/WORLD.   Posted by Phlegyas.Group: 0
Phlegyas
 GM, 24 posts
 Raftman on
 the Pool
Mon 22 Nov 2010
at 10:15
/WORLD
Starting random elements: Breaker and The Ruins

The ghost world shimmers before your senses, the pinpricks of light that might be stars giving a silvery sheen to every metallic object near you - including the cart full of metal scraps you tug behind you.

The buildings around you lie in shatters - perhaps it was a war, or the tortured echoes of the real world coagulated into irregular heaps of shattered concrete and steel. Here and there a passage through the rubble leads to inky depths.

Somewhere in front of you, a huge flickering form stands tall, a golden maul held high in a gauntleted hand. The sound of countless claws scraping against asphalt, concrete and bone fills the air.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:13, Tue 23 Nov 2010.

.HULL
 player, 2 posts
Tue 23 Nov 2010
at 06:10
Re: The World
.HULL's trademark smirk falls into a tight-lipped grimace as he sees the hulking figure with the golden maul before them. .BREAKER. Why would such a high grade /GHOST be here? The scraping of claws fills the air and he knows they've been betrayed, even before the creatures launched at them from behind, a flurry of concrete and what looked like bone. .DOGS. The /WRAITH had blended with the Ghost World and still had residual traces of the environment's code when they'd separated again. .HULL glances back at the other /GHOSTS reacting to the ambush as best as they were able. We're screwed.
.COIL
 player, 1 post
Tue 23 Nov 2010
at 16:47
Re: The World
.COIL had allowed his sharp senses to lull in the wake of a successful looting. The appearance of .BREAKER and the subsequent /WRAITH emergence had left him panicing for a moment; There was no time for niceties anymore.

They were already spotted. "Run." He whispered, even as he desperately sought the threads of Code, trying to find the /ECHOES. The line to lead them to safety. If he could find it, they could follow it - if not to safety, then to momentary reprieve, before the threads could collapse to a single inevitable result.

"RUN."
Phlegyas
 GM, 31 posts
 Raftman on
 the Pool
Tue 23 Nov 2010
at 18:50
Re: The World
The Spirit World throbs around .COIL, the threads of code becoming visible dull golden strands of spiderweb as he coils them around his fingers. The rest of the /CREW can feel .COIL's heartbeat grow overpoweringly loud as he forces his will upon the Spirit World. The approaching /WRAITHS can surely hear it as well.

GOAL>>> The threads lead through an /ECHO a new /PLACE
DANGER> The /WRAITHS close in and attack while .COIL is busy


Things to embellish: What are /ECHOES?
.DEMON
 player, 2 posts
Tue 23 Nov 2010
at 20:07
Re: The World
.DEMON decided not to run! So he attacks the nearest /Wraith. "I'm not going down that easy," He explained.
.GRIP
 player, 5 posts
Wed 24 Nov 2010
at 00:41
Re: The World
.GRIP quickly assesses the situation: .BREAKER ahead of them, maul in hand, and /WRAITHS coming in fast. .DOGS weren't especially tough one-on-one, but they generally attack in packs. Take out the Alpha and the rest fall away. And right now .GRIP was fairly certain who the Alpha was.

"Hey, .DEMON, watch .COIL's back," .GRIP shouts, as he draws his custom Lancer .45.

With gun in hand, .GRIP loosens reality's hold, steps sideways and disappears into the aetherium, slipping through the ghost field towards .BREAKER.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:18, Wed 24 Nov 2010.

.HULL
 player, 5 posts
Wed 24 Nov 2010
at 03:41
Re: The World
Typical Pick-ups, .HULL thought as the group reacted, each with his own mine. That's the problem working with a new crew, especially blind. It's every man for himself at the first sign of trouble. And this was big trouble. .COIL's got the right idea if we want to get out of this alive. .HULL's hand slips down to his harness and comes back with a rod about four inches long and an inch thick. .HULL knows the disruption rod won't save them, but it might buy them some time. He throws it toward the oncoming /WRAITHS hoping to scramble their code.

OOC: I didn't know if I was supposed to roll or not. If not just ignore it.

22:26, Today: .HULL rolled 4 using 2d6 with rolls of 3,1. 2d6 Goal and Danger.

GOAL>>> The threads lead through an /ECHO a new /PLACE ---> 3
DANGER> The /WRAITHS close in and attack while .COIL is busy ---> 1

This message was last edited by the player at 06:32, Wed 24 Nov 2010.

Phlegyas
 GM, 33 posts
 Raftman on
 the Pool
Wed 24 Nov 2010
at 12:01
Re: The World
There is not just one /WRAITH... not even just one pack of them. The dark entrances leading underground throb and disgorge an endless flood of black shiny bodies, individual .DOGs impossible to make out in the malestrom of glass eyes and metal claws. The inky blackness of the underground sticking to their bodies like tar.

Faster than the /CREW can blink, they are upon you.

.HULL
GOAL>>> you stop all the .DOGs by scrambling their code
DANGER> all the .DOGs turn on you

.GRIP
GOAL>>> you move towards .BREAKER
DANGER> you fall right into .BREAKER's trap!

.DEMON
GOAL>>> you tear apart a few /WRAITHs
DANGER> you suffer HARM

OPPORTUNITY> Threads of code coiled together, breaking the light in strange hues, another /PLACE half visible through them

Roll your actions, remember that you can add more dangers, write out the results, rock on.
.COIL
 player, 4 posts
Wed 24 Nov 2010
at 14:31
Re: The World
"Almost there.."

