair on the break day and now there was this?! If Lucas wasn't overcome by emotion he might have thought there was someone intentionally doing this to him, though such a notion is of course ridiculous. His shirt had changed its stripes, the yellow stripes occupying the location where the red ones used to be while the location of the normally yellow stripes had turned blue. Aside from this, Lucas was wearing orange shorts. If it weren't for the stripes swapping places, Lucas would be wearing a facsimile of his dear departed brother's old clothes. He didn't even notice the odd material of the garments, the tears that were starting to push their way out of his eyes were far more demanding of attention. Until he regained his composure he wouldn't be doing much of anything for now.
Louie was already starting to get up when Ben found him, and gave Ben a quick nod. "Yeah yeah, I just gotta do my stretches first" Louie said with a grin, sounding eager. The red of his jacket, shorts, and shoes had turned to a deep purple, while the yellow band on his jacket had turned red. His white undershirt had turned to a lighter purple, and the black parts of his outfit had turned yellow. His pokeballs had turned from red and white to white and green. Louie looked down at himself and frowned ever so slightly. "These day theme things are trying to mess with my style again..." the trainer muttered, then shrugged. He released Ace, Swishee, and Pecha, who were mostly unaffected... Except the charcoal Ace was holding had turned teal, Swishee's water gem had turned a light violet, and Pecha's metronome had turned green.
Meanwhile, Miss Tairee turned her attention to Garrett as he spoke, and shook her head slightly. "I know how it probably sounds, but it's not quite that cynical. If you've spoken with writers much, you should know that almost none of them finish a book exactly the same way they had intended when they started" Miss Tairee said to start with, motioning a hand for Garrett to follow her as she walked back towards the central desks. "Plot details and character names will change, events turn out different ways, as they edit and iterate on their own work until they find what seems to be the best. That is the primary way that the bleeding effect manifests; an author will start with an idea that is genuinely original in their head, but the multiverse will subtly nudge them to change it, until the finished work happens to be from another universe, telling a story of events similar to whatever the author's original idea was" the librarian explained to the thief as she sat down at the computer and started to type.
"Unless they're in the minority of cases where they genuinely do make something original, in which case the bleeding effect will inevitably turn that original idea into a whole new universe, and the cycle continues with authors in other universes editing their previously original ideas to convey this new universe" Miss Tairee continued, as with a blur over where the children were resting, a second Miss Tairee appeared. Then the Miss Tairee at the desks stopped typing and turned her full attention to Garrett. "Besides, it's still up to the author in question to make the story actually worth reading; two authors could tell the same events about the same universe with vastly different qualities in writing. So it's not like their talents are completely pointless" the librarian added.
Hartwig had only just arrived at the lobby himself, relieving Veela from her part of the night watch shift. He sat down and looked at Digger, and scratched at his chin as he thought. "Hy've heard dat dere's a church dedicated to vorshipink de guy, but Hy tink hyu kan chust go to de library und talk to his assistant" Hartwig said, looking contemplative. "Vill hyu be returnink to schtay again tonight? Ve don' need hennyone to make a food run, but dere's schtill odder schtuff to do" he then asked Digger.
"Well that did not last long" Tester said as he floated into Eve's view again from one side. "Another good reason to wait until someone is calling out to you from the physical realm, is that someone else will be there to help you once you've broken free" the AI pointed out to Eve.
"Would you like to reconsider playing a game now?" Tester then asked simply.
Ben smirked, getting down from the desk and stretching as well. "Yeah, sounds like a plan!" Ben told Louie, looking at him and then out the door. However, not sooner than he stepped one foot towards one of the doors when his walkie talkie crackled to life. Ben grabbed it out of his bag and listened, narrowing his eyes when he heard the voice on the other end.
"Ben Tennyson...." the voice on the end hissed. "This is your dear friend Eve. Or should I say... what's left of her. This is Zs'Skayr, and I have your girl Eve. If you wish to see her unharmed, come to the Sweet Tooth Saloon, alone and in human form. If you bring anyone with you, or if you use the Omnitrix to turn into an alien form... I will not kill her. But I will make her wish that she were dead," Ghostfreak explained. Ben gripped the walkie talkie harder, pressing the button.
