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Vivica curtsied to the newest visitor - so many today - and gave him her best smile. Such nice manners he had, this Sanax fellow. He must have been a resident of the long term ward just like she was. No one else understood the Baking, or the other life. 
Such a shame that he’s never visited before, she thought. He’d even inquired about Bennington, which no one ever did. No one but the Professor of course. Bennington glowed a very cheerful violet indeed, and gave several approving loops.  Vivica was just about to tell Sanax that yes, of course Bennington experienced time dilation, when Dr. Victoria split them up.

Vivica followed Reshilore over to the far side of the room near her desk, beckoning to Bennington. He followed more reluctantly. She smiled at Reshilore, only showing a little bit of her teeth. The momentary irritation of being pulled away from a new Baking friend was no reason to be rude to company. Besides, there was something special about this man. He almost reminded her of the Professor. She couldn’t quite place it, which was very exciting indeed. Mystery was what kept life interesting, after all. That, and frosting. Lots of frosting.

 "Well, Vivica,” Reshilore began, “you said there was something strange about me? I hope I don't make you uncomfortable."

Vivica giggled, then shook her head. “No no, of course not. Nothing makes me uncomfortable. Well, except for the leather restraints, those do dig into the shoulders. And the needles…”

She moved over to her desk, picking up a piece of paper that had fallen onto the floor, along with her black crayon. “I don’t suppose you have a red pen, Mr. Reshilore? They don’t let me have red art supplies here, which is silly. How else am I supposed to color the frosting?”

Vivica leaned against the desk and began to sketch while standing. The picture came together quickly, as all her best ones did. It was Reshilore, wearing a Baking Coat of his own. She nodded to herself. Mmm, yes. That’s much better.

Vivica handed him the drawing, clasping her hands in anticipation. “It’s not what is about you that’s strange. It’s what is missing. Every researcher needs a proper coat, Mr. Reshilore. That’s the first thing I learned in the other life.”

@Fatebreaker @18th Shard

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Posted (edited)

Sanax smiled. "Of course! I love introductions. Defining variables is an important part of any science, and this seems like a particularly fun experiment." The bubble kept everyone moving slowly, but Sanax was too excited to pay it mind. Too many interesting Investitures illuminated inside the interior of the room. He darted quickly to the other side of Victoria, holding a hand in front of her. He started speaking rapid-fire. "This is Nurse Victoria Estrella. She works here at the hospital." He covered his mouth conspiratorily, "She's a Soother. That means she's probably trying to calm you down right now. It's instinct." He slipped a gloved hand into her pocket and pulled out a small vial of Brass, shaking it with a knowing smile, then slipped it back. Pickpocketing is so much easier when they are a bit in slow motion! He took a step to the other side of the room"That one called her Vic, though, which is one hundred and four backwards in Roman numerals, though I doubt she means that. Scadrians don't usually use those. But thirteen times two cubed is a good number." Sanax flitted behind Reshilore, jumping onto the bed. That one was holding Vivica's drawing. "This is Reshilore, if I heard correctly. Resh, for short. Could almost be a Tai-na name. Mythology of the Islands - Lore of the Reshi. I don't feel any Investiture at the moment, but that doesn't mean much. I'm not hungry right now." He looked Resh up and down. "You would look better in a coat. You could pull of the absent-minded professor or the mad scientist if you did it right." He bounced back over to Ben. "I am the aforementioned Sanax Khaevarin. Type 1.5 Biochromatic Entity, a non-spontaneous sentient manifestation in a deceased host, without Biochromatic endowment. Though I also eat light, which is a handy control variable." He stepped to the side of the kid. "Introduce yourself for us, good sir. Your bubble's very nice. Very smooth." Sanax picked up a pencil that had rolled near his foot and then dropped it, his eyes following it to the ground. He giggled as it fell slower than it should. Time dilation could be so much fun. 

@Ashbringer @ZincAboutIt @Fatebreaker

Edited by 18th Shard
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4 hours ago, Rushu42 said:

"Folorian!" she said. "There you are - I think we need to get out of here. Something very strange is happening in this hospital."

"Do you mean the unnatural earthquake or did something else happen?" He asked as he started following her, and everything other than her, including his perception of time, faded from his senses.

"If you don't mind, I'll take a memory of your current appearance for in case we need to confuse people about who of us is you later." Like most Lightweaver, Folorian's illusions required a focus to create them. His was the memories in his copperminds.

"There's something following us on the wall. Hmm a... slug of sludge?"

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6 hours ago, mathiau said:

"Do you mean the unnatural earthquake or did something else happen?" He asked as he started following her, and everything other than her, including his perception of time, faded from his senses.

"If you don't mind, I'll take a memory of your current appearance for in case we need to confuse people about who of us is you later." Like most Lightweaver, Folorian's illusions required a focus to create them. His was the memories in his copperminds.

"Go ahead," said Aln. "But yes, more than just the earthquakes, though I suspect they're a part of it. There are other agents in this hospital, looking for the same things that we are. I encountered someone in the records room who was searching for exactly the same symptoms that we are, but she left before I could determine her sympathies. Something's bothering me about the pattern of memory recovery, too, though I can't quite put my finger on it... Did you discover anything from the patient end of things?"

Quote

Can Aln hear Kerr's talking? I couldn't remember, so I left it out of my response, but if yes I'll edit it in.

 

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Cassie looked very carefully at NullBlade's face. He hadn't been scared, per say, but what she read from him he wasn't the type to get scared easily. Unnerved was a better word. But when she'd asked him what was wrong, a whole new series of emotions crossed his face. Unnerved, slightly. And confused? And... there was one she was missing. NullBlade wasn't the most open book, and he recovered quickly... although that strange feeling still twisted his brow.

