Prologue: Breaking the Surface [Jeanne]   Posted by Archival.Group: archive 0
 GM, 9 posts
Sat 2 Jul 2016
at 00:50
Prologue: Breaking the Surface [Jeanne]
The dreams were pleasant at first.

Jeanne swam through beautiful shallows, mingling amongst colourful tropical fish, flitting between verdant kelp forests and swirling through brilliant coral reefs. All the while a light current tugged at her, gently urging her backwards, forwards, sideways or wherever it may have pleased. But it was easy enough to ignore and go about her dream-time adventures and exploration.

The dreams continued.

Jeanne sunk deeper and the waters grew darker as they swallowed the light. The current grew and grew, rising in intensity from a strong undersea gale to an overpowering tempest that threatened to hurl her bodily upon the rocks. The wildlife turned stranger and stranger, from vibrant, psychedelic dreamfish to horrid nightmare abominations. And all the while she could feel her body shifting and churning, growing stronger to fight back against the churning maelstrom.

At times, it seemed as if the waters were out to get her personally. It was hard to shake the feeling that they were holding her back, pushing her away from some greater destiny just out of reach. If she could just swim a little further without being swept away...

And then things got worse.

The dreams were bad enough on their own, but at least she could still force herself to sleep when she tried hard enough. It was only a matter of time before Jeanne began to catch things out of the corner of her eye, swimming in her water. Small flecks at first, near-microscopic little bits at first that looked like little more than bits of dust swirling about. Slowly, over days, they began to grow. They looked like those tiny sea monkeys that kids would raise, but they wouldn't disappear no matter how many times she dumped the water and refill it.

And they kept growing.

From tiny arthropods to guppies and anchovies, all the while looking far from natural with their gnashing little teeth, impossible colours and too-intelligent eyes. And still they grew and changed, taking more alien shapes. Swarms of glimmering, mind-bendingly hued krill that formed mosaics of scenes that Jeanne could almost name before they scattered and reformed into something new. A squid with short little tentacles and a papal mantle, two long tentacles clasped together as though praying. A fish that looked nearly like a shark, with a regal, boney crown of spikes and hungry, human eyes. Jeanne could turn on a tap and see something peering back at her even through the flowing water.

It was starting to become unbearable, pushing Jeanne further and further into madness and away from something just inches away. Peace, perhaps. If things kept up, it was only a matter of time before she was swept away and drowned beneath the waves.


The dream was the same that night. Jeanne pushed against a current in depths of the ocean that light had never graced. There was little to see this deep in the open ocean, and yet somehow there was an unshakable feeling that the slightest hesitation would see her swept away and thrown against jagged rocks just out of sight. If she steadied herself and focused hard enough, she could just make out something in the distance. A human figure, impossibly massive, that seemed to stretch into her field of vision no matter which way she looked. She was nearly close enough to make out details, nearly close enough to touch it if she just... reached... a little... further...

Something enormous hurled itself out of the blackness. Eyes that seemed too wide, needle fangs and a face that was just on the edge of familiar. It's maw stretched unimaginably wide as it barrelled down on Jeanne. Her vision was filled with tooth and gullet and stench and-

She was awake. She was home. Sweating and panting, but she was home. It was still dark, just about five in the morning according to the clock. Try as she might to go back to sleep, every time Jeanne closed her eyes, the sight of the beast snapped her back awake. Maybe it was time to get up...
 player, 2 posts
Sat 2 Jul 2016
at 20:32
Prologue: Breaking the Surface [Jeanne]
Jeanne Olbright never really liked dreams. Dreams were never a good sign - dreams meant something was wrong. They meant something wasn't working. They liked to leak over into reality, they liked to haunt her when they started.

It had been nice enough at first - exciting, almost peaceful. Tranquil. She'd never considered herself a diver or anything, but she had moved to Palmera mostly for the view of the ocean, and exploring an endless sea at night was comforting in a way. It made her feel more at-home than she'd felt in a long time, and every night it felt like she was drawing closer and closer to something amazing.

That amazing something wouldn't come easy, as became apparent soon enough. As the waters grew hostile, Jeanne began to sleep with her machete...again...something she hadn't had to do in a long time. It didn't help, of course, she couldn't just bring it with her. But she thought she almost might be able to, if she concentrated a little harder.

Soon after the dreams took a darker tone, Jeanne found that these comparatively nice dreams were as bad a sign as other dreams had always been - little bits in the water at the edge of her vision evolved, turned into unimaginable creatures. Her medication didn't help in the slightest, not going off of it, not doubling her dose. The dishes in her apartment went unwashed in favor of takeout, and she kept her showers short with her eyes squeezed shut, for fear that the torrent of creatures that lived in the water now would dig into her.

She didn't want to think about what she'd see if she looked over to that nice ocean view she'd enjoyed so much, either.

The dreams had gotten even worse as the hallucinations came, a terrible blackness in the water with nothing to defend her and currents trying to steal her away. There was something - someone there, and she was sure she could...end all of it, or something, if she could just reach it.

Naturally, she couldn't. Not tonight. That thing appeared in the darkness, swept her away before she could even raise the machete she didn't have.

When she awoke, part of her wanted to throw up and the other part wanted to douse the first with an entire carton of orange juice. When she closed her eyes she saw it, even when she did so little as blink, and laying in the darkness with nothing but street lights and her alarm clock to illuminate the apartment made her feel like it was waiting patiently for her, just out of view. She could feel her fingertips brush the blade of her machete, but somehow, it felt like she couldn't force herself to sit up...

This message was last edited by the player at 20:32, Sat 02 July 2016.

 GM, 11 posts
Sat 2 Jul 2016
at 21:08
Prologue: Breaking the Surface [Jeanne]
As soon as Jeanne tried to get out of bed, it felt as though she were back in the dream. Every bone, every joint and every muscle screamed as something intangible tried to force her back into bed. It didn't didn't even feel like gravity - no, this was something actively pushing back on her, its massive strength wavering and uneven. Not only that, but something in the back of her mind gave her the uncanny impression that it wasn't just some blind force - that there was some intelligence actively trying to keep her from accomplishing anything.

Eventually, Jeanne managed to muster the strength to get out of bed. It wasn't so much strength per se as it was endurance and patience. Each step took nearly a minute at time, and it took everything she had just to root herself in place and not be swept ass over teakettle.

But she did it. Even if the clock said it had taken her twenty minutes, Jeanne Olbright had managed to get out of bed. Somehow, despite the difficulty of it all, she could feel something changing in her, little by little. What little confidence it could lend her was worth its weight in gold, though. She'd need all the motivation she could get just to make it through the rest of the day if this kept up...
 player, 3 posts
Sat 2 Jul 2016
at 21:31
Prologue: Breaking the Surface [Jeanne]
It was like the worst hangover she'd ever had times a thousand, combined with some kind of weird sleep paralysis she couldn't place, and, she did her best to rationalize, the most malicious hallucinating she'd done since...well, since she left the service. Even getting her hand down to the handle of her machete felt like a chore, and inching her way out of bed was a calculated effort that took something equal parts rage and determination, leaving her whole body burning.

[Piece of shit,] she hissed in French as she sent herself ass over teakettle off the side of the bed, then slowly, shakily pushed herself back to her knees, leaning hard on her machete, like it would help her against...whatever it was. Maybe it did, just by being there. "Fuck you."

She took a deep breath, then, and felt for a moment like she might be drowning...then started crawling toward the kitchen, stabbing holes in the floor as she went. Maybe it would be better after some orange juice or...something. Maybe she just needed to wake up a little bit to shake off whatever fresh hell it was.