[RP4] It was a dark and stormy night

A quiet town where nothing ever happens. Can you survive one week there?

  1. The Dullahan

    The Dullahan Active Member

    Rourke let out a relieved breath when Sarah started talking and that she sounded like herself. His eyes moved to Marcos when the water dropped to the floor in a splash. He hadn't seen anything like that before unless it was in a movie. But, he was learning that there was a lot about this secret world that he just didn't know. Rourke slowly got to his feet, and would offer his hand to Sarah if she wanted or needed it to pull her to her feet as well. "Connect to it?" Rourke asked, not quite understanding.
  2. Atrus

    Atrus Hooked on a feeling Moderator

    Aaron, who seems to be recovering from his migraines, turns a fraction of an inch to face the others - still ready to whack the unconscious Dave with his big chunk of rock if needed. "Yes. That's - that's the Lady. Her... I dunno the right term, the bigger part of her is somewhere behind here, but she knit herself all over the town. That's how we make things happen. We think of them, she catches our thoughts, and she makes them true, for a little while. You felt it through me, when I took your hand."

    The boy allowed himself to turn to Sarah: "I don't get why she didn't talk to you. Dave... or, whatever those creepy black things are in his head... he escaped us for so long because he was using you." He bit his lip for a moment, then removed his sunglasses with his free hand, showing his startlingly clear blue eyes. "Alright. She doesn't really like it, but... I'm gonna call her."

    Those who have felt the presence of the lattice will feel a slight tingle in their bodies as Aaron concentrates, and will notice a fraction of a second before the others as a green mist coalesces into the form of a woman's bust, dressed in a headscarf and with elaborate tattoo patterns on the side of her face. "Visual query interface activated," she said, in a voice with a faint metallic overtone, "Please ask your question quickly. This method is inefficient."

    Aaron cut in before the others could talk: "Why didn't you tell Sarah she had the power? She's like me, and Billy! You always say that there are not enough guardians, and that you can't let me go away, but she's been here all the time!"

    The green particles rearranged themselves so that the woman's head was looking at Sarah. "Analysis. Report: she does not meet all requisites for guardianship as agreed by the compact."

    Aaron groaned in frustration. "What? What requisite is she missing that put us all into this trouble?!"

    "Analysis. Report: the compact was forged with the citizens of Hemlock Falls with gene X14C-27a and extended to their descendants. User Sarah Whittaker is not a citizen of Hemlock Falls."
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  3. Sarah Whittaker

    Sarah Whittaker Well-Known Member

    Sarah picks up the toy elephant while Aaron questions the Lady. She looks a little embarassed at first, but the hell with it. She's earned a comfort toy. Even if the real one is off in Kendrick's Crossing. She cuddles the toy, like she probably did when she was a child and things were horrible. Just never quite this horrible.

    When Aaron asks the key question, and the Lady answers, Sarah just ... groans.

    Then she asks her own question. "What would it take for me to be a citizen? Just finding a place here to live?"
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
  4. Craft

    Craft Game Master Game Master

    After Sarah's answer of "Me", Craft stands back and watches the discussion. Marcos' description of some sort of network is verified as a, well, green lady appears before them.

    As Sarah questions what it would require to become a citizen, the wheels in Craft's head start to turn. He also starts to wonder who exactly the green lady is. The technology seems different than the third age stuff he'd encountered.
  5. Atrus

    Atrus Hooked on a feeling Moderator

    The Green Lady doesn't seem to listen to Sarah. Aaron groans in frustration and repeats the question for her, to which the Lady replies: "Analysis. Report: mutual belief. Shared agreement. Human representation of bonds is strengthened by official representation." The figure seems to freeze for a moment, which Aaron seems to interpret like a loading time. "Tentative solution: bureaucracy."

    That garners another groan from Aaron. "Okay yeah, I think that means you'll have to move here, or at least be a resident? That's not quick though. So what do we do with him in the meanwhile?" The teen prods the man on the ground with his foot.

    The Green Lady seems to take that as a further question. "Analysis. Report: abnormal strain of Filth detected in subject. Mind corruption. Report. There are two available courses of action: cleansing and termination. Removal of infectious memory. Selective scarring as possible cure. Warning: cleansing may result in termination."

    Aaron gulps at the words. He looks at Sarah, and Craft, and the others, deferring to them for the choice. Condemning a man to death, or risking it, goes beyond what he signed up for. Not that he actually signed up for it, but still.
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  6. Craft

    Craft Game Master Game Master

    Craft watches the holographic Green Lady assess and re-assess the situation. He winces at the proposed solution to Sarah's non-Guardian-ness as 'bureaucracy'. The sudden change to the discussion of filth in regards to Dave has him step forward. He had, at least a basic understanding of how the Filth would infect and transmit, both through biological organisms, and more recently, technological.

