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"Besides, we're just cutting out the descent," leaving the much more obvious benefit of having everyone be sane when they landed, "and we won't be seen approaching, as it is. A benefit! As soon as we're done here, you, I and Yoshika can go do whatever we like."
Day 17: Somewhere => Hospital
By the time Curly woke up this morning, she was almost glad to be done with the lush foliage of yesterday and aggressive dinosaurs that somehow managed to survive just long enough to pull her attention away from where she was trying to get to that the magic city rearranged itself to make her journey even longer before she could get moving again.
Today, however, was a strange one... Everything smelled sweet, and the buildings and surrounding looked outright unnatural having been replaced with substances she'd never seen or heard of before. Fortunately, the building she woke up in had a radio, and the people on it were more than eager to explain that everything was somehow edible. Though, she wasn't in any rush to find out what tie die patterned pink and blue woven cotton candy fabric or dark purple rubbery substance that had replaced the usual material of her sleeveless midriff bearing top or many pocketed pants tasted like. Curly didn't dare think of what King would have thought if he ever saw his blade encased in a ridiculous looking licorice stick instead of it's usual dark blue scabbard, but pulling it out to reveal a blade of sharpened gray rock candy was something of a relief. As for her guns being made of molded sugar.... Well, a test shot at a book tumbling through the street as she left the building reassured her that somehow they still worked, even if the bright green and yellow material was weird.
The heat as she walked was nothing new compared to the Sand Zone and it was easy enough for her internal cooling systems to keep up with, but it was strange to see the sun in the sky for the second time in her life, though. Eventually she pushed her way through the hospital doors to see a strange horned skull headed person knocking on a door. "Excuse me, do you work here?" Curly asked simply as she approached.
Soon after Ben entered the Saloon, two members of the group — first Jack and then a girl Garrett was unfamiliar with — decided to go after him anyway without bothering to wait for the signal. Good idea; no use in playing on the ghost's terms. Garrett quietly went in through the door, his feet making very little noise against the floorboards. He placed his book-filled bag of holding in a corner, not wanting it to limit his mobility.
Raised voices came from the direction of the cellar, and Garrett approached the stairs with utmost discretion, his bow drawn and a broadhead arrow nocked. However, any plans for a careful approach soon went out the window as Ben screamed in horror, at which point the girl shrieked and leapt down the stairs.
Garrett, daring not to shoot into the resulting tangle, cast the bow aside, ran down the stairs and tried to pull Ben away from the fray.
edited 28th Jun '17 12:51:38 PM by Korodzik
Lewis - Shifting Sands - The Sun should have been a pie
She was optimistic that we could do whatever we wanted once this task was out of the way. Could we? It seemed like that might be hard, considering...
"Shouldn't we clear our names first, though? Otherwise anywhere we go, we'll just get arrested or shot or something, won't we?" I asked, running a hand through the spray of sugar particles, watching the change in the way they were displaced, then pulling my hand back to taste some of the sand still sticking to it...wait...
Chinglish Takes Interest
"Called it. He do something dumb and end on a stretcher." It seemed that Shenhua enjoyed these half-serious ribs coming Cole's way. "Well anyway, best finding him before he end in a plastic bag, yes?~"
It took a special kind of person to talk about possible gory demise so cheerily and nonchalantly. "Where this hospital? They should know there, yes?"
"...Yes, that will presumably come soon after. I don't think we'll have too much trouble with that, now will we? You and I together, we're quite crafty that way."
Jack had barely even flinched when he heard Ben scream, already fully expecting it and waiting at the top of the stairs to react. Frowning seriously, he descended into the wine cellar as quickly as he could, staff out and ready. When the struggle came into view, the Guardian paused for a moment in shock and anger at the state Eve was in and how she looked.
Which was long enough for the woman he'd met at the library the previous day to sail over past him and collide with the thing that suddenly appeared from inside Eve; Looking like something Pitch might have made if he'd had a thing for stripes and tentacles. Jack froze where he was, staring wide-eyed at the scene. "What."
With Ben and what the Guardian assumed was Ghostfreak, and what an accurate name cause geez, being handled by two of the others, the winter spirit shimmied past it and scooped up Eve; Face set in a worried expression at her state.
edited 28th Jun '17 4:02:31 PM by Alleydodger
Lewis - Shifting Sands - You can't escape the almighty...
