/WORLD.   Posted by Phlegyas.Group: 0
.COIL
 player, 28 posts
Tue 21 Dec 2010
at 20:24
Re: Despair
.COIL clenches his teeth down across his tongue, biting hard enough to draw blood as his fingers smoke; the joints of his gloves smoldering away, leaving the faint scent of burnt rubber. The pain greedily sipped by the .Dark_Carnival, like ambrose to a thirsty god. At last, however, the .WATCHERS disperse, and .COIL pulls his hands back. Curled and damaged, he can only whimper quietly to himself as he tries to flex them. Flakes of his gloves falling away as he does.

But they are safe.

He goes back to trying to wake .GRIP, pawing like a newborn, his hands too damage to properly move just yet. And to his surprise? It works. .COIL jerks back in surprise, though his expression is unread beneath the helmet.

"The way out..?" He begins, waiting to see if this is another illusion. Another nightmare over-writing the Sword's true senses.
.GRIP
 player, 31 posts
Fri 31 Dec 2010
at 01:55
Re: Despair
.Grip struggles to stay conscious, barely holding his tenuous grasp of the moment. He slips in and out, trying to maintain his focus long enough to explain a thought to .COIL. A thought... an idea... shadows... no, a /WAY.

"Yes," he sighs. "A way away." His eyes slide closed, then a jerk, and he continues, "walk. Focus on... /WHERE. Then Walk."

He loses the fight, slips again into twisted shadows and black corners... no, no, no.

".NIGHT_CARNIVAL will let us go. Don't fight it," .GRIP whispers. Then he's lost once more, back into the depths of .BREAKER's delirium, his own madness.
.COIL
 player, 31 posts
Sat 22 Jan 2011
at 06:42
Re: Despair
.COIL's breath catches in his throat; As if breathing meant anything, in THIS place. He slowly stands up, his hands sending red lightning bolts of agony up his arms with each twitch; Such fine hands they once were. He fears to remove the gloves, to see what has invaded their meat. But he is not done. With a quiet glance towards .HULL, .COIL speaks once to .GRIP, holding onto his shoulder to place emphasis and weight to his words.

"Stay here. Stay quiet. I'll.." A pause. "I'll find something."

So saying, he slips from the safety of the tent, a furitive fugitive in the midst of fugue fatigue and fatal fanatics. He was one, and .WATCHTOWER were many. But there in lay his strength; They were big, he was small. That made them easier to spot. They were strong, he was weak; That made it easier to slip into the cracks between .PLACES. They were predator, he was prey; That meant they would be slow and determined, where he would be quick and agile. To turn weakness to strength was the only way to survive. With such thoughts, he hurries off, to find nothing less than another cart. This time, not to smuggle /METAL, but to smuggle /GHOSTS....
Phlegyas
 GM, 70 posts
 Raftman on
 the Pool
Wed 9 Feb 2011
at 15:05
Re: Despair
The .CARNIVAL itself helped .COIL acquire the things he needs. A cart, discarded just a few steps from their hiding place by a peddled frightened away by .WATCHERs. A white tarp, just right for masking two immovable bodies as theya are smuggled out of the tent city. A friendly darkness, lit only in commercials projected on the low clouds. The commercial for "Roy's Pastries" showered the scene in a delicious crispy yellow and chocolate brown.

Nearby, .WHITE tilted his head, tryaing to sense the slightest disturbance in the threads that made up the Ghost World. Like a huge albino spider, hunting by being still...
.COIL
 player, 34 posts
Fri 11 Feb 2011
at 19:29
Re: Despair
There was a temptation, just a small one, to pull open the weave and take his companions through the short-way. Short, but dangerous; Even without the threat of .WHITE and the hunters on their trail. But .COIL resisted the temptation, knowing two things: First, his hands were damaged. He needed time to heal, for though the gloves he wore kept it from showing, the sharp and stabbing pain told a grim story.

The second reason is he knew the .WATCHTOWER was active. And listening.

With nothing more than simple muscle, .COIL loads his two companions into the back of the cart, quietly covering them with the white tarp to prevent them from being seen. And then - removes his helmet, cracking the seal and tucking it under with them. It was a risk, but a calculated one. They'd seen the helmet he wore to keep things at arm's length. There was a chance they wouldn't think to look for a face beneath it.

And it might give him the time he needs, as he focuses. Passively listening to the /ECHOES, for the /WHERE to lead him. To a way out...
Phlegyas
 GM, 71 posts
 Raftman on
 the Pool
Fri 11 Feb 2011
at 21:43
Re: Despair
A way out is not hard to find, not for a Compass of his caliber. After all, the .CARNIVAL is a crossroad of sorts... or so the huge amoutn of traffic would indicate.