"Oh yeah?!" Ben exclaimed. "How do I know you're telling the truth? And how do I know you really have Eve?! Tell me, Ghostfreak!" Ghostfreak snickered for a moment.
"Why don't you let her tell you herself?" Ghostfreak hissed. There was a bizarre sound* Ghostfreak releasing Eve from possession on the end of the line, then silence. Ben blinked a little in confusion. A few scuffling noises. A loud crack of a whip. A familiar scream. Eve's scream.
"Let her go, Ghostfreak!! Let her go or I'll—" Ben shouted, looking incensed beyond belief. There was another horrible noise.
"You'll do what, boy? You'll kill me? You said it yourself. Heroes don't kill. Besides, if you harm me, Eve will suffer twicefold. Whether you like it or not, you'll do as I say. Come to the Sweet Tooth Saloon alone, or Eve will feel pain as she has never felt before," Ghostfreak told him. "Heed my instructions... or do not. The choice is yours, Tennyson." There was a wicked laugh as the crackling of the walkie talkie died down. Ben gripped the walkie talkie harder, then looked at Louie and Miss Tairee, followed by looking around the library frantically.
Ben looked concerned and worried.
"I've... I've gotta go save Eve! She... she needs me!" Ben exclaimed, pain in his voice. "How... how long as she been held by him?!"
Digger - Home Sweet Home - the sun is a deadly lazer
"Yeah, s'fine," I said dismissively. "But can I do that later? I've got some stuff to take care of. ...Yes? Great, thanks a lot."
I walked out the building and was immediately met with the most intense heat I've ever felt. Us wombats don't go out in the sun a lot, and we especially try to avoid going up during the summer. Our fur makes it damn near impossible to deal with the heat for extended periods of time, but I was confident that I could make it to the library without getting heatstroke and dying an unfavorably sweaty death.
And if I ran, I could get far enough without burning my feet on the sand. Er, sugar.
"Don't worry, Arcade. This is nothing like your home. Things can still be saved here. People can still be saved here. You haven't broken anyone yet. We will make sure you don't," Despair said, perhaps soothingly. "...I can sense more people who need our help, everywhere. Some of them are closer than Rex. Do you still want to go to him first, or would you rather seek out someone nearer first?"
Eve| Void Of Darkness| Welp. She Broke.
The whimpers continued, and Tester got no response.
So suffice it to say, she was less than thrilled when the transition to the next day finally occurred. Her shirt had turned black and her accessories red,◊ nothing being its proper color. "Not again." she muttered. At least it was just the color that had changed, and not the actual shape like when she had dressed up as the so-called "Santa" with such a strange heavy coat.
"Yoshika, Lucas, wake up," she commanded to the children when she heard what seemed to be a little girl screaming in the distance. "I know not what manner of beast a lollipop is, but someone is being terrorized by one nearby."
Arcade fought the smile that Despair's words brought to his face. It was reassuring to hear that he had someone to protect others from the needless suffering he causes. He considered the choice Despair had given him.
"If we find someone who needs help, we shouldn't ignore them in favor of Rex," he said. He didn't want too many people to suffer from hope if they could be fixed.
Day 16, Dino Campfire — This reboot of Toy Story sucks
Yoshika's riveting tale was... less than a story. It was a collection of plot points and scenes from different movies waved into an incredibly boring tale. So much so that it made Rex fall asleep.
"...uh, what?" Rex rubbed his eyes, after Yoshika was done and looked confused. He had barely heard what any of what she had said.
"Yeah... I was expecting something else" Rex echoed Morty's feelings. On the other hand though, the dinosaur was pretty good.
Rick didn't want to fall into a cliché but he felt the need to point out it tasted like chicken. Kinda fitting, honestly.
"No, I can see that. It just feels more like... pork. And yeah, I still can't believe I'm eating this" it was still late though and since no one seemed to have more interesting stories—or no one really had the energy to do so after hearing Yoshika's—Rex decided to go to sleep again.
