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Thread: PITCH BLACK〔M〕「Hoef & Hannelorian」

  1. #251
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    It was all a sight to be remembered. How was he going to tell his children this? Was he ever going to tell anyone this? He didn't know, and frankly he didn't want to know. The cascading footfalls of a larger entity cleared his thoughts, and sharpened his instincts. He affirmed her sense of urgency, and increased his pace. Striding pass a couple corners, he came upon a large building that stood out among the others. A shrine.

    The entrance to the shrine's grounds was marked with a torri gate, and the immediate area around its base was filled with cluttered debris. However, that wasn't all.

    The rumbling from before revealed itself to be a creature of several stories wandering down the four-lane street. It had a centipedal body, and four human-like appendages that left five-finger impressions into the concrete. And with the dim lighting, he saw how it glistened with an oily carapace. He didn't spot its head fully, but he gathered that it sported a human skull. It's worm-like form slinked back behind a corner, disappearing from view.

    "I wonder if that's the only one.." This wasn't too large of a city. It's people numbered well into the tens of thousands, and the urban sprawl hadn't expanded too far for its streets to become a maze. And yet there was space for there to be more than one of these things.. And that's what Hachi was more worried about.

  2. #252
    The Grey Lady
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    Nora gazed upon the shrine in the shrinking distance, the sight of a familiar Torii gate brought no comfort. In life before the darkness she had not been religious, and this did little to prove otherwise. There was no faith in a higher power, just faith in what seemed to be the existence of some kind of ancient evil or power, some thing that lacked a name or a clear face. A shrine was just a building now, just a building inspired by millennia of lies and falsehoods.

    All was interrupted by the rumbling of the ground and the passage of the great centipede like creature with human like appendages that roared down, grinding themselves down into the earth. Nora could have paused in wonder, it was a tremendous creation, one of power. Where had it come from? Had it spent it's years slumbering beneath the seals? Or had it compromised itself of the remains of those whom it's massive limbs could have so easily crushed into dust.

    "Listen." Nora raised a pointer finger to her ear as she thought while slowly continuing to move forward toward the shrine, perhaps it would be best to use it as shelter for if only but a few moments while the creature had passed. If Hachi attuned his mind he would be able to sense that this creature was not alone. There were echoes of another, perhaps larger one in the distance. Faint, but it was at the top of mind, a similar energy or wavelength, perhaps it was some kind of mate for the creature just a bit of a ways from them.
    Thanks to Hayabusa/Ryoku for the set.

  3. #253
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    His head instinctively perked up, and at that moment the echoes were caught. Faint.

    That was the word. They were there, distant though present.

    His worries were compounded upon feeling the presence of a larger entity. However, he calmed himself but taking into account the fact that these things were a ways away. They were not a present threat, but a persistent one.

    Though having strafed across the street, he crouched low to limit visibility and examined the barricade out front. It appeared to be hastily made, with several weakpoints present to simply knock it down. But Hachi wasn't about making noise, so he opted to use those weakpoints to scale it. He was quick on his part, knowing full well that Nora had no need for such physical labor. Once on the other side he remained light on his feet taking up the shrine's stairs.

    The trees here on this area of land were thick enough to obscure their light, but the verboten shrine spoke of a different peace. A solitude away from the suffocating dread.

    Hachi, being the first to step onto hallowed ground, glanced around at two sets of buildings. He saw that the main building was barricaded far more than the secondary building, and decided to take to the secondary building as the two structures were connected through a canopy-walkway.

  4. #254
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    With a delicately raised hand Nora set to work slowly pulling objects and gently placing them on the ground with her mind. Delicate work, but not particularly difficult. Her emphasis was entirely on remaining quiet and calm. There was no need to alert anyone else to their presence. Her minds eye was starting to be able to perceive objects on the other side of the door and she was gracefully able to dismantle the barricade until nothing remained, and then allowed herself to stride through the doors and up the stairs.

    Stepping onto hallowed ground was not something that brought Nora comfort or relief. If anything a part of her started to feel wrong about being here when she couldn't believe. Almost guilty for her very presence. "Two roads diverged..." she whispered as she looked at the path before her, one to the left, the other to the right. Each one leading to a different building in the complex, though Hachi seemed rather sure of his own choices having made it rather quickly. The door that was less protected, the path of least resistance. It was there that Nora stood before the assorted objects and much as she had before began the process of clearing them to allow their path to become viable.

