EPIPHANY Session: Remembrances of Things Past: Arthur Grimes.   Posted by Epiphany Subsystem.Group: 0
Epiphany Subsystem
 NPC, 2 posts
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Thu 28 May 2015
at 01:34
EPIPHANY Session: Remembrances of Things Past: Arthur Grimes
In the strange dream of EPIPHANY, Arthur found himself standing on a rooftop that was familiar from many years ago. He smelled the familiar aromas of the city, and heard the distant hum of traffic from vehicles passing on the streets far below. This was Lyla’s apartment - her courtyard, which overlooked downtown with some of the most striking views in the entire city. Or, so her landlord had promised.

It was late at night, but the city was still very much alive. Bright lights from the skyscrapers challenged the light from the stars above, drowning out the heavens with their hedonistic, earthly glow.

“I got your favorite,” Lyla held up two bags of Indian food with a devilish smirk. “Plus, wine. Of course. I can’t have a rooftop party without wine.”

She set the various bags down on the table, and slung herself into one of the wire lawn chairs, staring up at the stars and out at the city - her city, with the air of a ruler overseeing her kingdom.

“God it’s gorgeous up here. I’ll be sad to leave it behind.” She sighed, reaching for the bag with the wine. “Red or white? What goes with Tikka Masala?”

This message was last edited by the player at 02:34, Thu 28 May 2015.

Arthur Grimes
 player, 4 posts
Fri 29 May 2015
at 14:33
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Remembrances of Things Past: Arthur Grimes
Arthur turns slightly and observes Lyla. He was always surprised by the way she could make his heart jump in his chest every time he looked at her. Her way of being both classically beautiful and yet playfully causal in her mannerisms.

It had been a few months since they had started their affairs.  Both at work and in the bedroom.  Arthur knew that she'd be moving on to her next assignment soon and it tore at him like steel claws. But what was he to do? Drop to his knees, profess his undying love for her? He was too proud for that and if he was being honest, too afraid.  Lyla would just laugh at his foolishness, that infectious, intoxicating laugh he loved hearing even at his own expense.  She was in this for the fun and games.  Her love was the work and Arthur was sure when she got to her next location she'd find another Arthur Grimes with which to play. It broke his heart and he could only console himself in the fact that he would have her just a little longer before then.

Turning and pulling his chair out, he sat down at the table. "Wine with Indian food? How many times do I have to tell you that the only proper beverage for Masala is a cold lager? But if you must, go with a white at least during dinner." Arthur was surprised how well that Wine for Dummies book was coming in handy.  His sister had laughed at him when he bought it at the time but discount bin or not he figured it would make him seem more sophisticated around any future dates that might come his way.

Arthur began dishing out the meal and cleared his throat, hoping to push the anxiousness out of his voice. "So when do you leave for your next assignment?"
Epiphany Subsystem
 NPC, 4 posts
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Sat 30 May 2015
at 04:36
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Remembrances of Things Past: Arthur Grimes
The rich and heady aroma of alcohol fills the air as Lyla pops the cork from a bottle of white and pours herself a tall glass. Sitting back in her chair to look out at the city and at the stars above, she swirls the glass absently for a few moments, allowing the liquid to breathe in the slightly chilly night air. “I’m flying out early this morning actually. Catching the red-eye to Shanghai.”

“You can come and visit, if you like.” Lyla flashes a quick and easy smile, taking a small sip of the wine. “There’s this amazing little dim sum restaurant you would absolutely love.”

It truly was a lovely night. The moon was nearly full, casting a radiant glow over the isolated roof top, and a soft breeze rustled the loose strands of Lyla’s hair - which she brushed casually behind her ear. As she sits there, seemingly unperturbed by the idea of leaving in the morning for another continent, a single bright shooting star arcs across the night sky behind her; gone, in the blink of an eye.
Arthur Grimes
 player, 5 posts
Sun 31 May 2015
at 04:51
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Remembrances of Things Past: Arthur Grimes
Arthur looked down at his plate and pushed his food around having lost his appetite.  He knew she was leaving but tomorrow morning? Maybe this was the moment he should speak. Tell her the full truth of his feelings and just lay it all on the table.  What was the worst that could happen? She rejected him? Laughed in his face?

Arthur stirred up his courage and looked up at his beautiful dinner companion and his heart sunk to his feet and his courage dissolved. He knew her response.  No laugh. Just a sad smile and a look of utter pity in her eyes.  He couldn't put himself through that.  Instead he grabbed his wine glass and went for a sip that slipped into a full out gulp as he drained his glass.