Whispers .COIL to himself, hunting the threads of Code. Things that have past, things that are, and - via deduction - things that are coming. The /ECHOES of the Spirit World, the movement of things within and the field itself. Knowing how to look among them was less of a science and more of an art, an instinct. The weaving motion of his hands, the heavy beat of his heart as he sifts through it, his hands rolling about one another; Literally coiling the Aether like a weaver would search a loosened end. A spider in the center of a sudden web. Somewhere, a line that doesn't churn with danger. Somewhere, another /PLACE. A path that doesn't lead to an end.

It was a horribly noticable way to move, no finesse what-so-ever, but they were already found. The howling of the .DOGS could be heard, even over the world-pulse of his heartbeat.

There. THERE.

As the new /PLACE becomes visible, .COIL steadies himself against the Aether and yells to the others. "Now! NOW! I can't hold it for long!" He turns in desperation, but teh /CREW have already begun to fracture and move apart from one another.

".GRIP!!"

This message was last edited by the player at 14:34, Wed 24 Nov 2010.

.HULL
 player, 6 posts
Wed 24 Nov 2010
at 21:12
Re: The World
The disruption rod soars through the air then detonates very near where .HULL had wanted. The air where the rod goes off became a jagged tear fragmenting anything near into a mist of tiny little shards. Unfortunately for .HULL the only thing that falls victim to the disruption effect is a section of ruins. The .DOGS had detected the rod as soon as he'd unsheathed it, and gotten the hell out of the way. Now their attentions all turned to him, bearer of Tier-3 restricted device.

He heard .COIL's shout of "Now! NOW! I can't hold it for long!" and he turned and bolted toward .COIL and the now open way to some other /PLACE.

OOC:
15:56, Today: .HULL rolled 3 using 2d6 with rolls of 1,2.
GOAL>>> you stop all the .DOGs by scrambling their code --> 1
DANGER> all the .DOGs turn on you ---> 2

.GRIP
 player, 8 posts
Wed 24 Nov 2010
at 23:11
Re: The World
Something unseen tugs at .GRIP and snatches him roughly from the aetherium. He tumbles forward and hits the ground hard. He's up in a flash and, with a quick glance, knows he's not nearly close enough to follow his original plan. And worse yet, he's directly in .BREAKER's line of site; an easy target for an attack.

Suddenly, a charge of a disruption energy fills the air. And .COIL is shouting his name. He turns to see an uncountable number of .DOGS moving toward .HULL, and .HULL on the move. Then he spots .COIL dancing, moving, manipulating the /ECHOES, holding a door open for their way out.

.GRIP runs for it, firing his Lancer aimlessly into the roiling mass of .DOGS, and shouting for .DEMON. "Come on, man, we gotta go!"


17:38, Today: .GRIP rolled 5 using 2d6 with rolls of 4,1
GOAL>>> you move towards .BREAKER ---> 1
DANGER> you fall right into .BREAKER's trap! ---> 4

This message was last edited by the player at 23:11, Wed 24 Nov 2010.

Phlegyas
 GM, 38 posts
 Raftman on
 the Pool
Thu 25 Nov 2010
at 06:13
Re: The World
.HULL becomes the only thing the .DOGs register. Their hide, now freee from the inky impression of the Underground, flicker according to whatever part of the ruins they run close to.

And they all run towards .HULL.

.GRIP feels a code filament snag around his waist, the remains of .BREAKER's trap that he just barely managed to avoid. It looks like a strand of golden spidersilk, constrictig his body, stretching back towards .BREAKER. It almost looks like a monowire about to cut into him.

.COIL stabilizes the weave that leads to another ?time and /PLACE, as the rest of the /CREW has their own problems. He is free from malign attention since the .DOGs turned on .HULL and .BREAKER has his usual perverse fun with .GRIP.

The cart filled with .METAL lies abandoned and forgotten a mere step away.

I'm waiting for .DEMON's post before assigning more rolls.
Phlegyas
 GM, 40 posts
 Raftman on
 the Pool
Thu 25 Nov 2010
at 10:41
Re: The World
.HULL
GOAL>>> get to the tear
DANGER> you get HURT by the .DOGs

.GRIP
GOAL>>> get to the tear
DANGER> you get HURT by .BREAKER's trap

.COIL
GOAL>>> let only the /CREW through the tear
DANGER> the tear collapses, trapping you in the Ruins

.GRIP
 player, 9 posts
Thu 25 Nov 2010
at 15:52
Re: The World
.GRIP feels a sudden tightening around his waist and stops running. A quick glance down reveals the subtle shimmer of a monoline. This wasn't good. He was close enough to .COIL and the pathway to feel the torrents in the aether. A little closer and the ghost field would pull them through of its own accord. And now this.

The monoline tightens more, cutting through .GRIP's jacket, and then into his flesh. .GRIP doubles over from the searing pain. He turns to see .BREAKER smiling, getting some small thrill from his pain. Not this time, .BREAKER. You're not taking me twice, he thinks, and then, straining through the hurt, lets himself fade into the aetherium. A quick slip, and the line falls away.

.GRIP grimaces as he lays an arm over his injured stomach. The monoline burn would need some attention. And leave a nasty scar regardless. He does his best to stumble away from .BREAKER and onward to the pathway.

Someone's gonna have to take .BREAKER out soon, he thinks to himself. .BREAKER was just another ego-boosted Quantum Ghost who's time had come.

08:56, Today: .GRIP rolled 5 using 2d6 with rolls of 3,2.
GOAL>>> get to the tear ---> 3
DANGER> you get HURT by .BREAKER's trap ---> 2

.COIL
 player, 6 posts
Fri 26 Nov 2010
at 20:55
Re: The World
.COIL gasps his strain as he stabilizes the weave of Echoes, the new /PLACE flickering over the old like two movies run at the same time on the same blank wall. He realizes it is only from teh /CREW's intervention that he had enough time to do this - and the realization that, even now, its already beginning to slip away from his fingers. The coils of thread cutting deeply into his hands despite the Aethereal nature, forcing him to lean back as if against a great gale.

