Darkling

NERV Hawaii: Episode Four - Training Begins

Apr 6th, 2017
186
Never
Not a member of Pastebin yet? Sign Up, it unlocks many cool features!
  1. Darkling: Another week of school passes, it's a Friday afternoon, not even dinner time yet, and you're hanging around the house at the moment. An archery range has been installed outside for Leon, and he's been quite intent on getting the most use out of it as possible and hasn't really been around the others as such.
  2. Stella Lacroix: Stella is, as usual, looking less than chipper. She's seated on a couch, glowering at one of the windows.
  3. Kaimana: Kaimana doesn't seem to mind too much. She's stretched out on the other couch, one arm under her head as the other holds a book. Her shirt easily leaves her midriff exposed and she’s going around without anything on her feet.
  4. Stella Lacroix: "What're you reading over there?" Stella mumbles, her voice just a bit short of monotone.
  5. Kaimana: "It’s a book about sharks. Kinda cool. Turns out a lot of people bitten by sharks don't feel pain at first, just a bump or tug. The author thinks their electroreception actually disrupts pain from transmitting to the brain, scrambles the nerve signals."
  6. Stella Lacroix: "If that's true then maybe one day we'll have tiny, genetically modified sharks as surgical implements."
  7. Kaimana: "Ehhh, they have filthy mouths though."
  8. Darkling: Astrid trots into the room and sits down near the two of them.
  9. Stella Lacroix: "So do a lot of people. But that doesn't always deter others." She waves to Astrid after a short delay.
  10. Darkling: "Elle wants to know if we want to go shopping." Astrid says, completely oblivious to the previous conversation.
  11. Stella Lacroix: "If we can put out the sun I'm all for it."
  12. Kaimana: "I could use a few things."
  13. Darkling: "We'll leave in a bit then."
  14. Stella Lacroix: Stella goes off to change.
  15. Darkling: Astrid sits and stares at Kaimana.
  16. Kaimana: Kai for her part yawns and stretches. "What's up?"
  17. Darkling: "Why does she hate the sun?"
  18. Kaimana: "Beats me," she says as she sits up. "Delicate skin, like yours? Or maybe a tan just doesn't go with all the black and lace."
  19. Darkling: "Okay." She simply seems to accept that and gets up. "I'll be in the car."
  20. Kaimana: "Right," and she hops up too, hunting down her sandals and a wide-brim straw hat to wear.
  21. Stella Lacroix: Stella returns, still all in black. Big surprise. She heads outside, dashing into the car after as if her life depended on it.
  22. Darkling: Once they're all in the car and Elle finally arrives, on her phone as always, Filipe drives them off.
  23. Darkling: After around 10 minutes of tapping away at her phone Elle sets it down in her lap. "We're going to be in a very civilian place. I need you all to be on your best behavior, and not run off or get into trouble."
  24. Kaimana: "You take away all the fun of a trip into town."
  25. Stella Lacroix: "Okay. I promise not to run away, shoplift, or steal any souls."
  26. Darkling: Elle looks around. "Did... Did Leon not want to come?"
  27. Stella Lacroix: "For the present time he's more glued to the archery range than I am to my room."
  28. Darkling: "Well, I'm sure he wouldn't want to go shopping with a bunch of girls on a normal day anyway."
  29. Kaimana: "I understand. Too much browsing."
  30. Stella Lacroix: "Maybe if we were shopping for something he was interested in."
  31. Kaimana: "What do guys shop for?"
  32. Darkling: Elle shrugs. Astrid just stares.
  33. Stella Lacroix: Stella looks thoughtful for a moment. And then goes back to looking like she doesn't care.
  34. Kaimana: "Huh." Chin in her hand she stares out at the passing scenery, imaging a little athletic stick figure running across the terrain.
  35. Darkling: It takes them a little awhile to reach their destination, Paia. It was a smaller town along the north shore east of the main city center Kahului, also extremely well known for the excellent surfing conditions.
  36. Darkling: The town itself was not more than a few roads with shops and restaurants along them, but it was bustling with activity. "Remember what I said, no running off or getting into trouble." Elle reiterates.
  37. Kaimana: "Of course you have to say that with such a primo beach nearby," the native girl huffs.
  38. Stella Lacroix: "The French coast is more interesting."
  39. Darkling: "Maybe, but we're not in France." Elle says.
  40. Darkling: Astrid kind of looks around at everything with huge eyes.
  41. Stella Lacroix: "It's like a city in the desert. With water."
  42. Darkling: "Well, where do you want to go first?"
  43. Stella Lacroix: "Clothes. They are of cardinal importance."
  44. Kaimana: "Yeah, sure, clothes."
  45. Darkling: "Well, lots of places to choose from." She starts walking to the closest shop she can find. There was a wide array of shops selling different clothes, all from local fashion to stylish trends.
  46. Darkling: "I do have a budget to stick to, so try not to splurge too much."
  47. Stella Lacroix: Zoom. Doesn't take Stella long to get up and start peeking around at the clothes.
  48. Darkling: Astrid wanders into the store and right through a clothes rack, disappearing into the fabrics.
  49. Kaimana: Kai looks bored as she pokes around at a girly selection of shirts, too much pick and too many frills for her typical active wear.
  50. Stella Lacroix: Stella seems fairly into it, looking over a lot but not buying anything... yet.
  51. Darkling: Astrid emerges from the clothing with a bedazzled pair of sunglasses on that are nearly the size of her entire face.
  52. Stella Lacroix: "Excellent shield, Astrid."
  53. Kaimana: "Classy." Kai smirks and ruffles the albino's hair before wandering to the underwear.
  54. Darkling: Elle is over there, talking to someone on her phone again in what sounds like Spanish. She's also idly twirling a lacey G-string around a finger while she does so.
  55. Stella Lacroix: Stella stares after she catches sight of that. She taps Astrid on the shoulder and then points.
  56. Darkling: Astrid lowers her sunglasses to look, her eyes managing to get even wider, and she quickly covers them with the sunglasses again.
  57. Kaimana: Well that’s not a sight anyone will be forgetting any time soon. Kai politely ignores the implications and starts poking around, eventually holding up something black and lacey herself.
  58. Stella Lacroix: Stella ends up wandering over to the underwear as well.
  59. Kaimana: Kai huffs as she looks for a matching bra in her...meager size.
  60. Darkling: Astrid wanders away from the wall of lingerie.
  61. Darkling: The phone clicks off, Elle looks at what she is holding and makes a face before tossing it on a random hook.
  62. Darkling: "Find anything you like?" She asks Kai and Stella.
  63. Kaimana: With some muttering and a furrowed brow Kai finds two sets of the underwear for herself. "I...I guess?" A shy look in Stella's direction and she heads to loiter near the register.
