DX - Coda, Miniscenes

Jan 8th, 2016
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  5. [15:30] <Cherem> It's been several days since you put your plan into action. You've spent the last few nights awake, helping to search for Sharpshooter and Master Conflagration. With Ian in the hospital, Jamie popping in and out, you've mostly had your sister and the new guy working with you. It's been a pain in the ass, but occasionally you can find something. Ian's men and Jamie's connections were already a huge boon.
  6. [15:31] <Cherem> However, there was always one thing hanging on you, like a doubt, a real connection that you needed to resolve.
  7. [15:33] <Tsuboki_Junko> She was mulling it over even as she compared the prices on two konbini bento boxes. Fujimoto Tomoko. She'd left the girl and her gang behind to keep them safe but without them she felt less and less Human.
  8. [15:35] <Cherem> A shame, really, but what codified the experience of the Overed. Detatchment from the norm to protect it. To save the ones you love, you have to lose them. A bitter irony indeed. But at the very least, you could see them off on your own terms.
  9. [15:35] <Cherem> She wouldn't miss a challenge letter, that's for sure. Something somewhat subtle, but aggressive. "The Park. Evening. Bring your friends."
  10. [15:36] <Cherem> The weather had been getting progressivly worse. As if nature itself could see what was happening, the sun was showing less and less, and the sky was mottling with clouds. Even now, there was a faint drizzle, and you could hear from the radio that there was supposed to be a storm or something coming up.
  11. [15:37] <Cherem> Of course, Tomoko wasn't one to let a little moisture keep her from picking a fight, and as you wait under the empty trees of Akai Park, you begin to hear a familiar pair of voices.
  12. [15:37] <Cherem> "Look, I'm just saying, nobody would actually come out to fight like this, Tomoko. This sucks."
  13. [15:38] <Cherem> And a sharp retort, "If you're that scared, you can always run home with your tail between your legs. Nobody'd think less of you," Tomoko's voice responds, and her sarcasm is clear.
  14. [15:39] <Tsuboki_Junko> Hear Tomoko's the delinquent was quick to fix her hair and pull up her hood, hands shoved into her pockets. She wore her usual sparts under a skirt, managing to look at least a little more girly than usual she hoped.
  15. [15:41] <Tsuboki_Junko> ( man wtf
  16. [15:42] <Tsuboki_Junko> Hearing Tomoko's voice*
  17. [15:42] <Cherem> And then, there they are. Ahead of the others as they bicker, Akebashi notices you first, nodding his head a little. At his belt, you can see the hilt of his bokken.
  18. [15:43] <Cherem> Behind him, Tomoko steps out, half turned to face Ushi, but when Akebashi clears his throat, she turns.
  19. [15:43] <Cherem> That's shock in her eyes, but she quickly drops into a fighting stance, "You! You knocked over my drink weeks ago! Have you come to supplicate yourself?"
  20. [15:44] <Tsuboki_Junko> "I...I did?" She did? So much has happened, all she could remember was the violence. So much blood. She shook her head clear, "Uh yeah, okay, I'm sorry about that and I...want to talk."
  21. [15:46] <Cherem> "... Talk?" Ushi steps up, "You've got a lot of nerve, disappearing, and then sending that letter, and just-"
  22. [15:47] <Cherem> There's an almost audible thump, and Ushi freezes as the tip of Akeboshi's bokken taps him in the solar plexus. For the first time in a long time, you hear him speak. "Quiet."
  23. [15:47] <Cherem> Tomoko crosses her arms, "Alright then. What could be so important that you would call us out then? Tch, you knew I would come if it was a fight."
  24. [15:49] <Tsuboki_Junko> "I wasn't sure how else to get your attention. I know I left without a word and acted cold, distant. You're right to be mad! When I'm done talking you can even hit me if you want, but I want to explain why." She looks the three of them over, wondering just how much Ryuu-kun knew already.
  25. [15:52] <Cherem> Ushi still has one hand on his chest, and Ryuuko glances to the side. All things said, he probably knows far, far more than these two.
  26. [15:52] <Cherem> However, Tomoko just looks... frustrated, as she reaches up to scratch her head, "Aaarg... Tch, it can't ever just be a fight." She drops her hand, moving it to instead her hips as she looks away, "Alright. I can listen."
  27. [15:53] <Tsuboki_Junko> "Just don't run away, okay? You're not cowards but this can be...freaky." She managed an apologetic look before she loosened her tight reign on the Renegade. She took on her battleform but kept her warding in check, standing in all her Chimera glory. "I'm a monster."
  28. [15:54] <Tsuboki_Junko> (( if Ian's sister can know, fuck it. ))
  29. [15:59] <Cherem> ... Ushi can't take it. Simply, his eyes roll back, and he just... boop. This number cannot be reached at this time.