He casts a desperate glance over his shoulder: .GRIP and .HULL approaching. But where is .DEMON?! A thread slips loose from his grip, and the tear fluctuates, .COIL's attention snapping back to it as he holds it as long as he can; Too late, already too late, there won't be enough time ... !

"Hurry!" He gives one last desperate cry to teh /CREW. Pick-ups they may be, but he is the Compass, and it was his failure in sensing the trap. Their harm would weigh heavily on him, though his was neither Shield, nor Sword, nor Crown - The typical layout.


OOC> 12:34, Today: .COIL rolled 8 using 2d6. GOAL, DANGER.
I forgot to have it record individual, but it was 4, 4. Partial success, partial danger.

This message was last edited by the player at 20:56, Fri 26 Nov 2010.

.HULL
 player, 8 posts
Fri 26 Nov 2010
at 21:07
Re: The World
.HULL runs as fast as his legs can carry him, but the .DOGS are faster. One of them pounces on him ten feet from the tear sending him sprawling. Several .DOGS are on him quickly and its all .HULL can do to keep them from ripping him up. Thankfully his clothes offer him some protection from the .DOGS' sharp claws and vicious teeth.

OOC:
15:50, Today: .HULL rolled 5 using 2d6 with rolls of 3,2.

.HULL
GOAL>>> get to the tear --> 2
DANGER> you get HURT by the .DOGs --> 3 (What is partially hurt?)

Phlegyas
 GM, 42 posts
 Raftman on
 the Pool
Sat 27 Nov 2010
at 20:28
Re: The World
a "+" marks the goal or danger that is also an opportunity - so it comes true on 3-6 instead of 5-6. Don't forget that you can add an extra danger to your roll in exchange for one more die.

.GRIP stumbles as the insidious nature of .BREAKER's trap becomes apparent. It feels as if the burn left from the monowire on his body was alive with shardsof glass, wriggling and cutting him from the inside. The pain is intense, threatening to plunge him into the deep well of unconsciousness. He can feel .BREAKER's familiar voice reverbrating through the pain, teasing... Come back, we'll have so much fun... again... remember the last time? You said you'd come back...

.GRIP
GOAL+>> Get to the tear
DANGER> You are incapacitated by .BREAKER's trap


The threads cut into .COIL's hands; crimson droplets ooze out of the sharp cuts on his gloves and sleeves. The crimson blothes on the ground around him surreal in the otherwise completely grey and black Ruins. He remembers an Oracle casting cards for him, a lifetime ago, and each time he picked a card its suit was neither sword, shield nor crown... Always alone against the darkness. He has to shake his head to stop the flood of memories, for the tear twists and becomes the colour of his nightmares.

.COIL
GOAL+>>> let only the /CREW through the tear
DANGER+> the tear collapses, trapping you in the Ruins


.HULL is still a ways from the tear, stumbling under the weight of the shimmering horde of .DOGs. Talons and fangs flash, blood coloured, still not quite managing to penetrate his defense. The code of the Ruins throbs and shimmers around him, the intense emotions he gives off making the ghost world become vibrant and less colourless...

.HULL
GOAL>>>> get to the tear
DANGER+> you get HURT by the .DOGs

.HULL
 player, 9 posts
Sat 27 Nov 2010
at 21:20
Re: The World
Bleeding from several cuts from the onslaught of the .DOGS .HULL struggles to get free. He kicks a .DOG that tries to pounce him momentarily deterring it. One of the other .DOGS lunges for his face and his only choice is to move his right arm in to intercept the attack. The .DOG bites down on his arm. "AHHH!" Fighting against the pain .HULL manages to reach a tucked-away knife with his left hand. He raises the knife and strikes across his body, plunging it into the /WRAITH's shoulder. It releases his arm as it draws back, but wrenches the knife from his grip. Several shots ring out and two of the dogs turn their attention away from .HULL. .DEMON's voice shouts, "Move! Now!" .HULL summons all his strength, pushing himself up and making a run for the portal. He gets close enough that he can feel the /WAY start to pull him in toward another /PLACE.

OOC:
15:54, Today: .HULL rolled 9 using 2d6 with rolls of 3,6.
.HULL
GOAL>>>> get to the tear --> 6
DANGER+> you get HURT by the .DOGs --> 3

.GRIP
 player, 11 posts
Sat 27 Nov 2010
at 23:21
Re: The World
.GRIP stumbles to his knees, the pain of the monowire's burn nearly unbearable. But he's so close to .COIL and the /WAY, he can't stop now. So close. Pushing through the pain, yelling, distracting himself, .GRIP stands, both arms now wrapped around his midsection, and moves forward. One foot forward... then the next. Keep moving...

"You said you'd come back..."

.ECHO_PARK, three years ago. .BREAKER stood over .NIX's body, smiling that damn smile of his. They had trusted him, followed him into .BELLTOWN. But it all went foul too fast. .VIPERs everywhere, psyche-piercing cries pinning the .CREW down. .BREAKER went missing, but only for an hour. What happened? He caught up in .ECHO_PARK. He killed .NIX - she was too young to die like that.

"I said I'd come back," mumbles .GRIP. "To kill you, you bastard!"

.GRIP falls into the tear. He feels the aether take him, and then nothing. Unconsciousness. Darkness.