"I do love dim sum." Arthur put on his best smile, "Maybe I'll take you up on that offer.  If you don't think I'll cramp your style."

Leaning up slightly out of his chair and grabbing the wine bottle, he refilled his glass. More than was proper probably but he realized that this was more of a going away party so why not have some fun. As he sat back he raised his glass in a salute, "To Shanghai."
Epiphany Subsystem
 NPC, 5 posts
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Mon 1 Jun 2015
at 07:55
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Remembrances of Things Past: Arthur Grimes
Lyla flashes a radiant smile, and raises her glass to Arthur’s toast. “To new opportunities.” She finishes the remnants of her wine with a satisfied sigh, and leans back in her chair, luxuriating under the starlight.

“You won’t cramp anything… in fact, I can probably use you. You’d need a job though.” She furrows her brow slightly, pouring another glass of wine as she mulls over the possibilities. “How do you feel about janitorial work?”

As they talk on the rooftop, another star falls in the sky. Followed by another, and another, and another. Soon, the sky is filled with little streaks of light. Lyla looks up in wonder, but her expression quickly turns to concern. The stars continue to fall, hundreds of them, until the sky is black and empty. Void of light.

A cold breeze winds its way across the roof top, and the sounds of traffic below grind to an uneasy halt.
Arthur Grimes
 player, 6 posts
Mon 1 Jun 2015
at 08:30
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Remembrances of Things Past: Arthur Grimes
Arthur barely notices the black void of sky above them or the sudden silence that has fallen on the world. He takes another large gulp of wine and sets the glass down a bit too hard snapping the stem. Drawing a frustrated breath between his teeth he looks at the half glass in his hand for a moment and without care throws it over the side of the building.

Looking up he shrugs, "Sure.  I'll clean toilets and mop floors as long as the pay is decent." Smiling and feigning enthusiasm he raises his voice a little, "Oh! Can I have one of those cool waxing machines too!?"

Arthur would like to think his attitude was just the wine beginning to permeate his brain but it was just the fire lit under the oil soaked timbers that were his pain and frustration.
Epiphany Subsystem
 NPC, 6 posts
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Mon 1 Jun 2015
at 08:57
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Remembrances of Things Past: Arthur Grimes
“You can have absolutely anything you want.” Lyla props her elbow on the table, looking at him through her wine glass,  which hangs loosely and casually between her fingertips. “The world is yours, Arthur. You just need to be willing to take it.”

With a sigh, Lyla lifts the glass to her lips. In the increasingly dim lighting, Arthur can see a rime of frost growing along the rim, and the air fogs in front of her lips as she places the glass back on the table.

Suddenly, all of the lights in the building across the street blink out, plunging the skyscraper into blackness. The same cold wind that had visited the roof top a moment ago now whips through the city streets. A low, ominous howl begins to build - quiet at first, but escalating slowly until the sound becomes a constant backdrop to their rooftop dinner.

This message was last edited by the player at 09:05, Mon 01 June 2015.

Arthur Grimes
 player, 7 posts
Mon 1 Jun 2015
at 11:04
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Remembrances of Things Past: Arthur Grimes
A deep shiver runs down Arthur's spine as he looks around him in confusion.  The city was never this cold during this time of year.  Where were the lights? What was that nightmarish howling?

Looking across the table and seeing how nonchalant Lyla is reacting to the changing environment Arthur begins to get angry and afraid. Voice cracking he says, "Anything I want?  When I have I ever got what I wanted? How about we start with...what the hell is going on?!" He spreads out his arms and waves them back and forth in an attempt to get her to acknowledge the world around her.
Epiphany Subsystem
 NPC, 7 posts
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Tue 2 Jun 2015
at 02:50
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Remembrances of Things Past: Arthur Grimes
Lyla tries to look up, as Arthur’s temper begins to assert itself, but her head glitches and falls back down again at an uncomfortable and unnatural angle. “I-“ she stammers, as the glass of wine topples from her fingers and shatters against the floor, spilling liquid and shards of glass across the rooftop.

She presses her fingers against her temple, her breathing shallow and irregular, and finally manages to stand up from the table. Stumbling backwards a few steps, she barely catches herself against the concrete barrier along the edge of the roof. “I don’t know what — what is happening. Why would I?”