  30. [16:00] <Cherem> Ryuuko doesn't actually look that phased. Instead, he looks... well, like he's had his expectations confirmed. However, he can't seem to look you right in the eyes.
  31. [16:00] <Cherem> "Run away? From what?" Tomoko snaps back, turning and freezing. "... You... What, are you." Tomoko lets out a little whisper, "You... am I awake...?"
  32. [16:03] <Tsuboki_Junko> "Dammit, Ikeda-kun," Junko laments with a sigh, dismissing her battle form. "I'm still Junko just...not?" She rolled out a shrug, looking down at the ground now. "I fight other monsters and it's dangerous.
  33. [16:03] <Tsuboki_Junko> "
  34. [16:05] <Cherem> "Fight other-... Wait, no no no." Tomoko reaches up, rubbing her eyes, "Okay. Okay, I must've... something... Did you put anything in my drink?! You did!" Tomoko turns to Ushi and tries to shake him, but he collapses. Great.
  35. [16:06] <Cherem> "So that's why," Ryuuko comments, frowning a little.
  36. [16:08] <Tsuboki_Junko> "I'm sorry, Ryuu-kun. Tomoko." She scuffed at the grass with a sneaker. "Something really bad might be coming, the city can feel it, and I wanted to see you three again. You're the best friends I had." Maybe more than that with Tomoko.
  37. [16:10] <Cherem> "Ah... Wait... You're serious." Tomoko swallows, taking a step closer, "That... really just happened now."
  38. [16:11] <Tsuboki_Junko> "I can...do it again if you really want me to."
  39. [16:12] <Cherem> "A-ah.... Well... that might be..." Tomoko clears her throat, "You really fight things?"
  40. [16:13] <Tsuboki_Junko> "Yeah. Some are monsters. Some are like me but not as nice." She manages a weak smile, looking up at Tomoko. She was strong physically, had she always been this weak mentally? She was worried she might start crying soon.
  41. [16:18] <Cherem> "... This whole... That time, back then. You were doing it too, then, weren't you." Tomoko manages, her own voice somewhat spotty. Behind her, you can see Ryuuko picking up Ushi. He gives you a nod, as if to say "We can talk later".
  42. [16:21] <Tsuboki_Junko> A slight nod to Ushi and she looks to Tomoko. "Just a little before I left. Theres a group that tries to keep it quiet, keep people from being hurt. When they found out when I'd become they were very...insistant...I join them at the university."
  43. [16:22] <Cherem> "... And that's when you left." Tomoko mumbles, "I see... And you couldn't tell us.
  44. [16:22] <Cherem> "*
  45. [16:24] <Tsuboki_Junko> "It's supposed to be a secret. I didn't want you guys to try and help me and end up hurt but...its hurt so much not telling you."
  46. [16:28] <Cherem> Tomoko frowns directly at your collarbone, seemingly unable to meet your eyes but unwilling to look at her feet, "So this whole time, you've been holding that burden by yourself?"
  47. [16:29] <Tsuboki_Junko> She folded her arms, wondering if she should have shown them. None of them could look her in the eye now! "I have a team I work with but...but they're just not you guys."
  48. [16:33] <Cherem> "Hm..." You can see her arm wheel back, and then it crashes into your shoulder, "You idiot!" Oh boy. She sounds pissed.
  49. [16:33] <Cherem> If you were human, that might've hurt physically.
  50. [16:33] <Tsuboki_Junko> Junko actually worried for a moment of Tomoko's had was okay. "!"
  51. [16:34] <Cherem> "You, you," every word another punch in the arm, "You go out, and you do that, and then, now, are you..." You see her arm wheel back farther, and then pause, "Making me worry like that, what kind of friend..." She sniffs, and you notice her eyes are starting to get red,
  52. [16:35] <Cherem> "I... You left, and when we saw you you looked angry, pissed, worried..." Tomoko's voice shudders, "And somewhere, I stopped seeing that person... But..."
  53. [16:36] <Cherem> "You're here now..." Her fist falls, and she leans forward, forehead gently 'bonk'ing your shoulder, fists clenched, "If I could hit you as hard as it's hurt here..."
  54. [16:38] <Tsuboki_Junko> Junko's eyes were getting red too now. She hadn't cried since Ian and Jamie were in the middle of complicating things for the group again. "I'm sorry Tomoko," her voice wavers.
  55. [16:41] <Cherem> "Sorry..." Tomoko's voice shakes, as she lifts her head and bonks your shoulder again. "I guess... You came and told us."
  56. [16:44] <Tsuboki_Junko> "You uh...look even prettier after two years. Bet you've got a lot of girlfriends." She manages to laugh even as she cried, the two of them no doubt an odd sight right now. A wet hand brushing the wet hair out of Tomoko's face.
