Watching Kalib die was... Disheartening. He was a good friend. Sure he ran into strings of bad luck, but he made do with it. An everyday hero.
When Watson enters I get a little startled, everything we had done, gone in a flash. This person was powerful and knowledgeable, better be careful around them. What was especially concerning though was talk of the soul. Ours were special somehow. We could be revived but Kalib couldn't? I feel my own soul rumble as I think. Furthermore, there were others before us? Perhaps... Perhaps those that disappear from site...
Well I won't be one of them.
Hm.. I'm getting out of here one way or another Liam, that's all I'm going to worry about for now.
You mentioned the elevator right Watson? Do we just keep moving till we find the exit?
As Kalib dies my face below the mask goes dark, very dark... And of course then we have the man who looks like Quin, Yu I assume. Him speaking with Kaz draws me over as my armor quickly dissolves down to the liquid it's forged from.
"People might be fakes huh...? Bold words, but you could be right I guess. I'd rather think I'm not though, and as Kaz said it's kinda best to run with it for now."
RP Hub, 'The Illumanti', all that bullshit which happened back then. Petty crap in hindsight, but at the time it somehow seemed vaguely important to the extent that such things can be 'important'.
"I can tell ya I remember all that too though. Mistakes such as trying to deal with Yuki's group via bullshit rather than either reason or simply not dealing with them any longer. No sense dwelling in the past though, I'd rather try to learn more about this whole thing."
With that I go quiet, cork placed back inside my flask once more as I just stand staring toward this 'Walton' fellow. Maybe he can give us some answers, maybe he's a foe as well. Whatever the case is, others have already asked some of my most pressing questions. So I turn to address who I assume is Mona. Maybe.
"As for me being good at this, not really. H2O is just made for being a cheap bastard and in part, I had the source of his power helping me out. This suit is user-friendly, so long as you can use it without dying."
Walton catches the tossed grimoire with fluid motion and then places it on the welcome desk in front of him. It's clear that you or one of the others will have to approach the front desk if the grimoire is to be retrieved. Walton then pulls out a tiny card with a script already written on it. He looks to you with bored eyes and reads out the script in a tired tone.
Welcome to the first life velvet room.
Thank you for dying and arriving at our little oasis in the margins of existence. I am excited to provide you with a relaxing and enjoyable stay as you try to work your way through each life. It's your attempts at returning to the real world that will make your time here exceptional.
With the formalities finished it is important to note that all of our guests are still equipped with a body, mind, and soul for any outside excursions. If you made it here in one piece then congrats it seems your body and mind are fine.
Your soul is another matter.
The soul is the boundary of living that balances out logic and instinct.
It is what retains your sense of self in the following obstacles you may face.
The velvet room is unable to guarantee the safety of your soul since it is a fragile instrument that can break under manipulation. Thus, I assume no responsibility should your soul deteriorate under the pressure of fate or free will.
For your safety I have provided a list of activities that may be harmful to the soul ....
- Dying continuously
- Giving in to the machinations of a body or mind that is not you own
- Manipulation against your will
- Awakening new sides of the self
If these risky behaviors have already been engaged with then you may show symptoms of ...
- Blacking out
- Memory loss
- Hearing voices
- Personality shifts
- Acute head pain
- Erratic behavior
These are the signs of soul deterioration. Everyone experiences them differently, but all can be harmful to your chances of returning.
Walton solemnly stares at where Kalib once was before finishing the rest of the card.
I hope you appreciate your stay in the velvet room and will do anything I can to make it one to remember.
Walton places the card in one of his pockets and bows once finished. He then puts both of his gloved hands on the desk as he leans forward to point to one of the blue elevators.
To begin your journey you must take the elevator to a new life. Be warned that not all lives are pleasant and the key you have leads to a particularly nasty one. Also only six may enter at a time while the rest must wait here in the velvet room. It wasn't an issue with the previous group given that they had three people, but the elevator can only allow a certain many to travel.