17:48, Today: .GRIP rolled 4 using 2d6 with rolls of 1,3.
GOAL+>> Get to the tear ---> 3
DANGER> You are incapacitated by .BREAKER's trap ---> 1

.COIL
 player, 9 posts
Sun 28 Nov 2010
at 00:29
Re: The World
.COIL watches his own sanguine drops spin off before they even wet the .RUINS, spun off into the wind of the Aether as it swirls into the tear. But - for the moment - he is its master, riding the crescent between disaster before and cataclysm behind. The fulcrum of the twisting, threaded /ECHOES.

With a strange sort of calm, his feet digging troughs in the .RUINS as he is drawn inexplicably forward, he watches both .GRIP and .HULL disappear into the new /PLACE. To safety. His heartbeat seems, to him, to slow to a crawl as adrenaline courses through him, watching from the corner of his eye as .DEMON holds back what he can.

There is no time anymore. Save a few, or save none at all. "... .DEMON..." He whispers - an apology? A euology? Something of both? There simply is nothing left he can do, so he releases his control, surrendering to the path he has forced into the Aether between /PLACE and ?Time...

And the tear collapses to seal the way.
Phlegyas
 GM, 46 posts
 Raftman on
 the Pool
Sun 28 Nov 2010
at 19:35
.THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
The Ghost World spins out of focus, bends itself at an impossible angle and hurls the /CREW through a rose smelling screen.

There is a hard impact as they land on wet earth. Slowly, painfully, the world comes back into focus, revealing multicoloured canvas walls formint the deserted square where they landed. The sound of countless people performing, bartering and cursing fills the air. The night skies are overcast, the low clouds neon lit with bright commercials.

.GRIP's body convulses in the almost-mud, white foam and blood on his lips, back arched into a tight halfcircle. His enhanced muscles just might break his bones if this goes on any longer. Through torn clothing, /CREW can see biomechanic thorns pulsing, burrowing deeper, injecting more nightmares .BREAKER designed into .GRIP's brain.

.HULL is not in a much better condition. His clothing and body are rent in numerous places, and it is mostly willpower that keeps him conscious and functioning. His right arm in particular is a mess of wounds, glass teeth, and blood oozing despite coagulation enhancers.

.COIL is unharmed, in stark contrast to the other two survivors. He recognizes the place - in back of the tent where the Oracle had thrown those cards. His subconscious had led the /CREW here. He dares not think about how dangerous that stunt was.

What now?
.GRIP
 player, 13 posts
Mon 29 Nov 2010
at 04:39
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
.GRIP hits the ground with a jolt, the jarring impact just another flash of pain to his already tortured body. A moan escapes his lips, and for one brief moment his eyes open to the kaleidoscope of colors, blurred through the tears of his agony. Then nothing. Nothing, but the nightmares.

"Are you there, .GRIP? Please, he's hurting me." .NIX's voice, calling to him, all sobs and grief, and pleading. But he can't find her. Her cries echo within a maelstrom of smoke and darkness. And .GRIP stands helpless, immobile, pinned in the spotlight of his own guilt. .NIX, so young, barely nineteen. Too young for a life of Ghosting. She looked up to him, and he failed her. Over and over again, he fails her every time. .NIX weeps and .BREAKER taunts... louder, louder, louder...

.GRIP convulses in the mud, his limbs sprawled out straight and stiff. He throws his head back and screams.

"HELP ME!"

This message was last edited by the GM at 07:23, Mon 29 Nov 2010.

.HULL
 player, 12 posts
Mon 29 Nov 2010
at 04:52
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
"Don't move. Don't move!" .HULL yells as he tries to remove some of the thorns burrowing into .GRIP. It's fairly difficult with his right arm hanging limply at his side. The thorns seem to fight him, but he somehow manages to get the pull several of them out, before slumping down exhausted from the effort. He looks up, looking for help, and seeing only three of them he asks, "Where's .Demon?"
.COIL
 player, 11 posts
Mon 29 Nov 2010
at 05:17
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
.COIL ironically recoils when he hits the earth, his fingers instinctively curled; Wounded, but a shallow cut compared to the gouges of the rest of teh /CREW. His helmed head turns once, dazzed as he tries to recognize the current /PLACE and ?Time. After a moment, the pieces click together - and he utters a quiet groan. The Oracle. His first step along the path to Compass, guiding /GHOSTS through the Aether..

But the risk of riding the threads was worth the effort to save teh /CREW. At least, most of them. At .HULL's question, .COIL speaks - his voice quiet and dead. "He's gone. I couldn't hold the tear open any longer. I.. had to make a choice between all of us or him."

It sounds worse, outloud. Selfish. And then he pushes himself up, moving to help .HULL by holding .GRIP down while the thorns are extracted.
.HULL
 player, 13 posts
Mon 29 Nov 2010
at 05:26
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
"He...he saved my life...." .HULL whispers as he tries to get leverage with his left hand to remove one of the remaining thorns. "Maybe...maybe he got away..."
Phlegyas
 GM, 47 posts
 Raftman on
 the Pool
Mon 29 Nov 2010
at 07:40
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
The darkness of .GRIP's hallucinations starts colouring the /WORLD in dark red tones. The ground beneath him soaked in blood and agony. Behind his eyes, .BREAKER does unspeakable things to .NIX... and reassembles her again, to do even worse. Her gaze locked on .GRIP, pleading, until there is nothing in the world but those terrified blue eyes. You loved me once, they say. Why did you let him do this? It is all your fault.