"No, I'm alright, just a bit surprised by the earthquake. Though if you want to shorten my name, please call me Blade. 'Null' is how my wife used to call me so hearing you say it feels weird."

Sorrow.

Cassie sat still for a moment. She missed some of her old friends, but she'd never really lost anyone. No one who mattered that deep. It had been a long time since she'd left Scadrial, and even then there was still mail from time to time. When had the last letter been, a month ago? That had been en route to the Alleyverse, of course. She wasn't in the Alleyverse a month ago. 

"I'm sorry... Blade," she said, trying to give a small smile. Then she looked at the nurse. He still hadn't said anything and was rubbing his head. 

"Are you alright? That was a pretty big..."

Wait. Earthquake?

As if on queue the floor gave another small shudder. Right. The earthquake. That's what jarred NullBlade so. She must have panicked and lashed out at the vibrations. They did feel strange in the depths of her left arm. Was it getting weaker now? She couldn't tell.

"Are you alright? And do we need to leave?"

@mathiau

 

Byron was panicking.

He's not in the bubble. He's not in the bubble. He's not in the bubble. HE'S NOT IN THE BUBBLE.

He wasn't sure how close he was to just bolting. He just stood in shock, vaguely aware of the doctor taking his hand as he watched the new arrival - Sanax - waltz through everything his power stood for. The bubble was supposed to be safe. It was supposed to be slow. It was supposed to be Byron calm down and focus. So he did. Even without the unnatural quickness of Sanax's movements, he could see a faint... vibration to his being, like an inability to stand perfectly still. He briefly pulsed his cadmium, letting five precious seconds slip by in just the one for him. Sanax became a momentary blur of motion. Okay. So he's not in the bubble. That made him very dangerous, and from what he could pick up from the doctor's speech, Sanax and the other patient were very dangerous already.

The other patient - Vivica - seemed... well, it seemed impossible to understand what she meant, let alone intended. Something about baking and coats and needles and... mollusks? But she seemed more interested in the new doctor/visitor who'd arrived. Reshilore. That was okay with Byron, at least for now. But there was something about the way she moved, like she was waiting for an opportunity, but also waiting for something to... change...

Then Sanax moved. Faster than he'd expected even factoring the reverse time dilation. He started talking - Byron caught most of it as he jumped around the room. Nurse Victoria - a Soother. That explained... a lot actually. Reshilore... something unInvested because he wasn't... hungry? Was Sanax a Seeker? Then suddenly he was right in front of Byron, introducing himself. Sanax Khaevarin. Some kind of... entity. So not human. And he ate... light?

"Introduce yourself for us, good sir. Your bubble's very nice. Very smooth."

Well, if the nurse was Soothing him, she'd better keep doing it. He was having a hard enough time keeping his cadmium burn down as it was.

"I'm Byron," he said, too unsettled to lie. "I only got to the city a few weeks ago, I think. I don't know what day it is. I was running down a street because I thought I'd seen a spren or something following me and then something dark jumped out at me and next thing I knew I was burning so much cadmium I couldn't move until someone downstairs Leeched me and then I saw another dark think heading this way." He blinked. "And I'm a Pulser. Sort of. I burn cadmium a lot. And the bubble follows me around."

He glanced at Vivica again. Sanax seemed to know her... but it was almost like he thought she needed no introduction. Oh, what had he gotten himself into...

@Fatebreaker @ZincAboutIt @18th Shard

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Victoria waited for Sanax to finish, then said patiently, "Thank you Sanax, that was very welcoming of you. I'd like to remind you that I am a doctor, not a nurse, though with what they pay me these days, maybe I should switch to nursing." She laughed, perhaps a bit louder than she'd intended, that joke had hit a little too close to home. "I'm just kidding, nurses are underpaid as well. Anyways, Ben, while it's true I am a Soother, I won't soothe you without your consent first. I believe that those gifted with abilities to enforce their will in special ways should always take other's wants, needs, and feelings into consideration. And that includes you, Sanax." 

She looked at the young man and noticed how heavily he was sweating, as his eyes darted around the room. He was obviously in a state of distress, perhaps a confusing conversation with one of the more mentally unstable patients in the hospital was not what he needed at this moment. She gave him a reassuring smile and said, "Ben, if you would like me to soothe your emotions, please let me know for how long and which feelings specifically. Your mind is a private thing, and I would not wish to trespass on any areas you want left alone. I'm here to help."

...

“It’s not what is about you that’s strange. It’s what is missing. Every researcher needs a proper coat, Mr. Reshilore. That’s the first thing I learned in the other life.”

Reshilore took the proffered drawing and look at the image Vivica had drawn. It appeared to be a caricature of him, with strange exaggerations and a frightful expression. And he was wearing a lab coat. He nodded appreciatively, "This is an excellent drawing, Vivica. I must say you're right, the coat does look striking. If my research evergoes to the trial phase, I'll be sure to pick up a coat just like this."

Vivica was looking at him with startling intensity, though he supposed that was simply her natural demeanor. Her smile seemed genuine, but was just a little too sharp, even though she wasn't showing much of her teeth. But for whatever reason, he didn't feel uneasy around her. She seemed to be a very authentic personality, and Reshilore appreciated that. "Well Vivica, you seem to like drawing. How about a little game, just you and me? We'll each take turns drawing something, and the other person has to guess what it is."

Vivica's smile broadened as she nodded happily, "I love games. You go first, Mr. Reshilore." Resh returned the smile and took a piece of paper and a writing utensil. He drew a few quick lines on it before holding it up. He had drawn a circle, pierced through by a long, pointed spike.