    Hachi could have easily cleared the barricade, but perhaps too loudly, now he simply had wait and watch on as she set to work though once again, it took hardly any time. Once clear with another subtle gesture of her palms the door opened slowly, the hinges however, were creaking, long overdue for repair. Cocking her head to the side she nodded in Hachi's direction. "After you."
    Thanks to Hayabusa/Ryoku for the set.

  5. #255
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    He took one calm step inside, and examined the interior.

    It was a mess to say least. Someone was definitely living here at one point, but due to what looked to be a scuffle, it's all abandoned. What also caught his eye was the shrine on the opposite end of the room. It was adorned with everything he came to understand as being of the Neoshinto faith. The kami in question was named, Oharu, and appeared to be a deity who had dominion over the seas. The air in this room was thick with ocean scents, and made him feel homely as these were familiar scents.

    However, what really kept his attention was seeing various journals left about by whoever lived here. Hachi knelt down and took one of the many journals, and scanned its pages. Alot of it was gibberish and feverish writings of some madman, but at certain points throughout the volumes there was coherency.

    The coherent bits speak at length about a flood, and how Oharu's inky ocean will swallow everyone. They also write that there were ways to mitigate disaster, and that was to build a ship.. an ark that can withstand the coming deluge. However, everyone ignored these solutions and continued on with their lives without a second thought. Thus the darkness came to wipe the slate clean.

    He came up from his reading and spotted two doors. One led back outside and across, while the other dove deeper into the building. However a thought cross his mind, and it made him wonder if the darkness does more than just put somebody to sleep.

  6. #256
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    The shrine was filled with the spectral echoes of the dead and departed. The energy in the air was unnerving, the silence of the physical space even more so. Yet she could hear it faintly in her head, old prayers and chants, the smell of incense in the air. It was an entire world that was gone, recently and eternally it felt like. Hachi had begun his work moving around the space and picking up assorted journals and pages scattered across the floor. Nora on the other hand cautiously stepped further inside and moved around the edges of the walls, her fingertips tracing along peeling paint and paper, against stone statues that were the closest thing to life that could be detected.

    Hachi's readings reverberated in her skull as she moved to and fro. Eventually could come his interpretation of what he had read, most of it was madness, ravings of someone who had lost their sanity with the coming of the darkness. Or perhaps that simply exacerbated what was already creeping beneath the surface of the author's mind.

    A modern interpretation of an old event. The flood, a metaphor for the darkness, darkness which has come and gone before an unknown number of times. The ark a fitting reference for a deity of the sea and inky waters. Just as we know now this could have potentially been avoided had the seals been tended to, or the countdown noticed... and so all signs were ignored and the inevitable and promised flood came to wash away the sin and sorrow, the stain of man upon the earth. Cute.

    It made sense that people throughout the ages would take the stories and convert them into their own mythologies and mystical or spiritual beliefs. The same old cautionary tales just refitted for a new generation. A generation that too would hopefully be spurred into action in hopes of avoiding the same tragedies that would repeat, but they wouldn't and history would rear it's ugly head once more in a dull repetition.

    Or... the darkness spoke to the author, just as it speaks to us. And it used the author's own frame of reference to tell them a story, perhaps to drive them mad...
    Thanks to Hayabusa/Ryoku for the set.

  7. #257
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    The inner architecture of the building revealed three separate rooms that ran along a singular hallway. Each door was place on the left-hand side, while a long windowed-wall filled the other. All three doors were closed, but the hallway was trashed just as equally as the starting room. There was no door at the end of the hallway, but merely a wall fitted with a statue of a similar make to the others.

    The quiet snooper's eyes locked on the doorway leading outside, and stepped up to it. He examined how the cracks in the frame are leaking in the darkness. Which, gave credence to Nora's second option.

    Psychological damage hadn't been ruled out, but it wasn't wholly explored either. Hachi assumed that with the current disposition of the people left alive, insanity would be rampant. However, the idea of the darkness being the source responsible unnerved him as killing people was already its goal. What more could it do?