Anyways, the cart often gets stuck in the mud while kaleidoscopic commercials for the next pain flick bathe the street in clashing colours. The nearest exit is close enough, just arond the corner, an archway of glasss and rusted metal with jagged, sharp edges. You just need to draw blood on te appropriaet spot, speak your destination aloud and step through. Easy enough. .COIL does know other uses for the gateway, however...

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:50, Sat 12 Feb 2011.

.GRIP
 player, 36 posts
Sat 12 Feb 2011
at 04:44
Re: Despair
.GRIP had been minimally aware of .COIL lifting him, moving him. And, for one fleeting second, .GRIP had felt something like anger and self-loathing. He was the Sword. It was his duty to the .CREW to protect and defend. .COIL was the Compass; the key to the lock. But those thoughts were transient.

.BREAKER's invasive venom still clings to .GRIP's Id, working through his subconscious to undermine his beliefs. His mind is a tumultuous mess of memories, both real and supplanted. .GRIP struggles to contain the chaos. He focuses his senses on any bit of minutia: the jarring, bouncing, jerking motions of the wagon, .HULL's staggered breathing beside him, the coldness of a steel helmet pressed against his cheek. These sensory images hold the nightmares back, but only briefly.

And .GRIP considers the turn of events. Raid on .THE_RAILYARD for Metal. Through .THE_RUINS. .DOGS? But how? .DEMON was a good Shield. They should have never sensed us. .DEMON sold us out? Like .BREAKER, or not? .BREAKER was our Shield, yet .VIPERS found us, took him... Changed him? Something wrong...

Then, .GRIP slips back into .BREAKER's dreams of .BELLTOWN and despair slides through his mind once more. Agony breaks over him. His body tenses, and .GRIP grinds his teeth together, bites his tongue, for the sake of silence.
.COIL
 player, 37 posts
Tue 8 Mar 2011
at 19:41
Re: Despair
Other uses perhaps, but such things take time; Time he does not have. Time he cannot make. Pausing before the gateway, short of breath for pulling his load - metaphorically and physically - he considers it. His mind is a dull blank; Too much stress. Too much pain. But what else was there to do? Lay down and wait meekly for the end? No.. There were too many people depending on him.

And not just his comrades.

At last an idea forms, and .COIL reaches beneath the tarp, pulling his helmet from the prone bodies of .GRIP and .HULL - sealing it once more over his face. He keeps his gloves off, however, flexing his damaged fingers, feeling the blood well up in the corners of his joints.

It might work. .WHITE would feel it the moment the gateway opened; He'd trace them. The only way to escape.. was to give him too much to trace at once. Before he can think about what he's doing, .COIL shoves the palm of his precious hand upon the jagged entrance of the gateway - and pushes even harder, until the flesh on the back of his hand ruptures from the invasion. He howls his pain, the metal tearing through him even as he tears through it, opening not one gateway.. but many. A plethora.

Hopefully too many to follow. Too many to chase. As the gateway swings upon upon pure chaos, .COIL pulls his hand away, bits of flesh and viscera hanging to it's hooks. He had paid his toll in full, for every gateway opened. He just opened many at once...
Phlegyas
 GM, 76 posts
 Raftman on
 the Pool
Wed 9 Mar 2011
at 10:10
Re: Despair
For a second, nothing appears to happen. .COIL's blood oozes down the jagged teeth of the archway, bits of skin and muscle dotting a few particularly long rusty metal spikes. Then, there is a low, melodious metalic hum. Like the sound of a touch phone dialing through numbers, two tones intermingling, yet separete in pitch. Faster and faster, the hum forming a cacophonic melody.

The world explodes around them as far too many portals open at once.

From one of them, .DEMON reaches out to try and grab .COIL's hand, but misses.

.WHITE stares at tehm from yet another, rage distorting his angelic face into a mask of nightmares.

Another portal, shining brightly in a sickly green slices through the .CREW like a dull blade.

Time and Space tear as their bodies are forced through tiny improbabilities in the fabric of reality.

There is a splash as the cart along with .COIL lands in knee deep muck. An incredible stench asssaults the remaining barely conscious /CREW member. Before looking up, he knows where they landed.

.THE CANALS.

An endless grid of sewage trenches and tubes, underneath a sky that is the crumbling concrete belly of the huge glimmering city built above. Rivers of excrement and toxic waste framing communities of outcasts and worse.