  64. Stella Lacroix: Stella takes two as well, one black, one purple, and both rather frilly. She goes over to the cash register as well, looking rather lofty about it. "My heritage."
  65. Kaimana: "Frilly panties?"
  66. Darkling: Astrid joins them, setting the sunglasses on the counter.
  67. Stella Lacroix: "One of my country's gifts to the world." She says with a small nod.
  68. Darkling: Elle stands behind them and simply holds out a card for the cashier, who swipes it, bags everything and hands it to the girls.
  69. Darkling: Astrid puts the sunglasses back on her face, not removing the price tag or stickers.
  70. Kaimana: As they step outside she gets Kaimana's hat as well, though it doesn't particularly match the sunglasses.
  71. Stella Lacroix: Stella takes her bag with a small nod.
  72. Darkling: Astrid just turns her head to look up at Kaimana and smiles.
  73. Darkling: Elle starts to head towards the next shop, making sure the girls keep up.
  74. Kaimana: It seems Kai intends to keep up a leisurely pace as she follows.
  75. Stella Lacroix: Stella keeps up well enough, walking at a brisk pace and keeping to the shade where possible.
  76. Darkling: The next shop seems more of a tourist shop. Little knick knacks, stereotypical Hawaiian culture items. Woodworked animals, shot glasses, tiki statues, girls in hula skirts.
  77. Kaimana: Well...a tiki statue couldn't hurt, right? It was her culture after all.
  78. Stella Lacroix: Stella goes over to a tiki statue and tilts her head as she stares at it. "What is this supposed to be?"
  79. Kaimana: "Hm? Ah, well that’s the ancient Tiki god of fertility and peace, Lono."
  80. Kaimana: "It’s said he descended to Earth on a rainbow to marry Laka."
  81. Stella Lacroix: "One way to make an entrance." Stella looks over a few others. "Some of them look..." She pauses for a while before she says something in French.
  82. Kaimana: "Technically there are only four, but I see like a dozen designs. Geez." She puts her hands on her hips before picking out a tiki that looks the lost like Kanaloa.
  83. Stella Lacroix: "Why are they making those weird faces?"
  84. Kaimana: "They're masks worn by the Tiki gods rather than actual faces."
  85. Stella Lacroix: "I see." And with that she's off to look at the animals instead.
  86. Darkling: Astrid seems to have found nothing of interest and is instead just sitting outside waiting.
  87. Stella Lacroix: A quick look at the animals and Stella is out there as well, looking slightly puzzled.
  88. Darkling: Another few shops, then into a bigger clothing shop. Astrid disappears into some racks again.
  89. Darkling: Elle is off the phone by now at least. "Are you girls enjoying this?"
  90. Stella Lacroix: "I've found it worthwhile. Learned a bit about the local culture, too."
  91. Kaimana: "Eh. I like spending time with cute girls so there’s that at least."
  92. Darkling: "How about we grab some dinner while we’re here?"
  93. Stella Lacroix: Stella plucks a ribbon from a display. "Isn't that betraying PAM?"
  94. Darkling: "IF PAM had feelings, I might care."
  95. Darkling: Astrid returns out of the clothing racks wearing a black and pink dress she wasn't previously.
  96. Kaimana: "I'm sure she'd be happy for a break if she's programmed to feel that way."
  97. Kaimana: "Hey...where are the clothes you were wearing?"
  98. Stella Lacroix: "Maybe there's more to PAM than we realize." Stella says, then looks to Astrid. She applauds lightly. "Those colors suit you."
  99. Darkling: Astrid lifts up the dress to reveal her white one.
  100. Kaimana: "Oh good."
  101. Darkling: The dress drops back down.
  102. Darkling: "I also found lacey things."
  103. Stella Lacroix: "Are you wearing them now?"
  104. Darkling: "Yes."
  105. Darkling: "Astrid...” Elle looks a bit annoyed. "You know this isn't how stores work dear."
  106. Stella Lacroix: "Usually people don't try that sort of clothes until after they get home."
  107. Kaimana: "Must be her rebellious phase."
  108. Darkling: "I'm sorry." She looks sad and reaches under her dress to start pulling them off before Elle stops her. "No! NO no no. It's alright dear, just, we talked about this."
  109. Darkling: "Are, uh, either of you getting anything here? Or should we just go to dinner now?" She looks embarrassed.
  110. Stella Lacroix: "Just these." Stella holds aloft an assortment of ribbons.
  111. Kaimana: "Nah, I'm good. I just need some shirts and shorts from the surf shop on the way." A swarthy hand pats Astrid on the back.
  112. Darkling: "Alright." She goes to pay for whatever Astrid is wearing, then escorts them out of the shop.
  113. Darkling: They stop at a little food shack that has tables out overlooking the distant ocean.
  114. Darkling: It's quaint with Christmas lights strung among the rafters and a small local band playing on a stage inside.
  115. Stella Lacroix: Stella looks over a menu
  116. Darkling: A good selection of fried foods, finger foods, seafood, burgers, you name it.
  117. Kaimana: "Nice little place," Kai says, looking around at the decor before peeking at the menu.
  118. Darkling: "It's a nice break from the home dinners." Elle agrees, pocketing her phone.
  119. Darkling: A waiter comes by to get their drink orders and hurries off to fulfill it.
  120. Darkling: "I hope you kids know I'm not an evil bitch." Elle says.
  121. Kaimana: "Oh geez, what are they planning for us next?"
  122. Stella Lacroix: Stella briefly makes a o.O face at Elle.
  123. Darkling: "Well, you'll see tomorrow. It won't be as bad as last time."
  124. Darkling: "But really, I am against a lot of what they want to put you through, I've been through the army and they gave adults there an easier time than they give you."
  125. Kaimana: "What’s it all for?"
  126. Stella Lacroix: "I want to know that, too. But I don't expect an answer."
  127. Darkling: "Good, because no one is allowed to say. It's all hush hush top secret bullshit."
  128. Darkling: The waiter comes back with drinks. "Ready to order?"
  129. Kaimana: "The seafood combo shack bowl."
  130. Stella Lacroix: Stella mumbles a few menu items, going for a vegetarian dish tonight.
  131. Darkling: Chicken fingers for Astrid, and Elle gets seared Ahi.
  132. Stella Lacroix: "I thought so. But is there at least a general time frame before we'll get clued in? Maybe a few months down the line? A year?"
