Air Of Invasion: Prelude 1
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Alright, folks. This is gonna be a serious roleplay. This'll be done mostly on the weekends and whenever i'm free, so check back often. I won't wait for anyone or anything, but i'd like for those who join to be as invested as they can be. That said, i'm also okay for people to join whenever as long as they don't derail the plot.
A bar has just opened up in the middle of a run down urban city. For whatever reason, you were heading here, to find asylum or maybe because the rent was cheap. But, I digress. You're tired, and you've been traveling for a long time. Should you get yourself some rest at wherever you're staying? Or perhaps head into that bar over there for a drink? Your choice, I won't pressure you or anything.
An older looking boy with a blue coat would walk into the bar. His eyes were oddly blank and his expression even more so. He'd walk up to the counter and try to speak to anyone there. His tone was cold and distant with no sign of any kind of emotion.
"I don't drink. Do you serve water here? I forgot to buy some earlier."
The bartender turns over and sees the man, looking him in the eye.
"Sure, no problem."
He pulls out a plastic cup from a shelf and goes over to a faucet to fill it with water
"So, you from around here or naw?"
He hands the filled cup to the boy over the counter
Haruka would look back but it was hard to tell that his eyes were looking forward at all. He seemed to hesitate for a moment before responding.
"No, just passing through on a trip. Every so often I just have to get away. I suppose that's the same for most people though."
He'd grab the cup before pulling a medicine bottle from his coat pocket. From within he'd pull out a small looking blue capsule. He'd quickly put the capsule in his mouth and wash it down with the water.
"Thanks. Anything I should know about the area while I'm here? You seem like you'd be familiar with it."
The bartender gives a smile, letting out an amused chuckle.
"Not the place i'd want to visit, but to each their own.
Just be careful, there are some rumors going around about an abandoned textile factory. Heard the mayor was even hiring freelance investigators to look into it. Not sure if that's the kind of advice you wanted, but who knows, might be important later."
*Haruka would almost seem to show something at the mention of a job but the only response they would give was a response.*
"I see. I'll keep that in mind. Where would I find the mayor? I might want to ask about it directly.
Not necessarily to try and get hired but more out of personal curiosity."
"Ah, ol' mayor... whatseirname. You'll find them lounging around in city hall. Head uptown, you'll find it somewhere along the lines. Doubt you'll get to request an audience, though"
The bartender cracks his neck and begins brewing some fine wine.
Haruka would nod politely before making his way to the door.
"Thanks for the information. I'll be sure to remember this place if I need anything else."
If he made it out without incident then he'd then begin making his way uptown to see if he could find city hall.
Along the way, the man finds a pitch black opening in an alleyway, strikingly void of any light. But, besides that, he manages to make it to City Hall. Past all the clothes shops, general purpose stores and restaurants lies it in all its glory
Haruka would look at the building before him, almost impressed with how much nicer it seemed than the area he was in before. Without much hesitation he would try to enter the building, hoping to find a secretary or someone he could talk to.
Lo and behold, the secretary stood menacingly at the help desk, ready to turn away any seeking an audience. She noticed the tall kid walking in and shouted with a dry, nasally voice
"How can I help you today, ma'am?"
Haruka seemed unaffected by the secretary's clear attempts to throw him off by calling him ma'am. He would respond with his own emotionless tone.
"I'm an intern under a freelance detective who heard about an incident of some kind involving a textile factory. I was sent here to gather information about the job and bring it back to my boss.
Is the mayor available to speak at the moment? My boss is pretty busy so if he can't get the details soon he might not be able to take the case."
"He'll have to check his schedule"
The receptionist chortles in her ear-grating voice and lights a cigerette
Haruka just seemed to sigh but it seemed more like he was just letting out a breath than a proper sigh.
"I see, thank you for your time, sire."
He'd try to leave before allowing the secretary a chance to respond.
"Should've asked where the textile factory was...Maybe it was that way?"