Many portals shimmer for a second or three in the vincinity, then wink out. .COIL senses the straining fabric of th cosmos settling back, slowly. If he tries that particular trick again too soon, who knows what could happen.
.GRIP
 player, 38 posts
Sat 12 Mar 2011
at 20:07
Re: Despair
Even in his semi-conscious state .GRIP feels the tug of time and space warping around him. His nerves translate the sensation; part pleasure, part pain. His body quivers and he knows .COIL has moved them somewhere else.

Then the smell assaults him; the putrid odor of humanity gone to rot. He groans and makes an effort to cover his nose.

".COIL," he half-whispers, "where have you taken us?"
.COIL
 player, 38 posts
Mon 14 Mar 2011
at 03:16
Re: Despair
.COIL feels the warm sludge curl up to the edges of his knees, and is once more thankful for the body suit he had habitually worn since he began carving /PATHS through the /AETHER so long ago. Though his helmet keeps the majority of the stink away, what comes through is enough to make him wretch dryly. His body beginning to shake with the onset of shock as he takes a moment to survey the gaping wound that used to be his palm. Blood slowly leaks away, turning the sludge black where it strikes. This place, this literal underworld, was metaphor given flesh. Like all the /AETHER. Given flesh, and teeth, and a terrible hunger - but at least he wouldn't bleed to death. In this place, it was the mind at it's most vulnerable, not the body. With a shaking moan dampened by his helmet, .COIL pulls his glove back over the useless digits. Only half a aman, now.

"The .CANALS" He murmurs to his companion. "No other way. .WHITE would have followed a straight path. But it was .... close." He does not say how close, feeling the raw edge of panic seeping up from that deadly trick. With little else to say, .COIL begins to pull the cart/barge down the channel...

This message was last edited by the player at 14:48, Sat 19 Mar 2011.

.HULL
 player, 30 posts
Mon 14 Mar 2011
at 17:40
Re: Despair
.HULL could see .DEMON being ripped apart by the .DOGS, stitched back together with rough code, only to be torn again. He screamed and he screamed, and it was only after he was exhausted and hoarse that .HULL realized he had been the one screaming. This was his fault. The pain, the suffering. He was the CROWN, whether he wanted to be or not and he led them to this....


"This can stop. It doesn't have to be this way. I can show mercy even to a demon."

.HULL spun around and found himself face-to-face with an angelic face. Though the features were seemingly perfect there was something hidden behind those shining eyes.


"Nothing escapes the vision of .THE WATCHTOWER little shellmaker and nothing escapes its justice. Rise to the world of waking my broken child and tell me where you are. I promise then that his suffering will end."


.HULL could see .DEMON again being tortured while .BREAKER laughed with glee.

"Wake..."
Phlegyas
 GM, 78 posts
 Raftman on
 the Pool
Wed 23 Mar 2011
at 22:19
Re: Despair
Down the channel you go. It is a slow, tedious advance, the waste of a whole city falling on the remains of the /CREW like drizzle on a cloudy day. The gently sloping walls of the canal rising up to head-level, not quite hiding the neon lit wasteland beyond.

Ahead, there is a large intersection in the canal system.

A figure is in the intersection, knee deep in excrement.

You know her. It is .LAKE. She was a legend among all teh /CREWs. Her name was hard earned - placid; calm; deep; unstoppable. She schooled many who went on to become lgends themselves.

In front of you there is a ruin of that legend. The white colour of her gown a forgotten memory. Her once perfectly formed body cadaverous and glinting with exposed implants. She looks up at .COIL, her hollow eyesockets containing lenses caked in blood.
.COIL
 player, 40 posts
Sun 27 Mar 2011
at 15:37
Re: Despair
.COIL's mind had simply shut down for now, obeying the deeper instincts built into the body; Move. Movement was life, here in the midst of this organized chaos. When one stood still, all the bad things caught up. But the sudden interruption of his thousand yard stare through the helmet's visor snaps him out of his reverie, hands flexing out of instinct. Pain, sharp and stabbing, that causes him to suck in a mouth full of noxious air. Even through the filters of the helmet, it is enough to gag him.

He straightens, as best he is able, legs cramping and quivering from their long sojourn in tugging the ladened cart. It is a long time before he recognizes the figure before him, this ultimate Compass - .LAKE herself. One does not touch legends, or talk to them, only venerate them.

"... .LAKE?" Comes .COIL's voice, strung high like a wire under tension. "What.. ?" There are no words. Nothing. Is it a new form of torture? The remnants of a GHOST? Has his mind finally given away beneath the onslaught?

