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

  1. #261
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    Correct. There were other places to explore, and more dubious death dens to find.

    Thus, he prepared the cast for the [LIGHT] spell once more, and brought Nora in. Once enclosed, he exited the building and stood in the canopied walk way inbetween both buildings. There he really perused the map.

    It looked like the poor soul had marked several locations of survivor hobbles across the city. Hachi made a rough estimate of there being at least one to two thousand survivors out of tens of thousands of people who used to live here. The largest of them was situated along their travel route, the second and third largest being west and east respectively. Additionally, the largest group is occupying the cultural mueseum which not only held culturally significant artificats, but also oddities that were dug up by the institute.

    Hachi looked off into the darkness, at the shapes of buildings and wondered who would still be left in this horrid expanse. He started down the stairs after pacing over to it deep in thought, and glanced over at Nora asking, "What're the chances that those that have lost their minds reverted back to their baser instincts?" An odd question, but he had his reasoning.

    He peered out at the street, noticing Nora had cleared out the debris from before. He didn't see the giant anywhere, but the faint reverberations upon the ground were enough for Hachi to know that it hadn't fully left his mind.

  2. #262
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    As they had emerged and Hachi once more cast his light spell, Nora moved closely by his side, after a small time she took one of his arms into her own and pulled herself close to him as they moved. Almost as though they were on some leisurely stroll. This small act was something women of their world would never do, lean on a man in public for any kind of support, or show any greater degree of affection. In a world where men always moved a step behind women, even their own wives. But Nora seemed entirely content to do as she pleased, even if danger was around them. The two were so attuned not only to each other, but to the world around them, it seemed little could take them too much by surprise.

    Gazing at the map, Nora raised her eyebrows at the Cultural Museum, a place she hadn't been since she was a teenager, a girl in school if she had remembered correctly. Though there always were strange objects and bits and bobbles that were present that seemed to have little to no good explanation as to their purpose or origin. Something that had baffled even the smartest of researchers for who knows how many years. But now, perhaps now there was a new chance that at least one or two of these bits and bobs were something that could help, or perhaps even hurt them on their journey.

    "The chances are quite high, at least in my own estimation." Nora was not an expert on human behavior, but there were certain things that absolutely stood to reason and seemed logical steps. "When one cannot control their own minds, the body seeks to help, no? Autopilot as it were, seek food, shelter, things of that nature while trying to regain control. The body must survive at all costs, that is until the mind finally says otherwise and more dramatic measures are taken. Like our friend back in the shrine." Nora's monologue was not cruel or cavalier but rather direct.
    Thanks to Hayabusa/Ryoku for the set.

  3. #263
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    Images of that corpse reverberated in his mind. Such insanity was the only recourse in a world frought with dangers such as these. "The body must survive at all costs, hm?" That stroked his curosity. After some contemplation, he sought fit to forge on; moving inbetween streets and following along the path through the back alleys so as to not draw too much unwarranted attention to their travel. Although the silence that permeated all things, broke at the sound of thunderous approaching footfalls.

    Hachi, seizing the opportunity to use the cover provided by the aftermath, brought the duo into a small coffee shop whose canopy was big enough to hide the two. He kept his spell going, seeing as all exits were completely busted open. He would have Nora assist him in hiding the light as best as possible, he just knew that the two of them fighting this thing would only result in their demise at this stage in their power. They're going to need a bigger advantage.

    But when that thing from before came trotting through, it only stopped temporarily to eye the faint traces of light coming from them. However, before the creature could peer into their little hiding spot intiating a deadly encounter, an explosion somewhere nearby ripped the thing's attention away. The sound was estimated in being seven or eight blocks, which would give the two time to rush to the museum.

    Thus when the creature left, its footfalls fading into the distance, he took that que and broke out into a soft jog seeing that they were only a palm-full of blocks from the building. It's outline was barely visible among the urban backdrop.

  4. #264
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    Nora moved with a kind of elegance and grace. Her hands moving rhythmically along with her body to pick up obstacles in their way and gently place them back down, almost silently. The creature in the distance was a problem for another day, or another year. It seemed so unlikely that they could conquer it. But all they needed to do was move undetected, and Nora understood her assignment, she used objects of all shape and size, carrying them in the air along side them to shield the light and hide it from view as best as possible.

    The Museum was an enormous structure, from the outside it appeared to be a monumental white marble structure. One was greeted was a set of grand stairs that led up to ornate columns. There were towering banners hanging down marking new or special exhibitions. It was a great irony that the building, dedicating to their own culture, was not reflective of the native architectural style. Rather the structure itself had been an Imperial gift, and thus reflected something a little different. The building's wings, East and West, had largely been reconstructed over the years and as such were a little more to local liking.

