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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    One day, an overdeity grew very bored.

    It looked down at the struggles on many worlds and picked one with particularly interesting and funny characters. Its time had seemingly frozen, and impatient to learn the rest of the story, the overdeity decided to add a slice-of-life chapter completely out of their regular continuity just to watch the puppets dance.

    And that is why one particularly inviting summer day, the mortal kids crew, the Shinigami, the Quincy, the Nonessentia, the Cult of the Threefold Eye and even the crazies whom belonged to seemingly no faction at all saw themselves at some sort of beachside festival off a nondescript coast, all properly 'equipped' with bathing suits, no way to go away, and no way to change into anything else.

    "...I suppose a day of R&R isn't so bad every once in a while." Koutarou thought aloud. He could use a tan, after all. He was dressed in a very colorful pair of swimming trunks.

    Setsurou was around not too far from there, His trunks were a red that matched his hair, and for once one could see that the guy had a ludicrously well-chiseled body. He seemed to be looking for something. Or someone.

    Shinji was hanging out under a nearby parasol, reading a very thick book. He was in half-fox form, ears and tail peeking out, and he was wearing a fundoshi of all things.

    Margrave was oiling his wife's back and getting ready for a suntan of his own.

    Hasunaga was close to a nearby bar, in one of his younger forms, and in black speedos.

    Sagarosso seemed to be trying to cope with the fact he couldn't use his shapeshifting to make him look like he was wearing any clothes other than swimming suit variations, so he decided to opt for an old-style striped male swimming suit, the sort that looked a lot like professional wrestling attire. He did, however, have a perpetual shadowy parasol following him around.

    The overdeity watching the whole thing cackled as it foresaw the ensuing chaos.
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    As Koutarou is lazing the sun, a group of young women dressed in almost indecently tiny string bikini are playing beach volley not far from him. They don't seem to be much good at it... especially when one of them strikes the ball way out of bounds and it threatens to fall right on Koutarou's face.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    There are many reasons for a skilled fighter to not dodge something coming straight at him.

    Koutarou picks "it'll be funnier that way" and headbutts the volleyball back, sending it up, up and away back towards the ladies.

    His face is flushed, but not from the sudden headrush. The fact is, you don't get to see girls in bikinis in Soul Society much...

    ...especially not THOSE bikinis, hubba hubba.

    (He could've pulled a Vash the Stampede here, but not a lot of people are old enough in this forum to spot the reference.)
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    The ball is passed back to the girls and the game continues. "Thanks!", one of them shouts at his direction.

    There something... off in the delivery. Koutarou can understand the meaning just fine, but if he tried to tell which language is being spoken, he would not be able to answer.

    Of course, that could be just blood rushing to his head. Or maybe other body parts.

    Eventually, the game starts to wind down, and Koutarou might notice some of the girls are giving glances at his direction, gesturing at his direction and murmuring amongst themselves. Then, they pick up their ball and begin to leave. One of them, a tanned, tall blonde in gold bikini, walks to Koutarou. "Hi there, handsome. It was very nice of you to pass our ball back to us. Would you like to join us for a drink?"

    Some of the other girls are giggling on the background.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    This sounds like something done on a dare. Koutarou is not one to turn down an invitation from a pretty lady when he's relaxing, though. After all, flirting is supposed to be one of those things people do while on vacation.

    "Well, I can't hold my liquor for crap, so if you don't mind me not getting drunk, sure."
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    The girl lets out a short chiming laughter. "Ha ha. Surely one little drink won't be too much for a big guy like you. Come on."

    She beckons him to follow, towards the other girls who are already heading forth. There's a bar on the beach, a bald man in a Hawaiian T-shirt and sunglasses is mixing drinks and handing them over a counter which looks like its made of driftwood.

    "Hey, bartender! Two Pina Coladas!", the girl yells as they approach, then turns to Koutarou and flashes him a charming smile. "Don't worry, it's on me."

    Someone's brought a ghettoblaster nearby and music is blaring loudly through the area. It's your typical, bass-heavy club music with lyrics of questionable quality. (Something about doing someone on the backseat of someone's car.) Half-naked bodies are swaying to the rhytm not far from the bar counter. The bartender hands the drinks to the girl in gold bikini and she offers one of them to Koutarou.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    "Fine. One little drink." he emphasizes.

