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Thread: [M] - The Protagonist is Dead {IC}

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    Default [M] - The Protagonist is Dead {IC}


    GM: @iandraws, Fen Anderson: @lobo, Laura Babbin: @trouble.muffin, and Axel Derritz: @Craze

    The Exposition
    There is a world that exists between the blurry lines of fiction and reality. A world much like our own and, yet, impossible. It is a broken world; it's story cut down before it was ever fully told. The people in it, save for a select few, are flat archetypes with simple lives and no real purpose other than to adhere to the needs of the narrative. The protagonist leads the narrative, giving the people around her fleshed out lives and being.

    That is, until twelve years ago.

    Two friends went to an elementary school in eastern Telworth city. A nice, clean, coastal neighborhood, prone to park benches and fairly decent sunsets. The friends, Fen and Laura, were two grades apart but still very close. Not just because of shared interests in books or puzzles, but also because they were both born different. They, for no apparent reason to them, were self aware.

    For most of their early lives, they thought they were the only ones who knew the world they lived in was just a story. Until that day, twelve years before now, when a new kid came to school. His name was Axel and he was... different. For starters, there had never been a "new kid" before. The protagonist never spent time in eastern Telworth so the place never had a need to be dynamic. And yet, here was this new kid. Not only that, but he didn't fit into any archetypes neatly. There were bits from several of them all bundled up into one. Was it possible? Someone else like Fen and Laura existed? The two friends were determined to find out.

    But doing so came with a price.

    That same day, without any explanation or hints in the plot, a horde of machines began ransacking the school. Children and teachers alike ran for cover, but Fen and Laura were excited. Their tiny part of town would finally be visited by the protagonist! Soon enough, she showed up; determined to find a way to stop these machines. Fen and Laura, dragging Axel with them, followed the protagonist from a distance. Strangely, the protagonist was having trouble fending off the machines. That wasn't right, this was her story. The robots should be nothing to her. They shouldn't-

    As the children watched in horror, unable to do anything, the protagonist, their hero, was slain. Her broken body flung limply to the floor as the whole world shuddered. The protagonist was dead, her story over way before it was supposed to have ended. There was now a gaping hole in the narrative of reality. But what could fix it?

    As Fen and Laura stared, Axel stood up and began walking towards the robots. Fury filled him as the narrative chose its new protagonist. In the face of this threat to all of reality, everything just started clicking into place for the three kids. Laura somehow knew where a weapon which worked against the machines was, Fen inexplicably figured out that the robots all communicated through a digital hive mind, and Axel miraculously found an old broadcasting machine to send a "shut off" command to the attacking horde. It was bad writing. Terrible writing. But the narrative had no other choice but to resort to it.

    The machines were stopped, the world was saved, and Axel became the new protagonist.

    From then to now, the story became about Axel, Fen, and Laura. The three kids grew up going on adventures and saving the world again and again. The people around them started to gain personalities and dimensions too, though not to the same level. Every story needs supporting characters after all.

    Now I take you to the present day. Axel, Fen, and Laura now go to the same college and live together in a nice, two story apartment. Recently, however, more and more strange things have been happening. The adventures are becoming more frequent and unrelated. Random people are starting develop personalities on their own. It's almost as if the world is unfocused.

    Perhaps some old wounds are starting to open up again...

    CHAPTER ONE: Close Encounters of the Weird Kind
    Axel
    Axel woke up one Saturday morning in a cold sweat. Another nightmare. He'd been having a lot of those recently...

    Morning light peaks through the window onto his face. The digital clock on a bedside table next to him reads 7:56 AM. Try as he might to go back to sleep, his stomach seems to have other plans. There's food in the kitchen downstairs. Maybe some breakfast would shut his stomach up.

    Laura
    Laura had fallen asleep reading the night before. She was fast asleep on the couch, the lamp in the room still turned on and a book on top of her chest. The TV across from her shows nothing but a blank screen. She awakes to the sound of stumbling footsteps on the stairwell in the other room. Her friend, Fen, walks into the living room.

    Fen
    Fen was already halfway down the stairs by the time she was fully awake. She walks into the living room to find Laura laying on the couch, a book on her chest. The TV on the wall across from her is off, the little display on the cable box reads 7:57 AM.

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    Despite running for what seemed like an hour, Laura's lungs and legs were numb. Normally, she'd be heaving and gasping for air by now. It must have been the adrenaline that sustained her. A metallic clank remained in hot pursuit and each heavy thud of steel legs sounded as close behind her as the last. There was no shaking the Hound. The high-pitched hiss of it's needle moving into striking position escalated her panic even further, and in her frenzy, Laura made an unthinkable mistake. One foot entangled the other and down she went, the Hounds eight legs close behind. The last thing she saw was the needle barreling towards her from above the metallic beast's luminous blue eyes.