"Can you guess what this is?"

@ZincAboutIt @18th Shard @Ashbringer

Edited by Fatebreaker
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On 19/03/2022 at 7:49 PM, Ashbringer said:

"I'm sorry... Blade," she said, trying to give a small smile. Then she looked at the nurse. He still hadn't said anything and was rubbing his head. 

"Are you alright? That was a pretty big..."

Wait. Earthquake?

As if on queue the floor gave another small shudder. Right. The earthquake. That's what jarred NullBlade so. She must have panicked and lashed out at the vibrations. They did feel strange in the depths of her left arm. Was it getting weaker now? She couldn't tell.

"Are you alright? And do we need to leave?"

They probably should, if only in case what had affected Cassie came back.

"I think so, I don't think the Alleycity has any kind of antiseismic norm so for all we know a bearing wall under us could have been damaged, or it could have knocked a than of dangerous chemical" He didn't think the earthquake had been strong enough for the former, but he didn't know much about seismic damages and assumed neither did Cassie

An explosion resounded from afar

"And we should definitely" See what that was about

On 19/03/2022 at 6:21 PM, Rushu42 said:

Can Aln hear Kerr's talking? I couldn't remember, so I left it out of my response, but if yes I'll edit it in.

Quote

When Kerr is actually talking (=we he's speaking in bolded non-italic) she should be able to see his words

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Has the earthquake stopped by now? 

"I think so, I don't think the Alleycity has any kind of antiseismic norm so for all we know a bearing wall under us could have been damaged, or it could have knocked a than of dangerous chemical." Storms, NullBlade did look worried. Cassie had a little experience with earthquakes, but everyone had always called them harmless or just a remnant of the old land. Nothing like the Catecendre, for those who'd lived through it. So she wasn't entirely sure what an earthquake could do to a building, but NullBlade knew more about this place then she did.

Something boomed in the distance. It didn't sound like a collapse... it sounded like an explosion, but muffled. Odd.

"And we should definitely see what that was about," NullBlade added.

Cassie gave a slight smirk. Just like old times, wasn't it.

The nurse piped up. "I can't say I'd recommend rescheduling, but if you're worried then I'd be happy to relocate at least to see if there's significant damage. I'm... not sure what that sound was." He still looked shaken, but was a good nurse and hiding it fairly well.

"Maybe just use the needle and see what you can find, and I can come back in an hour or so?" Cassie asked. "I'd hate to leave here without trying anything."

The nurse nodded, looking at the needle in his hands. Almost... no, that wasn't it. He moved over to Cassie's side, and she chanced a burn of iron. The needle didn't show up. Aluminum. That was... good, she thought. Unlikely to be a... rusts, why was she worrying about a spike? Could they even be that tiny?

"Hold still," the nurse said, and slowly pushed the needle forward, then drew it back out. Cassie still winced. There was hardly any blood... well, that wasn't too unusual. Although the metal was somewhat larger than a syringe. "Alright... I'll see if we can do anything with that measurement. Should give a sense of how deep the transmutation is, but it's certainly there somewhere. I didn't hit bone."

Cassie nodded. She wasn't sure what she was expecting, but it hadn't been a miracle.

"Alright," she said, putting on a smile. "NullBlade, did you want a chance to talk, or are you more worried about that sound?"

@mathiau

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On 3/19/2022 at 11:35 PM, Fatebreaker said:

He had drawn a circle, pierced through by a long, pointed spike.

"Can you guess what this is?"

Vivica laughed and clapped her hands, glancing upwards at Bennington, who wiggled his tentacles in equal excitement.

"Why it's the world, of course," she said, pointing at the circle. "And that is the Worldspike. The lynchpin. It's what holds it all together. All that universe, all that Connection, and if you remove it - " Vivica snapped her fingers. "Gone. Everything just pours out like frosting. Do you like frosting, Mr. Reshilore?"

She grinned, taking up a new paper of her own and her black crayon. What a lovely fellow, she thought as she sketched. Dr. Victoria should bring him around more often. He's much more interesting than he looks. 

Vivica held up her own drawing, a single orb surrounded by eight wavy lines.

"My turn!"

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"Alright," Cassie said, putting on a smile. "NullBlade, did you want a chance to talk, or are you more worried about that sound?"

"That sound looked awfully like a small explosion, either someone decided to throw bombs near the hospital or this means there is a chemical leakage somewhere. In both cases we shouldn't stay here." He reached for where his Shardblade should have been but could only find air, as he had left it before coming to the hospital.

"You're welcome to follow me if you want" He said as he left the room, looking around for something to use as a weapon. He eventually found a copper tube about eighty centimetre long under a radiator, probably a leftover from when said radiator was installed that no one ever bothered to throw in the trash.

If you want? And what are you gonna do if she doesn't follow you? Leave the lady who just had a very superstitious bout of amnesia on her own? 'Be there when you're needed', we said.

@Ashbringer

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I think the earthquake stopped

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On 3/19/2022 at 6:29 AM, mathiau said:

"There's something following us on the wall. Hmm a... slug of sludge?"

Aln looked towards the spren catching the end of his words, then swiveled to scan the wall. There was nothing there... or at least, nothing she could directly see. Something flickered in the corner of her eye, niggling at her subconscious. Pel?

"Kerr's right. I can sense its Cognitive Presence; it's very strong. It seems to be projecting a field of anti-awareness, perhaps even editing the - wait. It's leaving."