It struck me that I couldn't exactly lick my hand clean, for obvious reasons. Actually, the only way I could think to eat was to just...dump the stuff down my collar, and that was assuming I could even metabolize it. Nonetheless, I took a little more of the flying sand and tried it.
It worked, at least, but I didn't taste anything. That was...disappointing.
I didn't have long to mull on it before Seiga answered that the whole 'clearing our names' thing wouldn't be hard at all. "I guess..."
I wiped the last traces of sugar away. Well, if it wasn't anything to worry about...maybe I should consider what I wanted to do with myself after this? We already knew the plan for this heist, so it wasn't like that was something to ponder about.
I gave it a moment of contemplation.
"...I want an alpaca."
Ursula - Too Sweet 4 me (Desert -> Streets
The long walk across the desert grounds have taken a toll on Ursula and the witch teacher was panting and sweating heavily from being in the sun for a long while. Another sneeze punctuated the irritated feeling she had trying to walk through this sickeningly sweet landscape, mentally cursing the fact that she lost her ability to fly. That would have made the travel here so much easier.
The laborious walk through the desert fortunately reached an end as Ursula eventually reached the streets of the city. A quick glance around the city showed a town that looked akin to an old western: if that western was set in a world made completely out of candy. Ursula adjusted her glasses and simply looked on at the sights, the confusion in her face turning into outright disbelief.
Am I in a dream or something...? Just what is this place? she pondered to herself while she wandered in the streets.
Despair just kept ranting until suddenly it looked like he was hit with something that left him stunned for a moment and made him mutter a name. Ben... That was the boy that was depressed at the hospital yesterday wasn't it? He had gotten himself in trouble too? Just what is going on that everyone is always in danger like that...?
I couldn't think too much about it, right now the priority was making use of this opening to help Cole. It looked like whatever he sense was enough to cause a relapse and Arcade was already acting on it, so I had to back him up.
"See? You still care about others! If you were just despair as you claim, then this wouldn't be happening right now! You're still Compassion, there's no use in trying to deny it!"
Lewis - Shifting Sands - The All-Loving, in the Flesh
"An alpaca. Y'know, looks kinda like a llama but smaller. It's a kind of livestock people shear for wool, and they're really soft and cute."
I wrapped my arm back around her. "I don't know, I just like them, I guess. Maybe a really memorable petting zoo visit or something..."
I kept looking out at the swathes of sand, sprinkled with the odd candy cane tree or living Peep, and at a relatively short distance something that didn't look to be made of junk food, but rather coated in white fleece and looking rather miserable on account of the climate.
I quickly leaned in its direction, pointing at the poor thing. "There! Like that. That's an alpaca. Can we keep it?"
Eve|Wine Cellar|I Can Post Again, Yay!
Eve hit the ground with a thump, her eyelids fluttering in a desperate attempt to stay conscious. It hurt. She hurt. All over. Small flashes of golden light appeared and flickered out, as her nanomachines tried to heal her, but found that they no longer had the energy to sustain it. Eve watched as Ghostfreak attacked Ben, and she tried to muster the energy to do something. She couldn't just lie here. "...Ben...I'm...sorry..."
She became aware of a ringing sound in her ears, and briefly wondered if she was concussed, before realising it was coming from her phone. She reached down, and she winced in pain, her breath hitching in her throat, as she stopped her movement. She became aware of a feeling of being lifted gently into the air. Her eyelids fluttered again, and she looked up at Jack with exhausted eyes. "...phone..." Her hand gestured to where the phone was loosely.
edited 28th Jun '17 5:27:55 PM by secretlyasuperhero
She was content with just letting him ramble on it, until against all odds, he spotted one out in the dunes. Not a little doll, but an actual, live, and presumably about to die alpaca.
They both slowly came to a crawl, the dust cloud behind them finally dissipating. She stared at it.
"...You want to keep a..."
Seiga shook her head, and happily waved him on. "Look, Lewis, this is quite important," she sternly said as she brought them back to speed, leaving the animal behind. "If we have time, we'll come back, but not right now."
edited 28th Jun '17 5:37:56 PM by wikkit
Balcony - The Girl of Legend Returns
"...Ib, turn off the lights..."