And that pretty much brings us to right now...
Day 17, Des(s)ert near the Campfire
Well, except for the fact that Rex decided to walk away from the group for a bit to make a call and go to the little boys room.
But pretty much.
Meanwhile, the group had already woken up, if Morty's screams were anything to go by. Looks like he wasn't doing so hot with the new theme and for some reason lollipops made him completely angry. Either that or an actual lollipop was trying to kill him which... shit that could actually be happening right now.
"Hey, what's going on now?" Rex asked, going back to where the campfire site.
edited 25th Jun '17 8:04:11 PM by DeisTheAlcano
Investigations of the Strange Kind, Dessert Desert
The walk through the desert was anything but pleasant to one that habitually wore high heels, even one that was trained to be able to fight in them and to take discomfort in stride. It was such a horrible sensation that traveled from the footwear and into the arch of the feet before sending signals most unwanted through the spine itself, as if asking the owner the question "What made you think this was a good idea?" The reason why she didn't just take off the shoes in question to trudge along was that then the hot and sticky substance would just further lower overall combat effectiveness and make her feel even worse. Plus it'd absolutely ruin her pantyhose and that would be a waste considering it was made of some high quality silk.. or used to be.
The scream of what was supposed to be a juvenile youth perked up the woman who was distastefully looking around the teeth rotting scenery, giving her an indication of where she could possibly go to start off her quest for answers as well as to help out a potential innocent in need. Picking up her scythe and dashing forward with the stride eating pattern of a trained huntress, the raven haired clergywoman soon found herself approaching what appeared to be a brunette teen of the male persuasion, copious amounts of blazing red Wrath radiating off him to her eyes that could see the Deadly Seven. It was almost too much for one without any weapons on him, the boy further on having the physiology of a particularly limp duck.
"You there, are you alright?" Pausing after slowing down, the woman of faith held her scythe blade facing away from the boy so as to not cut an as intimidating as before figure, her movements showing that she didn't intend him any harm. "Are you alright, boy? You sounded like you were most... frustrated. Do you need any aid?" Still, no matter how one cut it, the fact that a strange lady with somewhat provocative clothing◊ carrying a scythe made for giants was not something one would see everyday even in the City. Peering intently about Morty's general area and trying to discern the cause of how one such as him got to be so full of Wrath, the Priest idly wondered if there was a demon nearby.
Miss Tairee looked over to Ben when he spoke up and raised her eyebrows slightly, but then turned her attention as the commotion had caused Seirwuosuhr to stir, along with the literates; Tommy however was still asleep.
"Eve's in trouble?! Well of course we've gotta go save her man!" Louie said, determined at first, then a little bit hesitant as something crossed his mind. "Maybe... I know!" the trainer then continued as he got an idea, "I'll fly up high with Swishee, and come down when he doesn't expect it to clobber him!"
Tester was silent for a while.
"I see. That is unfortunate" Tester finally said simply. He then just floated there, screens flashing but making no noise, and did not seem to be in any hurry to leave.
"If you come with me, he's gonna hurt Eve. I don't want her to suffer!" Ben told Louie. "If I'm gonna go, I have to go alone. I can save her. I can keep him from hurting her any more," Ben said. "I'll just have to find this saloon that Ghostfreak was talking about, and go there... and rescue her."
He clenched his fists. "I don't know what I'd do if she got hurt..." Ben told Louie, before marching towards one of the doors and heading outside to start searching for the building in question. Sweet Tooth Saloon....
Lewis - Dreamspace - Red-Stringed Puppet, Act 2 pt 3
I started walking along the path, looking out at the abyss, and whistled part of a tune that came to me.
"It's strange, but I feel like I've done this before, and I don't mean in another lucid dream. The reality warping thing, I mean. I don't remember being able to do anything like that."
How much can you remember from your past?" Chise asked, following next to me.
