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  1. - Top - End - #1441
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Inside 71: All I Want For Thanksmas Is You

    Quote Originally Posted by bc56 View Post
    Red Zone Building

    "Sounds good. But they're just petty crooks who stumbled on something bigger than they realize. I don't want to kill them. I have a little fox magic of my own, but do you have any summons that aren't so destructive?" Jade says, opening the door. "And I don't think I got your name..."
    Red Zone Building

    The man looks at her with a ittle confusion, maybe because of the fox magic or of the question itself. He never had ti think about 'not' killing the nemey when it somes to a fight. Not that he is a killer, but most enemies are either mindless monster or badass evil masterminds. He starts counting on his finger and mumbels as he goes through them.

    "Fire...no...Ice...No....protection...no offense... Well not so much. How 'less' destructive should we go? I mean is it just nessesary to not kill them? Oh and the name is Karl"
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  2. - Top - End - #1442
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    5a Violista's Avatar

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    Default Re: Inside 71: All I Want For Thanksmas Is You

    [Bus Stop]

    Although this probably doesn't matter at all and will never become relevant, if there's any ghosts haunting 'James' then June would be able to see them, whether she wants to or not. Might not be able to distinguish them from all the other things going on around them, and there's several other ghosts around too, probably; there's always a graveyard or a haunted apartment building on every street corner, it seems like.

    June could also tell the bus wasn't coming around the corner, but these sorts of things like standing on your toes to see better are more about feeling normal and trying to focus on what's going on.

    She can also kind-of tell when people lie, but that's also a really common occurrence. Happens so often about all sorts of little minor things that she pretty much blocked it all out. Guy saying he went out drinking because he wanted to hang out with his friends - lie, he really wanted to flirt with someone who wasn't his wife. Guy saying he'll pay back next time - he really has no intention. Guy saying he wasn't at the bar - also a lie, he was there but the person asking didn't really care anyway. Some guy saying he doesn't get out much - lie, but it's clear he's just trying to impress the midriff-showing girl in a roundabout way, so it doesn't matter thinking more about it. Same guy giving the wrong name - probably thinks his parents gave him a bad name or an unpronounceable name so he's going by his friend's name or something close enough to his name or whatever. Literally not worth giving it more thought, especially with this cigarette smoke around. Ugh, the smell of the cigarette is so overwhelming and disgusting, June doesn't think she could even focus on other things even if she wanted to.

    "If it's always late, they should just change the schedule or something," she asserts. "Maybe then it could come on time."

    June coughs.

    She gets down off her toes and leans against the armrest of the bench. "I'm June," she says.



    [Necropolis of Kysimax]

    One thing Venus has always found annoying since becoming centaur-like is lying down.
    Like, she can lay down her lower body part into a kind of kneel, like she's doing now.
    Or she can try to lay down on the side, but then all the weight feels out of balance and she takes up way too much space.

    To reach down farther into the pool, Venus rolls a bit, and lays down on her side, and twists her upper body awkwardly.
    Curious about the pool, she gets her shoulder as close as she can to the pool edge, and reaches down into it. (She holds the crown in her other hand.)
    She feels the wall, scratching into it a little, and reaches down as far as she can. "What's down here?" she wonders. It's clear that it wasn't always that way.
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  3. - Top - End - #1443
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Inside 71: All I Want For Thanksmas Is You

    Red Zone Building

    "Do you have anything for stealth? That would be useful." Jade leads the way out of the abandoned building and back towards the warehouse where Karl found her. "Ideally, once we've got what we need, we can just call the cops and tip them off to the crooks hiding in the building. Then it's out of our hands." To her, that seems like a good plan.

    Necropolis of Kysimax

    Venus scrapes a glob of clay off the pool wall. It's an uneven surface, with subtle grooves like people before her have also collected clay from there, but it's all smoothed out by time and water. The clay sticks coldly to her hand. It's a pale, greyish color.
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Shakespeare, King Lear, IV.i.46
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  4. - Top - End - #1444
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Inside 71: All I Want For Thanksmas Is You

    [Necropolis Kysimax]

    Huh.
    Interesting.
    After feeling the grooves, Venus tries to think about what that means.
    ...
    Was there some kind of natural clay pool here? And it was built over it and people took it out of here? Or was it all transported here?