Haruka would think back to the dark alleyway from before. Even if it wasn't the way he knew going back there would be a good opportunity in itself.
He'd begin to try and make his way back to where he saw the dark alley, provided he wasn't stopped for anything else.
"I'm not at liberty to give that information out."
She pulls out a newspaper and begins flipping through a newspaper, glancing with disinterest at various articles involving various homicides and revolutions. She the appears to become fixated on an article regarding lampshades. She then rotates her chair slightly to the right and places her feet on the counter
Looking back at the alleyway, he noticed that it was not only devoid of light, but it seemed to somehow take the light around it and cause it to merely... dissolve? Shadows were cast where they shouldn't. If this wasn't bad enough, the area around seemed to wrap around this void. Visible particles of color and what was once solid matter floated gradually into the darkness, some fading to nothing. The resulting view was not unlike a common art style many would be familiar with that involved tiny dots that looked blended together to the eye.
For once Haruka would be somewhat surprised by the scene before him. It wouldn't amount to much but it was something. He almost seemed happy for a moment as he smiled slightly. He brought out his right hand and began to reach towards the alleyway, wondering what could be happening around it and wether it would invoke something more in him.
"This must be what I'm looking for. It has to be..."
(edited by Haruka_Senzo)
The void, for the most part, is completely unresponsibe despite Haruka's prior assumptions. The citizens walking past it don't norice it, or they do but are high or going to work. The space around Haruka begins to slow the slightest, unnoticable bit. Along with that, he begins to feel a strong gravitational pull towards the space. If he doesn't go away, he may fall in.
Haruka saw no reason to back out now. Even if this did end up being a terrible idea in his own mind it was a better way forward than going back. He wanted to see where it would lead even if it killed him. He wanted to feel the fear of the unknown in its entirety.
He'd simply keep moving towards it, refusing to pull away.
The closer this person got to the void, the stronger it became. As soon as he got within the void's "personal bubble", his hand began to dematerialize like the surrounding matter. It didn't leave a wound, it merely amputated. It didn't "heal back up" but rather it was like the hand was just never there. He lost all feeling in it too, and possibly his ability to ever play baseball ever again. The pull was incredibly strong, but not absolute. He could still resist.
Upon realizing that he was now down a hand, Haruka would finally try to fight back against the pull. He wasn't sure how much force he'd need to get away but he also wasn't exactly too keen to find out what might happen if he got closer...besides, what he had been looking for had disappeared.
Without too much damage, Haruka had successfully broken out of the abnormality. While otherwise a severe injury, it had provided him a necessary clue. That's right, this tragic fate had given this man the invaluable information that this wasn't what he was looking for. And, as they say, failure is the first stepping stone to success. Almost immediately afterwards, the bartender walked out of his establishment. It was close by, so Haruka would've heard the door open.
Haruka would casually walk over to where he heard the door open. If he was able to spot the bartender he'd then walk up to the bartender and speak up to them in his usual emotionless tone.
"Hey, do you know what's up with that where'd dark alleyway. My hand kinda disintegrated when I reached into it. Didn't hurt or anything but kinda inconvenient to be missing a hand."
(edited by Haruka_Senzo)
The bartender is shocked and amazed
"Wait, weren't you that guy from earlier? And... ain't that something? There's... there's no way to explain that so i'm gonna leave it be. Anyways, I found out where the factory is in case you were wondering."
The man flips the open sign to closed and closes the door behind him
Haruko, not seeing much else to go off of, would follow the bartender through the door, provided he left it unlocked. He wasn't sure what he was getting himself into but seemed passive about the situation.
"So, the factory's location? I'm wondering if maybe whatever investigation is going on at the factory has something to do with that alleyway."
He's outside the bar
"Ah, yes, well it's right off the corner of this and street. Which you can get to by going down the road over there and taking a right, then a left, then straight, then left, then left again, then right. Must've passed it a thousand times, but my memory ain't what it used to be."