“So the whole point of this is to return to the real world? I’m not sure what... nevermind. Getting back home is better than being stuck here with a soul as fragile as a paper bag.”
I keep the symptoms and causes in mind. Maybe it’s a good thing that I didn’t get a Persona... I lick a little blood off my claws and step forward.
“I’d rather get this over with. I can drop out if too many people want in, but right now I’ll hop in with the elevator group. But before that, those three people were Nigor, Kalib, and... someone else, right?”
I tilt my head at our dear attendant. If others were here before us, it would be a good idea to learn about them.
I nod my head at who was Gamma, applauding the attendant and walking over to pick up my grimoire. Perking up when he describes the symptoms of soul damage.
"Some few afflictions share those symptoms. How can one be certain all of that is a result of soul damage?"
Afterwards, I head towards the elevator and look down at Cait. I then turn back to the rest of the group and swing my hand in the air, speaking loudly and clearly.
"If our team is limited, we should prioritize those who can hold their own, as well as best support each other. It would be a simple matter if combat was all that was involved, but there's no telling what lies ahead. I'll go as the medic, and i'd like to take Tatsuya along as a tank. As modest as he is, I foresee him being a staple in our team. As for the rest, someone who could gather supplies or build shelters may be necessary. Has anyone been out hunting before?"
"This answers my question... But."
I think for a moment about what else I want to ask. I've got two things in mind, but one is more important I'd say.
"Will we face more enemies out there? If so, what will they be? Shadows? Demons? More characters?"
So as far as I know, I can't fix my soul..... Crap. That's not good.... So I can't act too much like Ina, or act too much like me.
"Thanks, I'll try to keep that in mind."
I stand up and look at the elevator. This is dangerous, but necessary. I'm ready.
That's a pretty good guess Catto, didn't even think of it that way, but if it was those two, then chances are that the third person is...
[Suddenly I feel like the cliché lightbulb just went off inside and then exploded. So far, the only other person that could be it would be Mish. After all, it was the only other voice we've seen, and already we've met two of her characters. Is it possible she was inside of them, too? But being controlled by something else. It's weird, Nigor and Kalib didn't act the same exact way despite being taken over. Which could either mean that she's around but somewhere else, maybe even in an important position. Another is that she was simply an illusion.]
Mish, it has to be Mish.
Did anyone else hear her voice? I know some of you should be able to recognize it.
Of course I do, but I need to be sure this isn't just some trick.
[Looking at the key once more and taking mental note of the information given to us all, I start to make sense of it. Most important of all, there IS a consequence to dying. We CAN go back. Most of all, I MUST remain myself, but that doesn't sound too hard. Isn't individualism my thing, after all? Not that I would rather be selfish. Chances are that everyone else is in my same exact dilemma. Can't do this all by myself, we need each other. So my pride can fuck off. I may or may not have to tell myself this constantly. I then direct my attention to Walton once more.]
We need all the help we can get. Were those three two men and one woman?
More specifically, did they refer to each other as Kalib, Nigor and/or Mish?
How many "lives" do we have to go through?
Can you tell us anything about the coming one?
And how do we use this key?
[I'm thinking I will join the elevator, but I need some kind of answer first.]
For now it seemed none, or at least most, of my companions didn't recognize me, or at least they didn't notice me. Either of which was fine. For now I'd clear my throat and step a little closer to the elevator before finally saying loud enough for everyone
"Whatever this is, it looks like we're all in here together. So I'll just fill whatever role is needed. Don't hesitate to call on me, ok?"
before going back to my own place on the wall. If they were better off doing it on their own then there was no need for me to worry about it, but I did want to keep the option open, if nothing else.
From a distance, I shake my head at Kaz as he asks the questions to Walton, sighing out once more and turning back to my phone. Were the answers really that vague, or did the stress get to him?...the stress part is reasonable at least.
"Walton, whomever you are, what is the best place to relax in this oh so wonderful velvet room? Because I do not actually feel like going on some kind of adventure at the moment."