    Well, regardless, there's still more of this church - or whatever it is - that she needs to explore. So far, she's still a little lost. Graveyard, some sort of amphitheater with a skeleton on it, and a pot basement. She kind-of has an idea already, but it's built on shaky logic.

    "Okay!"

    Venus wipes off as much clay from her hand as she can, even using the crown if necessary.

    And then she goes through the struggle to stand up again.


    After she's up, she glances around the room one last time, and goes up. Okay, time to go to the other passage.
    She goes that way.
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  5. - Top - End - #1445
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Inside 71: All I Want For Thanksmas Is You

    Necropolis of Kysimax

    The other wing of the building descends into another dark room, but one which is warm and dry. On the far end of the room is a forge, with a pile of coal to one side, bellows to the other, and a stack of metal ingots and leather strips up against one of the walls. Broken bits of pottery lie around the room, but they don't look like parts of pots. They're too angular. It's hard to say what they are.
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  6. - Top - End - #1446
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Inside 71: All I Want For Thanksmas Is You

    Quote Originally Posted by bc56 View Post
    Necropolis of Kysimax

    The other wing of the building descends into another dark room, but one which is warm and dry. On the far end of the room is a forge, with a pile of coal to one side, bellows to the other, and a stack of metal ingots and leather strips up against one of the walls. Broken bits of pottery lie around the room, but they don't look like parts of pots. They're too angular. It's hard to say what they are.


    [Necropolis of Kysimax]

    Oh!
    Of course!
    This whole place is some kind of symbolic church structre!
    Yeah, it makes perfect sense now, Venus realizes.

    Wet and cool on one side, and this side is warm and dry, and the middle symbolizes the mortal world as halfway between the two.

    Venus looks around the room and at the metal and leather, but doesn't give it too much mind because she's already figured out what it's about. Besides, she doesn't need to make anything at the forge. Hasn't got any ceramic slurry or sand mold or press or high voltage thing or whatever else to use here, anyway, and she only really has a cursory knowledge on ancient forge methods.

    Well, she picks up one of the ingots and places it in one of her grocery bags. One of the ones that doesn't have the fresh foods. Just in case, y'know? And some leather strips, too. Might be interesting to see. On that note, she decides to add the crown to it, as well, and move a couple of the groceries out of that bag and into the other bags, to balance out the weight better.

    She's got it, then. All makes sense. No point hanging out here, so she goes back up, leaving this warm and dry room.
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  7. - Top - End - #1447
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Inside 71: All I Want For Thanksmas Is You

    Necropolis of Kysimax

    Venus returns to the main chamber.
    That's odd.
    There are no other rooms in this building.
    But it looked bigger from the outside.
    And what's the point of it all?
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Shakespeare, King Lear, IV.i.46
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  8. - Top - End - #1448
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    Default Re: Inside 71: All I Want For Thanksmas Is You

    The Flying Palace(Closed Scene)

    "Alright, so. Good news and...well, not bad news, but at the very least it depends on how you look at it. Which would you prefer first?"
    Dreams, nightmares, odd physical feelings and slight emotional compulsions had driven Veronica to calling in a specialist to check on her. Someone actually licensed to serve as a medical practitioner for beings both magic and mundane. The chamber chosen for the multi-day examination was nice and cozy, one of the seemingly endless ones that were littered through the palace born in the realms of chaotic aether. In other circumstances, wealthy individuals would have payed a hefty sum to spend a few days in such a room where walls were made of dark marble with gold veins. It was one of Veronica's many ideas on how to make use of the place. Regardless of the surroundings though, the tonberries that inhabited it had taken an incredible liking to the elderly doctor. Even as he waited to deliver potentially "bad" news, one comes in bearing a platter of tea and cranberry scones to offer. A gentle pat on the head and he takes a cup and scone. Veronica does much the same, though she stays careful of her sharp nails. "Well...good first, I suppose." She sounded bored and frustrated, which was the entire truth. The last few days of having a doctor follow you around measuring most everything you do and making observations the entire time had been utterly dull and annoying and limited what she could do. Particularly with Jace. Sure, the doctor had said to act normal, but man having third wheel had been aggravating!