People start noticing, and Ghosts peer into /CREW's sanctuary. This must be anoter street performer, right? Pain artists are not at all uncommon in the Night Carnival. More and more Ghosts appear, eyes hungry for novelty and entertainment, but stay a respectful distance away as to not disturb the artist, silent to better hear the anguish in his voice. A few round metal oboli are thrown towards .GRIP, as if to pay him for a performance.

This message was last edited by the GM at 07:43, Mon 29 Nov 2010.

.GRIP
 player, 14 posts
Wed 1 Dec 2010
at 00:13
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
The physical pain lessens with each thorn pulled free from his flesh. .GRIP feels the tug of skin, the tearing of muscle as each shard of biometal is removed. But .HULL and .COIL could do little to mend his emotional suffering.

With much effort, .GRIP isolates his mind from his body's hurt and focuses on the chaos rampaging through his skull. He tightens his focus and forces the nightmare to come to him.

.NIX hangs limply, held at the wrists by ethereal bonds. .BREAKER stands at her side, cupping her chin, but sneering menacingly at .GRIP. "This is your fault," .BREAKER says. "You abandoned me; left me to the .VIPERS. My mind's not right..."

.GRIP stands fast, facing .BREAKER's accusations. "No," he says. "I did my best to defend my .CREW. Both you, and .NIX. You were my friend. She was like a little sister to me. I won't be made to feel guilty!"


Pushing his Will out before him, .GRIP rushes forward to smash the maddening thoughts from his mind. He is a Sword, the Blade that clears the way, and his new .CREW was waiting on him.
.HULL
 player, 14 posts
Thu 2 Dec 2010
at 19:05
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
As he and .COIL finish removing the thorns from .GRIP, .HULL once again slumps backwards. "We should keep moving, following a trail like the one we left isn't exactly difficult."

Seeing the Ghosts toss metal oboli at .GRIP reminds him of their failure and just how much he needed that /LOOT. He grits his teeth even harder, though this time its less from pain, and more from his own anger.
.COIL
 player, 13 posts
Sat 4 Dec 2010
at 17:00
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
.COIL releases his grip on .GRIP, hands shaking slightly as he adjusts the helmet upon his head. .GRIP was powerful, no doubt, and even taken by Nightmare it had been a strain to keep his thrashings to a minimal. Staring blankly at the metal oboli for a moment, before standing to close the tent and keep out any prying eyes.

Then he takes to his haunches, squatting on his heels as he speaks. "I agree, but.. we also need to consider the /LOOT itself. If we come back without completing the missive.." .COIL trails off, leaving the words unspoken. There was a purpose to the danger, the risk they all took traveling the Aether and the ghost field. "Do we try to find another way to the .RUINS, and perhaps even recover .DEMON? Or .. find another /PLACE and try again?"
.HULL
 player, 16 posts
Sat 4 Dec 2010
at 17:29
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
.HULL sits very still staring at a section of floor while he thinks. "How'd .BREAKER know where to find us, and can he do it again?
.GRIP
 player, 16 posts
Sat 4 Dec 2010
at 19:23
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
The nightmare roiling through his mind shatters like glass before his force of will. .GRIP seeks out a spark of light in the darkness and follows it out to consciousness.

Though his vision is blurred, and the pain of injury still wears at him, .GRIP manages to look about at the others. He struggles to find his voice.

"We need to move," .GRIP says through clenched teeth. "If the .NIGHT_CARNIVAL transposes while we're here we'll become appended to its Cosm; permanently bound to the carnival's migration." A spasm of pain shoots through his body. .GRIP tenses till it passes, then continues. ".COIL, wrap my wounds with a slip of aether. It'll mend the flesh well enough, hold me together until we reach .CANDLE_STREET. .LATCH can fix me there."

.GRIP tenses as another wave of pain washes over him, then relaxes and closes his eyes. "Don't worry about .DEMON for now. I suspect he's doing better than the three of us. He's got all that .METAL, after all."
Phlegyas
 GM, 51 posts
 Raftman on
 the Pool
Sun 5 Dec 2010
at 06:51
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
Behind .GRIP's eyes... .BREAKER stares on helplessly, .VIPERs holding him fast, jaws bloody... .GRIP's own knife draws deep savage wounds on .NIX's struggling naked body, her shrill screams deafening... it is impossible to be sure what was true and what is an implanted memory. Perhaps it all really is .GRIP's fault.

The ground tilts ever so slightly beneath the /CREW. The Carnival is preparing to shift places again. Soon enough the whole tent complex will shimmer out of existence and reappear in another part of the Ghost World, together with all the current occupants.
.COIL
 player, 16 posts
Thu 9 Dec 2010
at 20:05
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
.COIL's helmeted visor stares blankly out at the distance, his mind briefly shot off on a tangent as he replays the last, panicked few moments. Was there something else he could have done? Did dipping his hands into the very /ECHOEs and unraveling the Thread between /PLACES make things worse? They were certainly already discovered by the /WRAITHS. It wasn't like they could hide from the emerging .DOGS...

With a start, .COIL turns towards .GRIP and nods once. In a much more subtle display of his ability, .COIL weaves a small section of the very Aether around them to substantial form - snipping it neatly from nothing and moving to help .GRIP bind his wounds. Temporary, as all things in and of Aether were, it would hold for a little bit.

"I don't know.. " He begins, turning his helmeted head towards .HULL "But .GRIP's right. We need to get out of here." His hands still shaking slightly, with quiet drips of sanguine occasionally pattering the ground beneath him - only to be absorbed by the hungry .NIGHT_CARNIVAL - .COIL straightens. And spreads out his fingers, a passive viewer rather than an interacting agent. Searching for a way out of the .NIGHT_CARNIVAL, a natural cadence to another place. It would mean they'd have to travel there, but attract almost no attention as opposed to directly viewing and shifting the /ECHOES of the Aether.