    Laura jolted upright with a gasp, and Fahrenheit 451 slid from her chest to the floor with a soft thud. One of her roommates had just entered the room, the sound of which had likely woken her from that terrible dream. "Morning, Fen. You saved me! I need to read something more pleasant before bed," Laura said as she picked the crust from her eyes. She must have slipped into a dream as she neared the end of the novel, and the protagonist's nightmare became her own. More than half a century later, Ray Bradbury was still able to amaze and terrify his readers. Even though many of his female characters were either cruel, weak, or both, Laura couldn't help but love his work. She gingerly picked up the book to carry it back to her room.

    "Hey Fen, should we start the day off with some good ol' fashioned Saturday morning cartoons?" she called on her way down the stairs. The kitchen was quiet, but she had a feeling Axel was in there. "And coffee, of course. Got any brewing, Axel?"

    ♥This set was made by my dear, sweet Ru.♥


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    After a rather pitiful nights sleep, Fen was surprised she was able to function well enough to drag herself out of bed at whatever hellishly early time that it was. She was only in her room long enough to toss her hair up into a messy bun, and slip her feet into her pig headed slippers, before she started to make her way out of the room. Once glance towards Laura's room told her that the other girl was already downstairs, but whether or not she had come up for bed last night was unknown. Fen didn't remember hearing her come up last night, and with the rooms so close together, she was usually able to tell when the other girl came and went from the room.

    Fen let her feet drag across the carpet as she reached the stairs, taking them slowly as she tried not to trip over the slippers on her feet. She rubbed at her eyes as she made her way down, and despite her efforts at being careful, she still managed to jam the pig head of her slipper against the next step. A startled yelp left her lips, and after a few stumbled steps, she managed to prevent herself from falling the rest of the way down the stairs. At the same moment she heard a gasp from the living room, and now she was wide awake, heart thudding in her chest. She took the last few steps a bit faster than the first, looking into the living room with a concerned expression.

    However, as her eyes fell upon Laura and her book, the younger girl immediately relaxed. A sheepish chuckle left her lips, and she lifted a hand to brush her bangs out of her face. "Good morning. Glad I could save you. Though, maybe it's a hint at something, huh?" she murmured, muffling a yawn against her palm as she approached the couch that Laura was on. She plopped down next to the girl, rubbing her palms over her face before reaching the remote. "Cartoons sound wonderful. What're you feeling this morning?" she asked, clicking the power button on the control.
    -- lobo

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    After a healthy dose of groans, rolls and twists, Axel's stomach convinced him to get up. He squinted at the light coming in through the windows, shielding it away with his palm. His groggy eyes searched his covers for the pack of cigarettes he had thrown onto it the night before, but all he could find was a stray cigarette. He stuck it behind his ear and got out with a loud yawn, scratching his back.

    He put on a pair of skinny jeans, pulled a white shirt over his head and stuck his head under the cold shower to wake him up. After drying his hair, and raking it back, he made his way downstairs.

    For once, he appeared to be the first one up - though he found that very hard to believe.

    Soon enough, Fen and Laura made their way downstairs as well. "Morning," he said from behind his coffee mug, his emerald eyes tracing his roommates. He took a sip and exhaled with satisfaction. "Laura, you know better than anyone that if I haven't got any coffee brewing, there's something seriously wrong with me."


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    Axel and Laura
    The pot of coffee brewing is large enough for several cups of the morning elixir. Its aroma hangs in the air with a pleasant bitterness. After a minute or so, the two roommates can hear the TV in the living room turn on. The apartment walls are too thick to hear through perfectly, but it sounds like some sort of news report.

    Fen
    As Laura leaves to meet Axel in the kitchen, Fen tries to turn the TV on. For some reason the remote isn't working. It takes Fen way too long to realize she's holding the remote backwards. Once it is facing the right way, the screen blinks to life and displays a news channel in the middle of a live report...


    Changing the channel only brings up similar news stories. Out of the corner of her eye, Fen can see the window shaking. She can also hear the handle of the front door rattle from the next room over.