In Mary's defense, she had gone to sleep extremely late the previous night. Her parents had been forced to basically carry both her and Ib up to their bedrooms, since they were already asleep by the the time they all got home. However, had she woken up slightly earlier, she would have noticed time slowing down around her, and the telltale signs that she would soon no longer find herself in that bedroom, such as the visual distortion, or the sudden darkness. But she did not, so when she eventually sat up and yawned, she started to notice unusual things. First, that she was on a hard surface. Second, that she was outside. Third, that the sun was very high up. Fourth, that her eyes were still closed, which was why she could not see anything.
"Moooooom, did you leave the... ah."
Fifth, that she seemed to be having a dream. And a very nice one at that.
Well, at least it looked like a dream. Everything around her was so colorful, and it all smelled so nice, and it made her feel a bit hungry. Her dress and her things and one of Ib's stuffed bunny, but the bunny was made of different colors to the one she had borrowed from her sister, and so were her things and her clothes, which further proved she was in a dream because she had no blue dresses. She dreamt of that city every now and then, and of course the balcony she was on did remind her of it, but there was no sun in the city, and of course there were many more buildings, and was all that in the distance made of candy? It certainly looked like it was made of candy... but there was only one way to know.
She rushed towards the desert in front of her, and essentially dived into a sand dune with her mouth wide open. The sand was every bit as delicious as it looked, and it brought a very wide smile to her face.
"This is the best dream ever!" she proclaimed, standing back up and waving her borrowed stuffed bunny around. "Let's go, uhh... which one where you...? Hmmm... you look purple... oh I know! I'll just call you Garry for now, okay? Okay, let's go, Garry!"
And so, with great enthusiasm, Mary the normal human girl ventured further into the delicious sweet dream landscape alongside Garry the purple dream bunny... completely unaware that what she was experiencing was, in fact, not a dream at all.
Or that her dress currently tasted like blueberries.
Lewis - Shifting Sands - Seiga's Greatest Sin Thus Far
Seiga flew over to the animal, observed it, and then started to fly off again, insisting we could come back for it later. If it was even still here. If it wasn't dead by then. If the fact that it already looked out of it and was breathing pretty hard wasn't a bad omen.
"B-but it's gonna get heatstroke! We can't just leave it, it's gonna get dehydrated and collapse and die and it needs water and shade and..."
I kept flailing a hand toward it, while continuing to whine in this manner.
"NO!" Despair thrashed about, kicking and fighting as hard as it seemed he could, teeth bared again. "Compassion is gone, he is destroyed, between what Cole wants, between your hurts, between all of it!"
He stopped, grimacing, clearly still feeling the ache in his head, turning his gaze up to Arcade again, but the doctor would be able to see what looked...rather like tears, running down both sides of the creatures face.
"Cole wants to become human, just to escape the pain, just to free himself from all of you, wants to kill Compassion, kill Despair, destroy us both, and what if he does! What would that mean! Make him human like you, useless like you! No powers, no seeing inside, nothing but useless, wasted, nothing!"
He rather openly seethed, though there was a faintly hysteric note to it, a whine in the wheezing of his breath.
"Then everyone will forget...everyone will forget, like they always do, nothing to make them need us, and nothing to bring them back to us, we will be gone and the only thing that brings people to us will be gone and everyone will forget us! Everyone will forget Cole again, and then even if I am gone...I will be all that is left!"
"You just don't want to be alone," Arcade realized. He knew in the back of his head that feeling sympathy for the creature that tried to indoctrinate him wasn't the smartest move, but dammit if he didn't know that exact feeling.
After some consideration, Arcade placed a gentle hand on Cole's shoulder and said, "I can't tell you what your future will be. I can't be sure if you'll leave a mark on history or be completely forgotten by society at large, but I can tell you that you're wrong to say that your powers are what makes you important to everyone.
"After I learned about my family's deaths, you helped me. You recognized that I needed someone to help, and you knew exactly how to be that person. Were you using your powers when you did that?" He carefully tried to wipe a tear from Cole's cheeks.
"I will remember you," he swore. After a pause he coughed awkwardly and mumbled, "I realize that's not an impressive promise from someone living on borrowed time, but I will. I will remember you as someone who tried to help me, even though I was just some stranger huddled up in the library. You are better than this, Cole, you aren't Compassion because of your powers, but because you want to help, and that's not something that will be lost just by becoming human."