"There.. it's a start..."
He whispers, before he nods his head to the others. "Lets go."

14:04, Today: .COIL rolled 4 using 1d6. Find The Path - Goal.
.GRIP
 player, 19 posts
Thu 9 Dec 2010
at 22:41
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
As if from a distance, .GRIP could hear .COIL's words but fails to catch his meaning. His mind was slipping away again. But then a whisper caresses his flesh. Oh, the spectral presence of the Aetherium; sentient tendrils snaking their way through his wounds, mending, warming his spirit. The aether would stall his physical pain but it always asked a price. Come back to me, it would call. Down that path came addiction...

But .GRIP wouldn't hear it this time. His tenuous grasp on reality loosens, and the nightmare is there waiting to take hold once more. He can't hope to defeat the insidious nature of .BREAKER's Notion by willpower alone. .GRIP needed a Psi-runner, someone who could enter his mind and lead the malicious thoughts astray. After all, these were .BREAKER's delusions, not his own. .LATCH should have no problem doing the job.
.HULL
 player, 18 posts
Fri 10 Dec 2010
at 00:23
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
.HULL pushes himself to his feet and tries to help support .GRIP with his good arm. .GRIP seems far away and is dead-weight as .HULL tries to help him stand. .HULL falls back against the wall trying to keep from dropping .GRIP back to the ground too hard. "Little...help...here."
Phlegyas
 GM, 54 posts
 Raftman on
 the Pool
Fri 10 Dec 2010
at 12:50
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
A crude sense of the Carnival's layout forms on .COIL's fingertips as he reaches out to feel... Tents, narrow alleyways, people - all warm textures sliding over the surface of his fingertips. Warm and silky where the sought after line to the Gateway lies. Blistering heat or razorsharp cold behind wrong turns. It takes just a little while to find a way to his liking.

However, just gettign out of here won't do .GRIP much good.

Behind .GRIP's eyes, the implanted nightmare turns into a collage of impossibly violent scenes. He knows that this didn't happen - that the scenes he lives through aren't real - that he could never have hurt .NIX... not like that, anyways. As his soul is slowly shorn from his body, his seizures return, forcing the augmented body into aimless fits of lunatic strength.
.COIL
 player, 18 posts
Fri 10 Dec 2010
at 14:54
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
.COIL's eyes half-lid as the Aether slips beneath his fingers, touching the threads like a spider might feel out a web. Looking for the trembling of danger or the anticipation of prey - save his own prey is nothing short of a /PLACE. .Candle_Street - the home of .LATCH, the man who can extract the budding horrors from .GRIP's abdomen.

But he is distracted. So close to the turmoil of the artificial nightmare stains the local threads, turning more and more into the bitter cold of inevitable end. Even a Compass can escape final dissolution only so long. Breaking away from this intimate contact with the very substance of the Aether, .COIL turns to assist .HULL by taking a little weight upon himself.

"It's no good. I can't find .candle_street - it's being drawn away and other /PLACES drawn closer by ..." He doesn't finish the sentence, glancing down towards .GRIP's wound. "We'll have to move. Just get somewhere safe, another /PLACE, and try again."
.GRIP
 player, 21 posts
Fri 10 Dec 2010
at 17:59
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
A man's mind could take only so much before giving up or fighting back, the age old instinct of flight or fight. But this was .GRIP's mind, and he never ran. As the imagery becomes increasingly more violent .GRIP knows what must be done.

.GRIP throws an arm out and catches hold of .COIL's wrist. Through tight-clenched teeth he mutters, "Trust yourself. You are our Compass." The he slips back into darkness.

Darkness. The subtle thrumming of gunfire growing louder. Then .BELLTOWN, but not. The Church is a ruin, jagged walls and tumbled spires. The Carillons that gave the place its name lay broken, pulled from the belfries and strewn about the crusty yellowed ice that coats everything. A ruined church on a rotted, icy street and the rank atmosphere beyond. This is .BREAKER's .BELLTOWN.

".BREAKER!" .GRIP shouts, and runs toward the church, drawing his Lancer as he goes. This time he would save .BREAKER, or kill him trying.

This message was last edited by the player at 23:01, Fri 10 Dec 2010.

.HULL
 player, 19 posts
Fri 10 Dec 2010
at 18:33
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
.HULL nods at .COIL's words,"He's getting worse. Just get us as close to .Candle_Street as you can." He turns to looks at .GRIP, "Stay with us. We'll get you help soon."

As .COIL worked his magic, the situation finally hit .HULL like a ton of bricks. He had to be the worst Crown that there ever was. His Shield was in all likelyhood dead, and his Sword wasn't far behind if they couldn't get him some help. .HULL had no idea why he'd be chosen to lead these people on his mission, he'd even tried to object more than once. One thing was for certain, whatever happened to these men was his fault.
Phlegyas
 GM, 56 posts
 Raftman on
 the Pool
Fri 10 Dec 2010
at 22:13
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
The /CREW spent far too long in a single place, licking its wounds. The ripples made by .COIL's forceful ripping of the Aetherium painted big red warning signs for people best avoided... There is a sudden silence outside, as if all the people outside decided that this will be a very unhealthy place in just a few more seconds. Faceless .WATCHERs march through the narrow tent-walled streets, the emblem of the .WATCHTOWER glowing a bright gold on their chests. At the head of the column, .WHITE scans the surroundings with his pupil-less eyes. "There," he says, his voice a deceptively pleasant tenor. "Aberration." The .WATCHERs draw their short barrelled SMGs, lock, and load, moving as one.