Invisible to Aln's eyes, the slug had turned and begun wiggling up the wall and into an air conditioning vent. Aln took a few nervous steps backward. "Folorian, I think we should get-"

The second half of her sentence was cut off by a splintering of the ceiling panels above, and suddenly dark tendrils began to drip from the ceiling, congealing into a mass of writhing shadows and flashing teeth. "-going," she finished, eyes wide, as the thing, whatever it was, began reaching its amorphous arms towards the pair.

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Cassie still looked carefully at NullBlade, but whatever seemed to have captured his worry had been replaced by the concern over whatever was making noise. Which was a fair worry. "That sound looked awfully like a small explosion, either someone decided to throw bombs near the hospital or this means there is a chemical leakage somewhere. In both cases we shouldn't stay here," he said, pausing momentarily before moving over to a small copper pipe and moving toward the door. "You're welcome to follow me if you want."

Well, that was hardly a question, was it?

Cassie turned to the still-somewhat-shaken nurse. "I'm sorry if I... overreacted a bit. Needles don't usually make me that nervous, but I... had a run in with some people with spikes in them lately. A distasteful art. Anyway, if you find anything..." she said, searching in her purse a bit. "Here's one of my business cards. You can contact me there if you need a followup. It's also a nice place to buy metal... if I can keep up the business." She frowned. "I hope I can. Thank you."

Then she turned and walked to follow NullBlade. She didn't exactly feel like running, but he seemed to be delaying himself anyway.

"You know, if you'd like a weapon that isn't made of copper, that's sort of my specialty," she said.

@mathiau

 

Hold it together, Byron.

Okay. Reshilore and Vivica seemed to be occupying each other, drawing pictures of the... world spike? Byron barely knew what that was, although if Reshilore's nodding to the patient's depiction was anything to go by it was holding this world together. And Vivica had drawn a picture of... something with eight lines. The sun? Or... blast, they'd mentioned something earlier what was it. Something... out of... something. Didn't seem safe to guess.

Victoria seemed to be nice. Placating Sanax while trying to reassure him. That was nice, although he could still feel Sanax slowly breaking something. Was he burning more cadmium than before? Was he imagining the sheets rustling a bit faster than they should when he disturbed them? It was like... not even like bendalloy. Not even a Steelrunner, really. It was... blast.

"Ben, if you would like me to soothe your emotions, please let me know for how long and which feelings specifically. Your mind is a private thing, and I would not wish to trespass on any areas you want left alone. I'm here to help." Victoria'd noticed his... well, there were a dozen things she could have noticed. He wasn't any good at hiding what he felt. Fifty years in Kholinar didn't teach him, he wasn't going to learn now.

"If you're not Soothing me already... I'm... well you can see."

You need to say it, Byron. 

"I'm a bit too nervous. Having that go away would be nice. At least most of it," he finished. It didn't seem like a great idea to admit that the time-defying entity standing in front of him scared him half to death, and whoever they were probably deserved the fear. Then there was Vivica, who seemed just as terrifying with none of the aspects to pin it on, it was just her. Her and her disconnected optimism.

"And... it's Byron. Technically. I don't know how much the difference matters anymore," Byron added. "I doubt whoever does records has either name. When I got here I was frozen. Stuck in time. But... that... Sanax... he's walking around like nothing's happening."

What had happened? Something'd attacked him, and either rewired his cadmium to overdrive or had freaked him out enough to literally scare him stiff. And it reminded him of the darker snakes he'd seen, which nobody seemed very concerned about... except...

"Do you know if someone from the Scholar's Guild was here today? For some somewhat urgent reason?"

@Fatebreaker @ZincAboutIt @18th Shard

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On 24/03/2022 at 1:34 PM, Rushu42 said:

The second half of her sentence was cut off by a splintering of the ceiling panels above, and suddenly dark tendrils began to drip from the ceiling, congealing into a mass of writhing shadows and flashing teeth. "-going," she finished, eyes wide, as the thing, whatever it was, began reaching its amorphous arms towards the pair.

"Folorian, run. We're being chased"

He breathed Stormlight in and dashed away from the threat he couldn't see. If there was one thing all Radiant, even him and Aln, were good at, it was running.

He tried to reach for the Cognitive Realms, but could only find a wall that threatened to swallow him if he came any closer

You stopped

Rust. Folorian started running again

Any chance an illusion could throw what's chasing us of?

Hmmm... you're too close to it to try either ways.

Crem. He accelerated as much as he could

11 hours ago, Ashbringer said:

Then she turned and walked to follow NullBlade. She didn't exactly feel like running, but he seemed to be delaying himself anyway.

 

"You know, if you'd like a weapon that isn't made of copper, that's sort of my specialty," she said.

"You can? I thought Soulcasting didn't change the form" He said as he gave her the tube "If possible I'd like something made of aluminium."

NullBlade smiled, he had a reality-warper on his team again

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Mari walked through the hallways, occasionally catching glimpses from her old friends in the corner of her eyes, and she wondered if there was something special about this place, that they were capable of watching here that well. Perhaps a realmatic resonance with the signature of some alley? The explosion could have caused some form of shift. It reminded her of some old rumor she once heard, of an abandoned building that at random intervals linked to certain alleys, with them saying it used to belong to some old scientist who performed realmatic experiments.

That was when she heard people talking, the word 'Word Spike' catching her attention. Curious she wandered over, looking at the drawings, before sitting down on a random bit of floor, looking into the distance. She thought she could hear some screaming, but this apparent drawing contest looked interesting too.