  57. [16:46] <Cherem> Tomoko starts a little, and Junko can feel her laugh, "Ah... You really think so?" She looks up, flinching a little as the drizzle picks up it's pace, making thick, wet noises on your shoulders and jacket. "Two years..."
  58. [16:47] <Tsuboki_Junko> "I really am sorry I was gone for so long. I uh...a part of me was worried you really hated me." She tried to laugh it off but was crying again. "We should...go somewhere dry."
  59. [16:49] <Cherem> "Ah... You think?" Tomoko smiles a little, "I think I did, for a little."
  60. [16:52] <Tsuboki_Junko> Junko jumps a little at that. "A-ah, well I can't blame you." She unzips her hoodie and lifts part of it to cover Tomoko. "So, you guys can't talk to anyone about what I said. The group that took me in, they mind-wipe civilians that talk about it."
  61. [16:53] <Cherem> "Eh... You got into that kind of thing?" Tomoko gives her a look, laughing embarassedly. "I never figured you for a cult member."
  62. [16:57] <Tsuboki_Junko> "I wish there was a better option but you haven't seen the opposition. They're even worse and the government would just lock us all up."
  63. [16:58] <Cherem> "Opposition... I guess it's like something out of a manga." Tomoko frowns, "So, you still kept to that whole 'hero of justice' thing?"
  64. [17:00] <Tsuboki_Junko> "Yeah, I guess I did, it's just a little more confusing these days. Usually it's pretty obvious who I should be punching at least."
  65. [17:02] <Cherem> "It's that bad... I mean, you knew it was gonna be like that, chasing that idea. Right?" Tomoko grins, "I knew you were dumb, but that dumb..."
  66. [17:04] <Tsuboki_Junko> "You have no idea." Junko smiles a bit more easily as they talked, cheeks hot each time she looked down at Tomoko. "How about some ramen, and then we can go to your place and talk more? I mean if you want to. I know it's kinda weird now but I liked uh...us."
  67. [17:05] <Cherem> "Ah... We can do that, I think." Tomoko nods, smiling at you for the first time in a while, "I mean, it'd take some explaining later, but, we could do that, I think."
  68. [17:06] <Tsuboki_Junko> "I'd invite you to my place but it's messy and, y'know, my bosses are there."
  69. [17:07] <Cherem> "Bosses... So it's like an army thing then." She frowns, "So that explains why you always looked stressed."
  70. [17:08] <Tsuboki_Junko> "I'd make a terrible soldier. Maybe a cop, though..."
  71. [17:09] <Cherem> "Eeeh... Maybe. But then you'd have to be a pain in the side, wouldn't you?" Tomoko laughs to herself, "Come on. You owe me soup."
  72. [17:10] <Tsuboki_Junko> "Hai hai, Tomo-chan."
  77. [15:38] <Cherem> Beep.... Beep..... Beep......
  78. [15:39] <Cherem> You've found yourself standing with a nurse outside your brother's room. Even through the door, you can hear the little chorus of machines, just there under the voice of the nurse.
  79. [15:39] <Cherem> It sounds like you're hearing her from the other side of the hall, her words straining to reach you.
  80. [15:39] <Cherem> Terminal. Inoperable.
  81. [15:39] <Cherem> With no way of knowing how long he has.
  82. [15:41] <Jamie_Knapp> Jamie stands there, speechless. Tears threatening she opens her mouth to ask a question but croaks insted. She stares at the door.
  83. [15:44] <Cherem> "I'm sorry. I know it's hard to hear, but... We've done what we can." The nurse herself is a little wet at the eyes, "For what it was worth, he's not been in pain. Just... sleeping a lot."
  84. [15:48] <Jamie_Knapp> "Its good he's not hurting..." She presses her hand to the glass. she looked back at the nurse, they had tried everything, but maybe there was something else Jamie could do.
  85. [15:50] <Cherem> "If you'd like... I can give you some time." The nurse steps back, "He's in there. You're welcome to."
  86. [15:52] <Jamie_Knapp> "Thank you." Jamie goes into the room to sit by her brother's side.
  87. [15:56] <Cherem> Inside, the beeping is louder, the machines humming and whirring cheerily. If you were in here all the time, even you would find it hard to not sleep.
  88. [15:57] <Cherem> Your brothre is laying down, peaceful. From his arm, several IVs have been inserted, and you can see them drip, drip, dripping to dispense into his arm.
  89. [15:58] <Cherem> Funny: every other time you visited, every other time you had the chance, he was restless. Even in his sleep, he'd twitch and turn, agitated at... something.