I insert myself in the middle of the conversation for no particular reason other than making myself look rude, especially since I really felt the need to emphasize my laziness. In fact, why immediately make it your one true objective to get back home if you can slouch around instead?
"And by the way, to the people that actually want to go in that elevator...good luck. I'm happy that some people are trying to make the most out of this stupid problem."
I listen to what Kaz said... Hey, I remember a female voice coming out of that one guy when came across in the graveyard... Wait... "Mishimans"... That was one of Mish's characters, and then there's the female voice that suddenly came out of him, along with the "She still uses my name"...
I approach him.
"I also heard Mish, remember that "Shadow Mishima"? That was Mishimans, I remember a female voice suddenly came out of him, he looked terrified. From what I remember, it told us about the consequences of dying, either we get revived, ruined, or reckoned by the "audience". She told us that we're basically on display, which is sadistic as hell."
So if you break your soul, you die and lose any chance of being revived, yeah? As your sould breaks, I guess the character we're controlling replaces us, eventually retaking full control of their body.
*I smirk, shrugging.*
Well, I've already been trying to get in Sammy boys mindset though I guess it's a good thing I can't. I'm nowhere near as smart as I've written him though, which is probably part of the problem. Or is that a good thing? This ain't helping any sort of headache I've already been deing with...
*Headache? Pain in the ass? Same differance, really. Still, I should keep these things in mind. Who knows when stuff like this can come in handy. Overall, I decide to just focus on being me before I get into trouble.*
Now I think about it, it probably means I'm wrong on a lot assumptions as well. Welp, no point in resting on our laurels and all that. Thanks for the warning, buuuddy.
*With that, I'd wave at the velvet room atendent and start heading for the elevator. No time like the present, after all*
I got the same from the Damon guy, I know that one's of her more recent characters and I also heard her voice through him.
And if that's what you got too, then it basically settles it.
Still, I would rather have this theory confirmed or not, it's dangerous to go into things blind.
All the info we can get, we need right now.
[I say this to Teddie. Although I wasn't exactly dying to jump into danger again, what else was there to be done. In this situation it's do or die, and dying, although not permanent, I would rather avoid. I can't just sit around and wait to be magically saved. Not to mention most people here are still basically kids. Kids with superpowers, but kids who think they are adults, and have it all figured out all the same. I used to call this adult arrogance but after going through it and looking back, it's almost always well justified.]
Thanks anyways, uh...Ted?
I hope I got the person right; it still is kinda confusing.
The traitor was trying to play at being the leader, how annoying. Just how do they think trust works? No wonder most of the others seem to just be ignoring them. Yeah, I should probably just do the same.
I'd instead turn my attention to Kaz, noticing the key he had.
"Guess I'll leave it up to you for now, Kaz. I was thinking understanding this place is the most important thing right now.
There's definitely more to this than what's been advertised and frankly the fact that so many people we know are wrapped up in this makes it worse."
So, was that Kalib before? That...wasn't a pleasant thought. I wasn't sure yet but for now I knew I couldn't focus on that. I had to keep looking forward while I still had that option. My time was limited.
I stay quiet for the most part and pay attention to the soul part particularly. If I were to become damaged I would lose myself? Am I really losing myself though? I would be me with or without my soul. That doesn't change who I am. Although, it would be painful to lose memories and become a husk, so dying isn't exactly a favourable outcome.
Focusing on the key now...
I think I'll sit this one out. I'm cool with going out though if you need it.
I doubt the others would be keen on it though. They didn't seem to trust me. That's fine. I would probably do the same, I'm a liability in this state. So, I ask more questions.
Say Watson, you mentioned first life velvet room. Is there more rooms out there?
Before walking to the elevator, I walk up to Ted. He's probably the person I know the most here, so friends gotta stick together
I smile at him.
"I know I have to be careful not to let myself use Ina's skills all that much, but if you ever need back up I'll help you. We gotta stick together."