Haruka wouldn't show it visually but on the inside he was already lost.
"Let's see, right, left, straight left, left, right...I see. Thanks for telling me. I'm going to go take a look now. Hopefully I'll figure out what's going on."
Still somewhat internally confused Haruka would take off, trying to follow the instructions of the bartender to the best of his ability.
Haruka takes a much longer trip then he expected, with the turns seemingly longer apart each time. Eventually, he chances upon the factory. It's in ruins and the doors are boarded up, with no "investigstors" in sight. While one could possibly tear down the boards in question, it might be quite difficult for someone with only their non-dominant hand. The front entrance posed difficulty, and the moderately sized building neighbored empty alleyways.
Haruka would try to think of what would make the most sense in his given situation. It seemed the alleys might provide a better entrance but he did feel a light sense of worry over whether or not he might encounter another dark alley like the one he'd seen before.
"Right, guess I'll at least check those first."
He'd try and make his way over to one of the closest alleys to the building or at least the alley that would be the shortest walk for him.
The side of the building was much larger than the front. And it was surprisingly more spaced out and refreshing. A few things that can be noticed is a brick that had been chipped slightly, looking out of place and more depressed into the wall. There was also a mysteriously placed mirror in the wall some distance away. Along with this, there were three trash cans to the left of Haruka. Two were nearly full but one was completely empty without even a bag over it.
My internet has leveled down
Haruka would go to investigate the brick first, only lightly feeling the wall with his remaining hand to see if there was anything worth noting. If not occurred he'd move over to the mirror next.
(edited by Haruka_Senzo)
The bricks budges, if only slightly. Although, not only does it budge but it also grows in size a minute amount, causing the bricks surrounding it to srink and the size of the depression to rise. The brick is still lodged in place so it isn't terribly far in. Meanwhile, the mirror appears to be excruciatingly ordinary. All that can be seen is reflections
Haruka seemed somewhat disappointing by the mirror and tried to avoid making eye contact with himself. He'd go back to the brick and try to push it a little harder, hoping for a more meaningful result.
The harder Haruka pushed, the bigger the hole became. It grew larger each second, eventually enveloping the entire height of the wall. It not only became bigger, but heavier as well. It especially put more strain on the kid having only one hand. Despite all this, he managed to obtain some leeway after around a hour of very monotonous labor. The massive brick finally gave way to a dimly lot crevice. Since the brick was out of the wall, it was easier to push it now. A few minutes of work gave Haruka enough space to slip into the building. He saw that it was well maintenced, despite supposedly being run down. When he was all the way in, the brick slid back into the wall and shrunk to normal size, trapping him in the infrastructure. This had been the point of no return. He had shown up in a long corridor, with various rooms scattered along the left and right sides. The walls, while appearing to be brick on the outside, were actually stainless steel. The doors of the rooms were adorned with signs displaying vague descriptions and symbols. The rooms, from closet to farthest were the gender neutral bathroom on Haruka's left labeled simply "bathroom", a break room ahead of that, a room labeled "Transport" across from it, "R&D" on the right, "gym" right next to that, up/down stair across from those and a room at the end of the corridor simply labeled "Office"
Haruka would take a moment to look around. It seemed as though he was trapped here for now so he thought it would be smart to at very least try to locate anything that might be useful. The description of each room seemed oddly vague but he seemed unbothered by this fact, simply walking towards the bathroom first to investigate.
You're really gonna make me describe a bathroom?
The intruder heads into the bathroom. It has everything you might expect from a public restroom, except it was more well maintained. The floor was made of clean white marble tiles and
an assortment of urinals and stalls furnished a subsection of the room. While there wasn't much noise, a pair of black leather boots could be seen at the bottom of one of the stalls. In another subsection there were sinks for washing hands along with soap dispensers and hand driers. Across from the sinks were baby changing stations. There were also separate subsections for showers.