Lights around the cityscape continue to gutter and die out, as the strange bestial howl whisks around the street corners and alleys, seeming to swallow all of the other sounds that it touches. The sound of the busker on the sidewalk - gone. The sounds of traffic horns and police sirens - muffled and swallowed beneath the strangely somber dirge. All around, the buildings begin to lose their shape, becoming hollowed out husks of black metal and ash that stare back at Arthur with dead, empty eyes.

The edge of the roof top begins to crumble and turn to ash, and Lyla pulls away just as the wall she was leaning against tumbles down into the rapidly darkening cityscape below. “…I think we should go. Now.” She says softly, taking a few unsteady steps towards the rooftop staircase.
Arthur Grimes
 player, 8 posts
Tue 2 Jun 2015
at 04:29
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Remembrances of Things Past: Arthur Grimes
His temper flat-lining under the weight of his sudden terror Arthur freezes in place, unable to determine what to do next.  Over and over, "Something's wrong! Something's wrong!" echoes through his mind. Finally he mustered enough courage to break through the frozen fear holding him in place and raced to Lyla side.  Reaching out he wrapped an arm around her waist and used the other to grip her hand reassuringly.  Pulling her along he headed for the stairs and what he hoped would be safety.
Epiphany Subsystem
 NPC, 9 posts
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Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 00:53
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Remembrances of Things Past: Arthur Grimes
Lyla leans onto Arthur’s shoulder, her somewhat devil-may-care attitude subsumed at least for the moment by her overpowering terror. She clings onto him, her breathing halting and erratic as they make their way towards the staircase.

Opening the door to the interior staircase, Arthur sees a set of bright, solid-looking metal stairs descending into an empty void of blackness. A low, hollow moan issues from the stairwell, and there is a strange, cloying warmth to the air that comes with it… Nothing about the stairwell screams safety, and yet it does appear to be more solid than the roof, which is rapidly turning to ash and dust around them.
Arthur Grimes
 player, 9 posts
Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 04:34
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Remembrances of Things Past: Arthur Grimes
Arthur seeing the foreboding stairs takes an involuntary step back pulling away from Lyla.  Looking behind him he desperately searches for an alternate route off the roof. Seeing no other escape he turns back to the stairs.

Sweat pouring down his face from sheer terror Arthur attempts to screw up the courage to descend into what he regrettable thought of as the "mouth of Hell". Cursing himself for even putting that into his head, he closes his eyes, and steps back to Lyla pulling her close to reassure himself as much as her. Counting to five aloud, "One...two...three...four...five.."

Opening his eyes and taking a quick step to the top step of the stairwell pain suddenly explodes in Arthur knee. As if by some great cosmic dice roll that came up all ones, Arthur's left leg gives out and he nearly collapses to his knees before catching himself on the door frame. "Damn it!" Arthur shouts as the pain of the old injury shoots up his leg. "Now?! We have to do this now?!"
Epiphany Subsystem
 NPC, 12 posts
 Loading Parameters
Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 06:05
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Remembrances of Things Past: Arthur Grimes
As pain erupts through Arthur’s knee and he stumbles towards the door, Lyla loses her grip on him and tumbles backwards, striking her shoulder against the ashen roof top. A layer of black soot coats her face and hands, as she struggles to get back to her feet.

“I don’t… I don’t feel well…” she murmurs, her words barely audible over the groaning of the building and the unsettling howl coming from the stair itself.

The open chasm of the stairwell looms in front of Arthur. The slick metal steps almost seem to bend and spiral away from him into the darkness - an optical illusion certainly, but a vertigo inducing one none the less. The strange moan continues, swelling and ebbing as the humid warmth of the staircase also lessens and intensifies. As if something terrible and large is breathing far below….

Behind him, Lyla slips as she tries to get up again. And without further warning, her body goes into convulsions. Her back arcing, her limbs twitching as her eyes roll backwards into her head.
Arthur Grimes
 player, 11 posts
Sun 7 Jun 2015
at 06:22
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Remembrances of Things Past: Arthur Grimes
Watching Lyla spasm Arthur lets out a whimper of surprise and fear. Pushing away from the door, he stumbles on unsteady legs to Lyla's side. Collapsing next to her he grabs her shoulders and pulls her still shaking body into his lap.  Wrapping his arms around her a strange thought pops into his head, a factoid about seizures that you shouldn't hold the person down because they could break a bone or some such thing. But he didn't care.  With the utter madness happening around him all he wanted was to feel her next to him.