    "Termination is not something we want to consider." As soon as the words are out of his mouth, he contemplates them. Filth infection, as far as he was aware, was not easily curable. Perhaps not even possible. "How would you cleanse this... infected memory? How did this memory become infected?"

    He didn't really expect a response from the Green Lady. He knew getting a response from powerful creatures who could be mistaken as gods was a rarity. He had a bit of experience in that matter.

    "And what exactly are you?"
  7. Marcos Medeiros

    Marcos Medeiros Active Member Admin

    Marco’s expression grows grim as he glances at Dave.

    ”With those options... there’s nothing to lose by cleansing, no?”

    The sailor turns his attention back to the Green Lady and strokes his beard pensively. She looks nothing like what he’s heard the Third Age holograms look like. Could she be from an earlier age? A modern secret society with a flair for the dramatic? Alien technology?

    He lets Craft do the talking. For now.
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  8. Atrus

    Atrus Hooked on a feeling Moderator

    The Green Lady once again remains silent to the queries of others, until Aaron asks her to reply to everyone's questions. In her quasi-mechanical ways, the Lady replies that Dave's memory of 'the memetic pathogen' acts as a version of the pathogen itself. She can disconnect the neural pathways that retain that memory, and then burn them off. When asked about the dangers of the procedure, her only reply is "acceptable compared to risk".

    As for what she is... "What you don't understand, you have failed to hear or don't need to know."
  9. Sarah Whittaker

    Sarah Whittaker Well-Known Member

    Sarah looks at Aaron and nods, regarding the bureaucracy. "Worst case, I could use an empty room in the barracks back there." She points with a thumb over her shoulder, in the rough direction of the 'miner housing'. "It's here, should count. And if I signed up tax forms, enrolled to vote, changed my address with the post office - all of that's bureaucracy."

    The mention of Filth, and especially the 'curative measures', has her paling. She looks at Marcos, Craft and Rourke - in no particular order - and asks "What is this filth stuff, then? Is it really that dangerous?"

    ((OOC: Atrus, this is a fantastic way to bring a late arrival into your story. I love it!))
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  10. Marcos Medeiros

    Marcos Medeiros Active Member Admin

    Marcos squints a little bit at The Green Lady as she continues spouting her riddles. Just a little bit.

    "More dangerous than you can imagine,” the sailor says, turning to face Sarah. “It’s a... kind of virus, yes? And once it infects your mind, there’s... ah... usually no coming back.” He pitches his voice low when he says this, hopefully so that Dave doesn’t hear. The poor man is already frantic enough as is.
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  11. Sarah Whittaker

    Sarah Whittaker Well-Known Member

    Sarah shudders at Marcos' explanation, and takes her time to think about it. Eventually, she murmurs "Try to help him, please." And if that fails, she can try to console herself with 'we tried'.
  12. The Dullahan

    The Dullahan Active Member

    Rourke was still new to this world, he knew the very basics, monsters were real, and the filth was very bad. So, he let others with more experience answer those questions. When Sarah said they needed to try, he nodded. "I'm in. Whatever I can do to help."
  13. Atrus

    Atrus Hooked on a feeling Moderator

    "It is decided."
    The green lady closes her eyes and dissolves into a swarm of green motes, which move to hover around Dave, and then start going... through him? The specks start moving rapidly, almost too fast to see, weaving a web of residual green in the retinas of the onlookers. There are flashes of light, and low gasps that escape Dave's mouth, and the scene keeps getting brighter and brighter, forcing everyone in the room to close their eyes.

    When the light recedes, and they all dare open their eyes again, they find themselves immersed in nature. There are trees around them, and it's a bright, clear morning, a clear contrast from yesterday's storm. Everything is covered in damp and dew, and the sound of rushing water tells them they are somewhere in the vicinity of the Grouse creek, possibly even the falls themselves.
    It takes a minute or two for everyone to adjust to their new surroundings. How did they get here from... from... where were they exactly? It's on the tip of their tongue, but at the same time it feels like a distant memory already.
    Somewhere near town. And they met the Lady. Which was... was... green. That's for sure. Green.

    Aaron is slumped against a tree, wiping his sunglasses on his shirt before putting them on again. Dave is sprawled out on the ground, and he raises his head groggily, looking at the assembled people around him: "Woah. What happened? Did I get drunk again?"
    Another sound disturbs the quiet of the forest: human steps are clearly approaching.
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  14. Sarah Whittaker

    Sarah Whittaker Well-Known Member

    Sarah watches the green motes, visibly confused, until she has to close her eyes.