  90. [15:58] <Cherem> But now, he's sleeping peacefully. The movement is his chest, gently raising, up and down, slowly, measuredly.
  91. [16:05] <Jamie_Knapp> Jamie holds his hand and just sits with him for awhile, tears coming from her eyes. She'd have done anything to see him moving like he'd used to, to hear his voice. "Adam, I'm sorry this ever happened to you. I-I never really told you but this is all my fault."
  92. [16:06] <Jamie_Knapp> "After I got the virus is when you got sick, I don't really remember much from before, but I know you were better off then. I got these super powers and you got...this. It isn't fair...."
  93. [16:07] <Jamie_Knapp> "But, I found something...I think. I'm still testing it...but I think I can make you like me, heal you and fix you. You just need to hold on. You have to hold on."
  94. [16:09] <Cherem> Beside her, he... lets out a breath. There's a heartbeat, and sucks in another. His eyes tremble a little, but are still shut as tight as a safe.
  95. [16:09] <Cherem> Last time you were here, they said "just a reflex."
  96. [16:09] <Cherem> It's been "just a reflex" for weeks now.
  97. [16:14] <Jamie_Knapp> She slowly unclenches her fingers from his and sends a healing pulse his way. It hadn't worked before, but that didn't mean she shouldn't try. "You'll get better, big bro. If its the last thing I do."
  98. [16:14] * Jamie_Knapp (~IceChat9@Rizon-B33FE080.cl.ri.cox.net) Quit ( Quit: Say What? )
  99. [16:16] <Cherem> As you do, the machines let out a trilling noise, as if alerted.
  100. [16:16] <Jamie_Knapp> She stares at the machine, worried and curious all at once.
  101. [16:17] <Cherem> Where you touched him, his pale, sun-deprived skin takes on a healthy, warm glow, like the sunset across the lake.
  102. [16:17] <Cherem> He takes a big, deep breath, his chest pressing up and his eyes squirming a little, before letting out a long, drawn out sigh.
  103. [16:19] <Jamie_Knapp> She stands up. Haltingly, she presses her hands on the sides of his head and activates her healing water again.
  104. [16:21] <Cherem> The brain scan starts to go haywire, beeping wildly. Some of the machines simply stop, seeming to have sensed the gravity of what's happening and gone silent. Although, the flickering of the light above is cause for concern as wel, but it passes in a moment.
  105. [16:22] <Jamie_Knapp> She stares, waiting for something.
  106. [16:25] <Cherem> The door opens far too quickly for comfort, and the nurse is at your side, "Miss Knapp, we need you to leave the room, the doctors need to make sure the equipment is set up. The storm caused one of our fuses to go."
  107. [16:25] <Jamie_Knapp> "What? Oh...Ok, please take care of him."
  108. [16:29] <Cherem> As you step out, you can hear the doctors mumble, "How is he... the life support was almost all-encompassing, if it turned off he should be..."
  109. [16:29] <Cherem> The nurse escorts you out, "It's a miracle. It must be."
  110. [16:32] <Jamie_Knapp> "WHat's going on, is he ok?"
  111. [16:37] <Cherem> The nurse gives a worried smile, "The machines he is on, they were... really all that keep a lot of him going. When the emergency breaker went off too, we feared the worst. That kind of thing doesn't happen... But, somehow... he's safe."
  112. [16:38] * Jamie_Knapp frowns. If she hadn't been there. "Is this something that's likely to happen again?"
  113. [16:41] <Cherem> The nurse bites her lip, "This is... It shouldn't. Honestly, this kind of thing is very rare. As in, it's never happened before." The nurse bows her head, "I am sorry, but they need me inside. Please, a moment." And she bows and slips back into the room.
  114. [16:41] <Cherem> And the hall falls silent, save for the tick-tocking of the clock. For what feels like forever.
  115. [16:41] <Jamie_Knapp> "Fucking thunderstorms." Jamie stares at her hands, thinking.
  116. [16:44] <Cherem> "Indeed." A warm, deep voice comes from behind her, complete with a little, warm giggle behind it. Two voices.
  117. [16:46] <Jamie_Knapp> Jamie turns, it was a good thing she had lkeft her gun.
  118. [16:48] <Cherem> Two pairs of silvery, golden hair. One set of grey eyes, one vivid bright purple. "Knapp-san, it's been a while," Mary smiles warmly, seeming to glow.
  119. [16:48] <Cherem> Beside her, Watanabe bows her head just slightly, "Good afternoon."
  120. [16:51] <Jamie_Knapp> "Mary?" Jamie smiles, confused. "Watanabe? To-uh what do I owe the pleasure?"
  121. [16:53] <Cherem> "Is it so odd to see a friend?" Mary grins, but stops as Watanabe holds up her fan.