I look at Kaz, as well. Wow, it's been forever since I've talked to him but I need to ignore that for now.
"So, what you're saying is that Mish might be behind this? That shadow Mishima did seem really familiar... So I'd probably agree with you on that. Maybe if we... Do something related to her? Take her down maybe? We can get out of here. I hope...."
Sorry, I was simply looking for a way out. I don't exactly like being in this position.
Even if I have a Persona, demons and an awesome sword, this is just way too weird.
[I say to Ted before looking back at Yu. Guess having the key makes you popular all of a sudden.]
It also makes it all weird and too convenient. Like it was handpicked by somebody.
But yes, I agree, we should focus on figuring out this place and survive above all. Whoever stays behind should do their best to get as much as they can, and those who use the elevator, that may include me, to also find anything useful.
[After that another person approaches, I'm not sure I recognize them but they must be someone I know. Wait... Ina? That was 04's character, which can only mean one thing. Now, figuring out who this was wasn't the interesting part. It makes me a bit annoyed the way he said it but it's nothing really important. As such, my demeanor doesn't change.]
What I mean by what I said is that it's possible Mish is as much of a victim as all of us. She isn't the kind of person that would ever do something this dangerous willingly or on purpose, at least not to us. Not because we may or may not be friends to her, but because we don't really register as deserving.
So no, don't say we should take her down. But figuring out where she is and how, that's important.
At least... to me.
[I clear my throat after that and decide to talk to everyone.]
Anyways, I'm still unsure if I will go down the elevator, in which case someone will be given the key I have.
Those who are sure should come closer and let everyone know exactly what it is they can do, just so we figure out some kind of role for everyone to play; some are not fit to take too much damage and other can't exactly deal much damage. That's what I mean.
Some kind of "Leader" to make the big decision and coordinate the rest is also necessary, just to keep some kind of order or direction.
[I need another piece of information regarding what Kalib left behind. I turn to Yu and take off my bag, opening it and showing to him the "Device" and "Belt" that belonged to the Kamen Rider.]
This is from Parad. I barely understand Kamen Rider and I need you to tell me all you know about this.
How to activate it, the dangers of that, if anyone can do it and if it can be done remotely.
I need everything.
I sigh. I probably came off the wrong way. But it's serious time.
"Well, Ina is mixed. She doesn't take a lot of damage from fire, and can hit close and far, but she's super weak to water attacks, but I'm not sure about ice. But.... I doubt I'm leader material at all. I'm just kinda.... Here. Seriously wish I wasn't though......"
I sigh. Really hoping I can get out of here soon.
"I'd say I'm a glass cannon I guess? Ina is usually immortal but I'm assuming that this world changes that."
“Alright then.. Leader. If that’s what we need...”
I take another step forward, breathing in as I play with my hair for a bit before breathing out. Once I actually get started it’s a lot easier to go into detail
“As Towa I am capable of powerful thunder and ice spells as well as an expert in martial arts. However I’d rather not be up front and all of my spells have a little charge up time. That is, except for my three time spells.
The main draw, time spells, are powerful, but I only get three of them per long rest, so they have to be used wisely.
The first, Time Leap, lets me go back in time a round and try something else if things go south. I mostly use it to fix mistakes or dodge attacks more effectively. It’s not the greatest.
The second, Time Surge, or Accel as I call it, slows down time relative to me, thus allowing me to move at four times speed. This allows me to effectively negate the charge time to my spells and dance around most attacks easily.
The last, Time Freeze, causes a foe to pause in time for a few seconds, then move rapidly in order to catch back up. Ideally they’ll spend that speed-up time taking the damage from our attacks. I have to focus for this one so it’ll be up to whoever’s with me to take advantage of it.”
With my little bit done, I’d remain standing near the center of the floor, waiting for a decision on who actually goes.
*Something catching my ear, I would stop and look over to the talkative group.*
I heard "Leader". Did I miss a vote? I mean, I'm impartial so I would have abstained either way but I would at least have liked a memo that this was happening.