Leaning down he placed his cheek against her soot covered forehead and began to rock back and forth slightly while he held her close. The dark ash from the rooftop began to streak on Lyla's face as Arthur realized his tears were running down his cheeks on to her. "Make it stop. Please.  Just make it stop!"
Epiphany Subsystem
 NPC, 15 posts
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Mon 8 Jun 2015
at 01:45
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Remembrances of Things Past: Arthur Grimes
Lyla shudders against Arthur’s knee, the whites of her eyes staring up at him and at the dead sky above without awareness.

As she continues to seize, the color of her skin takes on an ashen,  shadowy consistency and hue. Her hair darkens and flickers like a living shadow, spilling across the rooftop like a puddle of dark blood. The shaking stops.

Her eyes, still white and unblinking, turn to regard Arthur with purpose. She extends a shadowy, translucent hand towards his cheek. Her touch is as cold as ice.

“Wwwwwwwwaaaak…” a croak comes from her lips, but the voice sounds nothing like Lyla. The specter attempts to speak again, but it seems to be having trouble forming words.

“UUUuuuuu” it utters, a low, breathy sound that is swallowed immediately by the howling coming from the staircase.

This message was last edited by the player at 01:46, Mon 08 June 2015.

Arthur Grimes
 player, 12 posts
Mon 8 Jun 2015
at 10:20
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Remembrances of Things Past: Arthur Grimes
Stares down at Lyla and sniffles. Suddenly a look of realization washes over Arthur's face and he looks around him disgusted. Pushing Lyla's nightmarish form off his lap, he runs a forearm over his eyes wiping away the tears and stands up.

"Nice! Did someone bump a cord or leave out a decimal point?! Or is this some sick psychological experiment at my expense?" He screams up into the sky, "Someone pull the plug and wake me up!"
Epiphany Subsystem
 NPC, 18 posts
 Loading Parameters
Tue 9 Jun 2015
at 05:23
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Remembrances of Things Past: Arthur Grimes
The landscape is still and quiet, the strange guttural howl issuing from the staircase softening as Arthur cries out against the simulated program. A corner of the building cracks and falls away, plummeting silently into the street below. All around, Arthur can see the city becoming flat and featureless, as buildings collapse, sending up a cloud of thick, grey ash.

The thing that was Lyla crawls onto her knees, continuing to look at Arthur with white, featureless eyes. Her midnight black hair flickers chaotically, and shadows spill from her across the roof top in an ever-increasing puddle.

A woman’s voice cuts through the silence, seeming to come from somewhere above and yet all around. “You are experiencing an error. A systems administrator is currently working to resolve the issue.” Arthur recognizes the voice as the A.I. system.

“I am detecting an anomaly in your vicinity. Please maintain a safe distance. This program is no longer under my direct control.” 
Arthur Grimes
 player, 13 posts
Tue 9 Jun 2015
at 05:37
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Remembrances of Things Past: Arthur Grimes
"Anomaly? What the hell are you talking about?" Arthur throws his hands up and looks around, "Damn, stupid computer. Never should have..." Suddenly his eyes fall on the form of what used to be Lyla. Sweat begins to trickle down his neck and back and he licks his lips nervously.

Stepping back he puts his hands up in front of him and smiles nervously, "Oh shi..Hi, there weird anomaly creature that used to be Lyla." Continuing to back up, Arthur sneaks a look over his shoulder to see if he has a place to run. Not seeing a means of escape he turns back to the white-eyed nightmare before him. "Alright, lets say you and I come to an agreement.  You stay on your side of the patio and I'll stay on mine.  Then we can just wait for the blasted A.I. to figure out her little malfunction and I can get the hell out of here? Deal?"
Epiphany Subsystem
 NPC, 19 posts
 Loading Parameters
Fri 12 Jun 2015
at 09:17
Re: EPIPHANY Session: Remembrances of Things Past: Arthur Grimes
The anomaly continues to stare at Arthur from across the roof top, tilting its head slowly as he attempts to negotiate. It makes no reply, but blinks once in thoughtful consideration, and then abruptly skitters to its feet. The shadows coalesce around the figure, flickering and flaring with a chaotic, confused anger and rage.

Suddenly, with no further movement, the figure is directly in front of Arthur. Her features flicker and blur, losing all distinction as she reaches to brush his cheek. Her fingers like talons, lightly cutting into his skin as she leans in close to his ear with her cold, wet breath. She whispers, “Wake Up.”

The words cut through Arthur like a jolt of electricity pounding through his chest and limbs, as if someone had just hit him with a taser. The landscape vanishes into a void of smothering blackness all around him.

-= To Crew Stasis Chambers =-