  122. [16:54] <Cherem> "Jamie Knapp. Playback." Watanabe smiles, "I have a proposition for you."
  123. [16:54] <Jamie_Knapp> "Here, ye-" Jamie stops. "A job?"
  124. [16:55] <Cherem> "Mm... Potentially." Watanabe's fan swings back, covering her mouth, "Your brother. He is sick." It's not a question.
  125. [16:57] <Jamie_Knapp> She turns back. "I'd normally ask how you know anything about that...but I suppose there's not much point. Yes, he is."
  126. [16:58] <Cherem> "Ahaha... Well, some things, some things..." Watanabe's eyes smile, "I have, in my family, one who may be able to help him."
  127. [17:00] <Jamie_Knapp> "You do?"
  128. [17:03] <Cherem> "What you did today," Watanabe continues, "Imagine that strength, but with tenfold power. Tenfold purpose. I am aware you and your friends don't find me... palpatable."
  129. [17:03] <Cherem> At this, Mary looks away nervously.
  130. [17:03] <Cherem> "But you have aided me in the past. And, if I could aid you in this endevour, I could expect your help in the future, no?" Watanabe's fan gently waves.
  131. [17:05] <Jamie_Knapp> "If we knew anything about you, I doubt we'd be so distant... But if you want to trade a favor for a future favor..." She looks through the glass. "You've got it."
  132. [17:06] <Cherem> "Mhmm..." Watanabe's fan snaps shut, "Then it's settled. Near my home, there is a hospital. Your brother will recover somewhat, enough to join you there. And from there, my family can visit him. And we can take the first steps towards the future. Is this pleasing?"
  133. [17:08] <Jamie_Knapp> She nods, "And you can bring him out of this? Even fix...everything?"
  134. [17:10] <Cherem> "Everything..." Watanabe muses on the word, "We will do our best. This will be something I have not tried in a long, long time."
  135. [17:11] <Jamie_Knapp> "Well then." Jamie smiles and bows. "Consider me Team Watanabe."
  136. [17:12] <Cherem> "Mhmhmhm," Watanabe smiles, "We're happy to have you."
  137. [17:13] <Cherem> Behind her, Mary beams, "It's going to be wonderful."
  138. [17:13] <Jamie_Knapp> "It's nice to see you again, Mary. It's been awhile."
  139. [17:14] <Cherem> "Hasn't it?" Mary steps forward, taking Jamie's hands in hers, "I've been a little busy, to be fair." She smiles warmly, and her eyes are as bright as ever. Even now, they shine with a brand new... idealism.
  140. [17:15] <Jamie_Knapp> "It'll be cool to hang, and learn all of your mysterious secrets. Junko will be so jealous."
  141. [17:16] <Cherem> "Won't she? Well, we might have to speak to her too," Mary bubbles, "You'll love the village too, Shiromura. It's not like a city exactly, but, you'll love it. And I'm sure he will too."
  142. [17:16] <Jamie_Knapp> "Can't wait."
  143. [17:16] <Cherem> As Mary continues, Watanabe finally clears her throat, "Although, I think we will leave you to your brother. We have other business to attend to, Michiko."
  144. [17:17] <Jamie_Knapp> "Thanks, Watanabe. I appreciate this."
  145. [17:17] <Cherem> The ex-shrine-maiden jumps, and nods, "Ah, yes, yes." She steps away, bowing a little as Watanabe starts walking, "Sorry, we'll see each other soon!"
  146. [17:17] <Jamie_Knapp> Jamie smiles and waves.
  147. [17:18] <Cherem> The Renegade Being looks over her shoulder and smiles, "I'm sure you will. After all, when the time comes, I will need your help." And with that, the pair disappear around the corner. You can't even hear their footsteps.
  149. IAN'S STORY
  151. [15:24] <Cherem> The drive itself is rather smooth: You're taken to the University's hospital, where they have a full staff waiting for you.
  152. [15:25] <Cherem> Rafflesia is with you the entire time, explaining what she plans on doing.
  153. [15:25] <Cherem> "Surpressing the Renegade," she says proudly, "Pioneering anti-gyaum technology."
  154. [15:26] <Ian_Goodwill> "...Only the Gyaum aspect, right? I... well, if I lose my powers, I might die." Ian is being sincerely honest about this.
  155. [15:27] <Cherem> "... Ideally." Rafflesia glances down at him, already on the table and being rolled along, "As it's been developed now, it acts as a dampener, sort of like our warding, but in reverse. Thus far, it's been temporary. But perhaps, a new one. We've been looking into a portable one for those blessed with the Black Dog, but this..."
  156. [15:29] <Ian_Goodwill> Ian doesn't seem threatening about this, he simply seems upset for a moment. "You swear to me, right? I've done much for the UGN. Given everything. I know I've been talking about leaving for a while, but that's no reason to 86 me, right?"