Behind .GRIP's eyes, the floor he runs on becomes soft and fleshy; bells toll, the towers they hung in long since shattered; skeletal hands burst up from the ground, holding .GRIP fast, dragging him down into and through the soft... vulnerable... flesh. Blood wells up around him, a blinding geyser that smells like all the rusted keys he licked during his childhood. He took .NIX's virginity, and betrayed .BREAKER's friendship. And he lost them both - one to death, the other to madness. The toll of the bells distorts into screams of metal being torn apart.
.COIL
 player, 20 posts
Sat 11 Dec 2010
at 05:18
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
.COIL stares at .GRIP for a few thudding heartbeats as the man shakes off his delirium enough to declare his trust in .COIL's abilities - trust that, frankly, .COIL himself is starting to falter in. With a faint dip of his head, he wraps .GRIP's arm about a single shoulder, his other hand spreading into the air once more. The faint illuminescent touch of the thrumming Aether, the threads that weave and form the /PLACES - and everything in between.

And he suddenly jerks his hand back, as if stung. His helmeted head rotating towards the tent flap, as he gasps to .HULL "The back! Quickly!" There is literally no time for explanations, as he attempts to kick the back of the tent flap up and desperately pull .GRIP along. Hopefully with the Crown's assistance.

This message was last edited by the player at 07:08, Sat 11 Dec 2010.

.HULL
 player, 20 posts
Sat 11 Dec 2010
at 05:35
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
.HULL does his best to help .COIL with .GRIP as the two rush out the back of the tent trusting the Compass to guide them.
Phlegyas
 GM, 58 posts
 Raftman on
 the Pool
Sat 11 Dec 2010
at 11:14
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
Tented walls painted in gaudy colours, and empty, muddy alleyways flash past them as they run, dragging .GRIP along. Guided by the Compass, what remains of the /CREW takes flight...

.COIL
GOAL>>> Find a path to avoid .WHITE and his .WATCHERs
DANGER> .WHITE is on your tail

.GRIP
 player, 24 posts
Sat 11 Dec 2010
at 23:43
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
.GRIP succumbs to the grasping hands pulling him down into the flesh of his own culpable thoughts; the Lancer in his hand forgotten, his anger cut loose. He never touched .NIX, never betrayed .BREAKER, but it's too hard to fight. Easier to just submit and let them have their way with him.

The flesh folds around him, comfortable, like a long-lost lover finally returned. .GRIP closes his eyes and lets the blood wash over him; benediction for his sins. Then, it's gone.

.GRIP wakes at his spot in .THE_FACTORY. It's just another /REAL_WORLD, hole-in-the-wall gin joint. Dirty tables, bad service, and watered-down spirits - but the liquor wasn't bad. .GRIP finds comfort here. He is a Sword with a reputation for getting the job done, and .THE_FACTORY is the hot spot for Crowns looking to put a /CREW together. Crowns, lucky sons of bitches, always had their fingers on the pulse of the Money-men, always knew the next hot piece of /LOOT. It wasn't a legitimate job, but it paid well.

.KILO comes in with .BREAKER, Crown and Shield. .GRIP takes the job. Later, they find .NIX by accident. A dirty, little street urchin manipulating ECHOES to steal. She's the youngest Compass .GRIP ever meets. And, damn, the girl knows her way around an ECHO. She can read the Ghost Field like a book. So natural to her. .GRIP often wonders if she's a /GHOST_WORLD native. There were always rumors of /WRAITHS stepping over into the /REAL_WORLD.

This had been his /CREW. They worked well together. Until .BELLTOWN. It always comes back to .BELLTOWN. Something wasn't right...

This message was last edited by the player at 18:50, Sat 18 Dec 2010.

.COIL
 player, 23 posts
Mon 13 Dec 2010
at 15:38
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
Dragging .GRIP along with .HULL's help, .COIL has no time to study the trembling anticipation of the Aether or the /ECHOES. There is safety only in movement, and so he moves, praying to whatever listens to those who slip amongst the /GHOSTS that he can find the path. A path. Any path. Just get away, get reprieve, and find .Candle_Street as well as a way to dig out .BREAKER's parting gift.

But it's not enough. .COIL runs on instinct in this part of the Aether, while .WHITE and the .WATCHERS know the area by rote. It's quickly becomming obvious they're being cut-off, .COIL hissing his frustration under his helmet as he goes. ".HULL! If you've any tricks left, now's the time. We can't move fast enough... "
.HULL
 player, 21 posts
Mon 13 Dec 2010
at 19:01
Re: .THE NIGHT CARNIVAL
.HULL is already winded from the pursuit, but manages "Yea...I'll try...". They duck into a narrow alley, and pause for a moment. .HULL reaches out to the Ghost Field, letting the code seep into him. As it flows into him he lets it bleed back out, at first leaving a strange amorphous shape, but the shape slowly takes human form and in just a few seconds it is an exact replica of .HULL. He repeats the process twice more making perfect replicas of .GRIP and .COIL.  As their pursuers close in, he sends the duplicates running out the far end of the alley. They are soon spotted and the sound of automatic fire echoes through the air. .HULL stands drawing in sharp breaths. His body is already battered and the energy it took to duplicate the three of them has taken its toll. "Hopefully...that buys us some...ti..." he doesn't finish as he topples forward completely spent.

OOC:
.HULL
GOAL>>> Throw .WHITE and his .WATCHERs off our trail.---> 3
DANGER> The strain is too much for the injured .HULL and he losses consciousness.---> 1


13:53, Today: .HULL rolled 3,1 using d6,d6. No love from the dice roller.