"Huh, so it really is just a normal bathroom. First normal thing I think I've seen today."
Haruka would walk out of the bathroom since it seemed to be completely ordinary. He'd move to the next room that seemed to have a somewhat odd label, "Transport".
Pardon me, but where would I step in?
The inside of the "Transport" room was a compact area that was slightly bigger than a closet. All it had was a mysterious machine adorned with shining panels covering its walls with long white LED lights in them. The door appeared to lead directly into the interior of such machine. The particular mechanics were too advanced for you to make out and the technology was unlike any you've ever seen. However, it was operable from the inside. There was a note with the number "1378524" on it. In addition, there was a keypad located on the interior wall of the machine, opposite the entrance.
Pardon me, but where would I step in?
Well, it wouldn't really make sense for you to show up inside the building. You can show up anywhere in the city as long as you have a reason. You can interact with any established characters met prior to Haruka having entered the facility, though
Haruka would walk into the machine, unsure of what it did but curious. He'd look at the note and keypad and guessed what it is he'd need to do to activate the machine.
"Odd, only one way to find out what this does though."
He'd input the code into the keypad and waited to see what would happen.
"Still nothing familiar."
a tall girl with long pink hair lets out as she looks around the worn down city, hopefully she'd be able to find what she was looking for before too long. For now she's been travelling for a while and was looking around for somewhere to stay, with her own home being far away as it is.
The machine emits a cold, robotic voice
"ERROR: YOU HAVE MISTAKENLY ATTEMPTED ENTRY TO YOUR CURRENT LOCATION"
A moderately sized classical motel had came into the tall girl's field of view
Haruka would grab the note if it was detachable, otherwise he'd just leave. The next room of interest was the "R&D" room. He'd move over to that one next.
With very little knowledge of the city herself, the girl decides to enter the motel to ask about for where she is, no one would keep up with local events like the locals after all
The little girl enters the motel and finds it to be small but quite hospitable. The charismatic man at the desk greets her on the way in and begins to initiate business immediately
"Greetings miss my name is Sam Seller how can I help you today? Would you like a room? A room with a view? Maybe you have some company with you and would like two?"
Haruka then enters R&D to the astonishment of the various employees and scientists crowded in the room. They all turn their heads from their notepads and clipboards to look at the person who had intruded on their experiments. One of the employees with a name tag reading "Smith Prentice" walks up to Haruka and begins interrogating him.
"Excuse me, sir. What business do you have in this branch of the company?"
"If only, I'm afraid its just me today."
Toki walks up to the desk, standing in front of it to better talk to the man on the other side, she briefly glances around at the amenities before asking
"Before I take one I was wondering what you knew about this city? I was just wondering if you knew of anything interesting around here."
Haruka would look up at the man without changing his expression. He'd answer him without hesitating.
"Sorry, I didn't think there'd be anyone in here today. I'm in the process of being transferred over from another branch. I'm not supposed to be working yet but I wanted to at least get acquainted with this building first.
Sorry to disturb you. I'll be leaving now."
He'd try to exit the room but not too quickly as to not raise any suspicion.
The man shirks back and muses momentarily
"Oh, the city? Guess you're not from around here, huh? Anyways, it's pretty big city. There's everything from arcades to bars to even old factories. However, not many people visit the industrial part of the city due to various rumors and suspicions. It's pretty big, too. If you wonder around too much you can easily get lost, especially at night. Rest assured, you can feel free to find proper lodgings here whenever you need."
Haruka leaves the room, failing to note any of the research that was being conducted. The person who interrogated him just went back to his work.
The corridor remains the same as before, except that the machine Haruka had just used was more brightly lit being noticeable from the outside of the room it was in
"You could definitely say that."
The girl grins at Sam, nodding to him before asking
"How much is it for a room for one? Oh, and maybe you can tell me more about the rumors while we're at it."