    Bugs, the doctor, smiles a bit and rubs idly at a stump where his left pinky would be before he takes a sip of tea. "Well, the good news is that the memetic virus is almost certainly entirely gone. And the tonberries here like Logan were either immune or never caught it in the first place. On top of it, you're also quite healthy. Peak physical shape. Ish." There's a massive but there, and it wasn't Veronica's self-proclaimed "Lazy-Butt" attacks. "And along with it, the floating palace is entirely stabilized and has grown into what I'd classify as a Living Dungeon." The doctor gestures around before pointing towards the "far" side of the flying palace. "The last few nights I've been diving deeper and deeper with the locals, and so far there seems to be no true end, though several exits and plenty of chambers still filled with magitek monsters. If it is something you seek, you could easily set this place up for an adventurer's paradise, especially since some of the exits seem to go into other realms. The grav lifts are disabled so they're safe for now. Of course, I know you probably already knew all that." As he talks, Bugs picks up the small Tonberry and just holds him upon his lap. Logan seems quite pleased by it.

    "Aaaaand the bad news?"
    Veronica asks, looking somewhat less ruffled but still quite nervous.

    A swipe on the tablet is all it takes to pull up an X-Ray. The image is faded and translucent, even more so than a normal X-Ray. "Now, I know your bones are hollow, but there's a marked difference here. I was able to pull your old scans from your normal doc for reference. What's happening is you're slowly losing your material form." He immediately holds up a placating hand to keep any questions. "Now, it's not unhealthy exactly. It's a mark of your station and Mantle. The longer you have it, the more you'll transition into becoming a purely magical entity. You'll still have a physical presence here, and it will actually make you a fair bit more resilient and powerful...but at the same time, you'll be less able to venture out of areas of magic and have your strength sapped accordingly." The doctor lets out a heavy breath as he pets Logan on the head again and sets the little creature down so he can stand. "I have had a surprising amount of experience in these matters in my time with Remnant, and I've been able to put in a fair bit of research as well. Right now, should you choose not to continue, this process isn't irreversible yet. All you need to do is...well, discard your Mantle of Veroni." He reasons, scratching his chin with a shrug. "I'm not sure what that would actually entail, but afterwards you would be weakened for a while as your physical form rematerializes. It might change your hair color, eye color, and feathers, but you'd just go back to being Veronica Harpy." He points out before turning to look at the walls. "You'd lose control over this palace, but if that's what you wish..." He lets the thought fall off as he looks between Veronica, Jace, and (potentially) Zebes.

    "Well, I will step out for a bit and let you decide. If you decide to get rid of it, I've a few prescriptions that should help ward off some of the worst effects of withdrawal, but let me know."
    Without waiting for a response, he slips out, closing the door behind him and Logan to give them some privacy to discuss things. Veronica hardly waits before falling backwards to rest her head on Jace's lap with a heavy sigh. Her eyes are closed as she considers her options. "What do you think, Love?" She finally asks, voice low. "And I certainly give you permission to say "I told you so" about magic not being all powerful. You'd probably say it anyway." There's juuuuuuuust a hint of a smile there.