With that, she kept speeding along towards their destination, and by now if Lewis looked back, the animal was already long gone from his sight.
At first Rex's voice had to compete with the song that was still playing, but about when he got to, 'only second to the demon' the song had switched off, and he was heard clearly on the station after that until he was finished.
"Who the fuck was that?" Jeff's voice asked, sounding annoyed, "why do people just keep interrupting our station?
"You don't recognize that voice, Jeff? That was Rex" Adam's voice responded, sounding more apathetic and calm about the interruption.
"Oh, never mind that explains it. What a prick" Jeff's voice said in a very dismissive tone, then asked, "so what the heck was he even talking about?"
"He was saying that Seiga is a really bad person, basically" Adam's voice answered, with what seemed like another verbal shrug of a tone.
"... And he expects people to just take his word for it? Especially when he's just barging on the channel rudely?" Jeff's voice went on. "I bet he's just saying that to try to make someone else seem worse than him" his voice added.
"I'm not sure what to think, but I would not challenge that bet" Adam's voice agreed.
As Sin Sayer flickered her form, Seirwuosuhr's eyes widened, and she moved her hands to her mouth as her jaw hung low; she looked slightly in awe, but also even more terrified now. "Y-y-you-, but how- a sorceress?!" Seirwuosuhr stammered, seemingly in the beginning stages of a panic attack now.
The Miss Tairee sitting there looked over, then typed on her holographic screen for a bit, and then sighed and shook her head. "No, just like the other one from yesterday, you two aren't from the same universe. Neither of you are talking about the same kind of demon" Miss Tairee informed the two of them, then looked at Sin Sayer in particular. "That you can sense her as if she was from your universe is just a coincidence of the multiversal bleeding effect. Now, is there anything I can help you with, miss?" the librarian told her.
Meanwhile at the central desks, the Miss Tairee there looked down at Lucas and gave a simple nod. "Of course" Miss Tairee answered simply in a gentle tone with a small smile, and started typing. After a bit, with a blur a simple sandwich style sign appeared next to the bottom of one of the staircases, with an arrow pointing up and a simple message printed on it of, 'Yoshika Miyako adoption upstairs!'
With that, Miss Tairee turned her attention to Joel as he approached. "Is there something I can help you with, sir?" Miss Tairee asked him simply.
Hartwig looked at the radio, blinking a few times as Rex's sudden announcement was heard and the subsequent comments by the news announcers. He then looked over at the door that Seiga and Lewis had just left. "... Huh" Hartwig muttered.
From over one of the dunes not far from Seiga and Lewis, a sudden plume of fire shot into the air, then a figure was waving her flamethrower over her head to get their attention. It was a woman who seemed to be a humanoid plant species, wearing armor that was a burnt red color with a few cream-white colored pieces.
From the sky above, Swishee swooped down and Louie quickly hopped out of her bill. "Stay here and stockpile, Swishee" Louie instructed his pelipper as he moved into the saloon after the others. Inside, he quickly released Pecha, who glanced around, blinking. "Careful Pecha; use crunch if you see an opportunity!" the trainer instructed the trapinch as he looked at the ensuing scuffle down the stairs. Pecha placed herself at the top of the staircase, waiting to intercept ghostfreak with waiting jaws if he came up their way.
Meanwhile outside on the street, a couple of militia members rounded a corner and spotted the saloon. "This is Phillip and Nails; we see the candy shop!" Phillip called into his walkie talkie, as both of them started to run towards the saloon while drawing their peanut colored and flavored phasers. "Stay back!" the militia member then yelled at anyone still outside the saloon as the two moved in the front door.
In the room, Silanea was sitting on the bed, part of her tail draped over one side; she was just staring forward and down at the blanket with a solemn expression, her hands resting on her lap. She slowly turned her eyes towards the door a few moments after Elias had opened it, then turned her attention back to the blanket.
"Hey! Heeey!" a boy seemingly in his mid teens yelled out from somewhere behind Ursula. He ran up and stopped a few feet away, panting for breath slightly in his yellow cloak that smelled of frosting. "... Hello I'm Thomas Pensow" Thomas introduced himself quickly, and gave a slight bow, briefly showing that his clothes underneath the cloak had turned green. "Are you a witch? Is that a flying broom? Can I borrow it please?" the young British wizard asked rapidly, and added just as rapidly, "it's an emergency; I'll bring it back I promise!"