This message was last edited by the player at 04:02, Mon 28 Mar 2011.

.GRIP
 player, 39 posts
Mon 28 Mar 2011
at 03:00
Re: Despair
Most of /GHOST_WORLD revels in its greyness. The air just seems stale. Colors are drab and lifeless. Even textures have a bland sameness to them. Some say it's the lack of natural /ECHOES. Others say it's just the way Ghosters interpret what can't be understood. Whatever it is, much of the place is just damn boring.

The /REAL_WORLD on the other hand...

The .CANALS reek in every sense of the word. The air, barely breathe-able, sits heavy on the skin. The sounds coming from the city above deafening in its clamorous chaos. Through these riotous sensations .GRIP welcomes the temporary relief of his own mental breakdown; his mind wanders in and out of this maddening nightmare. But, suddenly, a brief grasp at reality. A voice... A name...

".LAKE."

He's heard of her. Every Ghoster knows something of .LAKE's story, but .GRIP's mind slips and he can't recall The Compass Tale. Only, he thinks .LAKE might help.

.GRIP calls out as best he can. ".LAKE?"
Phlegyas
 GM, 79 posts
 Raftman on
 the Pool
Tue 29 Mar 2011
at 10:08
Re: Despair
She reaches out, towards .GRIP, her fingers broken or missing. The fabric of the world around them shimmers and bends in ways it's not supposed to. It is hard to say how close she is, if she is touching him, whether the handful of flesh she rips from his chest is real or not. You do see that the flesh in her hand is ripe with magots; she concentrates for a microsecond - her hand turns into white flame, incinerating whatever it is she was holding.

There is no doubt about the pain that tears him from his nightmares, however. His chest shows a gaping, bleeding, but superficial wound. A sharp, pain-granted clarity shimmers in his eyes.

"This is not real" she says, without moving her lips, or breathing, or indicating what she meant, her red lenses fixed on .COIL. She then taps her broken, charred index against her head. "Is it?" A lecture by the legendary .LAKE herself, to a Compass soaked in self doubt? Or just the ramblings of a soon to be dead lunatic.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:34, Tue 29 Mar 2011.

.GRIP
 player, 41 posts
Sat 2 Apr 2011
at 03:25
Re: Despair
The pain moves through .GRIP's body. Like serpents writhing beneath the flesh, it snakes its way from every extremity, up every limb, coming together at the center of his chest. Then, a sudden, searing fire makes its way to the surface. .GRIP tenses, every muscle stiffening. And, as sudden as it came, the pain ebbs away, leaving only a subtle, throbbing ache.

But, more than that, he can now think clearly for the first time in - what? Minutes? Hours? He climbs from the wagon and stretches. Joints crack and some of his tension lessens. Oh, it feels good to be back.

Glancing over at .LAKE he offers her a quick 'thank you'. He draws his Lancer, checks its load, then turns to .COIL. "Wake .HULL. We're heading into the city to find .LATCH, getting some rest, and then making plans. Something's going wrong in /GHOST_WORLD."

This message was last edited by the player at 19:45, Sat 09 Apr 2011.

.COIL
 player, 41 posts
Thu 14 Apr 2011
at 17:11
Re: Despair
.COIL could not defend his compatriots even if he wanted too; Even if he believed it. Lost in a loop of confusion over the sudden appearance of .LAKe - and her delipidated state - he can do nothing but watch that hand approach .GRIP. But this Legend does not harm his friend; No, she heals him. In a manner he could never approach, in the depths of being lost and filled with despair, she heals him.

It's a sombering and humbling moment.

That blank mask reflects .GRIP's face as .COIL silently watches the /GHOST rise and load his lancer. Then slowly turns his head back to .LAKE, silent again.

"No.." He states, glancing down at his ruined hand - blood pooling through the glove. Or is it the memory of blood? Because he expects it, does it occur? "No. This is only as real as you let it be. And you have to let it be a little real, or you'll never make it out mind intact."

He nods once to .GRIP's command, before turning back to .LAKE ".. Come with us. You don't have to stay here; You can't stay here. Never stand still, because the bad things are always following - safety in motion."
.HULL
 player, 32 posts
Fri 22 Apr 2011
at 15:47
Re: Despair
.HULL wakes up in a rush, his dream frighteningly clear in his mind. Was it a dream?

The stench hits his senses immediately and as his eyes adjust to the poor lighting his sees the ruined figure before him. ".DEMON?" he asks quietly before shaking his head. The dream had been so vivid.