Haruka had a tinge of regret from not being able to see what they were doing in the R&D room but it seemed to risky to try and keep up with his lie. He considered himself lucky that it had even proven as effective as it was.
Instead he'd head back to the machine from before. The light was noticeable and seemed to indicate that something was about to occur. What that thing was he was unsure of.
Sam Seller gives an amused chuckle
"Well, I gotta tell you, the price is pretty nice for what it is. Just a hundo a night and you'll be afforded every luxury we have available. As for the rumors, it's just an attempt to explain certain abnormal events happening in the area along with the sudden closure of several businesses that were successful at the time."
When Haruka looked at the machine, all that had been different was that the LED panels were now activated. It didn't appear to cause any spectacular event, instead it just gave off a flash of light which eventually waned into a flicker
Toki slowly takes out the money and lays it on the counter, keeping up her friendly chat with Sam
"And what are these events exactly? Let me know all the details and I might visit this town again pretty soon."
Haruka would simply leave the machine. It seemed to just be a a few lights flickering.
"Maybe someone forgot to change the bulbs."
He'd continue down the hall, heading for the very last room labeled as "office". He wouldn't enter right away, however. At this point he knew the building was occupied and thought it smarter to put an ear up to the room first and listen for anyone inside.
Mr Seller leans in closer to Toki to tell her full story
"Well, I may not be in the know everything, but a friend of mine was actually a subject of one of those rumors. You see, he had confided in me one day that he was quitting his job because he got an offer from another company. This company, you see? It didn't exist. Or, at least, no records existed of it. But, get this. The day after he said he was quitting the company shut down. It wasn't sold, it didn't go bankrupt. It shut down. Now, i'm sure you're somewhat familiar with how corporations work or at least the commercial business. Even if you know nothing about that, isn't it little strange? How a successful business just up and closes its doors after a single employee quits? But, get this. My friend, you see, he's been missing for years. When was the last time anyone saw him, you ask? When he was walking into his old workplace to hand in a resignation letter. Now, i'm no detective, but something's obviously fishy there. And, get this, apparently he wasn't the only one who went missing that day. In fact, the only former traces of the company were the employees who stayed home the day it shut down. Even they have one foot in the grave, and still all we have right now is theories. I swear, those detective agencies don't know nuttin'!"
Haruka listens to the faint ramblings of the man inside, appearing to be whispering on the phone. He can't make anything out.
"That's definitely concerning... Think there's some kind of conspiracy then? Anything that can cover an entire office disappearing is definitely trouble."
Toki replies casually, apparently not taking in the full implication of her own statement, she nods to him
"Thanks for your help, I think I'll check it out in the morning, mind showing me to my room?"
This whole situation was beginning to confuse the boy. Even with his usual demeanor he wasn't sure what to make of it. It felt as though something bigger was going on here between the dark alleyway, the strange machine in the transport room, and the group of scientists. He didn't feel he had many other places to go so he'd knock on the office door and see if there was a response.
"Why, most certainly!"
Sam escorts Toki to a room inside the motel, opening the door for her and handing her the key. The inside is just as hospitable as it was advertised. There's air conditioning, a shower, television and a laptop with windows 10 installed. The bed is also neat and orderly.
The voice Haruka heard on the other side of the door paused briefly. It then mumbles something and stops alltogether. Footsteps can be heard coming towards the boy. Suddenly, the door was opened and on the other side of it was a tall, handsome man with posture and etiquette befitting a royal. His square chin pointed to the person talking to him as he sized the kid up. The handsome man let out a rigid smile with his lips
"How may I help you?"
"Thank you for the help, have a good night, alright?"
Having had a long day, Toki sets down her bag by the bed and takes a quick shower before readying herself to sleep, its late enough that she doesn't even take the effort to check the TV or laptop
Haruka would look up at the man and try to speak more properly. It seemed as though he was oddly used to speaking in a more formal tone yet it was hard for him to add any emotion to his voice.