  133. Darkling: She shrugs. "When they say the word, I'll tell you."
  134. Kaimana: "How long are we stuck with NERV? Can we leave when we hit eighteen?"
  135. Darkling: "I'm not sure of those, intricacies. When that time comes, I suppose someone will be around to tell you. We certainly couldn't hold you prisoner."
  136. Kaimana: Not the most satisfactory answer but Kai seems to accept it.
  137. Stella Lacroix: Stella just looks sulky.
  138. Darkling: "Look, I'm just trying to say I know I'm busy and things aren't exactly fun for you all the time, but please don't think I don't care."
  139. Darkling: "I want to keep you happy and do what I can for you, despite the pressure on me to whip you into little children soldiers."
  140. Kaimana: "So if I use my puppy dog eyes you'll take us to the beach more often?"
  141. Stella Lacroix: "I believe you." Stella mutters. "Astrid seems at least a little in the loop and she's not a quivering wreck."
  142. Darkling: She reaches over and strokes Astrid’s hair, the girl has been doodling with crayons on her placemat the whole time.
  143. Darkling: Food arrives and smells delicious, Astrid instantly picks up a chicken finger and starts eating it without utensils.
  144. Kaimana: As if she's the only one that eats chicken fingers like that. Kai doesn't seem to mind, digging into her shack bowl.
  145. Stella Lacroix: Stella nibbles at hers in tiny portions, the topic having soured her appetite a bit.
  146. Darkling: The food is great at least. Despite the conversation.
  147. Kaimana: Kaimana doesn't seem bothered by the silence, gaze wandering the shake as she shovels food in with gusto. With Stella seemingly immune to her charms she needed something else nice to look at.
  148. Stella Lacroix: "Have any of you eaten a shark before?"
  149. Darkling: "I can't say I have." Elle says, eating her food sparingly.
  150. Kaimana: "Just the other way around."
  151. Stella Lacroix: "Ever wanted to try one?"
  152. Kaimana: "Nah. Too many people do already, bad for the sharks."
  153. Stella Lacroix: "Wouldn't that be a good thing?"
  154. Darkling: "People in general are bad for sharks."
  155. Kaimana: "Sharks are super important. We only get bit because the ocean is theirs."
  156. Stella Lacroix: "What's so important about them? Seems like you could say any given species is important."
  157. Kaimana: "I don't wanna go all hippie but partly because every animal has a right to live and they shouldn't be endangered. Also as a predatory species they help curb the overpopulation of other species. They keep the food chain in balance."
  158. Darkling: "I'd like to be a shark." Astrid pipes up and chomps down hard on one of her chicken fingers menacingly.
  159. Stella Lacroix: "Why would you like to be a shark?"
  160. Darkling: This seems to catch her off guard and she has to think about it.
  161. Darkling: "Um. Cause..."
  162. Stella Lacroix: Stella looks amused at the notion anyway.
  163. Kaimana: "Sounds cool Astrid."
  164. Darkling: She goes back to her chicken fingers.
  165. Darkling: "Once dinner is done, we'll hit that surf shop you wanted to go to and head home." Elle says, changing the conversation.
  166. Kaimana: "Awesome."
  167. Stella Lacroix: Stella picks up her pace. Going home does sound nice.
  168. Darkling: Soon enough dinner is finished and paid for and they're making their last stop, the sun starting to get close to setting for the evening.
  169. Kaimana: Kai gives the shaka to anyone looking as the group enters, immediately looking in her element again.
  170. Stella Lacroix: Stella gives the wares a cursory glance.
  171. Darkling: Plenty of swimsuits and general beachwear here, as well as full wetsuits, surfboards, maintenance accessories and what not.
  172. Darkling: The shop keep gives the shaka back to Kaimana and goes back to jamming out to the music playing, dreadlocks bouncing to the beat.
  173. Stella Lacroix: "Do they sell charms to ward off jellyfish in places like this? Maybe we could get one for Leon..."
  174. Kaimana: "Maybe, best to try the checkout counter." Kai is comparing two different containers of board wax, a new shirt already slung over her shoulder.
  175. Stella Lacroix: Stella goes over to the counter to look around there, not having the slightest clue what an anti-jellyfish charm would look like.
  176. Darkling: "Greetins my lovely lass, wut can I help ya with?" The shop keep asks in an overly friendly manner.
  177. Stella Lacroix: "Hello. Do you sell anything to ward off jellyfish?" Stella says a bit awkwardly.
  178. Darkling: "Of course we do." He reaches over the counter and grabs a tube of shark repellent. "Says it's fer sharks ya, but keeps away all the critters out there."
  179. Stella Lacroix: Stella gives it a look for a while. Not quite what she expected. "How much is it?"
  180. Darkling: "For the lady, it's only $6.95"
  181. Kaimana: Kaimana comes up alongside Stella, putting down her wax and three different shirts. "This stuff too bruv."
  182. Darkling: He gives his best genuine 'this is a deal' smile.
  183. Stella Lacroix: "It's actually for a friend, but sure. I'll take a tube."
  184. Darkling: "Getting anything Kaimana?" Elle asks.
  185. Kaimana: "Just the necessities."
  186. Darkling: "Astrid?" She looks around for the albino girl, only to see her trying to put a wetsuit on overtop her dress.
  187. Kaimana: "You could just try mine on at home, Astrid."
  188. Darkling: She seems quite stuck but determined. "I'm not as tall as you." She yanks on it and manages to get an arm through before falling over.
  189. Stella Lacroix: "Shouldn't be too hard getting one your size, right?" She walks over and offers a hand up.
  190. Kaimana: Kai rolls her eyes and smiles, going to help Astrid back up. "Here's a tip. You need to be naked inside one of these."
  191. Darkling: Both of the girls pick up the Astrid ball and she pulls the wetsuit off with their help. "Oh, that makes sense." She says, and the new dress comes up off over her head.
  192. Stella Lacroix: "You should wait until we're at home first. Save it for the pool, hm?"
  193. Kaimana: "Stella's right. No stripping in public okay?"
  194. Darkling: "Oh." She looks quite confused but complies like normal and brings her dress and the wetsuit over to the counter.
  195. Darkling: "Thank you for helping her." Elle says to them both.
  196. Kaimana: "Psh, null persp."
  197. Stella Lacroix: "It was no trouble."
  198. Darkling: Elle pays for their things gathers up the bags and heads out. "Time to go home."
  199. Stella Lacroix: Stella heads out as well.
  200. Kaimana: Kai follows, carrying all their bags.
  201. Darkling: ---------------------------
  202. Darkling: Saturday morning, everyone was woken up nice and early again and served a hearty breakfast by their favourite maidbot PAM, before being jet trained to the headquarters.