    That aside, he broke eye contact with door and strayed over to the other one. Peeking around and seeing Nora admiring the decor, he stepped right up to the first door. He armed himself as took the latch and it slid it open. He glanced around quickly for a moment, but found that there was nobody inside. Instead, it was a small office space repurposed into someone's bedroom.

    He furrowed his brow, but didn't step in.
    Last edited by Dire Hoef; 06-07-2024 at 09:40 PM.

  8. #258
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    After several moments walking along the walls and taking in the ornate decorations of the now fallen shrine, Nora made her way over to where Hachi was standing, before a door of a room that had once been an office. The darkness is speaking to us alright... but what is it saying?" Nora thought. At this juncture all of her thoughts now belonged to Hachi as well as herself. It was something she didn't mind or give much thought to, ironic as that may be. She was not filtering herself, instead she simply let her mind do as it wished, to think whatever thought it wished.

    "An office come bedroom." Nora spoke the words aloud and slipped passed Hachi to step inside. The room was just as messy as the others, though there appeared to be hundreds of pages of scrawled text strewn about, odd drawings and what appeared to be blood over many of them. The madness was feeling ever more real the closer she got to the whole thing. The desk chair had been pushed into the corner, the desk itself at an odd angle, there were sheets and scraps of what was makeshift bedding behind the structure. Leaning down Nora would take a few pages into her hands and cast her eyes over them before tossing them aside.

    As she walked further in she peered behind the desk and sighed softly. It was a tragic but perhaps predictable sight based on what they had seen so far. In a pile of fabric in the small of the desk, the hollow for one's legs was the tightly curled body of a man, wrists violently cut open, blood about him and soaked into the very fabric which shielded him. "I think we found our author." The look on his face was one of torture, horror, perhaps very madness itself. The expression was nothing more than absolute pain and suffering, contorted and twisted features all in a mess.
    Thanks to Hayabusa/Ryoku for the set.

  9. #259
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    "This is going to be a regular sight," he had simply said without even thinking. He stared at the corpse with a sense of genuine malice. Not for the person whose life was violently cut short, but for the circumstances in which their inevitable end was had. He hated it. He hated it all.

    Thus, he gleamed what seemed useful from the mess and picked up some flasks that were tucked away underneath the bed. These contained two separate fluids, one a robust red and the other a odd purple. Both sloshed with some viscosity, Hachi noting these as potions. He pocketed the red one, and examined the purple one. He wasn't quite sure what this mixture was but when he uncorked it, its aroma was sickeningly sweet.

    Not wanting to give in to instrusive caveman tendencies, Hachi recorked it.

    After pocketing it, he left the room to examine the last room which turned out to be a storage closet fit with the dead author's belongings. Here, Hachi began to dig away at who this person was. And through all the items, only a handful even proved useful to the duo. He gathered a crowbar, a couple torches, a city map, and a few lazarus patches.

    He stepped out of the closet, and unfurled the map. Here, it detailed streets and boroughs with the addition of important landmarks both artificial and natural.

  10. #260
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    "He was alone." Nora lamented as Hachi made his passing remarks about how this was not going to be a unique situation. Death had piled up all around them but this was something else. Madness did this. Sure it was caused by the darkness but still this was new and unsettling. His end was not swift and sudden like the others. No his was prolonged and painful. Nora felt pity, sadness for the deceased man. He likely didn't deserve to go out this way. But there he was.

    "No one to hold his hand, to calm him down. Just alone with his tainted mind. How awful..." Hachi had left for the final room to gather supplies. But for a few moments Nora just remained there. Standing in sort of a mourning and stunned silence. The world had gone mad, but this here seemed to be a particular tragedy. Something truly haunting. Perhaps Nora was simply paying her respects to the deceased.

    In time she would move on and assist with the collection of supplies. Taking a moment to review the map it helpfully indicated certain blockages or obstacles. "We've spent too much time here. We need to go." Nora hated this place. She hated what it once stood for and right now she hated what it had become. "There are other shit holes for us to see."
    Thanks to Hayabusa/Ryoku for the set.

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