    As a rule. Koutarou didn't really like the feeling of alcohol burning down his throat, rather than fearing intoxication. It was a matter of taste more than anything else.

    He wasn't crazy about the music either. But what the hey, time for new experiences and whatnot, right?

    He sipped his drink quite slowly.
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    The girl merrily chats with her friends while sipping her own drink. There's a brunette in purple bikini, and a redhead in silver bikini, and... the rest just sort of blur together, like differently-colored repetitions of the same motif.

    As the girl in golden bikini has her back half turned to him, Koutarou might notice a detail which was obscured by her hair earlier - a tattoo, of a snake biting its own tail, on her left shoulder blade. Something about its design like a hard poke on the forehead, trying to remind him of something he's forgotten. However, he doesn't get to admire it for long, for she turns back to face him.

    "What, you still aren't finished?", she asks with a teasing tone. "Come on! Drink it quick so we can go dance!"
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    "Awww. I suppose I can't really enjoy a proper 'beach experience', huh?"

    Koutarou sets his glass aside.

    "That tattoo. The Ouroboros, a symbol famous among occultists, alchemists and others as the symbol of cycles, life, death and rebirth.
    It's kind of a cheeky thing to show around a Shinigami.

    It's not that I really mind who you are, but I can put to rest the notion that you're interested in me for my rugged good looks."
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    The girl blinks, then lets out a good-natured laugh. "Don't be silly, of course you'll enjoy! Come on! Let the rhytm carry you!" She reaches for Koutarou's hand to pull him towards the swaying crowd.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    As it turns out, Koutarou can't relax enough to dance well.
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    The girl on the other hand seems to be having fun - at first. But as Koutarou's inability to feel the beat becomes ever more apparent, she gradually loses her interest. Soon, Koutarou finds himself abandoned in the middle of the crowd, the girls dancing in a circle that's drifting further and further away from him. The sun is setting and painting the sky in various shades of purple, orange and gold.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    That's fine by him. That tattoo upset him too much for him to really let loose and have some fun.

    It'd have helped if the beat happened to be more to his liking. Koutarou is more of a classic rock kind of guy.

    He does enjoy the sunset though.
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    As he watches the setting sun, some of the dancers stop and point in the opposite direction. Other people on the beach have noticed as well, as Koutarou can see them packing their stuff and leaving.

    If he turns to look, he can see dark, heavy clouds roiling over the coast town. The owner of the ghettoblaster picks it up and starts moving towards the town. Some of the dancers follow him, others dissipate and go on their own ways. The girl in the gold bikini briefly brushes Koutarou's shoulder as she walks past. "See you around, handsome."

    It doesn't feel like she really means it. A cold breeze blows over the beach. It might remind Koutarou of his lack of clothes or, perhaps more pressingly, his lack of knowing where all his other clothes are.

    On the background, a white van has driven next to the bar and the bartender is packing his remaining products in it. There some tall pale guy in grey jeans and a black motorcycle jacket helping him out.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    "Awww, really? A tropical storm? So much for the scenery..."

    Koutarou needs not fear hurricanes. After all, he's immune to lightning and he can literally outrun a storm.
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    It doesn't feel tropical. The wind's too slow. There's no thunder. On the background, the bartender and his helper finish packing the van. Koutarou can hear the engine start and the car drive away. The last sunbathers walk past him and he's left alone on the beach.

    The setting sun continues to bathe the beach in red light, but it offers no warmth. The clouds hang above Koutarou like a dark grey blanket. A lone flake of snow drifts downwards towards him as the temperature keeps dropping.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    Temperature ain't nothing but a thang.

    Koutarou decides to walk along the beachside. Because why not, nothing makes sense right now anyway.
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    Snow keeps falling as Koutarou walks on the empty beach. The sand rises and lowers in dunes along the coast, untill it ends in a coniferous forest. The only sound are Koutarou's own footsteps and waves washing against the shore. Way, way behind him, the streetlights of the city have lit. They reflect from the clouds, giving them a dirty reddish hue. Ahead of Koutarou, the world is fading into blue and black.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    For once, he stops to appreciate the contrast. It's kinda like the border between nature and men that way.