"I seem to have stumbled onto this place by mistake. Once I entered I became trapped here as well. Would you mind telling me where I am?"
He would then also bring up his arm with the missing hand to ask a followup question.
"Also, my hand seems to have disappeared and I'm not sure how. Could you maybe help me find it?"
The handsome man looks in astonishment at his guest's hand. He placed his own hands on his head on astonishment
"Oh my god, it's worse than I thought. Listen, your hand cannot be recovered. It's gone permanently. We can't do anything about that, but we can make you a new one. All I ask in return is that you keep our presence here a secret."
"Alright, I didn't come here to expose this place or anything. I just wanted to see if I could find some thrills. Didn't think I'd lose a hand though."
He was calm, even after being told that his arm was gone forever. The fact didn't seem to bug him in the least bit and he seemed to agree almost too quickly.
The man breathes a heavy sigh of relief, extending his hand for a shake and then introducing himself
"Thank you, and allow me to formally introduce myself. My name is Itachi Naga, CEO of this somewhat shady company"
he chuckles, then leading Haruka through the building, warning him not to ask about what goes on in any of the rooms. He then opens a clear, white door for Haruka while passing a paper on a clipboard and pen to him
"Please, sign this waiver."
The waiver, should the choice to read it be made, contains really complicated legal stuff. We can't held liable if something goes wrong, you revoke your right to privacy, ww own your soul, blah, blah, etc.
Haruka looked around, just as unsure of what the place he was in was as he had been before. When they arrived in the white room and had the waiver handed to him he wasn't too sure what to make of it. It seemed like trouble to him but not having a hand was equally as troubling.
Not seeing any reason not to sign it he simply decided it'd be best to go along with it for now.
"My name is Haruka Senzo."
He'd sign the document before passing it back to the man.
"It's nice to meet you Mr. Naga. What's going to happen now? You said you'd get me a new arm? What exactly did you mean by that?"
Itachi wipes the sweat off his brow and puts one hand in his pocket and another at the back of his neck, scratching his back. He then waves this hand at his hip like a lecturing pastor.
“Well, i’ll be frank, it’s just some light surgery. It might hurt a little, but nothing you can’t handle. But, more importantly, there’s a catch. You see, these arms aren’t exactly meant for amputees. They’re actually prototypes of an advanced weapon, meant to combat the rapid degradation of this world. Now, i’ve decided it’d be immoral to charge you what this is worth, but I don’t think i’d be asking too much of you to allow our team to collect and analyse feedback on it while you go about your everyday life. That wouldn’t be too much to ask, would it?”
"I've already signed that document. At this point you can do whatever you want to me and it'd be too late back out, right? Besides, sounds like a good deal to me. I get an arm to replace the one I lost and all I have to do in return is let you collect some data. I've got nothing to hide anyway."
Haruka seemed to ready himself for whatever was about to come next. He already knew the procedure would no doubt involve pain and regardless almost was glad about that. Perhaps some pain was exactly what he needed at that moment.
Good, I was hoping you’d say that. Now, let’s commence without further delay.”
Haruka is led into the room and the surgeon briefs him on the procedure. He gets injected with a needle, causing his senses to go numb. He then drifts into an unconscious state.
When awoken, Haruka found himself in a strange chrome room with no windows or doors. He notices a sensation in the now surgically implanted armed. A static voice resonates from the machine
“Mr. Senzo? Mr. Senzo, do you read? Do you have control of your central nervous system? If so, try out one of the basic functions of the prototype. Simply put, it should allow you to manipulate the wavelengths of the light around you, creating a distortion effect on the air to varying intensities.”
"I'm not sure I fully understand but I'll try to see what I can do..."
Haruka would feel somewhat worried with his new arm but the feeling felt distant to him. He tried to see if he could move his new arm and perhaps weild whatever power the voice had described to him.
He'd start slowly, just trying to lift his arm and moving it through the air above him.