@Fatebreaker@ZincAboutIt@18th Shard@Ashbringer

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Reshilore was taken aback by Vivica's answer. He looked at his drawing again with a bemused expression. "I thought I was drawing a caramel apple, but maybe your interpretation is a better one." He smiled awkwardly as he waited for Vivica to finish her drawing, then looked at the circle surrounded by wavy lines.

He sighed. He needed to work on his drawing skills if he was to properly create accurate diagrams to accompany his research. Maybe he should take a class, or simply practice consistently.

"My turn!" Vivica exclaimed, holding her drawing up with excitement. Reshilore stared at it intently, hoping to make the game go better than it already had. "It's a nerve cell, no a jellyfish. Wait, it's the sun! No, I'm feeling the aquatic on this one. An anemone?" He scratched his head in puzzlement, staring at the paper. Vivica's expression was giving him nothing as he felt himself floundering. "Is it a... an octopus?"

@ZincAboutIt

Victoria smiled at Ben then reached out and placed a comforting hand on his arm. She began subtly soothing his anxiety, but not suppressing it completely. "I am happy to help, Ben. But it's important that you're aware of what you're feeling and why. When we're aware of our emotions it allows us make choices about how we respond to them. I'm not here to solve your problems or 'fix' your emotions, but to give you the breathing room to adjust yourself."

Suddenly, she felt a sharp pain in her abdomen. It was internal, though she couldn't determine where exactly it was. It seemed to grow steadily, threatening to overwhelm her. She quickly soothed her growing worry and kept her expression neutral. She took several deep breaths, then looked back to the others with a reassuring smile.

"As for your question, I don't know if anyone from the scholar's guild came in today. I haven't encountered anyone who claimed to be a part of that organization, but I normally don't have much interaction with visitors, only with patients and other staff. Normaly I'd recommend that you ask the front desk, but as you can see they're out at the moment."

Just as she said that, another person entered the room. Victoria hoped at first that they were more hospital staff, but those hopes were quickly dashed. Another person I need to watch? I feel like I'm running out of hands to juggle all these balls. Oh well, stiff upper lip, Victoria.

She smiled at the newcomer, "Hello there, I'm Doctor Estrella. Are you a patient, a visitor, or emergency personnel?"

@kenod @18th Shard @Ashbringer

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Mari tilted her head slightly as she looked at the doctor. "A visitor, I guess?" She said. "I noticed the explosion, so I went inside to see what was happening. Then I came across here, and it looked interesting, so I decided to stay." She looked back at Reshilore trying to guess the image, wondering what it could be herself. It looked interesting, almost like some kind of strange symbol. Then again, that was probably because of too much time spent in Alley 0x8BCA451. She still wasn't entirely certain why anyone figured random symbols with zero investure would be able to warp reality, but given the sanity of most of those involved in the project she was personally glad they hadn't succeeded.

... Then again, she had heard most of the personnel involved were remarkably sane back when they started the project, at least compared to the average Denizen.

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Vivica stared intently at Reshilore as he attempted to guess, finally breaking into a beaming smile as he came to it at last.

”Yes!” She cried, giving a tiny hop. “It’s Bennington!” Then she looked up and to the side, where Bennington was glowing a very proud violet indeed. “See, Bennington, I knew he’d guess it!”

Vivica looked past Reshilore to the newcomer in the hall. She had a familiar look, a friendly look. Vivica could definitely imagine her in a baking coat. “Hello! You came in just in time. We are playing a guessing game, and it is turning into a real corker.” @kenod

She was about to hand Reshilore a new piece of paper when Bennington, who had begun to swim more loops around the man, stopped at his side and pointed at something. Vivica cocked her head, moving a bit closer.

”Bennington? What is it?”

Bennington swam another loop, then pointed again. Vivica rubbed her nose. This was most unusual, but then, Vivica liked unusual.

”Mr. Reshilore,” she said as she shuffled blank sheets of paper, licking her finger as she got a rather deep paper cut, “I do believe there is something very interesting in your pocket.”

@Fatebreaker

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Reshilore smiled as the girl jumped with glee at his guess. He was relieved he had stumbled upon the right answer, he had never been very good at these games. He wasn't really sure why he'd suggested it.

"Yes! It's Bennington!" Vivica appeared to talk to the air next to her. Some kind of hallucination? Maybe an imaginary friend? This was a hospital, after all. "See Bennington, I knew he'd guess it!" Reshilore felt oddly protective of her in this moment, of the simple joy she exuded as she smiled. He was glad Victoria was working with her, as there was no one more compassionate of understanding than she. 

As he sat in thought, another person entered. Victoria greeted her and Vivica did as well. Reshilore was about to do the same when Vivica suddenly turned to look at him. Her head was cocked, as if listening to something. "Bennington, what is it?" She moved closer to him, then closer still. She stopped, then turned back to her sheaf of paper and began fiddling with it. Reshilore noticed a bright red blossom of blood well up from her finger, from what must be a severe paper cut. 

"Mr Reshilore," her voice was carefree and unbothered as a large drop of blood fell from the cut on to a piece of paper. "I do believe there is something very interesting in your pocket.” 

"What?" Reshilore was surprised by the statement, and he stumbled over his words. "I, uh, I don't think there's, I mean I don't have anything, uh, my pockets are empty." But even as he said it, he felt his fingers close around something. "Huh? What's this?" And for the second time today he found the gold-embossed business card in his pocket. Lita LaPetit, in elegant script with an address below. On the back was a handwritten note: In case you change your mind. Resh remembered the woman in gold, her confident yet casual demeanor. He looked up at Vivica with an awkward smile, "Oh it's just a business card I forgot to take out. Nothing really significant."