I didn't answer for a few moments. Did I want to open this can of worms? Well, it's not like I could really lie out of this one, and evading the question would probably just arouse suspicion and make her press me on it.
I grabbed her hand, half-expecting her to fall off the walkway as if its presence now made the rest of the void impassable by foot. It caught her by surprise, but she didn't object, only listened.
"...Hardly anything, really. The first thing I remember is coming to in some woods just today, or yesterday depending on what time it is in the real world, but I know there was something before that because I can feel it there if I try, and rarely if I don't."
"So you have amnesia, a very recent case too...Or maybe there's something suppressing your memories..."
Something suppressing my memories? That wasn't an odd conclusion given what little she knew about this...but no.
Did I want to correct her? If she kept her word, she kept her word, but if not...well, I'd already explained what happened to...right, I apparently had a bad memory for names in this place...but he knew a great deal already and she could infer that he knew, so I wouldn't lose much telling her myself, right?
"Well...a certain someone told me when I gained consciousness that she'd newly raised me from the dead, ostensibly in her service, with amnesia being an unfortunate side effect. She also said we had a thing, so to speak, which I believed considering this majesty she had about her. Though, if I'm honest, it's more of a divine sort of quality than a romantic one."
Seriously, I could have sworn there were more strings than before out here.
She seemed to grow confused the more I went on, and for a long while looked like she wanted to say something but was unsure whether she should. That was, until she eventually spat it out.
"Lewis...Do you remember who I am?" she asked, sounding worried.
So she did know who I was. I had suspected. But why hadn't..."
"...No, sorry. I thought I'd heard your name before, but only in this sense of having heard it from someone on the street while passing by, so I brushed it off."
"To be honest, we didn't really talk much, but...When I saw you, you didn't have any lady alongside you outside of a couple girls who were younger than me," she began explaining. "Not only that, but if you die in the world we're currently in, you come back immediately. When you died, it must have been before we got here, because it's impossible for her to have raised you from the dead while here..." She trailed off, looking a little uncomfortable, "...Whoever told you all that...She's lying to you."
No one stayed dead here...?
She had to be messing with me, whether maliciously or otherwise...but now that I'd heard it, it rang a bell, and a loud one at that. In fact, now that I thought about it...
I thought I recalled this burning sensation, intense and merciless, ceding only to the feeling of viscera being ripped away. All accompanied by the smell of...old shrimp?
Being held by the locket, an odd double sensation of being picked up and pulled up, and then my being draining away from me, as I'm assaulted by shadows, for lack of a better term.
That made twice.
I stared at her, disbelieving, yet wanting to hear what other ridiculous claims she had to say about my basic reality, the act of absorbing her words feeling like a more metaphorical string-cutting. At the same time, the literal strings seemed to still be increasing in number.
And, in what may have been a foolish action, I told her more, to see what she'd say.
"...She told me I'd been killed by a jealous interloper. That he'd duped the public into thinking we were evil, and needed to be destroyed. That he...made me think of him as a friend, once. I certainly remembered feeling betrayed. He'd texted this phone I found, seemingly mine, about some kind of 'door challenge', and she smashed it to pieces to 'protect me'..."
"Jesus, what kind of telenovela is my life?"
"I can't say anything about that is false with certainty but...This door challenge...That must be referring to the challenge of helping a woman by bringing back her village and the people in it that were killed..." Chise thought for a moment, her eyes widening, "Is...Is the name of the 'jealous interloper' Rex?"
For the duration of this dream, names had been evading me, except for mine and, once she told me, Chise's. But it clicked now that she'd said it, and I felt I could reach for more names if I tried.
"That's what she said, anyway," I answered, unable to feel bitter at the mere mention of him when I was busy having the foundation of my reality being attacked, something that somehow managed to feel a mix of offensive and relieving.
"I know Rex, he's a really reckless person, but he's not bad. He isn't the type of person who would betray someone like that, I'm sure of it," she firmly stated.
I didn't say anything for a moment.
"...That sounds exactly like something one of them would say. I chanced this with that kid before, I should've known better than to chance it with you. You'd think a guy would learn after a couple times.