Phlegyas
 GM, 60 posts
 Raftman on
 the Pool
Tue 14 Dec 2010
at 12:27
Despair
.HULL's partially successful diversion buys the /CREW a few more desperate seconds to escape... or so it would be in a cheap action movie. in reality, .COIL stands there in the muddy sreet, two helpless bodies at his feet, the bright light of .WHITE's presence and the dull sound of .WATCHERs marching steadily coming closer.

Lightning illuminates the gray sky, blotting out the commercials for a few moments. The rain starts, icy droplets indiscriminately soaking hunter and hunted alike.


".GRIP! Wake up, man!" .KILO's voice tears through his dreams like they were painted on cheap toilet paper. Shreds of memories, false and real, flutter confusingly as the bright glass blade of that voice shimmers... and goes out. it is .BELLTOWN all over again. Trapped, helpless, the rest oof his .CREW fighting while he is incapacitated.
.COIL
 player, 24 posts
Thu 16 Dec 2010
at 03:40
Re: Despair
"...GRIP! Wake up!" hisses .COIL, his fingers buried and twisted into the material of both of the /CREW's outfits as he tries to drag them to safety. It's not like in the fleshflicks, where one man tosses two buds over his shoulder and hauls to safety; No. This is panic, dragging twin dead weights across ground that is rapidly beginning to shift as the rain splatters the .NIGHT_CARNIVAL - and .COIL slips, scrambling back to his feet as he pushes beneath another empty tent. Knees churning as he drags, and drags his two comrades after him. His arms tremble with the exertion, but there is nothing else he can do as he falls to his knees with a single, squelched 'thump'.

Wait. Nothing he can do. Nothing. His helmeted head snaps up, and he forces cramping fingers to uncurl once more, to touch the threads around him; Not to manipulate, not to read, but to Quiet The /ECHOES. Like a musician who forces the vibrations into unnatural stillness, erasing traces of all previous noise. To seem as if there was nothing here, nothing at all. It's a desperate attempt, but these past few minutes have been filled with such. All he needs is time.

So shush, Aether. Quiet. Still. Calm. Shh...

GOAL >> Quiet the traces of their passing. Hide.
DANGER >> Being discovered and captured by the .WATCHERS

21:40, Today: .COIL rolled 6,3 using 1d6,1d6. Goal, Danger.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:41, Thu 16 Dec 2010.

Phlegyas
 GM, 61 posts
 Raftman on
 the Pool
Thu 16 Dec 2010
at 20:12
Re: Despair
The wet sound of boots falling on mud stops right outside the tent. Then there is silence. The sensation of someone sniffing out a scent.

"I lost them." .WHITE's pleasant voice is just a few ateps away. For a moment .COIL's feels his outstretched fingers burn; wisps of smoke rise up from his gloved hands.

But today even a legend is not his match. The sound of boots falling recedes, as the hunting party searches on, determined to find whoever rent the Aether. .WHITE's gaze burning white hot as it penetrated tents and bodies alike, like a searchlight made to burn flesh from bones. He was angry. Very few people managed to escape from his attention - and those were hunted down later nevertheless. Their mangled, still living bodies nailed to the .WATCHTOWER were a warning.

.COIL saves the day, again.
.GRIP
 player, 26 posts
Fri 17 Dec 2010
at 02:17
Re: Despair
".GRIP! .GRIP!" .KILO says, only it's not him. It's .HULL and .COIL and .LATCH... and half a dozen other voices .GRIP recognizes. Then, it's .NIX, sitting near the fountain in .ECHO_PARK.

"Yes, .ECHO_PARK," she says. "Do you remember why we chose .ECHO_PARK?" She waits for .GRIP's reply. He furrows his brow, trying to remember.

.NIX continues, "We call it .ECHO_PARK for a reason. The walls of the Veil thin there. In that place /GHOST_WORLD and /REAL_WORLD shares space, so, crossing over is, well, a walk in the park.

"So, guess what?"

.GRIP smirks and moves toward .NIX. "I give up. What?"

.NIX stands and steps away from .GRIP's approach. "Damn it, .GRIP, you have to stop thinking like a Sword! You're more than a gunner; more than just the /CREW's hired muscle. You need to see the bigger picture. You need to understand how it all flows together; /GHOST_WORLD, /REAL_WORLD, /WRAITHS, and /ECHOES. All of it!"

She stops and looks at him, something like anger in her eyes. Or concern. .GRIP stares back, regret and apologies dying on his tongue. Then, finally, .NIX says, "Okay, fine! .NIGHT_CARNIVAL is migratory. Every time the place moves the Veil wavers, and /REAL_WORLD is only a step away. Tell your Compass to just walk out. Easy, peasy."

.GRIP steps toward .NIX but then something pulls at him, tugs at his subconscious.


"WAKE UP!" It's .COIL. His ardent tone snatching at .GRIP's awareness, drawing him back to reality.

"NIX?" .GRIP whispers, then opens his eyes to find .HULL laying at his side and .COIL sitting quietly; all three sheltered within a different tent.

".COIL, I know the way out."

This message was last edited by the player at 16:52, Sat 18 Dec 2010.

.HULL
 player, 23 posts
Sat 18 Dec 2010
at 18:44
Re: Despair
"Don't do this. There's got to be another way," her voice pleads.

"You know there isn't. It's got to be done. It'll be easy," he says trying to sound more confident than he is.

"But you don't know these people. It's too dangerous." She wants to forbid him to go but knows she can't.

He chuckles, the cocky smirk on his face. "When isn't it? Be back soon Sis," he says walking out without looking back. He hoped he would be.

-------

He walks through .THE RUINS congratulating himself on an easy job when he sees a hulking figure. Might be a little late he thinks to himself.
.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!"