    The sound of an explosion in the distance could be a welcome distraction for the creature, something to draw it away, or at least keep it focused on something else. Nora took the sign from Hachi and booked it like a bat out of hell, though always remaining shockingly light on her feet. No matter how much pain or discomfort she was in, she could always push through it. Hachi gave her the extra strength she needed to simply push through and keep going, no matter what had happened. It wouldn't be more than a few moments before they reached the front steps of what seemed to be a building untouched save for the bodies in crumpled and folded states along the grand entrance.
    Thanks to Hayabusa/Ryoku for the set.

  5. #265
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    With the front of the building being largely untouched, Hachiro took that opportunity to scan the doors for locks. He saw that only the far right set was clear of any real obstacles. Thus, he dropped the [LIGHT] spell for only a moment to cast another one. In a quick flash, aether was seen and the doors became unlocked in that same moment.

    He pushed through those same doors, stepping into a grandoise, but vacant, central lobby. Hachi remembered the hundreds upon hundreds of people that waded through this place. It was, indeed, a bustling center of culture for this city. Although now, the furniture, cubbards, and counters are all fraught with unknown fluids and large pieces of debris. The shine that was once here is nothing more than a gleam in low-lighting.

    Hachi calmly paced around the central lobby listening for anyone, and sure enough he picked up on distant chatter coming from the west wing. But before he even began to move in that direction, there was a shout from an eastern hallway. Hachi snapped his attention that direction, ready to blast whoever was standing there with an attack spell. He saw a gruff, scarred, woman standing there, armed with a six-shooter.

    "Don't move," she said as she primed her gun. "Who the fuck are you, and how did you get in here?"

    Hachi, thinking fast, said, "We're surviv--"

    "I didn't ask you," she gestured to Nora, "I asked her."

    Hachi sighed heavily, and crossed his arms. He stepped back, and allowed Nora to answer the questions. He even glanced at her, raising a brow in sarcasm and humor.
    Last edited by Dire Hoef; 07-09-2024 at 03:51 PM.

  6. #266
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    Entering the structure, Nora cast her gaze out over the lobby it was a shadow of it's former self almost entirely literally. The goop that lived on the surfaces was undulating slowly. The dark matter had found it's way in, and it seemed as though there was nothing that was safe. Her mind slowly began to recall her memories of this place, almost as if a clock was turning backward and the goop and debris disappeared restoring a mental picture of a pristine cultural mecca. What hadn't she really noticed? The pamphlets in the little rack that now lay on the floor? A small bell on the central reception desk? The way the sign just behind the ticket counter was slightly askew?

    None of that mattered now, her focus was shattered by the woman in all of her glory. It seemed only natural now that she would want a response from another woman. A man's opinion was of no consequence, no importance. The old world was still alive and thriving in the mind of this woman. But Nora simple smiled and raised her hands up, as though a demonstration that she was unarmed or would surrender to this aggressor.

    "We came through the front door." Nora said, her voice almost sickeningly sweet, dripping with saccharine. The corners of her mouth further upturning into a smile that was nigh on sadistic. This was the new Nora after all, a version much improved from her former state of being. "You didn't think a little lock would stop someone did you?" Nora lowered her hands and stepped forward toward the woman. "My name is Dr. Eleanor Sakai." She gestured toward Hachi rather innocently enough. "This is Hachiro." Nora chuckled softly. "My partner. Lover. Boyfriend... I don't know, we haven't really put a label on it." Nora knew she was not answering the intended question. Nora was playing games of sorts.

    "But that's not what you want to know." Nora took another step forward toward the woman, she was entirely free of fear. "You interrupted Hachi, he could have answered your question you know. I know... a man with an opinion, a man with an answer. Wild." Nora once more released a chuckle as she shook her head. "But you see... or perhaps you don't... the old world is dead, and I have killed it. He answers to no woman." Within a split second Nora slammed her hands together, her fingertips then moving artfully to force the gun from the woman's hand and still further dragging it through the air toward herself.

    "I think I'd prefer to let him ask the questions, hmm? Or perhaps... you'd like a taste of me first." With an outstretched palm Nora thrust outward, sending a burst of energy forward to knock the woman back into the wall with such force it would have stolen her breath away. "Am I clear? Do you need more?" Nora cocked her head to the side like a curious dog and began to walk quickly now to the woman whose scarred and angry face had turned into one of terror. "You... will never treat a man that way again. If you so much as think out of turn... Well, I'll crush your skull so easily you'll never have another one of those pesky little thoughts again."