"And yet...you helped me, and even though I know I should be regarding everything you say with suspicion, I feel that you're right, or at least onto something. I can't say what it is, but..." Could I remember his name? "...Cole, I told him what I just told you and he said he wanted to help us. Not like he liked Rex anyway, the guy was a condescending bastard or something. I'd wanted him to anyway, even though he had way too many knives in his greeting."
I stopped walking.
"I thought I wanted him on our side, to help make us not pariahs, but now that I look back on it, I think what I really wanted was someone familiar who felt...safe. I didn't want him to help us so much as help me, if that's an eloquent way of saying it."
"I think I know what I was tied up for. She wants this, I'm sure, wants to keep me trapped here for her own purposes. I'm afraid of what she'll do if she knows I know, because there's this section of my memory that feels hazy and unreal, and after that it's this mix of feeling high as a kite and wanting to scream and it's so hard to resist but I don't want to lose myself..."
I looked down at the carpet, trembling.
"I'm...I'm sorry. I wish I could do more to help you but...I don't think there's anything I can do." Chise sighed, sounding disappointed. "...What's the name of the lady who lied to you? Can you remember?"
"Her name...?" It eluded me, like every other name did in this place, but I could find it with some effort and a few moments of thought. "...Her name is Sei—"
"Honey, what are you doing?"
Chise appeared to brace herself.
"We've warned you once, and we'll warn you a thousand times that you can't risk just trusting anyone who doesn't look at you wrong."
God, it shouldn't be, but her voice was so coaxing. I honest to god felt guilty for neglecting her wisdom again, except intellectually I knew it couldn't be called wisdom by any means jesus did this collar just get heavier I forgot it was here god there were more strings than void out here fuck
It was getting hard to stand.
"I'll kill you," I shot back with as much spite as I could muster, which wasn't nearly as much as I'd hoped considering I both wasn't into it and was distracted by trying to remain upright. "I swear on it, I will."
A string running through the walkway suddenly yanked to the right, displacing the carpet under us and causing us both to trip. The fall ended up knocking Chise's knife into the void and her hand out of mine.
"What's going on?!" she cried, clearly terrified.
I scrambled to get up, a slow process given this stupid weight, about to reply to Chise before being interrupted.
"Is that any way to talk to the love of your life, sweetie? How rude. Well, I know a way to fix that."
I had barely managed to get to my feet again before a flash of red came, and for a moment I felt actual pain everywhere the strings impaled.
Which was, y'know, everywhere. Figures.
Well, if it was hard to move while sedated, it was even harder when sedated and skewered. You would think that thread would make a horrible pike, but apparently dream logic said otherwise. I had enough terror in my system to struggle anyway, but that didn't stop me from being lifted and jerked in ways the body shouldn't be able to move into exactly the same position as before.
The strings started to bind me again, and I felt heavier...
"Please understand, I'm not doing this out of malice. Simply because I love you, and what kind of a spouse would I be if I were afraid to teach you respect."
That...almost made sense...? I wanted to reply, but it was getting hard to think.
"...I'll kill you," I repeated. "I'll kill you, I'll kill you, I'll kill you, I'll kill you..."
"You just refuse to quit, don't you?" A soft sigh. "Every time you do this, I have to buckle down even harder. At this rate, I might suffocate you. Why can't you just learn to cooperate with me like a good little servant? It'd be so much easier for all of us."
I wanted to stop, I was so drained, and yet couldn't.
I kept repeating myself, louder and louder, to the point where the phrase didn't even sound like a sentence, going on and on like a broken record even after I forgot what it meant, screaming the words by the time the voice finished and another gag materialized to shut me up and not stopping even then, though by that point it wasn't deliberate on my part so much as a compulsion.
For a moment...her name was, uh, Chise, right? Shit...ran up in what may have been a futile attempt to help, before the walkway started dissolving, crumbling into fine particles and falling away into the abyss, taking her along with it.