"I...I...think .WHITE has .DEMON."
.HULL whispers still weakened from his ordeal.
Phlegyas
 GM, 83 posts
 Raftman on
 the Pool
Fri 29 Apr 2011
at 08:09
Re: Despair
The mass of ruined flesh that covers her face moves. Could it be a smile? Chipped bone and microcircuit visible through deep gouges in her cheek. Is he trying to save her?

"There is nothing left to save - the real .LAKE is dead in the real world - this is just a fading memory."

She decomposes a bit more, random bits and pieces of her body rusting, withering, becoming grey dust that disappears before it hits the canal.

"Be careful. Or you will fade away, too."

What remains of .LAKE is half translucent by now. There might be time for one final question before she ceases to be.
.COIL
 player, 42 posts
Sat 30 Apr 2011
at 14:28
Re: Despair
.COIL nods once at .GRIP's command, turning towards .HULL - but the man already awakens from his thorned nightmare. He frowns behind his mask at the commentary - .DEMON being .WHITE? It didn't make sense. The slogging depression and desperation that had taken him a moment ago sloughed off like old skin from a snake, revealing a .COIL that is suddenly far more energetic.

Hope does that to people. His team was - almost - back together again. Back to running shape. They had a CHANCE..

And then his blank visor turns towards the fading /REMNANT again. A /GHOST without a body to return too. His voice, when it comes forth, is soft.

".. Do you have anyone we need to contact for you?"
.GRIP
 player, 44 posts
Mon 2 May 2011
at 01:16
Re: Despair
.GRIP holsters his weapon. "I'm not sure about .WHITE having .DEMON," he says to .HULL. "But I do feel he may be lost to us, like .BREAKER before him, unless we do something."

He moves over to .COIL, rests his hand on the man's back and quietly says, "There's nothing we can do for her. .LAKE's Echo is unravelling; she'll soon be one with the Ghost Field."

"Now," he continues. "I don't mean to be insensitive - especially considering she dragged that Nightmare from my mind - but we need to get into the city. There's work to do, the least of which is slipping back over to /GHOST_WORLD and retrieving that /LOOT. And I'd really like to know why my last two Shields failed to conceal an EchoWave. Those /WRAITHs should never have found us."

.GRIP looks from one to the other, hoping to gauge their reactions. He shrugs, shakes his head, and says, "but that's just me."
.HULL
 player, 33 posts
Mon 2 May 2011
at 01:25
Re: Despair
.HULL nods slightly. His mind is clearly somewhere else. He shakes the far away look off after a few moments, and responds quietly, "Yea, let's move."
Phlegyas
 GM, 84 posts
 Raftman on
 the Pool
Tue 10 May 2011
at 22:25
Re: Despair
.LAKE's echo is fine dust by now - except for a heavy silver medallion that falls into the muck at your feet, making almost no sound. The filthy stream swallows it hungrily.

"Find .KILO... at the .Ruins." Her voice is barely perceptible, as she directs you back to where it all started. The name leaves a bitter aftertaste. Ever since surviving .BREAKER's trap, .KILO made his living selling memory dust. Most people don't suffer his presence without great need.

You just might be such people.

(Deep in someone's memories, .NIX howls in pain, loud enough to be heard for a moment. "Why did I die and you didn't?")

A thunderous sound from above pulls you out of contemplation and beck into the reality of the situation. Cracks deep enough to show the night sky appear in the underside of the city above. The faint howl of air raid caresses your senses. Little by little, the cracks expand, lengthen. It won't be long before the city's foundation collapses, and everything lands in the septic pit you are wading through. As if that was not enough, you can feel the cracks disturbing countless /WRAITH nests, letting the monsters loose into the glimmering city far above. It doesn't take much imagination to picture the bloodshed in the doomed city.
.GRIP
 player, 46 posts
Mon 23 May 2011
at 01:38
Re: Despair
"Find .KILO... at the .Ruins."

.KILO? thinks .GRIP. He's good for less than nothing these days.

Then, the crash of the city above, the klaxon calls, and the (imagined?) screams of the city's residents draw his gaze upward. .GRIP watches as a particularly tenacious crack spreads its way down a nearby wall, dust and grit and chunks of stone falling all along its path.

"This place is gonna come down on our heads if we don't move," he shouts over the din. "I guess we're headed back to .THE_RUINS." And back into .BREAKER's hands? he wonders.

"Why did I die and you didn't?" .NIX's voice still cries out to him. What will it take to quiet her Echo? .GRIP shakes the thought from his head and steels his resolve.

"Move, people, move!"