Vivica moved the papers around a bit more, leaving a few more crimson stains, "Who's it from? What makes it special?" She fixed him with a smile as she drew her index finger through the blood on the top piece of paper, drawing something. 

Reshilore remembered the awkward encounter that had preceded his finding the card, how he had misspoken and misunderstood and generally made a fool of himself. He felt himself blushing and tried to play it off. "Oh, there was nothing really special about it. I just happened to make a fool of myself in front of the person who gave it to me, then left abruptly. When I went back, I found the card in a crack in the pavement, left for me. I've not followed up because I think I probably made enough of a fool of myself for three lifetimes."

He remembered vividly how Vic and Lucas had been highly skeptical of his story of a beautiful woman coming up to in and inviting him to accompany her for the evening. But when they had left the shop, he had noticed to glint of the card. Then their skepticism had turned into teasing, which was decidedly worse.

He pulled himself back to the present as he tucked the card back in to his pocket. "The last thing that person wants is for me to go make a fool of myself in front of them. Again." He gave her a rueful grin, "Wouldn't you agree?" But as he slid the card back, he wondered how she had known it was there...

...

"I noticed the explosion, so I went inside to see what was happening. Then I came across here, and it looked interesting, so I decided to stay."

Victoria was relieved to hear that the newcomer was not another patient, as the ratio of patients to staff was already alarming. Plus, she still wasn't sure what that phantom pain had been. Was it simply stress? She had been under a lot of pressure lately, taking extra shifts, trying to pick up the slack. She needed to rest, but now was not the time to moan and groan. 

She noticed the woman looking towards Reshilore and Vivica and smiled. "You're not our first visitor today, that's Reshilore over there with Vivica, one of our patients. I'm afraid you've not picked a good day for visiting." She gestured at the general disarray of the room.

Things had fallen off shelves, equipment had been knocked over. The room was, generally speaking, a disaster. She moved over to an IV stand that had toppled and righted it before turning back to the visitor. 

She thought it was interesting and decided to stay? After an earthquake just hit the building?

"Did you happen to see any emergency personnel coming? They should be here soon." Indeed, even as she spoke, Victoria could hear sirens in the distance, coming closer. That was a relief, she couldn't single handedly run this floor of the hospital, even with Reshilore's help. Her boyfriend was sweet, but he has absolutely no training in the realm of therapy or psychology. Or patient care for that matter.

She clapped a hand to her forehead, saying, "Where are my manners? I never finished with introductions. This is Ben, and this is Sanax. What is your name?"

@ZincAboutIt @kenod@ashbringer @18thshard

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Sanax stared at the new arrival. There was something about this one - an echo of something familiar. Like hearing the sound of the Endless Ocean near Kasitor, or the creak of his office door hinge. Echoes of a location - like the sensation of a bat flying. Echoes, like the inside of a cave or an Alleyway. Like the sound of the darkness pulsing in the spike in his chest. Like a hammer, reverberating, clanging, beating metal into submission, only the metal was soft brains and twisted connections and blood, pouring and gushing and twisting. Sanax stumbled back against the wall, Vivica's pencil dropping from his hand. The pencil lead broke as it hit the floor, leaving dark particles on the ground. His eyes stared at the room around him as he sunk to the floor, sitting with his back against the wall, knees pressed up to his chest. He rocked back and forth. It was too much. The white lights. The doctor's coat on the victorious star. The time dilation, dust flitting around the bubble's edge, falling faster outside, forming a little ring of dust where the bubble intersected the floor. The blood on the papers in Vivica's hands, the just-broken smile on her face. The dark, curling hair of Reshilore, gold glinting in his hands, intense eyes hidden beneath a veneer of self-deprecation, the worldspike diagrammed on the paper in his hands. And the echoes of this girl, the resonances she brought. It was all too much. He stared, trying to remember, but everything was like a dream, with no beginning, no end. Just the festival and the hospital and the earthquake. The lights and the darkness and the echoes. And beneath it all, a maze, a labyrinth, a city of alleyways. Sanax leaned forward until he sat on his knees, face close to the tile. There was a pattern in its faint greys and whites and off-whites. He grabbed the pencil in his fist, snapping it in half. The lead stuck through end of the upper half, and he began to draw on the floor. A circle in the center, and a twisting pattern stretching out of it. Like arteries from a beating heart. Like ants from a mound. Like roads from a square. There were highways, and turnpikes, and roundabouts. Capillaries, and veins, and ventricles. An ouroboros snake seeking new food. The motion was familiar, calming. Sanax kept drawing, his face nearly pressed against the tile, drawing over dust and books, loose paper and fragments of the gypsum ceiling panels. And echoing in his head, a single word. Remember. He knew something, he knew it. But it wasn't there. It had to be somewhere in the drawing, somewhere in the graphite filling the tiny scratched world beneath him. 

@Ashbringer @Fatebreaker @kenod @ZincAboutIt

 

Emily held Josie tight next to her as the aftershocks shook the room. They sat against the interior wall of the room, on pillows, with a blanket spread about them. Something had fallen in front of the door after Emily had gotten inside - a shelf or cabinet - and Emily couldn't wedge the door open. Spiderweb cracks filled the window, but miraculously, none of it had cracked. Josie was fine - she'd been coloring in bed, and had only been thrown forward a small amount. Sirens could be heard outside, so emergency services should be there shortly. Emily pulled out her phone. Cell service was down, but it seemed like the wireless connection the hospital provided was still working. Emily sent a message, letting the other nurses know where she and Josie were. She glanced down at the page Josie held out to her and drew a single line, creating the third side of a box. Josie laughed, closing the box, writing a careful heart inside the square, and then marking a tally on the opposite page. "I get a point! I'm winning by two now." Josie drew another line and placed the book back in Emily's lap. "Your turn again!"