Ghostfreak stopped in confusion and his eye widened before Maya lunged at Ben and the ghost. Ben and Ghostfreak both were tackled by the girl, and all three started to tumble down the stairwell. Ghostfreak snarled and turned intangible, phasing through and floating up above the stairwell as Ben and Maya both tumbled down. Ben landed on the bottom floor, the wind knocked out of him for a moment, before Garrett grabbed him and tried to pull him to safety. Ghostfreak again lunged in the direction of Ben.
"I will get you, boy! I swear it!" Ghostfreak growled.
edited 28th Jun '17 8:22:54 PM by AllHailThrall
Spyro-Saloon-Enter the Dragon
After a short trek through the sugary desert, the little Dragon and Dragonfly at last found their way to a small group of buildings. One of them looked to be a saloon, and Spyro watched as a small group of people, humans from the look of it, huddled in front of the building, some entering.
"Alright, they should know what's going on! C'mon Sparx!" Spyro said excitedly, walking towards the group, Sparx trailing behind. Finally, some answers were in sight.
And then came a scream.
Spyro tensed imperceptibly, heroic instinct kicking in. Someone inside needed help, now!
With a mighty charge, Spyro closed the distance between him and the saloon in seconds, busting through the doors (and ignoring the militia) while Sparx tried his best to keep up. The sounds were coming from further into the saloon, so Spyro continued to make his way inwards with a charge, until he was at the top of a set of stairs. From his vantage point, Spyro took a quick moment to get a clear view of what was going on.
Some seriously ugly monster was attacking a kid, while others tried to evacuate the kid and another kid who looked like she had been attacked too. Spyro let out a quick, smokey snort. This monster was about to feel the burn, big time.
Wasting no time, Spyro leapt from the top of the stairs, spewing a jet of fire right into the thing's gnarly face. While Ghostfreak dealt with that, Spyro and Sparx took up a defensive position between the kid and the monster.
"Yeesh, I never though I'd see anything that could out-ugly Gnasty Gnorc," Spyro said in full on mocking. "Now, are you gonna play nice, gruesome? Or am I gonna have to bring the heat again?" Spyro quipped, smoke billowing from his nostrils.
edited 28th Jun '17 8:49:52 PM by Dezmo
It seemed that no matter how much we tried, he kept being stubborn about how Compassion was gone. It was like a child throwing a temper tantrum, and I never really had much of an opportunity to deal with children before, so I started feeling unqualified to handle the situation.
"Lacking your powers isn't going to make you useless, there's a lot you can do even in a normal body. As long as you keep helping people, even if you make some mistakes along the way, I'm certain that you're never going to be truly forgotten by everyone," I sighed, "There's people who need our help right now, so please, help us, we really need your help right now."
"Yes, I do work here," I answered the small girl who came after me.
Looking inside the room I saw that the lamia was awake and looking rather despodent. It looked like whatever that Cole person had done to her had quite an effect on her emotional state. To the point I had to wonder just how long she had been in there staring at nothing.
"Ah, you're awake. How are you feeling?" I asked her as I came in.
Seiga sighed. "I'll make it up to you later. I promise."
They quickly came to a stop in front of the planty lady, and Seiga waved at her, her usual happy self again. "Hello, there! I think the weather could be nicer, but it could be worse as well!"
Despair just glared up at Arcade, still practically hyperventilating, gritting his teeth and drawing back as much as possible, hair hanging loose around his face. Though most of his skin was covered in his clothing, Arcade and Chise might become aware after a second of a green light, that seemed to be practically glowing through his skin. The lights covered over his face, all of him abruptly alight with a strange energy.
When it faded away from his face, the extra teeth, the bisection of his face...all of it seemed cleared away, the chill of his skin was gone, and any remnants of an aura of sadness around him seemed to just wash away as though on a breeze.
He more or less collapsed in a near wail, seemingly just a terrified person again, rather than a snarling, raving beast, sobbing even as he went almost totally limp against Arcade. "I'm sorry, sorry, I'm...I'm so sorry..."
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