    Narrow Streets

    It started with one, a few weeks ago. Just another madman spouting "The End Is Nigh!" from a box while the masses ignored him. Calling for those who "Dream" to unite, to free a "Dancer" stuck in a realm of stagnation and stasis so whatever it may be could be freed. All easily ignored. But where there had only been one, soon it became two...and then four. Their rags were changed into clerical vestments, simple but clean, and their pockmarked skin smoothed and shined. One could blame better diet and money from panhandling, but the changes were too rapid. And so were the small gatherings that formed around them as they proselytized. Voices grew firmer, words more sure. No holy symbol united them visibly, but after several weeks there were whispers of entire gatherings of "Dreamers" congregating in the dark of the night, favoring abandoned temples or warehouses that would minimize detection despite their ever louder presence during the day. Today, they seemed especially excited as a newcomer stepped forward to speak to anyone who would listen. She wore robes of vivid green, designed specifically to cling to her elegant elven body and display much of her flesh. She dripped in exotic allure as she clutched a spine-tipped staff in one hand and ran her fingers over her freshly shaven head. "Hear me, blinded citizens of Inside and open your minds!" She calls, her voice booming out with force despite her thin frame. A noble? Perhaps once a priestess of another creed? It was difficult to tell. "Our Mother calls out! She cries out for our help! Those of us who are special, who have been touched by her majestic presence can feel her embrace through these paltry walls of reality! The Dancer Between Worlds finds herself trapped by ancient sorceries, and we have been chosen to set forth to bring forth her Herald to free Her! Tell me!" She shouts, pointing to the small throng around her. "Tell the truth! You have felt Her as well, haven't you? When you slumber, when you dream. A warm and gentle embrace, the air hot and inviting in its comfort. She is there, begging for your help! Can you rightfully turn your back to her? Turn your back against an earnest plea? Who among you has the bravery to step forth, to admit what others may find too fantastical to dare speak of?" Swallows. Nervous glances and murmuring voices.

    The crowd was nervous, for rumor has it there were dreams. Or rather, nightmares. What one calls dreams and what another would call nightmares was entirely subjective of course for they were but two sides of the same coin. And no matter what one called it, there was one irrefutable fact. There was still a coin, and for now it was still spinning upon a precipice.

  9. - Top - End - #1449
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Inside 71: All I Want For Thanksmas Is You

    [Bus Stop]

    Fortunately, the stranger at the bus stop is not currently under the influence of a spirit of any kind.

    Once June answers with her name, he puts his cigarette out on the arm of the bench, grimacing as he watches the embers burn out.

    "Oh yeah?" he responds, somewhat flatly. "That's a nice name. Don't think I've ever met somebody named after a month before." It was true, he hadn't. How interesting. The more unique a potential victim, the more exciting the chase eventually was. "Must be easy to remember, huh?" At that, he flicks what remains of the cigarette onto the concrete before flattening it beneath his workboot.

    Just then, the bus rounds the corner. "Looks like you're in luck. Mine's next."

    There's a curt nod as he waves goodbye. Once June leaves... there's much to do.




    [Narrow Streets]

    A somewhat nondescript young man has gathered before the elven chanter, looking on with an intrigued expression upon his face.

    His outfit isn't any particularly identifying, consisting of a faded graphic tee worn beneath a dark flannel jacket. His jeans are tight and ripped from wear, rather than out of style. Heavy workboots rise up to his calves, the worn black leather having grown malleable long ago. Finally, a simple trucker cap rests upon his head, bathing the upper half of his face in shadow. As he listens to her, his eyes meet her own. Seconds later, he steps forward. He wasn't sure what he was doing, but in truth, by now he was desperate for any sort of answer.

    For months he'd been plagued by unsettling thoughts. Several times, he'd nearly succumbed to these dark desires, only to change course at the last moment.

    Could it be that it wasn't his fault at all, but rather the workings of some outsider?

    "I have heard... voices." mumbles the man.
    Last edited by The Mad Hatter; Yesterday at 11:21 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #1450
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Inside 71: All I Want For Thanksmas Is You