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3 hours ago, Fatebreaker said:

“The last thing that person wants is for me to go make a fool of myself in front of them. Again." He gave her a rueful grin, "Wouldn't you agree?"

Vivica listened with half an ear as Reshilore spoke, which was rude, but it had been so long since she had drawn with red.

Red, such a glorious color. The color of life, the color of death. The color of frosting. The color of finality. 

”Blood,” Vivica whispered, drawing her nail through the crimson that had dropped onto the topmost sheet of paper. She grinned hard, feeling it stretch the corners of her mouth. It felt good to smile again, like she had in the other life. Reshilore seemed like he enjoyed a good smile.

She continued to sketch, the blood seeming to awaken old memories, things she had known, or did know, or would know. That wasn’t important. What was important was the drawing.

”Oh I don’t know, Mr. Reshilore,” she said softly, her voice almost trance-like as images she had never seen in this life flowed out of her hand and onto the page. Symbols and numbers, the outline of a man, the Steel Alphabet. All in beautiful red. “I don’t think she’d have given you the card if she didn’t want to see you again.”

The blood from her finger was drying up, her body already beginning to close the wound. Vivica could have made a new one, of course, but that tended to upset people. And it was rude to upset one’s friends. 

She looked up at Reshilore with eyes big as teacups. “You wouldn’t want to appear rude, now would you? Perhaps you could bring her something - to make up for the delay.”

Vivica looked back at her handiwork with beaming pride. Why, it might have been her best drawing yet. Then, with a feeling both sorrowful and glad, she handed her half-remembered hemalurgic bindpoint chart to Reshilore. He needed it more than she did.

”Here,” she said, voice solemn. “You can give her this.”

 

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"Mari," she said, introducing herself to the doctor as she got up as well, helping her clean up the room. "I haven't really seen any emergency personnel, but there were quite a few people around the entrance, so they'll probably be on their way. The entrance has collapsed though, so it might take them a bit to get through. I ended up using a smaller emergency exit to get in."

She was putting away some of the paper on the floor when she noticed Sanax, getting a strange feeling from him. It reminded her of the feeling of people traveling, or those with greater mastery, but strange somehow, weak, twisted, overshadowed, and she wondered why she hadn't noticed before. Had it been that weak?
She walked over, looking at his drawing, and again it seemed almost familiar, but strange at the same time. It felt... worrying. Not only that, but she thought she could see something moving in the corner of her eyes, as if something was drawing attention, attention that would become focused on her, given the lack of enlightened people here.
@Fatebreaker@18th Shard

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On 3/26/2022 at 8:42 AM, mathiau said:

"Folorian, run. We're being chased"

He breathed Stormlight in and dashed away from the threat he couldn't see. If there was one thing all Radiant, even him and Aln, were good at, it was running.

He tried to reach for the Cognitive Realms, but could only find a wall that threatened to swallow him if he came any closer

You stopped

Rust. Folorian started running again

Any chance an illusion could throw what's chasing us of?

Hmmm... you're too close to it to try either ways.

Crem. He accelerated as much as he could

Aln dashed down the hallway after Folorian, Stormlight surging through her veins. An oozing tentacle touched her ankle and she kicked out in blind panic. She nearly overbalanced, but by some miracle the monster missed its chance to entangle her further, and she kept running. She spared a glance behind her. Storms, it was bigger than she'd thought - but at least it didn't seem very fast. It was almost certainly a Hemalurgic construct, given who they were dealing with, which meant that theoretically removing the spikes could disable it - but of course, the DA had probably jammed like 50 into the thing to safeguard against such a move. Better to assume that destroying it wasn't an option, then. What about containment? Even if it was specifically targeting her and Folorian, as she suspected, she could hardly in good conscience leave an eldritch ooze roaming a hospital.

A plan began to pull itself together in her mind. Aln caught Folorian by his arm to gain his attention. "Folorian", she gasped out, Light leaking from her lips. "How much material can you soulcast at once?"

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On 3/26/2022 at 5:42 AM, mathiau said:

"You can? I thought Soulcasting didn't change the form" He said as he gave her the tube "If possible I'd like something made of aluminium."

NullBlade smiled, he had a reality-warper on his team again

Cassie took the pipe, pausing a moment to wonder where it came from... no, the earthquake had left some of the construction more open. Then she closed her grip and concentrated on it, looking for that stranger place where aluminum lay. Soulcasting aluminum was always a bit stranger than the other metals. Not harder, just... stranger. But the pipe soon took on that off-silvery appearance that she'd come to recognize.

"Here you are," she said, smiling back. Trying not to let the strange tingling in her arm show. She shouldn't have done that. But better for NullBlade to have a weapon than nothing.

"Where did you think the explosion was? I think I zoned out there..."

 

"I am happy to help, Ben. But it's important that you're aware of what you're feeling and why. When we're aware of our emotions it allows us make choices about how we respond to them. I'm not here to solve your problems or 'fix' your emotions, but to give you the breathing room to adjust yourself."

That made sense. Byron felt some of his fear fall away - he knew it was from the Soothing, but even feeling braver made it easier to find things to be brave about. Vivica, Reshilore, Victoria... they were all strange, but they didn't seem all that threatening. Well, Vivica did, but she seemed more... what had he lost? She didn't seem that threatening to him, specifically. Then there was Sanax. He still was moving too fast, still was acting like a living aluminum knife... but both he and Vivica also seemed to know more than what Byron did. Maybe more than they led on. This was alright. They were... human. And even if Aln hadn't found him again, he could start to figure this out on his own.