* I would let a slight chuckle escape my lips.*
No but seriously. What are we talking about?
I look sideways at Gin, raising an eyebrow
“I mean... I thought it was kinda obvious. Kaz is the one with the respect of most people here, he’s the best in a fight, and he actually has a plan. What is there to vote on?”
Yeah, I guess I can't really argue that point can I?
* I would shrug, chuckling slightly.*
Guess I'll leave the decision making to you "Old Gods" then. When it comes to seniority, you guys kind of own. Just don't be afraid to ask if you need a hacking tool.
*I would raise my robotic arm and wiggle my fingers a few times before closing them into a fist.*
When it comes down to it, it's the best tool in this glorified swiss army knife.
*If I can figure out how to work it effectively, but you know. I won't add that part.*
I'd look over what Kaz had to show me. It was unfortunate but I had to be honest.
"It won't work. The belt might be fine but without a gashat that could be used by anyone its useless. Parad's gashat only works for Parad as far as I remember. On top of that using the belt even with a normal one would pose a huge risk. Anyone who uses it without having a special surgery done on them gets infected with a disease.
You might be able to tough it out through the disease long enough to transform but again that's hypothetical. So unless we somehow fight another Kamen Rider from Ex-Aid we'd be out of luck using that."
I'd also respond to everything else Kaz had to say. It only seemed natural that a leader was needed and I wasn't exactly about to volunteer.
"A 'leader'? Well, I'm good with people but yeah, being a leader isn't exactly something someone as indecisive as me can do easily. You'd probably be better for that role.
As for what I'm good at, don't know. I guess I've been told I have a good head on my shoulders and maybe I could summon a Persona given my current body but otherwise my abilities are as much a mystery to me as anybody else."
Wait, maybe I missed but who are you?
I don't really have any idea right now, but I think it's better to know.
[I say while directing my attention to "Towa". I didn't even have a clear idea; it was probably one of the newer characters that I didn't remember. Then I would turn again to Yu. With this information, I would hope for this one "last resort" to work at all.]
I tricked someone into using this and then letting them transform... that should result badly for them, right?
What is a gashat, by the way?
[I point at the other device.]
I'm assuming it's that...
But anyways, as long as you have both, you should be able to transform.
If that's the case, then we can use this belt as a weapon.
[There was already talk of making me the leader of this thing, and while it was certainly flattering and I felt up to something like that, thinking about it meant made me realize that it was tons and tons of responsibility. Would I be able to do a good job? I like to think I could, but first of all, someone else may want to step up for such a task.]
In case anything happens, most of you should be aware of my abilities. I have a group of about 12 demons with a variety of skills, although I can summon one, summoning another takes time, and can have up to four of them on the field at once.
Besides that, is my current Persona, Belial, which you've seen already, but I still don't have much of a grasp of it.
Furthermore, the sword on my back, I should be able to help with that by "debuffing" enemies and opening weaknesses, but the damage will come mostly from the demons and Persona.
That said, I've merely managed to convince two demons of the twelve to work alongside us. And chances are that some may refuse altogether.
Only time will tell if I'll be able to prove myself or convince them all.
Hopefully before anything goes wrong.
"I'm Towa... But I don't think that really means much. I just overheard your name earlier is all, Kaz."
I stumble over my words for a bit, but say the first thing that comes to mind. I was never really comfortable with the idea of people knowing who I am so I simply come up with an easy way to dodge it.
"But I mean.. I want out of here as much as you guys do. So we should still be able to work together. Just... I'm good at following orders so just point me in a direction and I'll shoot."
I scratch the back of my left ear as Toki speaks.
"Long rest? What is this, DnD? All jokes aside, time stuff is always useful."
I rest my other hand on my sword's hilt.
"Finding Mish is a good goal, but it's probably best to stick to whatever quest the elevator takes us to first and foremost. As for my infodump, I'm a... an above-average Cait Sith I guess - yes I know I'm pronouncing that wrong. Strong against force, weak to lightning, and with both fire and force attacks. The good news is I have Force and Fire Dance, so I have that going for me. Multi-hit and multi-target mid-level spells aren't anything to sneeze at. Still nothing compared to a lot of you..."