  157. [15:32] <Cherem> The woman gives you a strange look, "On the eve of this event, Goodwill, we can't risk losing one of our most valuable. You've done immesurable work for City N thus far, and this last part, we will need you. I am sure of it."
  158. [15:32] <Cherem> "It will only be an injection. It will, ideally, dampen your renegade. You will be hospitalized for two days, during which you will be in and out of conciousness. Try to focus on what keeps you here, with us."
  159. [15:35] <Ian_Goodwill> He does so, a meek smile on his lips. "Yeah, I'm sorry. I think it's the instincts that put me on edge. Try to drive me into an insane survival instinct. Trying to preserve itself, not me. A dampener scares it, I think." He calms down for a moment, thinking of his sister, the people that've been here for him, his partners and their own reasons, and somehow...
  160. [15:35] <Ian_Goodwill> ...Jamie?
  161. [15:40] <Cherem> "Aah, so you recognize the relationship." Rafflesia's voice echoes, "Good. Take a deep breath. The first one will sting just a bit, but this is to dampen the sting of the next." You feel an alcohol swab over your arm.
  162. [15:42] <Ian_Goodwill> Ian relaxes himself. Every muscle of his body tells him to fight free, but his will, well, his will is still human. He has control. He will be in control.
  163. [15:45] <Cherem> There's a little pressure in his arm, a little pinch, followed by an almost immediate soreness. The muscles around it tense up, but then you feel an intense, strong, fading feeling, like your arm has been reduced to air, and nothing but.
  164. [15:46] <Ian_Goodwill> He doesn't even wince - he's endured more than that. Though it does uncomfortably remind him of the hospital.
  165. [15:48] <Cherem> "Alright... feels nice, right? Now..." Rafflesia's voice sounds like it's from a distance, and then there's another sharp prick. And... huh. Nothing. Your brain gives you.... Nothing.
  166. [15:48] <Cherem> No feedback, no panic, no endorphins or adrenaline... Nothing.
  167. [15:48] <Cherem> And then you wake up
  168. [15:49] <Cherem> And you can feel your arm, trembling, wriggling, squirming like a fish. You must've passed out from shock, as it feels like your arm has been plunged directly into a furnace.
  169. [15:49] <Cherem> The other arm, your legs, have been bound, and if you were in a good mental state, you would recognize that it's not leather bindings, it's steel, or something even stronger.
  170. [15:50] <Cherem> Your eyes are fuzzy, your mind struggling to pull together words.
  171. [15:50] <Cherem> You can't even open your mouth to scream: biting down, you realize that htere's something in there, something metal. Can't bite your tongue.
  172. [15:51] <Ian_Goodwill> He wishes that he had the mental prowess to say something about the unfamiliar ceiling but the pain is too sharp. A yell is muffled, as he waves around the free arm he has. Well, free to the closest extent.
  173. [15:54] <Cherem> "There there. This is just the other person in the house, deep breaths." Rafflesia's voice is agony, your ears, your ears, your ears rebelling at the sound of... sound. Light is too bright, the sounds agony. Your senses, for a brief moment, overload as your renegade goes wild, uncontrollable.
  174. [15:54] <Cherem> For a moment you hear everything, you think. Every baby crying, every car screetching to a halt, every thick thump of a bat into human flesh and every scream.
  175. [15:55] <Cherem> Every pin dropping every IV snapping and popping, every liquid hitting the glass of the storm raging two cities away and ever tear pitter-pattering to the floor.
  176. [15:55] <Cherem> Void.
  177. [15:55] <Cherem> Nothing.
  178. [15:56] <Cherem> It all goes silent. Even the pain disappears, your arm a phantom, non-existant.
  179. [15:57] <Ian_Goodwill> The nuclear, wild pain in his arms finally dissipates, and his eyes seek for his arm. As if needing confirmation that it was still there. Then he notices how deaf, disconnected he feels.
  180. [16:02] <Cherem> Above him, two forms swim. Long, golden locks, like rays of sunlight, dancing in the light. It's not even that bothersome UV light, but the true glow of a single golden opening in the storm.
  181. [16:02] <Cherem> The other, the shade of rust, glows beside the other, mumbling, or at least it almost sounds like mumbling. You imagine mumbling, you think.
  182. [16:03] <Cherem> As your eyes swim, they don't seem to have noticed you were awake. You don't even know if you're awake.
  183. [16:03] <Ian_Goodwill> Ian, against all sanity, tries to hear everything again, with his Bat Ears.
  184. [16:04] <Cherem> Until the golden rays jump, and sudden swim close, close, like long tendrils of silk, running along your chest and tickling your collarbone, as the other color pops in and out from behind the other, trying to get a look.