  203. Darkling: As they stepped off the train and Elle guided them through the halls towards the elevator she tried to explain what they would be doing today.
  204. Darkling: "So, today they want to teach you some combat." She presses the call elevator button. "So you'll be learning some simple sparring, and then they want to test you out in a high-tech simulator to see how you do."
  205. Stella Lacroix: Stella barely ate. All day she's been especially sluggish and quiet. Combat does not seem like something she's prepared for today.
  206. Kaimana: Kai wasn't looking the most chipper today either, though she was still full of energy. She spent a lot of it bouncing a rubber ball off different surfaces as they went.
  207. Darkling: Inside the elevator she hit the 5th floor button, and it started its journey up.
  208. Leon: Leon was fairly indifferent feeling. He had a good sized breakfast, but he definitely wasn't looking forward to another day of NERV mystery tests.
  209. Darkling: Upon reaching the destined floor she escorted them down a few halls that were much sparser of personnel than the last places you had been through were.
  210. Darkling: Eventually you reach a room that is dressed up like a dojo. Bamboo mats lined the floor and walls, there were sparring weapons on racks, as well as some protective equipment and a few dummies.
  211. Darkling: Roberta and Jackson were waiting within.
  212. Kaimana: Kai looks far from enthused.
  213. Stella Lacroix: Stella doesn't, either. But then she didn't look very enthused before entering the room.
  214. Darkling: Roberta pumps her fists together. "Hello kidlings! Am glad you make it!"
  215. Darkling: "Today, do not worry, no tricks, no cannons. Just teaching."
  216. Kaimana: Just what Kai wanted, more bruises to treat.
  217. Darkling: "First, let us see vat you can do. Come, stand in line over here."
  218. Stella Lacroix: "Will we ever get to fire cannons?" Stella asks listlessly as she moves into line.
  219. Erika Jackson: The military woman crossed her arms when they entered, it seemed like she was silently judging them. Probably because she was.
  220. Kaimana: The native girl pockets her rubber ball and lines up.
  221. Darkling: Astrid comes over to stand in line too.
  222. Leon: Leon moves into line as the rest, waiting for the /teaching/ to begin.
  223. Erika Jackson: "Alright. You are all...Well aside from Kaimana you all need to exercise more but that's what this is." She looked over at Roberta. "What do you think?"
  224. Darkling: "I tink they need a lot of work. Have any of you fought before?"
  225. Kaimana: The pacifist of the group shakes her head.
  226. Leon: "I'm going to go with a no."
  227. Stella Lacroix: "No."
  228. Darkling: "Yeeeesh. When was twelve and little girl, was already fightink bears." Roberta shrugs, rolls her shoulder s and gets in front of the line of children.
  229. Erika Jackson: Erika stood back to watch, a small smirk on her face.
  230. Darkling: "Now, follow my movements."
  231. Darkling: She starts by taking them through a series of punches, going nice and slow at first so they can get the movements down, before picking up the place to make them sweat.
  232. Stella Lacroix: Stella doesn't seem to have a problem matching the initial pace, anyway. The punches come slow and probably on the sloppy side to anyone with fighting experience.
  233. Kaimana: Kai manages to keep pace easily enough and she can shadow the movements just fine, fit enough that her body easily does what she wants it to.
  234. Leon: Leon does fairly well at keeping pace, though his punches are by no means perfect.
  235. Darkling: Following the punches, he gets into kicks, following the same slow pattern before getting into quicker more rapid kicks that get harder and harder to follow.
  236. Kaimana: Kai's long, tone legs excel with kicks. They have good reach and can execute several before needing to put the leg back down.
  237. Stella Lacroix: The kicks give Stella some trouble. As it picks up she nearly tips over a few times.
  238. Darkling: Surprisingly Astrid seems to have no trouble keeping the pace, though you don't know how long she's lived been practicing with Roberta before you came along.
  239. Leon: The slow kicks were fine, it's when she began demanding them at rapid pacing that they were suddenly no longer as easy. While he managed to kick his balance at that pace, the kicks were much sloppier.
  240. Darkling: After the kicks, she let them take a break, passed out water bottles and some hand towels.
  241. Stella Lacroix: Stella takes a bottle and a towel, plopping down against a wall. She pants heavily and takes a chug, almost choking on it.
  242. Kaimana: Today it’s Kai that separates herself, sitting a little ways off from the others as she dries off and drinks her water.
  243. Leon: Leon takes a swig and takes a seat against the wall, at which point he takes another gulp of water. "Well, at the very least we can probably get jobs in a Kung Fu movie once they're through with us."
  244. Darkling: "Do not worry, your bodies will get stronger." Roberta says, emptying her water down her throat.
  245. Stella Lacroix: "You're alright." Stella makes a thumbs up at Roberta, then chuuuuuug.
  246. Erika Jackson: Erika nodded. "Practice. This will be part of a routine."
  247. Darkling: "It will become muscle memory." Roberta takes special care to pronounce that.
  248. Leon: "Well, suppose we can't complain about being better able to defend ourselves..."
  249. Darkling: "No. Never know when might need defend self, or others. Even if you think otherwise." She looks directly at Kai when saying that.
  250. Stella Lacroix: "It's true. And even if you do know how to defend yourself you might end up in an area that's getting torn apart by explosives and bullets." Stella mutters with a sigh.
  251. Darkling: "Alright, enough of a break." She picks up some wooden staves and hands them out to the kids. "Next we start learning basics with armed combat."
  252. Darkling: She takes them through some basics again, both with defensive and aggressive stances and movements. A good hour passes without a break before she stops. "This is good for today."
  253. Stella Lacroix: By now Stella is wobbly and a bit more pale than usual. When the word of a break comes she crumples into a little heap, looking at the floor.
  254. Darkling: She passes out some water again and pats them on the back as she goes by. It's like getting hit with a sack of bricks.
  255. Kaimana: Kai hunches her shoulders a bit after but takes it like a champ.
  256. Darkling: "You will get lunch, then we shall see you in ze simulation room."
  257. Leon: "What kind of simulation, exactly?"
  258. Darkling: "Combat, of course. Go now, eat."
  259. Darkling: Elle gets up from the chair she's been sitting in and watching this whole time and take them to a cafeteria on this floor where they are served by another rudimentary automaton.