I tried to yell her name—
Home Cavity-Giving Home, in the Waking World
I woke up with my hands pressing into the flat seat of a bench, bright light pouring down through a window above me, with someone nudging my leg.
Also I felt that I'd been physically altered somehow.
Oh. I supposed I should get up now. Shame. It felt nice laying on this bench I didn't remember falling asleep on. Actually, I was pretty sure I passed out on the floor for some reason. I sat up, staring blankly ahead for a second before looking myself over, taking the now blue locket out of bewilderment and while closely examining it being hit with the scent of chocolate and capsaicin. And I thought the word home.
Between all the unexpected stimuli, the dream began to slip my mind...
edited 25th Jun '17 11:38:39 PM by Oceanstuck
Library - Day Transition
Jack watched as the small girl and her... brother? He actually didn't know and hadn't thought to ask. But he watched them leave, still a little miffed by what had happened. Sighing, he glanced around the library, noting that everyone seemed to be getting ready to sleep. He supposed the day was coming to an end, then.
Time passed, and as people slowly fell asleep, the winter spirit began looking for ways to amuse himself. Eventually, he started to float from one large window to the next, running his fingers against the glass. Wherever he touched, curling patterns of light frost spread outwards; sparkling and twisting into various flat silhouettes. One window a silhouette of Tooth surrounded by her fairies. another with North standing with arms crossed and flanked by yetis with a few elves dancing around his feet. Bunny hunched over holding one of his little legged eggs as others stood around him. Sandy floating with arms gently held out, spirals of frost twisting out from his hands to cover the glass.
He even did a few of people he had met in the city. Ben posing with his big four-armed form behind him. Two Aras standing next to each other, one carrying a spear and the other with ears and tails. Cole standing next a smaller version of himself. Anyone he had spoken to for at least some time, and he knew what they looked like, got a place on a window.
Partway through the final one, everything blurred and a moment later cleared. Jack squinted at the light now coming through the windows. Already he could see the thin frost fading in the heat; Wiping out his efforts of the previous day. It didn't bother him, though. It was just part of ice and frost. Temporary. Something bright out the corner of his eye caught his attention, and the Guardian glanced down and sighed. "Not again..."
His normally blue hoodie had once again changed colour. This time a bright and nearly eye-searing yellow. His brown pants, the old ones he'd had for a very long time, were now a pastel purple. And then there was Twinetender. His staff was bright blue, like it had been painted. "Oh come on, I look ridiculous."
The Guardian was knocked out of his complaining by a sudden scream. It was tinny, and sounded like it was coming from a speaker or something, but it was very obviously a young girl. He whipped around, looking for the source of the noise. A shout from Ben down below gave him a good idea. He shot down, landing near the obviously panicked young boy. "Ben, what's going on? Who was screaming?"
Crazy Chinese (Taiwanese) Lady Is In Town
Well... this was a strange place to suddenly find yourself in.
The woman on the balcony sighed and moved some rowdy hair out of her face to survey the surroundings. This was nowhere she recognized. The balcony, the architecture, the miles of sand stretching far ahead... the void right behind her. Her clothes changed color too, inexplicably; now it was her dress and shoes which were white and the little jacket that was red. The heat was unbearable too, what's with the sun so high up in the sky.
Was this the place Sawyer mentioned the other day? A "magical place that I don't think I can describe"? <As if my day wasn't hard enough already...> Shenhua muttered in Chinese, disgruntled. Well, no matter. If what her roomie said about this place was true, there was no point in trying to come back; you would have to get whisked back by whatever ran the damn show.
In any case, an unknown terrain was something to watch out for, especially if the scenery was what it was. Shenhua took a moment to undo the stilletos in her heels, twirling them briefly between her fingers before pocketing them and giving the surroundings one more look. No point in standing around. For now she would just walk around, a rather strange sight even in this strange town at this strange day...
And then she found herself nearby a campsite full of strangest characters, most of them concerned about the scream one of them let out all of a sudden. "Aiya, good morning!" Shenhua called out cheerily, giving the people gathered a wave. It seemed like the scream wasn't ultimately something she concerned herself with much.
edited 26th Jun '17 8:45:45 AM by FergardStratoavis
Joel was tired right now, walking down the streets of....wherever this was. He had Cambot, Gypsy, Tom Servo and Crow following him, with the latter two smacking their lips.