Then, of course, someone else walked into the room. Fortunately they did slow down when they walked through his bubble, but it was still a new factor. She didn't give a name, but Victoria introduced everyone, and Byron caught a few words - explosion. But that wasn't what really drew his attention.

His focus was more on Sanax... cracking

Something about the new arrival had sent Sanax into a tizzy, collapsing to the floor then frantically scribbling out something. He did know something... but something was very wrong. Vivica seemed to be painting with her own blood, which somehow seemed less of a worry.

"Mari," the newcomer said. "I haven't really seen any emergency personnel, but there were quite a few people around the entrance, so they'll probably be on their way. The entrance has collapsed though, so it might take them a bit to get through. I ended up using a smaller emergency exit to get in." Her eyes also seemed drawn to Sanax's etchings.

Okay... that was strange. 

"I'm Byron," he finally said. "Technically a patient although I think I'm fine... I hope." Vivica and Sanax didn't provide the best vote of confidence to that, did they. "Did you say an explosion? Did the earthquake really do that much damage? Because I... nevermind. Nice to meet you."

He turned to Victoria. "Do they... does Sanax do that often? Do I do that?" 

@kenod @Fatebreaker

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20 hours ago, Rushu42 said:

A plan began to pull itself together in her mind. Aln caught Folorian by his arm to gain his attention. "Folorian", she gasped out, Light leaking from her lips. "How much material can you soulcast at once?"

"I still can't Soulcast." He'd just tried and I hit a wall instead of peering through.

No, that wasn't exact. He hadn't hit the wall, he had just felt it. There wasn't really something stopping him, was it? It was simply a mental block, like the one preventing him to say his truth.

Was it one he could pass through?

"Since staying in the physical realm is not necessary to Soulcast, I don't think my bane will let me consciously control whether I slip to the Cognitive" And he wasn't sure whether his subconscious would keep him here. "Even i I do stay here, I'm not experienced at all so it'd be better to do a very simple Soulcasting... Maybe concrete to sand could be? Are we on the lowest floor or is there one under us?"

Quote

If Folorian does end up soulcasting I'm throwing a D20 to know if he stays in the PR

18 hours ago, Ashbringer said:

Cassie took the pipe, pausing a moment to wonder where it came from... no, the earthquake had left some of the construction more open. Then she closed her grip and concentrated on it, looking for that stranger place where aluminum lay. Soulcasting aluminum was always a bit stranger than the other metals. Not harder, just... stranger. But the pipe soon took on that off-silvery appearance that she'd come to recognize.

"Here you are," she said, smiling back. Trying not to let the strange tingling in her arm show. She shouldn't have done that. But better for NullBlade to have a weapon than nothing.

"Where did you think the explosion was? I think I zoned out there..."

Oh, she meant she could modify the pipe's material, that made more sense

"Where did you think the explosion was? I think I zoned out there..."

Over the course of the years, NullBlade had become far more skilled at estimating the direction and distance of an explosion than he'd have wanted -curtsy of epics interested in nothing but chaos- but in a place with as many soundproof walls as the Einladung it was difficult to make a precise idea

"I'm not one hundred percent sure, I'd say either the entrance or the wing opposite to this one, it was the physical one I think"

He hesitated to speak again as they entered the escalator from earlier "Cassie, I have something important to tell you... No. Not yet, it's not safe here"

Wait, when had he started to call her my her nickname?

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2 hours ago, mathiau said:

"I still can't Soulcast." He'd just tried and I hit a wall instead of peering through.

No, that wasn't exact. He hadn't hit the wall, he had just felt it. There wasn't really something stopping him, was it? It was simply a mental block, like the one preventing him to say his truth.

Was it one he could pass through?

"Since staying in the physical realm is not necessary to Soulcast, I don't think my bane will let me consciously control whether I slip to the Cognitive" And he wasn't sure whether his subconscious would keep him here. "Even i I do stay here, I'm not experienced at all so it'd be better to do a very simple Soulcasting... Maybe concrete to sand could be? Are we on the lowest floor or is there one under us?"

"Crem. I thought maybe with the oath-" she cut off, eyes suddenly wide, as they dashed around a corner. A second shadow monster loomed in the hallway, this one tall and angular, with dozens of fingers like knives. In one hand - storms, it had too many hands - it held an unconscious young woman in a hospital gown. She skidded to a halt and looked desperately behind her at the relentlessly approaching mass of tentacles. They were pinned. 

Screams danced faintly at the edges of her vision, the tiny black letters cutting through the air. Her mind darted back to those stacks of files. How many had been currently admitted patients? Had the DA decided to purge the hospital? But there was little time for thought. Her eyes drifted down to the unconscious patient, and before she could reconsider Pel was forming in her hands as a metal quarterstaff. Her clumsy swing shouldn't have connected, but the monster made no move to dodge. Instead, when Pel struck the shadow, he seemed to corrode, bits of the silvery metal flaking off into the air.

Pel? she sent in a panic. 

"I am - I am alright. I don't believe that I was injured, simply... interrupted."

Now that's something to look into... later.

Although it hadn't seemed to hurt the creature at all, it nevertheless managed to successfully draw its attention. Tilting its head like a curious child, the creature dropped the patient and reached out a hand towards Aln. She stumbled backwards. "Folorian, I think you're going to need to try!"

Quote

It could be an interesting plotline to put them in the Cognitive Realm, actually, if you want to forgo the roll - it's up to you.

Also, DA people, if anything in this post contradicts what you've got planned, please let me know.

 

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