  260. Darkling: "This was better than last week, right?" She asks, eating a celery stick.
  261. Kaimana: Kai pokes at her food, chin in hand.
  262. Leon: "I think I'll reserve judgement on that until after the simulated combat session."
  263. Stella Lacroix: Stella snacks on the food. Seems by now she's worked up an appetite.
  264. Leon: With that said, Leon turns to eating as who knows how long it will be before they're permitted another break.
  265. Darkling: "Think of it as a really fancy video game." Elle says between bites.
  266. Darkling: "I mean, that's basically what it is, just with a lot more money put into its development."
  267. Stella Lacroix: "Have you ever played it before?"
  268. Darkling: She nods. "Most of the upper staff have tried it once or twice. Astrid has put in over 200 hours."
  269. Darkling: Astrid bites off the head of a piece of broccoli and looks up at Elle.
  270. Kaimana: "I don't usually play videogames."
  271. Darkling: "Well, then you'll just think of it as another exercise. Either way you have to do it."
  272. Leon: "Is it going to become something we regularly do, like Astrid?"
  273. Darkling: "Yes." She chomps on a baby carrot.
  274. Darkling: Once they'd had their fill she gets them all up and following her through halls once again.
  275. Stella Lacroix: Stella moves on, showing a bit more enthusiasm. A video game couldn't be that bad, right?
  276. Darkling: This time when they enter a room it looks more like a lab setup than before. Five large egg like pods sit facing each other in a pentagram. The walls are covered in windows, and even a second floor window full of people watching and working on equipment.
  277. Kaimana: "Geez, always an audience in these labs."
  278. Leon: "Well, we are their little pet project."
  279. Darkling: "Most of these people here aren't specifically here to watch you, but to monitor the program." Elle states.
  280. Darkling: Then she points to the second floor window. "Those people are here to monitor you."
  281. Darkling: In the window you can recognize Roberta and Jackson. Beside them you see a tall bald man with a pair of half glasses on. He looks completely serious about what is going on. Beside him and talking to Roberta is a large, native-looking man. Whatever he is going on about he is quite animated.
  282. Darkling: "That's The Commander and Vice-Commander of this operation, and in charge of everyone here, including you."
  283. Darkling: "And myself" She adds a bit sullenly.
  284. Kaimana: Kai gives a sniff at the notion of anyone being 'in charge' of her but keeps comments to herself.
  285. Leon: "Huh, so they're the big cheeses? Are they always around here?"
  286. Darkling: "Almost always." She answers.
  287. Darkling: "Ah, and that is Charles. He and his team made these things." A rotund bearded man with unkempt hair and t hick glasses almost waddles up to the group.
  288. Darkling: "You give my team too much credit!" He says loudly. "I built it ALL!" He sneers a maniacal grin.
  289. Stella Lacroix: Stella's lips twitch at what might have been an attempt at a smile as she pictures Charles going through the exercise routine.
  290. Leon: He's like a penguin. A fat one, that is. "Right... so as you built and designed it then... you can explain what exactly we'll be doing?"
  291. Darkling: "So, it's like this. You climb in these things. They're designed to turn a full 360 degrees in any direction, pretty cool right? Then, you put on these freaking awesome VR helmets, much better than those cheap ones you can buy on the market that you build with cardboard and your phone, just no porn in the simulators okay?"
  292. Darkling: He guffawed at his own joke then continued unabated. "Then we throw all sorts of things at you. Ever seen that movie where they were all controlled by robots and in a program? Just like that, but with you as the super cool kick ass heroes!" He does some mock karate and it is clear he's never been in one of Roberta's lessons.
  293. Leon: "So essentially, this is the Kung Fu Movie Simulator?"
  294. Darkling: "Well no. It can simulate almost anything. We use it for combat mostly."
  295. Darkling: "Enough dilly dallying though! Let's get you all hooked up, come on!"
  296. Stella Lacroix: Stella moves in to get hooked up. Overall she seems impressed with the tech.
  297. Kaimana: Kaimana doesn't understand it enough to be impressed.
  298. Leon: Leon moves into his own egg device and sets about getting hooked up. "Are hedgehogs going to be the first level then?"
  299. Darkling: "I mean, we can do hedgehogs if you want." Charles says. "Or pink walruses." He gives a shrug.
  300. Stella Lacroix: "Whatever's normal."
  301. Leon: "... No, that was evidently a miss-aimed joke. I'm fairly certain I don't want to run an animal fighting simulation."
  302. Darkling: Getting everyone hooked up involves pretty much what he said. The inside of the pods contain a comfortable reclined chair. There is a joystick for each hand, pedals that attach to their feet, and a helmet that hangs down from the ceiling to clamp over their heads. It takes very little time at all, and then the pods close around each of the kids and leave them in blackened silence.
  303. Stella Lacroix: A rather strange sensation for Stella. Not quite an isolation tank, but certainly something that approaches it.
  304. Darkling: A minute or two later, what might seem a lot longer in complete silence and pitch black, your eyes and ears are filled with light and sound and you can see each other, or computer generated facsimiles of each other, in a wide open white space that goes on forever.
  305. Leon: "Huh, well this is interesting." Leon says as he takes a look around, first at the surrounding white void and then at their artificial bodies. "VR huh?"
  306. Darkling: You hear a loud tapping noise a voice echoes through the white void, belonging to Charles. "Alright kids, this is your gracious overlord and savior speaking! We're going to get you started with a few basics to get used to the simulation and make sure you don't get motion sickness."
  307. Kaimana: Kai winces first the sudden transition from black to blinding white and then at Charles as he speaks.
  308. Stella Lacroix: Stella looks down at her chest, comparing the size of it now to its appearance in reality.
  309. Darkling: The white ground beneath you starts to whirl past at an intense speed, though because it is the same white as the sky you're not quite sure how you know this. In a moment though real ground is speeding past your feet and you're in an empty grassy field on a hillside, the ocean far off in the distance and the sun in the sky.
  310. Darkling: The movement might be a little jarring at first.
  311. Stella Lacroix: Stella stays on her feet. Perhaps focusing on her breasts instead of the surrounding area shielded her from the worst of the effects.
  312. Kaimana: "Urg, nope, this VR stuff sucks." She puts a hand over her mouth.
  313. Leon: "Or at least rapid- Ugh..." Leon starts but doesn't finish, stopping himself until his stomach would decide to agree with him again.
  314. Darkling: Virtual Astrid just watches them all blankly. It was quite lifelike for her actually.
  315. Darkling: "Alright, we're going to load up some weapons for you, take your pick."
  316. Darkling: Some simple weapons materialize in front of them, all varieties and shapes from swords and shields, to axes, staves, bows, guns, knives, what have you.
  317. Kaimana: Kai sighs as she looks them over, eventually picking something like a lance.
  318. Darkling: "Once you have something picked out, give it a swing around, feel how the controls react to your movements, you can move around too, like you would naturally."