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    After hitting the wrong button a few times, Fen finally looked down at the remote to realize that she was holding it backwards. "It's too early to function," she grumbled as an excuse, quickly flipping the remote around to hold it the correct way. She then hit the actual power button, watching the screen come to life. She leaned forward a bit on the couch, squinting at the television as the news report began to play. An odd bubble of excitement started to fill her gut when she understood, and her sleepiness was almost instantly washed away. "Laura, Axel! Come look at this!" she called, hopping up from the couch to get a closer look at the tv.

    She searched the screen for any clue as to what their next scene was going to be about, eyebrows slightly furrowed in concentration. "Alien abduction..." she hummed, tapping her chin. Though her thoughts were soon interrupted when she noticed the window was shaking, and she automatically started to move closer. "Guys...be ready, okay? I don't know what he's planned for us...but I don't think it's going to be something good," the girl warned, eyes flickering from the window to the sound of the rattling door handle.

    Since the window was the closer of the two items, she approached it with some caution. She peeked out of the glass first, not wanting to get ahead of herself by pulling it open before she got a safe glimpse outside.
    -- lobo

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    Fen
    Before her friends could enter the room, the shaking became even worse. The ground reverberated beneath her feet. Almost as if on cue, when Fen approached the window, a blinding green light flashed through it, filling the room with a sickly-green glow. It didn't hurt, but it was now almost impossible to see out the window. The front door seemed like it was going to shake out of its hinges.

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    "You're a life-saver, Ax. Literally, most weekends." Laura nudged him softly with her elbow, knowing it was never too early for him to appreciate her cheesy humor. She filled a mug and blew over the top to cool it.

    Laura took her coffee black--strong, like the sort of character development she strove for. She leaned against the counter, lost in her thoughts. The nature of last night's dream had shaken her more than most others would. After all, the mechanical Hound from Fahrenheit 451 was fairly close in resemblance to the robots that had slain the last protagonist.

    Each warm sip of coffee roused her brain and pushed the memory of her nightmare further from it. By the time she finished her first mug, the luminescent eyes had faded from her mind. The brunette was already headed back to the living room to see why Fen had chosen the news over cartoons when the other girl called to her. The nervous waver in Fen's voice put more pep in Laura's step than the cup'a Joe.

    "Aw, Hell. I'll deal with you in a second," Laura scolded the shaking front door. She rounded the corner to find the room lit an eerie green. Fen stood uncomfortably close to the window, transfixed."What kinda script is this? She's way too smart to stare down a tractor beam like a deer in headlights!" Laura shouted, again in that scolding tone. A breathless moment passed and their comrade remained stuck in place.

    Horrified, Laura shouted, "Fen, get back!" She lunged towards her friend and pulled them both away. Unfortunately, the only fast way out of the light was back towards the front door.
    Last edited by trouble.muffin; 11-06-2017 at 02:29 AM.

    ♥This set was made by my dear, sweet Ru.♥


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    Axel, far too tired to even respond quickly to what was going on, followed after Laura in a sluggish manner. He watched the news with interest, though every word the newscaster uttered made his shoulders hang lower and his brows furrow. "I'm not doing shit until I've had my morning coffee," he said with an exhausted sigh, downing the rest of his coffee.

    He spluttered, however, when the ground began to tremble and a green light flashed through the window. His favorite mug dropped from his hands, the handle shattering as it hit the floor.

    "Alright," said Axel, right hand now curling up into a fist, "enough of this - I'm checking this out, pronto."

    He made way for the door, grabbing the handle and opening it.


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    Fen and Laura
    As Laura pulls Fen away from the glowing light, the two can see their roommate storming past them to the front door. As they watch, Axel grabs the door handle and pulls the door open. Rather, he tries to pull it in. Instead, the door goes outwards, breaking off its hinges and flying up into the sky. Axel, who had been holding onto the handle, is yanked forward by the door as it flies away. As the momentum pulls him through the doorway, his feet lift off the ground. Before the two friends can even blink, Axel is pulled into the sky outside.

    Looking through the doorway, Fen and Laura can see other things get pulled into the sky. Green light covers everything in the near-by area. Fence posts are being plucked out of the ground. Bottles and garbage cans are floating into the sky; the recycling mixing with the trash without an iota of ceremony. Some unlucky college students are meeting a similar fate as Axel. Even cars are beginning to float upwards into the green light. Fen and Laura see all of this, but Axel is the thing they're worried about Most.

    Axel
    Gravity had been one of the few constants in Axel's life till that moment. Now it had forsaken him without so much as a phone call and an "it's not you, it's me." Axel is pulled up into the sky before he can even realize what's happened. Looking up he is blinded by a similar green light as the one that shown through the window. Looking around himself he can see all sorts of things and people being pulled up with him. And some of them look like they're flying his way.

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