    Nora turned her head to look at Hachi. "The beast is yours." Nora was still smiling.
    Thanks to Hayabusa/Ryoku for the set.

  7. #267
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    He took every chance to demonstrate why they are not to be trifled with.

    He lifted his hand and revealed an series of idle incantations that floated in rings around his dominate arm. He spoke without fear, without care, saying to this terrorified woman, "At this point you have no reason to deny us. We have every capacity to slaughter everyone in here without a second thought, and we will if the need arises. Right now, we're cordial; even inviting. That can change in a flash for you see, my most beloved has an itchy trigger finger and would love nothing more to collapse this whole building ontop of all of you here. So, do us and yourself a favor and listen to me for the next few hours. Right now, give me yes, nos, and numbers."

    He looked around the place and heard the distant sounds of chatter in both directions. He came back and asked, "How many in the west wing?"

    "Fourteen," she mustered through the pain.

    "East?" He paced around the main lobby, watching hallways for any enemies.

    "Twenty-two," she said painfully.

    "Thirty six total," Hachi rested his eyes on Nora, and conveyed to her a sense of using this woman as a bargaining chip to get information and supplies out of them. "Let's let her down. She can lead us to the one running this troupe."

    Once down to her feet, the woman said to the two sarcastically, "Name's Koma, since we're being friendly now."

    "Just move," Hachi waved his arm in the air to move her along.

    Thus this Koma led the two of them down the east wing, where the exhibits here were more recent. It appeared as though they had set up an entire animal exhibit, occupying 65% of the entire east wing. The last of the east wing was dedicated to oddities discovered in those habitats; quoted "chimeras of Daz Izrah's ecoystems." In the large open section of the exhibit, the twenty-even people had formed a small camp, fixed with lights around the edges to keep the ooze from encroaching any further.

    The three of them stepped into the light of the camp, and one of the younger campers came running over at the sight of Koma but stopped mid-stride upon seeing the situation. "K-Koma-senpai?"

    Koma held up a hand, "Don't.. They..They can, and will, kill us all if we step out of turn. I know this looks bad, but just fucking cooperate with them."

    "B-But-"

    "NO!" Koma raised her voice slightly, but relaxed herself as Hachi stared her down. "No. Right now, is not a good time to play hero... Where the fuck is Sato? They need to speak with her pronto, because if we listen to her then they need to talk to her first." As she said this she glanced at Hachi to let him know who to talk to.

    The young one gulped and clenched her fists, "S-She's upstairs, in the creature gift shop.."

    "Thank you Shikoho.." She started leading the pair that way, the group of woman and girls there staring on with fear and anxiety.

    Once up in the gift shop, the trio was greeted by a similarly scuffed up woman counting inventory. She stopped and smiled for just a moment before it died at the sight of both a man and a woman. "Well.. Isn't this a surprise.."

  8. #268
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    "Children." Nora sighed as they moved and this woman, this Koma stopped the child in their tracks. "To think you would have risked their precious little lives..." Another deep sigh escaped as she eyed the one called Shikoho. She remembered her own childhood, her mother, the little lessons she had been taught. Children are to be seen and not heard. Children were to be perfectly behaved, especially little girls. Nora still had tremendous resentment toward her sisters. But that hardly seemed to matter now as they were likely dead.

    "A surprise? Hardly." Nora scoffed as she moved now toward the one who had been identified as Sato. "No... I can smell it. Fear. You've been waiting for this. The moment someone came through the front door. The moment someone would come to threaten the lives of your precious littles." Nora smirked, she had no intention of bringing harm to children. But to those who trained those children in the ways of a deceased world, that was another story. "I can feel your heart rate quicken. I see the gleam in your eyes, the way they dart from side to side, looking for an escape. But you won't find one."

    Nora shook her head and with stunning grace she had raised her hand and lifted one of the small display cabinets, and with the gentlest flick of her finger sent it flying through the gift shop window, letting it crash down below. "Now. We'll do this again. I am Eleanor, and that is Hachi. We have business here that does not involve you. Cooperate, give us what we demand and live your lives. Stand in my way, or in his... and I'll end them all." Nora did not waste time, nor did she mince words. Hachi was right to suggest extracting what they can from the group and returning to their task.

    "Oh, and because dear Koma made some assumptions..." Nora turned her head toward the woman who led them there, and once again with no effort, she balled her hand into a fist, and the bones of Koma's leg would shatter, being hit with just the amount of force required to do such. Science had it's benefits still. "There. All is forgiven. But just so you don't make the same mistake... If Hachi asks a question, you answer it. If you say anything about Hachi, anything cruel, untoward or even the slightest bit rude... and I can assure you, you'll wish all I did was break your leg." Nora grinned and turned once more to Hachi. "He's the nice one. Be grateful."
    Thanks to Hayabusa/Ryoku for the set.