  319. Darkling: Astrid has picked what look like punching daggers and is skipping around happily in circles.
  320. Leon: A few moments later after his stomach is on good terms with the rest of him again Leon goes to look over the weapons. "Right then..." Leon mutters to himself as he looks them all over, before deciding on a combination of pistols and holsters for emergency close range and a bow and quiver for ranged. "I'll be the Archer then."
  321. Stella Lacroix: Stella goes for a spear. Long and pointy. She mostly uses it for pokes, probably trying to keep an imaginary opponent in the distance.
  322. Kaimana: "That just doesn't seem right," Kai says as she watches the almost surreal display from the armed Astrid.
  323. Leon: "Well, that depends entirely on how realistic he's going to make our simulated enemies. All things considered, he evidently can make them very life-like if he wants."
  324. Darkling: "First up is some target practice. We'll load up some dummy targets for you to whack at before we get into something simulated."
  325. Darkling: You see about two dozen red dummies materialize around you and in the distance. They have humanoid forms but are solid red and fractaled like glass in appearance.
  326. Erika Jackson: "Remember the forms you were taught earlier. You learned em for a reason."
  327. Kaimana: "To fight fake dummies in a computer?" One of the dummies gets a poke from the tip of her lance.
  328. Leon: "I'm also fairly certain we've yet to have a combat archery lesson." Leon says as he draws and lets loose an arrow into a dummy.
  329. Darkling: The poked dummy erupts and shatters like glass, blasting away from the lance.
  330. Darkling: In a similar fashion the dummy hit with the arrow explodes.
  331. Darkling: You hear another smash as Astrid dances around a dummy and jabs it with her punching daggers.
  332. Kaimana: "At least she's having fun." Another dummy gets an unenthusiastic poke.
  333. Erika Jackson: "Put some uhmph behind it Kaimana. This isn't just a game."
  334. Darkling: It crumples to the ground and shards that slowly sink into the virtual ground.
  335. Leon: "Well, it also is a game, since I don't believe there are quivers of infinite arrows in real life." Leon says as he fires off a few more arrows.
  336. Stella Lacroix: Stella starts stabbing dummies. It seems like something that qualifies as at least somewhat fun for her.
  337. Kaimana: "Sure looks like one to me," she mutters, looking up at the digital sun.
  338. Darkling: "Let's see how you do with some moving targets." Some more dummies spawn in, these ones moving around, though not interacting with you yet. Just side to side, up or down, basic maneuvers.
  339. Kaimana: It’s easy enough to bop one on the head with her lance, the look on her face a lot like the one Stella usually had.
  340. Leon: Moving targets, that's more of a challenge. Leon now begins taking a little more time between shots to aim and lead before firing.
  341. Erika Jackson: "I think they need some more inspiration Charles. Let's ramp it up some more."
  342. Darkling: "Yes sir." All the current dummies disappear. "Loading basic aggression levels. Alright kids, this one isn't going to play nice."
  343. Darkling: A much bigger looking dummy appears in front of them, this one holding a staff of its own.
  344. Darkling: As soon as it materializes fully it takes an aggressive stance and swings the staff out in front of them all.
  345. Kaimana: "You know what might inspire us? Understanding what this has to do with all the secrecy you mire us in. If it’s to test some stupid home VR system you've taken it waaay too seriously."
  346. Stella Lacroix: So it's got range, too. Stella goes back a bit, looking to get out of range for the time being.
  347. Leon: Leap, leap back! If there was one lesson from the water cannon test, it was moving out of the way. Leon leaps back out of the way and back steps to keep some distance between them before readying another arrow to fire at the dummy.
  348. Kaimana: Virtual hands rest of virtual hips, the young girl tired of what her teenage brain files away under nonsense.
  349. Darkling: With a clear opening the dummy swings the staff and clocks Kaimana clear in the stomach sending her virtual self backwards and her pod spinning with her.
  350. Kaimana: Good thing she didn't eat lunch when they had their break or she might be wearing some of it now. She can handle sports but this VR stuff was really messing with her and she was growing irritated.
  351. Stella Lacroix: "I propose Kaimana and I keep it at bay while Leon shoots it. Maybe attack from different sides." Stella takes up what probably qualifies as a defensive stance, watching the dummy and getting ready to stab it if it moves in any closer.
  352. Darkling: The dummy is mostly keeping its distance, feinting now and then towards them, but mostly it appears to be waiting for an opening.
  353. Leon: "Works for me." Leon says as he lets loose an arrow at first opportunity towards the Dummy.
  354. Kaimana: "Let’s just get this done with." She carries her virtual self over to the extra-large dummy and harasses it with her lance.
  355. Stella Lacroix: And as Kaimana moves in Stella does her best to maneuver to the opposite side, making an occasional poke.
  356. Darkling: The dummy easily parries the arrow and incoming lance, dancing away from them, keeping its distance with the staff.
  357. Darkling: Suddenly you hear a blood curling scream and you see Astrid run up behind the think, eyes wide and full of blood lust as she pounces up and on the dummy, stabbing and crashing through it.
  358. Kaimana: "Geez." Kai drops her lance.
  359. Darkling: "Alright, I think you get the jist of what's going on here. Loading up additional combatants."
  360. Erika Jackson: "I'd pick that back up if I were you, Kaimana."
  361. Kaimana: "It's a game, what’s the problem if I lose?" She picks it back up anyway.
  362. Darkling: With that comment a staff jabs her in the shoulder sending her backwards as a dummy materializes in front of her and around everyone else.
  363. Darkling: The dummies go into what could only be called a frenzy, there's two of them for each of you and they're quite intent of making you sweat.
  364. Stella Lacroix: Even with her slowed state in mind Stella is pretty keen on not getting hurt, ducking, moving to the side, and leaping backwards. The surprise and the focus on defense show in her attacks, most of them being on the clumsy side.
  365. Kaimana: A good thing there's no physical activity involved then. Kai is irritated though and while she doesn't take the game seriously she's looking to be done. While combat may not her thing...at all...years of sports have left her with enough hand-eye coordination to get the job done with the lance.
  366. Leon: Leon quickly lets fly an arrow at the first of the two new ones to charge him, but after that it went downhill. The arrow slowed it, but not enough for Leon to avoid their frenzied attacks. The blows caused him to drop his bow after the less than pleasant initial sensation of being struck, and his follow up attempts to avoid them didn't fare as well either.
  367. Darkling: Meanwhile in between them the three of you and the dummies Astrid is lunging and dodging and strafing and stabbing, screaming and grunting like a rabid animal after prey, taking out dummy after dummy and cleaning up any that the rest of you miss.
  368. Darkling: In all the simulation only takes a few minutes to wrap up, but you get the feeling of an intense workout in that short of time and are left panting amid the mess of shattered dummies everywhere.
