/WORLD.   Posted by Phlegyas.Group: 0
.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.