"Wow, who would have thought clothes taste that good!" Crow declared.
"Yeah, well now I wonder what all these buildings taste like," Tom said, observing the fact each and every building was made out of sweets.
"Guys, don't eat all these sweet, it isn't healthy. You'll get sick," Joel said, turning to them. He was missing a sleeve and pant leg.
"Joel, we're robots. Why would we get sick?" Crow asked.
"Well, you do all have allergies, remember," Joel said.
"I've always wondered about that," Tom mused.
"Guys, look!" Gypsy said. "That building is normal!"
Indeed, there was a normal building. A library, by the looks of it.
"Let's go check it out, guys, come on," Joel told them, and then started to lead the way.
I woke up, stunned and staring at the ceiling. I wanted to move my body, but for a while it felt like it wasn't responding, like I was frozen in place. Eventually I managed to sit up and took that time to look around the room was in. For one thing I realized that I was actually on a proper bed this time and the walls around me didn't look like they were made of wood, but other than that there wasn't much else to note.
My mind went back to Lewis. He was being manipulated into doing some woman's bidding, turned into a servant somehow... What was I supposed to do with this? I didn't know who this woman was, she didn't appear in the dream, nor did I know her methods and how to break him free from her hold. I still couldn't go telling anyone about what happened, but maybe I could lead some people into helping.
I stood up from the bed and soon noticing that my coat that I left on a nearby desk had changed to a red color. Looking over myself, I saw that my outfit had changed colors. My vest was black, my skirt was red and my boots were white, but other than that it was the same outfit. It seemed like the tears had fixed themselves, so at least that meant I didn't need to hurry to change my clothes anymore. Although... some pajamas would be nice for when it was time to sleep.
After getting myself ready and picing up my staff, which was now white, and my pouch, I left the room and went to look for Elias. It was looking like today was gonna be a hot day, so I left my coat in the room.
Once I got to Elias' room, I slowly opened the door and saw that he was still sleeping. I decided to leave him a small note saying that I was going to go out to do some shopping. With that done I left the hospital, not noticing anyone on my way out.
Outside was... different. It looked like it was some kind of desert and the buildings around me varied so much in structure with no type of consistency that it seemed like they were just randomly placed around. It was also even hotten outside than it was in the hospital, so that was going to be a little painful expedition. Hopefully I could find some kind of store around, or someone I could talk to about Lewis.
I began walking around, paying attention to my surrounding in case anything showed up.
edited 26th Jun '17 4:29:11 AM by FullMoon
Ben had just stepped outside the library when Jack Frost landed beside him, asking what was going on and who was screaming. Ben furrowed his brow.
"It's Eve. She's in trouble," Ben told him. "Ghostfreak has her hostage. He's gonna let her go, but only if I come alone and in human form. If anyone else comes with me... he'll hurt her," Ben continued, his voice wavering at the last few words. "He'll hurt her a lot. That's why I can't have anyone else come with me. I don't want her to suffer..."
Library > outside
Joel and the bots were quick to hear what was going on. Well, they saw a boy with white hair fly down next to a kid wearing a chocolate shirt. They ran over.
"Uh, hello, excuse me?" Joel said, waving his hand. "I'm Joel Robinson, and these are my robots, Crow,"-
"Howdy," Crow said.
"Nice watch," Tom commented.
"Hello!" Gypsy said.
"We're kinda new here, and want to know what this place is." Joel finished calmly.
"Yeah, and why are all the buildings and clothes made of sweets?" Tom added.
"And why in the world is that guy's hair white?" Crow said, pointing to Jack Frost. "What are you supposed to be, Santa Claus's son?"