  369. Stella Lacroix: Triumph.Stella stares at the wreckage of the dummies, and then Astrid. Kind of inspiring how she turned out to be so rabid.
  370. Darkling: Astrid is already back to her placid self, kicking around the pieces on the ground with her feet.
  371. Kaimana: What in the heck had so many hours in this stupid pod done to Astrid?
  372. Darkling: "Alright, I'm being told we're done for today." Charles voice pops up in your ears again. "Unloading the program."
  373. Darkling: Everything goes black, and you have the sensation of depressurizing in your pod as the helmet lifts off you and the door opens up with a hiss.
  374. Darkling: Elle is there alongside Dr. Smith to help you out of the pods one by one as the Doc gives you each a quick look over. "You might feel a little wobbly coming out of the simulator. It takes some getting used to." She tells you.
  375. Darkling: "There's some cookies and juice to get your sugar levels up if you need it." Astrid is already over at the table grabbing a snack.
  376. Darkling: Up in the window on the second floor you can see the Commander having a discussion with the others present.
  377. Stella Lacroix: Stella staggers over to the table to do just that.
  378. Leon: "Right... cookies and juice, the universal solution..." Leon says as he wobbles over towards the snack table, hand on his forehead to fight the still lingering nausea from his virtual beat down.
  379. Kaimana: Kai has a few sips of juice before squatting down, head practically between her knees to fight off the lingering motion sickness she felt.
  380. Darkling: Elle's phone rings and she picks up, walking away to talk.
  381. Darkling: "Did you like the game?" Astrid asks as she sips on the juice.
  382. Kaimana: "They've let you play it way too much hun."
  383. Stella Lacroix: "I could get used to it."
  384. Darkling: "I have the high score." She smiles proudly.
  385. Leon: "I think I'm going to need more practice, if we're going to keep doing this. You're really good at it though, Astrid."
  386. Darkling: Elle hangs up the phone and comes back over. "We're clear to go home, you have the rest of the day off."
  387. Darkling: Getting home didn't take too long. Elle didn't really say much the short trip, but did say that you were free to do whatever you wished and she'd let them know when dinner was ready.
  388. Stella Lacroix: For Stella the path is clear. Go directly to room. Shower.
  389. Kaimana: Kai may have the same thing on her mind, heading to her own bedroom.
  390. Leon: Exhausted, Leon heads to his room as well.
  391. Darkling: Astrid watches them all go their separate ways then goes skipping outside.
  392. Kaimana: After a quick shower to wash away the sweat Kai takes a seat on her bed to dry her hair. Maybe this place wasn't for her? Too many secrets, too much distance. Only Astrid had warmed up to her and that was still...debatable.
  393. Darkling: You see Astrid skip by outside, happy and blissful as if this was a normal life.
  394. Kaimana: She works to dry her hair more aggressively, trying to distract herself from letting her thoughts run too wild. There was plenty she didn't want to dwell on, on top of the more immediate issues.
  395. Leon: After his shower Leon sat on his bed to compensate today's training. One thing was certain, whatever it was they wanted from them, it was going to involve combat. To think, he had been sold to NERV to become a child soldier. This was definitely a bad movie plot. "Ha..." Well, just one thing to do then. Pass time. And so he heads out to his terrace, picks up his bow, and does some more downward archery practice from the terrace down past the pool area.
  396. Stella Lacroix: Stella eventually goes downstairs and flops down on a couch, considering the child soldier angle as well. It fits well enough with Astrid's display earlier. Eventually she decides it's not all that pressing and that there are more urgent things to see to. "PAM, I need a lemonade."
  397. Darkling: PAM floats into view. "One lemonade coming up Madame."
  398. Darkling: --------------------------
  399. Darkling: Night time rolls around, and for most after a day of exercise and testing sleep comes easy, but for some reason you're wide awake Kaimana, and sleep does not seem to be your friend at all.
  400. Kaimana: She gave a huff as she stared up at the ceiling, eventually kicking her legs in frustration. "Argh!" She sat up and hit her mattress, frustration setting in. Before NERV she could have done something to tire herself out more. Running or some hoops, or making out with-- no. Don't let your mind go back there.
  401. Darkling: Oh, but wasn't she cute? That one night on the beach, the waves, the full moon, the freckles...
  402. Kaimana: "Gah! No! Stupid!" She jumped out of bed and went to the window looking out the front of the house. She rested her forehead on the glass, looking out into the night. "Stupid."
  403. Darkling: The pane was only slightly cool against her forehead. No moon outside to speak of tonight so most of the yard and beyond was shrouded in darkness.
  404. Darkling: Down the hall across from your room, someone else was having the same problem, well not exactly the same. Dreams of making out on a beach weren't what was keeping Stella awake.
  405. Stella Lacroix: Stella ends up staring at the ceiling for a while as she catches her breath. Damned annoying. Wide awake, too. After reaching the conclusion that further sleep is futile for the moment she turns on the light and starts brushing her hair whilst giving her reflection a flat stare.
  406. Darkling: Her reflection stared right back at her with the same flat look. At least tomorrow wasn't a school day and you weren't expected to be awake early.
  407. Stella Lacroix: Might as well leave it down for the night. Sleep will come eventually. In the meantime, time to get the distractions going. She starts tapping on a wall, going through a few different patterns.
  408. Kaimana: Her wall tapping is met with door knocking.
  409. Stella Lacroix: "Identify yourself, mortal."
  410. Kaimana: "Wha...it's Kai."
  411. Stella Lacroix: After a few moments Stella opens the door a crack to confirm. "What are you doing awake at this hour?"
  412. Kaimana: "I was about to ask you the same thing." She leans in close to the crack, doing her best to peer through it. "Got things on my mind buggin' me."
  413. Stella Lacroix: "I'm working on some music. Sitting on the music eggs until one of them hatches into something worthwhile." Stella's room probably looks a bit weird at a glance. There's some signs of girly stuff, but the most striking thing is probably the variety of drawings taped to the walls and even the ceiling. It's practically wallpaper.
  414. Kaimana: "Makin' music huh? That's cool. I just copy stuff I hear and like." Stuff she knew might impress the right kind of girl. That is, any kind of girl that might be interested in her. "Lemme guess. Piano?"
  415. Stella Lacroix: "Not thinking of a particular instrument just yet." Stella opens the door more. "I've only been at it a few minutes. I suppose it would be the neighborly thing to ask what's bothering you."
  416. Kaimana: "Well you've humored me this long, so you only need to ask if you actually care." Now you've done it Stella. Kai moves just a little bit, a foot slides in and a hand on the door. She doesn't try to open it any more but now it'll be harder to close it. "Surely you didn't just wake up with a sudden urge to be a musician."