    The Flying Palace

    Jace sits quietly in the back of the room. They've been doing much better since all this started, but he's been doing his best to let Veronica have her space when she wants it. And presumably she doesn't want or need him looking over her shoulder every minute of every day.
    ...especially after the look she gave from time to time when someone else spent a few days doing that. He sits up as the doctor exits, moving to her side. Zebes obligingly moves from his spot on Jace's lap to Veronica's, mumbling something about text colors.
    "I assure you that nothing of the sort crossed my mind." he says, his voice faux-prim.
    "Well, it does seem like you don't have bad options here. If you stay you can quit your job for good and set up a business here. You end up with cosmic powers, maybe some form of immortality. But our vacation to Seaside might be a bust." he smiles. "And if you give it up, well, it's entirely possible that the Palace would remain without you. And it's not like the tonberries would suddenly hate you just because you lost your Mantle. Maybe they wouldn't let you run the place but hey. And your sister would thank you for being able to come to the apartments for more than a few days at a time to look after it." Really they've been running all three homes despite the effort involved.
    "If it means anything, I think you'd make a good raid boss. Expansion material at the very least." Zebes purrs idly.
    "I don't think I have to even tell you of course, that if you stay I'll happily go on a quest to get some extra longevity to keep up with you. You wouldn't be getting rid of me that easily." Jace leans in to give her a kiss on the cheek. He won't push her into anything; not again. He's long given up trying to force her into doing exactly what he thinks is best or valuing what he values.
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  11. - Top - End - #1451
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Inside 71: All I Want For Thanksmas Is You

    [Necropolis of Kysimax]

    Yeah, that is pretty strange.

    Venus thinks about it...
    Oh!
    That makes sense: it has a back area. This front area is the public-facing part of the church, and there's a back door that leads to the quarters and so on of the priests or whatever they have here.

    Venus leaves the building, and circles around it. If she's right, then there's got to be some kind of back door or something.


    [Bus Stop]

    Even if he were under the influence of a spirit, June probably wouldn't do anything about it. It's best to leave them alone, she found out, because most of the time they just want to be left alone. Or something like that. Leave them alone, and they'll leave you alone, usually.

    "It's just a coincidence, not actually named after the month," June claims. "Name comes from Juno, instead. Guess they have the same origin, though." Talking about her names is something that June knows about. "Can't comment on how easy it is to remember; people usually don't forget their own names since getting them."

    June waves back, and boards the bus. "Have fun waiting," she says.


    She gets on the bus, gets off at the transfer station, then waits for the next one that goes past the Black Dragon's Den. Go to her room there, bath, then sleep until two or three in the afternoon, at which point she wakes up to get ready for work again. Holidays and weekends are pretty busy, so she can't wait until is just a normal weekday again where she can have more free time.
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  12. - Top - End - #1452
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Inside 71: All I Want For Thanksmas Is You

    Necropolis of Kysimax

    Venus goes around.
    There's no door on the back.
    Just blank walls interspersed with decorative pillars. That's weird. There can't be that much space in the building unused, can there? Maybe she missed something?
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  13. - Top - End - #1453
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    Default Re: Inside 71: All I Want For Thanksmas Is You

    Quote Originally Posted by bc56 View Post
    Necropolis of Kysimax

    Venus goes around.
    There's no door on the back.
    Just blank walls interspersed with decorative pillars. That's weird. There can't be that much space in the building unused, can there? Maybe she missed something?



    [Necropolis of Kysimax]

    Strange.
    There's no way it's just that thick of stone. That would be ridiculous, in terms of architecture, unless the whole thing was just a single stone and it was all carved out of it. But even that would be unusual, because of how much work it would take.

    Having gone all the way around and not found anything, Venus goes back inside. The hidden door is probably behind the skeleton. That's where it would make the most sense, she thinks. So, Venus goes back to the skeleton and looks more closely along the walls there.


    Sure, she could probably find the structure of it pretty easily if she just fully merged into the area, but...
    ...
    But it feels weird! The whole place feels weird! She could tell with only the partial-merge she did earlier.

    Besides! Venus is totally a human who just happens to be half-deer. Got that? Just turning into the whole landscape as a first-choice option would be weird.
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  14. - Top - End - #1454
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    Default Re: Inside 71: All I Want For Thanksmas Is You

    Necropolis of Kysimax

    Another search of the skeleton reveals something unusual. He was sitting on it. There's a slot in the throne, about the right size and shape for a sword inserted up to the crossguard. Strange ridges on the inside reveal that it may be some sort of locking mechanism. But for what? And does June have a sword that might fit?
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Shakespeare, King Lear, IV.i.46
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