  185. [16:04] <Cherem> Bad idea.
  186. [16:04] <Cherem> As your ears expand, you feel a shrieking in your ears. Feel. Feel. The very sound of your blood in your veins is too much to handle.
  187. [16:05] <Ian_Goodwill> Ian tries to muffle another scream, and lets go of his power. This is one of the rare times he's afraid. He tries to get a look at the woman next of him. Using his normal eyes.
  188. [16:07] <Cherem> She swims into view, her face darkened, way, way too close. Two bright eyes you'd recognize anywhere, her mouth moving as if to speak.
  189. [16:08] <Cherem> And then, she swings back, and you get a clear glimpse of Lena for a fraction of a heartbeat, her arms held to her side by the other color.
  190. [16:10] <Ian_Goodwill> Ian tries to speak out. He's not even sure of where he is, if he's alive, what's going on.
  191. [16:10] <Ian_Goodwill> He realizes it's a futile effort, the metal piece still in his mouth.
  192. [16:12] <Cherem> "....e!................. ...... ...... ......... .........a." A flash of pink as her mouth opens and closes, and the faintest whisper of... something. In the back, you see several blobs enter the room, black as night, the center a gleaming white pillar.
  193. [16:13] <Ian_Goodwill> He tries to double his efforts. He winks with his eye. At this moment, he wished that he knew Morse code.
  194. [16:15] <Cherem> The white blob draws closer, and then you hear it, with painful clarity, "Sleep, Goodwill. They will be here." A black blob comes beside you, and for a moment you can't tell if it's today or tomorrow, as both of the figures flicker back and forth in color. A sharp pain in your arm yesterday, and the void swallows you again.
  195. [16:17] <Ian_Goodwill> Ian is scared, he truly is. He wish he knew what was going on. He can,t even feel his body. He feels like an outsider trapped.
  196. [16:19] <Cherem> The next time you opwn your eyes, it's to the sounds of rain ferociously punching against the window, like the furious drumming of an angry, irate god. Your tongue tastes... dry. You can move your tongue. As your arms twitch, you realize the bonds are gone.
  197. [16:20] <Ian_Goodwill> Ian sticks his tongue out. He tries to call out for water, not even sure if anyone is nearby.
  198. [16:20] <Cherem> And it's with a sudden burst of soreness and pain and an earful of suffering that you hear Lena call your name and feel her pull your face into her shoulder as she puts you in a hug headlock.
  199. [16:20] <Cherem> When your hearing comes back, you can distantly hear the semi-chinese accent calling, "Oi, Lena, he just moved, let him, you know, breath."
  200. [16:21] <Ian_Goodwill> He's too weak to properly answer otherwise, or even try to return the hug, smothered by her. Instead, a smile simply draws on his lips. His eyes focus onto his sister. His ears, well, at least they work now.
  201. [16:23] <Cherem> And that's the sound of her crying, and you can feel your own shoulder getting wet. If she's talking, you can't grasp what she's saying. Behind her, the other color stands up, causing your vision to swim as your eyes, against your will, jump between them.
  202. [16:25] <Ian_Goodwill> "What happened?" He seems confused as he asks no one in particular. He tries to reassure Lena with at least a pat, if he's able to bring himself to do as much.
  203. [16:26] <Cherem> Your arm reluctantly obeys your order, but it's touch only seems to make her cry harder. "Well, she's plenty of tears," Akite admits.
  204. [16:27] <Cherem> "Seriously, what kind of brother passes out for four days? Did you trade souls with someone or something?" The martial artist and freeloader sits at the edge of your bed, glaring at you.
  205. [16:30] <Ian_Goodwill> "So, when am I going to see the rent money, Akite?" Ian gives a weak laugh as he returns his attention to Lena. "Hey, Lena. Nice to see you." He doesn't know what else to do or say. "...I'm sorry."
  206. [16:30] <Cherem> "When am I going to see caretakers fees, 'Middle'?" Akite smirks, but goes quiet.
  207. [16:32] <Cherem> "You... You... First you disappeared so late, and then, you... this... This..." Her eyes are red and lined, her cheeks wet as she bumps her head into your shoulder, weakly bumping your chest with her fist. Surprisingly, you can see it already starting to bruise.
  208. [16:34] <Ian_Goodwill> Ian has nothing to say to her. He doesn't know what to do. A wince escapes him as he feels her fist bump him. He glances at Akite, as if asking permission for something. Then reconsiders. He remains silent.
  209. [16:38] <Cherem> Akite shrugs, standing up and leaning on the doorway.
  210. [16:38] <Cherem> Lena, on the other hand, finally slows down, "Stupid... Brother. I'm... I'm glad you're okay," She mumbles.