  417. Stella Lacroix: Stella moves to a chair at a small desk on her room. "I woke up, I'm awake, and so I'm doing something I like to do until I feel like sleeping. Anyway the four of us are stuck in this weird situation. Makes us all allies if nothing else."
  418. Kaimana: "You could say that about any of the others we go to school with though, and I feel closer to some of them than I do with you and Leon." She takes that as an open invitation to enter, hands on her hips as she lets herself in to look around. She has one of the surf shack shirts on and some of her lacey black panties. "Doesn't seem right to me."
  419. Stella Lacroix: There's an awful lot of creepy drawings in there, but at least at a glance there aren't any of Kaimana, Leon, or Astrid suffering a horrible fate. "You might as well think of me as an alien from another planet. I can't speak for Leon, of course."
  420. Kaimana: An arm slips past Stella on either side, Kai's hands resting on the edge of the desk as she leans in close. "What if I want to think of you as Stella, from Earth? Is that so bad?" Her voice is lower, quieter.
  421. Stella Lacroix: "It means you're setting yourself up for social blunders and translation errors." Stella says calmly, lightly knocking on Kaimana's forehead.
  422. Kaimana: "Sounds like a normal life then. How did Seo get to be the exception?" Her breath is warm on Stella's ear before she straightens herself and goes back to looking around the room. She’s had enough of the pictures anyway.
  423. Stella Lacroix: "She's imaginative enough. Lightened the load for me when I was staying in the same home as her and in my darker moods." Stella taps idly on the desk. "Is that really what's been bugging you?"
  424. Kaimana: "That's part of it, yeah. Leon's easy enough to figure out and we're about as close to him as anyone gets I think. It’s sad, but hey. Maybe he'll open up. I've seen you with Seo though so I know there’s more to you." She took a seat on Stella's bed, resting back on her arms.
  425. Stella Lacroix: Picture of Seo wearing cat ears and a slightly risqué schoolgirl uniform staring down at you from the ceiling, Kaimana. "After all the times I've been relocated I don't care to wear it on my sleeve anymore."
  426. Kaimana: "We've all had that though. I bet even Leon. Just because NERV wants to yank us around doesn't mean we all have to be at arm’s length. Things can happen so fast Stella. Sometimes they spiral out of your control and...Boom. All you have left is some regret. I'd like to think I'd have fewer having known you better."
  427. Stella Lacroix: Stella gives Kaimana a faintly cold look. "If I were closer to my people than I was when it spiraled out of control and went boom there I think I would feel the sting of it more keenly and relive it in my dreams more vividly than I already do."
  428. Kaimana: Kai's head tilts slightly to the side. "What do you mean by that? What happened?"
  429. Stella Lacroix: "Some sort of surprise attack at the place I grew up in One moment we're having a party, the next I see people I used to know dead or dying." Stella says in a detached tone. "If anyone else survived it I don't know."
  430. Kaimana: "Jesus Christ that sounds horrible." She covers her face with her hands and falls back. "I'm sorry Stella. That's...terrible."
  431. Stella Lacroix: "Survive, make a few friends, get shipped far away to some beachy layer of hell..." Stella says, her customary gloom seeping into her tone. She looks down as well, taking a few moments to tap on the desk. "Not really eager to set myself up for another disappointment more than I already have."
  432. Kaimana: "Yeah well, I get a say in it too. Stay here. I mean...keep the door open. I'll be right back." She got up and quite literally ran, the soft carpet thankfully silencing her to a degree. When she returned she had her pillow from her room and closed the door behind her.
  433. Stella Lacroix: By the time of Kaimana's return Stella has turned on some music, very faintly. A dour expression has taken over, which is eventually directed to the pillow. "You know what I was told about those things?"
  434. Kaimana: "Two is too many but one just isn't enough?"
  435. Stella Lacroix: The stare goes to Kaimana now. "They end up absorbing a lot of a person's mental energies since people keep their heads on them so much."
  436. Kaimana: "I guess I could see that, sure." She looks at her own pillow briefly. "So. Sounds like you had a nightmare, that’s why you're awake. So I'm sleeping over. Nothing weird, just a friend helping a friend. They say having someone else's heartbeat can be really soothing." She sits down on the bed again and puts her pillow down next to Stella's.
  437. Stella Lacroix: "I have some nice music. Things that my supervisor enjoyed." Stella says quietly. "It would probably depress you. Do you favor listening to any particular type of music?"
  438. Kaimana: "Listen to whatever you want. I'm a big girl, I can take it." Probably.
  439. Stella Lacroix: "I intend to. But you didn't answer the question."
  440. Kaimana: "Oh. Uh, well...I usually listen to love songs but that’s because I try to memorize them. I guess I don't have a favorite genre or anything. What about you? What do you call this?"
  441. Stella Lacroix: "My interests are eclectic. Classical, some French pop, a bit of metal, a thing or two Seo has recommended. This one was one of Camille's favorites. A performance from not long before the singer died."
  442. Kaimana: Kai did her best to be gentle with the question, eventually asking "Tell me about Camille?"
  443. Stella Lacroix: "She saw to most of my lessons, led a lot of the ceremonies and rituals I attended, taught me music. She encouraged that and the drawings. Said it helped us communicate with higher beings." Stella cracks a brief smile, looking over to a creepier looking patch of wall drawings.
  444. Kaimana: "I dunno about higher beings but being creative is cool. I uh, I mean no insult but the group? Ceremonies...rituals...was it one of those groups that worship the giant monsters?"
  445. Stella Lacroix: "That's taking it a bit far. Spiritual beings are supposed to have attitudes and temperaments as varied as people. I don't know how seriously I take it anymore, but she was absolutely right about at least one thing."
  446. Kaimana: "What's that?"
  447. Stella Lacroix: "The sun is a hateful and atrocious cancer ball."
  448. Kaimana: "Pfffb."
  449. Stella Lacroix: "I'm glad you agree. I've studied enough of the local language to know some useful words and phrases like that one."
  450. Kaimana: "Just don't try any Pidgin in public. The locals don't like it."
  451. Stella Lacroix: "I'll keep that in mind. For now I'm going to say my prayers to Godzilla and get ready to try sleeping again." With a tiny bit of sarcasm at the mention of the prayers.
  452. Kaimana: "Hey, don't laugh, there was a group like that on one of the other islands I guess." She got herself onto the bed proper, arm under her pillow. She was on her side, perfect for snuggling against to chase away nightmares.
  453. Darkling: ==========END============
RAW Paste Data