  9. #269
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    Sato eyes darted to the shattered window, and then back to Nora who finished her demands by shattering Koma's leg. Sato eyes spoke of ample hatred for the sheer act of cruelty, but she was in no position to be making demands. So, she huffed and nodded affirmatively to Nora who then traced her eyes over to Hachi who scooted the wounded Koma over to her.

    "You can take care of her," he said dismissively, "What we want is simple. We want half of what you're eating, as well as any items you deem important. We're also looking for potentially any artifacts that you all might've gotten into and are using right this minute." Hachi's eyes were cold and calculating. Sympathies for a structure that had no care for him were gone, and the empathic look on Sato's face meant nothing. She was pleadiing with her gestures and expressions to cease this, but Nora already lit the fuse. "I would be quick about it.. That crash may have alerted the things outside."

    He glanced to Nora, and to the window as he watched the darkness seep in like a viscous liquid. It's bubbling features boil and pop, as the light from the exhibit leak onto it.

    Sato took Koma and propped her up as she passed out from the trauma. Sato stood back up and gestured to the inventory they've stored and said, "You can have whatever is stowed away here. This is everything from the museum that wasn't a novelty artifact. Those, are probably in the hands of some of the others downstairs and in the west wing. I'm not going to stop you.."

    Hachi smiled himself, keeping that same cordial attitude, and began to peruse what they had. It appeared they didn't have much. It was enough food and supplies to last them a couple months if that. In addition there were gift-shop-tier clothing that were all sizes too small for him. So he had no use for either the food or the clothing, and opted to looking for those artifacts. "Are there any of those objects in storage?"

    Sato shook her head, "I nor the others have stepped back there due to most of the darkness consuming the back warehouse.."

    Hachi thought about heading back there himself, but appeared conflicted on this. So, he opted to seeing what objects people were already carrying on their person. "I'll put a pin in that, show me who has what."

    Sato, upon that, escorted the two downstairs where Koma was being treated with a splint and the small groupd of people with said items were being lined up in front of Hachi.

  10. #270
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    "The world is coming to an end and children and adults alike are stealing meaningless trinkets, objects from the past that they could never possibly understand." Nora rolled her eyes as she made her way downstairs to the parade of people, generous a word as parade may have been. Casting her sights to the one treating Koma, Nora couldn't help but giggle softly. "Don't affix the splint too tight, you wouldn't want it to hurt." Nora seemed genuinely to have been enjoying herself in her taunts of this woman. She knew full well she had caused a significant amount of pain, it was an injury that would most certainly require advancement treatment, treatment which was not available.

    "Now this won't take but a minute." Nora spoke to the ground as her eyes closed. In the back of her mind she imagined the pockets and bags of those assembled. Focusing truly on them and their unknown contents. But it wouldn't be long before Nora had turned her thoughts into action and by simply lifting her hands into the air, everything held within these containers floated up and out of them ever so gently as not to cause as minimal of a disturbance as possible. Something quite odd given the racket she had caused earlier.

    "That one." Nora pointed out to a young girl. "What... are you hiding from me?" Nora looked past the sea of personal objects, and some from the museum, mostly odd trinkets and things which weren't what they were looking for. Though in honesty Nora was not sure what it was they were looking for. There was a distaste in Nora's voice as she had spoken and slowly she made her way over to the little girl and knelt down. "I know, there's a lot to be scared of right now, and I know I'm not helping." Nora's voice had suddenly softened, she was gentle and warm.

    "But... I know you're hiding something from me..." Nora sighed a bit and rested her hand on the girl's shoulder. "I can... see it in my mind." With Nora's free hand she motioned to her own temple. "And I think... you can do it too." Nora cocked her head to the side and noticed as the girl trembled, shakily pulling something out of the mess of her clothes, and held it out.

    A toy... the girl thought, but did so in a way where she was attempting, clearly to connect, to reach out. Nora nodded as she processed it.

    An old kendama, something from an exhibit. Nora laughed lightly. "You can keep it. Good job kiddo." Nora stood up and pat the girl on the head, hoping she would indeed survive before turning once more to Hachi. "I say we take the store room before heading to the other wing." Nora now looked out across the room and said simply. "And if anyone goes to warn the others... well, I wouldn't. Just a bit of advice."
    Thanks to Hayabusa/Ryoku for the set.

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