    It's really freakish weather out here though.
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    As he watches, the sun finally sinks wholly below the horizon, with only its last rays lingering as a far-away glow at the sea. The snow slowly covers the terrain in a thin sheet of white, or rather, light blue in this meager light, hiding differences in color and texture from view. Because of this, it actually starts to look lighter than it was a few moments ago. If Koutarou looks back to where he came from, he might notice his own footprints have likewise been erased, though that is of little consequence, as the town is visible as ever. He just has to hope the snowfall doesn't get thicker.

    Waves of the sea perpetually reach up and wash away the fresh snow from the shoreline, creating an evershifting black line between ground and water. As Koutarou waits, the sound of the waves gradually fades to the background of his conscious mind, creating the impression of deep, dark silence.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    For once, Koutarou appreciates the silence.

    No sudden appearances of the Cult.
    No sudden invasions of Soul Society.
    No sudden rap battles of Chouko's.
    No having to run after some deranged brainwashing Royal Guard.

    Yeah, this feels right.
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    Wouldn't it be fun if it was always this way? It would be easy. Just... walk into the ocean. Let the waves lull you into sleep. No more fighting. No more duties. No more bullshit. No nothing.

    Koutarou might snap out of it due to sudden sensation of falling. Was he dozing off? Or did his left foot take half a step forward on its own volition? Snowflakes pile on his shoulders and then melt into water against his skin. It's completely dark now, or at least as dark as it can be, with the lights of the city in the distance.

    How long has he been standing here?
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    Does it really matter? It's not like he has anywhere to be right now.

    "This snowfall makes no sense though."
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    His words echo lonely in the air before fading into silence. The snowfall surely is not affected by them in the least.

    If Koutarou looks closely, he can see the construction of each individual flake, unique in their beauty as they float down from the sky. Yet, they all melt into water just the same as they meet his skin, or turn into same grey slush when swallowed by the sea.

    Except, wait, that's not right. Not each flake is unique. This snowfall is not as chaotic as it should be. Neither are the waves. There's a pattern to them, something Koutarou would've missed had he not decided to stay put so long.

    And in the dead center of each ice crystal, is fractal-like repetition of a familiar motif: a snake biting its own tail.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  25. - Top - End - #25
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    Koutarou blinks. And immediately tries to test his own responses to things like sound (by throwing pebbles at the sea), pain (by pinching himself mostly) and reflexes (by throwing up a pebble and trying to catch it again).

    The suspicion being that he was drugged, of course. So if he can't do any of those, he might well be right.
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    The pebbles don't fly very far. And pinching himself hurts a surprising amount even if he doesn't put much effort into it. He had one drink, but its effect has long since faded.

    Rather, it appears he's in a material body. A human body. Without any of the tools he would ordinarily use to get out of it. Suddenly, he becomes much more acutely aware of how cold it is.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    "Clearly, this must be the work of an enemy Stand."

    Koutarou just protects himself from the cold by wrapping himself in a thin layer of his own Reiatsu.
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    It doesn't do all that much good. Spiritual power will keep him from freezing, but it doesn't do much about the sensation. He could as well resume walking to get his blood pumping again.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    That's as good an idea as any. May as well see if he can find the city again.
    The Void, the Cold Steel, the Just Sword courtesy of Prime32.

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    I met a girl with a really pensive look. I walk up to her, put a fifty cent coin in her hand, "For your thoughts. I know the going rate is supposed to be one, but I figure you play hardball."

    She gave it back, "Keep it. Pretty sure a guy with your charm can find a way to have them for free anyway."

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: [BITPRē] Kyuukyoku Gaiden: The Beachdown Apocalypse

    It's a long walk back. Each footstep makes a faint grating sound as his weight compresses the fresh snow. The moisture in his breath condenses into a cloud of ice crystals with each exhalation.

    By the time he reaches a road, the streetlight have already gone out. Only the meager light reflected from the snow gives any shape to his surroundings and serves to keep him on track untill he reaches the town proper.

    There's no-one on the streets at this hour, all places are closed and the doors locked. Occasional glints of light among the dark silhouettes of the buildings turn out to be display windows for some of the shops. Apparently, conserving electricity isn't enough of a reason to turn them off for the night.

    There are some cars parked by the roadside, covered and their shapes rounded by the snow. The atmosphere is silent and dead. Then, the heavy cover of the clouds abates, and a silver light falls on Koutarou. There's a full moon on the sky, and below it, a silhouette of a mountain that he can swear was not there earlier.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

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