Screams of something sweet
If Lucas was as weak as he had been years ago he might have been crying for hours, but in his current state he was able to regain his composure to some degree after only a minute. A quick Healing to himself removed the crying completely, allowing him to see clearly again. Now actually observing the world around him, and making a concerted effort to not to observe his clothes again, he could see that he had not a clue what Morty's problem was.
It took him a second to realize that there were two people in the area that weren't there the previous night. Of course since he was looking at Morty he first noticed the rather oddly dressed woman with the scythe. Well, at least she didn't seem aggressive. Talking to the one who said good morning probably wasn't as important as making sure the person who screamed was alright, though he doubted Morty really was in danger. Of course, there was no reason not to be cautious, so he got his bat, which was now basically a white bat-shaped jawbreaker, ready. He walked over to him and asked "Morty, is there actually something wrong? I know that today is pretty weird, but I can't see anything really... trying to kill you, I guess."
She also spotted a new face, a woman with a scythe and exposed shoulders who she had never seen before.
"Halt," she called out to Priest, gripping her sword tightly and blinking ahead to position herself between Morty and the stranger. "Who are you, and why are you here?"
"Look... look... I'm fine, okay, I-I-I-I-I freaked out, is all," mumbled Morty, who was now looking slightly embarrassed after his instinctual paroxysm of confusion succeeded in waking up half of the camp and then some - witness the fairly liberally dressed woman striding up over the sands. Morty staring at her certainly would not raise any kinds of alarms in her mind, not at all, no sir.
"I just - I was just confused, okay? I - I - I - I-" Morty trailed off ,wringing his hands anxiously together.
"Jeez, Morty, wake up the entire camp, why don't you? Hell of an alarm clock."
Rick was on his - admittedly slightly unsteady- feet, now wearing a rather splendid-looking violet labcoat. Where Roger had been the previous night was now just a large sandy dent in the ground; bits and pieces of candy-fied gear left behind after the saurian had vanished back into the void from whence he had came.
"Aw jeez, Rick, y-you - you don't gotta embarrass me in front of..." Morty trailed off as Rick fumbled for his flask to take in his customary shot for the morning. Rick had gotten it as far as his lips before realizing that he was now holding a very large piece of foil-wrapped chocolate. Rick's eyes narrowed.
Blinking ever so slowly as she took in the shifting mood (and Wrath being replaced by almost as much Lust), the woman felt a bit bemused at the change. Still, nothing to worry about seeing as the kid was of those years and the Church had seen to inform her that many adolescent males would go through a period where they were like Tau in rutting season. They always got so strange after seeing a bit of skin, never mind that there she was dressed rather modestly compared to most women adventurers out there.
"I would do the same thing in your shoes should I awaken to find myself far away from the lands I knew and in a desert where the sand grains are replaced with sugar granules. This is much too decadent for my taste, pardon the pun." Indeed, there would be no doubt that Gluttony would rear its hungry maw on this day if the surroundings were to be similar to the current terrain. Still, she did her best to soothe the clearly excitable young man even if the way she did so was awkwardly performed due to both current appearance and the almost sensual husky way of speaking the woman of faith naturally inflected with.
Boundaries were respected and maintained though as the Priest moved not one iota from her current position, giving face to the white haired swordswoman in leathers that was understandably on guard against strangers. Wariness helped one live ever so much longer. Giving a slight nod of approval in regards to the way she had kept up defense on a possible danger, the woman of faith pondered for a moment before opening her mouth... and then closing it once more once she realized she couldn't actually voice her own name for whatever reason.
Tapping her scythe while she pondered the ramifications of such an event, the raven haired lady decided on a different tack. "I am called Sin Sayer, hailing from the Priest Order's Kathedral Remedia and I was brought here of not my own will. I was hoping to find people to glean information from and then decide my course of action depending on what I learn." Her eyes drifting around to regard the group which seemed to consist of several characters who didn't look like they would fit in with each other either thematically or geographically, the clergywoman looked askance towards the smiling Suju-esque person with a slightly raised eyebrow. "'Good' is not the word I would use to describe this morning, no. Uncomfortable and sweltering hot, maybe. And it even looks like it's the afternoon too."
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