  211. [16:40] <Ian_Goodwill> "...It's almost over, Lena. I'll be here now. I promise. Yeah, I'm pretty stupid. I've been roped up into something... ridiculous." He then stares at the ceiling for a moment. "That night Lena. I want to apologize. I've never been a good brother to you."
  212. [16:40] <Ian_Goodwill> By night, he obviously refers to the night Ian's renegade was triggered.
  213. [16:42] <Cherem> Akite can't help but smirk at the first half, but hears the second half. In the time it could take a pin to drop and hit the floor, she's out the door.
  214. [16:43] <Cherem> Lena sits up, "What... what are you talking about..." She looks genuinely confused, "Ian..."
  215. [16:44] <Ian_Goodwill> He tries to reach for her hand, giving her a gentle smile. "Just... I will fix everything, Lena. I'm going to make everything better. Have you... have you ever wondered... why every of my health problems disappeared the moment your own health worsened...?"
  216. [16:46] <Cherem> "... Maybe." Lena lets him take her hand, squeezing gently. "I figured I wouldn't ask... Such a thing was... I can't imagine."
  217. [16:49] <Ian_Goodwill> "...I thought it was my turn to start taking care of you. When life grants you a gift, you give back, you know?" His grip on her hand tightens. "I'm not sure if I can tell you this. I'm not sure you'll even believe me."
  218. [16:51] <Cherem> "Ian..." Lena's face looks calm, serene. "You could tell me anything. We're family. And... You might not think it, but you've been a good brother. This whole time." Her voice trembles a little and her eyes drop to her fingers, gently squeezing his, "Even when you were busy."
  219. [16:53] <Ian_Goodwill> "...That night, Lena. When I stood up from my wheelchair. When those bastards were wailing at you because I brought you somewhere you never should've been near of. That night, the Renegade virus woke up in me." He says so as caring as he can. "Everything I've done since - it was to protect those I love. Those I care for. I'm here because of this."
  220. [16:54] <Ian_Goodwill> He doesn't quite explain what it is just yet. Just finding his words is a pain. He's tearing up, even.
  221. [16:55] <Cherem> "The.." Lena hesitates, "I... what happened that day... I don't really.." Her words trail off.
  222. [16:57] <Ian_Goodwill> "...Y'know the news, a gas leak here, disappearances there, business being shut down, the world is a terrible place. The renegade virus, well, is the cause of it all. It turns you into a monster. A horribly frightening monster. Like in movies or stories. There's a few people though..."
  223. [16:58] <Ian_Goodwill> He looks into her eyes. He knows he's speaking crazy to her. He knows this is insane to anyone.
  224. [16:59] <Cherem> "... Brother..." Lena bites her cheek, "Is... Say it clearly, please." A curious look creeps into her eyes.
  225. [17:02] <Ian_Goodwill> "I'm infected with something that makes me a superhero. It's the simplest way I can say this. I didn't visit dad on a business trip. Do you remember the hostage situation in Saint Jude hospital? I was there. I tried to save everyone I could, Lena. I'm not human anymore, nor am I one of these monsters. I'm a traitor to both. Not just me. Jamie, Junko, Mary..."
  226. [17:02] <Ian_Goodwill> "...Even Akite. We're all infected. We all fight to keep the world we love. We fight for you."
  227. [17:04] <Cherem> Lena swallows a little, and smiles weakly, "Ian... If what you're saying is true... You've been going out and fighting... like that... and becoming like this..." She leaves the last two words and the question mark hanging.
  228. [17:05] <Ian_Goodwill> "...If I fight too much, Lena, I'll become one of the monsters, though. But it's the only way. It's how I can keep you safe." He tries to reassure her with a smile, but he can't even muster one. "This is why I'm here. It... almost happened. I don't know what they've told you. But this is the truth."
  229. [17:08] <Cherem> "I see... they told me you were caught in the gas explosion... but this makes more sense..." Lena smiles, and you can see her tears welling up again, "Makes more sense... I think I've lost sense."
  230. [17:08] <Cherem> She leans her head down again, "Are you... is this real?"
  231. [17:11] <Ian_Goodwill> He nods his head. "I've lied to you for too long. Just... Please trust me. This is my last job. I've told them so. I can't tell you who 'they' are, but, they need my help. I'm one of their best."
  232. [17:12] <Cherem> "Then you have to promise me." Lena looks up, eyes fierce, "You have to promise to come back."
  233. [17:13] <Ian_Goodwill> "I'm coming back. It's a promise. I swear." There's a large smile on his lips now. "Do you... do you believe me?"
  234. [17:15] <Cherem> Lena goes quiet, and then nods slowly, "Nn. I do." And the smallest smile crosses her face.
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