    When she wakes, she shakes her head, looks around muzzily. How did she ... wait, wasn't she responsible for these people? Making sure they didn't get lost in the woods? She isn't that bad a guide, is she?

    She fingercombs leaves and twigs out of her hair. "Wait ... wasn't there a strange woman? Wearing green or something?"
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  15. Marcos Medeiros

    Marcos Medeiros Active Member Admin

    Marcos slowly sits up from the patch of clover that he fell into (materialized into? Fell asleep on?) and blinks a few times to get the stars out of his eyes. Then blinks a few more times, because something just feels off about his surroundings. He... this isn’t where he was just a second ago, was it?

    The sailor looks to Dave as the other man speaks. “I think we... all might have.”

    Dave... Well, at least that’s what Marcos thinks the other man’s name is. Dave looks different. He’s speaking differently. A good differently, Marcos thinks.

    He raises his eyebrows after Sarah speaks. “I thought that was just a dream,” he says. A dream that both of them shared? Unlikely. Before he can ask any more questions of the group, however, something catches his attention — footsteps. Marcos rubs the nape of his neck. “Ah... Is that a search party? How long were we gone?”
  16. Atrus

    Atrus Hooked on a feeling Moderator

    Aaron seems to have fallen back on his surly teenager mode. And yes, it is a search party of sorts that is coming for them through the woods. Deputy Taliaferro and Joe from the Firs cut through the trees and sigh in relief as they meet our adventurers. "There you are! What in heaven's name made you think it was a good idea to take off like that in the pouring rain? You could have fallen into the falls!"

    Dave raised himself on his feet, a little unsteady. "Sorry, deputy. I think they were all looking for me. I had another episode."
    The deputy put his hands on his hips and exchanged something like a knowing look with Aaron. "Well, at least they found you. Still, it was a very dangerous thing to do," he continues to the others, "especially since I'd asked you to stand still for your interrogations. I had to convince the sheriff that you leaving the bar wasn't a sign of guilt."

    Joe cut in, trying to play pacifier. "I think that can all be resolved later. After these guys get some coffee and breakfast in them. Innit?"
  17. Sarah Whittaker

    Sarah Whittaker Well-Known Member

    Sarah looks puzzled, and spends enough time looking towards Aaron for that to be noticeable. She doesn't seem to notice this herself, however.
    Her scratching her head does cause a minor leafslide.
  18. Atrus

    Atrus Hooked on a feeling Moderator

    ((Welp, I was waiting on someone else to post and almost forgot about this. Let's wrap it up.))

    The groups is escorted back to the Firs, where they're given breakfast and coffee before being interrogated by the sheriff. It's in the middle of the interrogation that another deputy comes in, saying that Lisbeth's killer has been found.
    A man from a nearby town had been discovered with some of Lisbeth's belongings in his car, and when questioned about it from the police, he assaulted them with a knife. Unfortunately he was killed in the confrontation, but the items in his possession and the blood in the car are pretty much damning evidence.
    In the light of that, the Sheriff decides that he can let the group of hikers go.

    Deputy Taliaferro meets with Sarah a little later, bringing her a bundle of papers. "This will make your move to Hemlock Falls official. I guess you made some pretty good memories in town, to decide to stay here." The word memories stirs something in her. A green lady, talking in her mind.
    After she signs the papers, and her memories of the Lady come back to her, Billy will explain that the 'killer' is a projection created by the Lady. It'll disappear once it's interred.
    Lisbeth's death is terrible, Billy adds, but Dave cannot be held responsible for what he did under influence of the Black Message.

    As the group of agents moves out of town, a few people from Hemlock Falls comes to bid them goodbye: Dave Starcher, seemingly oblivious to the events of last night; Denis, the radio guy; Rosie from the diner, as well as the gang of curious teens.
    They take a trail that will bring them to the Agartha portal in a roundabout way, and after a half hour or so, they meet another person waiting for them: Aaron Vert. The boy takes down his sunglasses, revealing his bright blue eyes, and his gaze seems to lift some of the fog on the agents' memories. "I know the Lady won't really approve but, I don't think it's right that she scrambled your memories. You helped with Dave. So I'm fudging it a bit. Goodbye, superheroes."
    The team will find that they can now remember most of what happened, but now the Lady is just a local spirit that lives by the falls, and Aaron and Sarah are two regular people with no powers to speak of. The Filth menace has been destroyed and that's all that matters, is it not?

    Araci seems to think so, because she congratulates them all on a job well done and files the case as closed. But once she's back in her office, away from prying eyes and ears, she looks up Hemlock Falls in a large almanac and she starts reading...

    [[ THE END ]]
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