I ponder what else to add. Nothing skill-wise of note, but there is something else.
"Also, I'm a demon. That puts me higher than anyone else on the food chain in case we have to interact with demons, if we even get sent to SMT-like places. Dunno what other benefits demons have. I know there's that thing in Strange Journey where it's implied that demons don't need the same things as humans - breathing, et cetera, but I could be wrong. Whatever benefits there are, you can probably answer, Kaz. Oh, and cat senses too. Can't forget about innate kitty stuff."
I listen to everyone talking, perking up at Kaz's speech before turning to him, facing directly in front of him and waving.
"Kaz, is it? Personally, I don't think we need a leader. I trust we're all close enough to be able to work together. Secondly, unless we run into Dr. Emu-ario, i'd say gashats are off the table. As well, I wouldn't recommend summoning demons until you're sure they won't become hostile. As for my own abilities, Alph is a bit of a special deal in his game. He mostly heals and has 1 special summon, but I don't know how to use half his powers. Healing in itself is simple enough, so as for now i'll go to keep everyone alive. I can help make strategies too. Either we can practice moves ahead of time or shout out commands on the battlefield, but we cut it extremely close in the last battle and I don't want to risk anymore unnecessary deaths. Waddya think? Would you have me as your strategist? And should we, uh, do some sort of hand contact thing to signify our r-relationship?"
I start to appear more nervous, my breathing becoming more manual and my skin giving off a small amount of sweat
Oh.... Crap.... I knew that annoyingness was familiar. Mona. Wasn't he banned though? Then again, did hear something about him getting another chance, so maybe.
"Leaders are important. While there's no way I would be close to being one, I still agree someone's gotta lead us."
I sit down, wondering what's next.
*I would roll my eyes. Of course Mona is here. Bastard must be undead. You can't put him down for good and he never stops coming.*
Play how you want to. A strategist can come in handy. That being said, a bad strategist can be even worse than a powerful foe.
*I would glance at Cait.*
What's the matter Cat? Still not used to being vertically challenged yet?
"I'm still tall enough to break your kneecaps, Science Boy."
I can't hide the stupid grin on my face. But of course, I need to focus. Take inventory and all that. I force my expression back to a neutral one and scan the crowd that's formed a very rough oval.
"Okay, time for a quick headcount. The person I'm pretty sure is Mal and PK are definitely out, and Kaz is probably gonna drop as well. That leaves... me, Niko, Towa, Sam, Mona, the generic-looking guy-" I point at Quintus "-Tatsu, and... is that everyone? That makes seven, so one of us'll have to hang back. As much as I don't want to risk being turned into a rug again, Mona's healing abilities give him enough of a pass to be pretty vital."
I glance at the cat with a blank expression, almost heating up a bit before crouching down to let it actually cover my ears as I get back to playing my mobile game. I also might've forgotten that I'm wearing a skirt, but that's a non issue.
"Wow, glad you're taking my feelings into account, tee-hee!"
I take off my shades to reveal my super anime eyes, and talk exactly like a normal girl would, with the schoolgirl laugh being copied to a tea...then I laugh at myself and put my shades back on, going back to my phone and walking away.
"Yep, what they said. I'm out for now, sowwy guys."
I stand up once again.
"I'll go. Might as well, I wanna get out of here sooner rather than later, Cait."
Hopefully this won't go sour, I wanna keep my soul in one piece, thank you very much. But the sooner we get out, the sooner I get my life back.
"I'll pass. I'd rather look around here then go along with...did you say Mona? That explains a lot, definitely pass."
Might've seemed like a quick decision but it was the decision I'd make at that moment. Too risky to go along at the moment when things were so unpredictable.
"Might I add, maybe its not best to force a group of six. I'm sure plenty here aren't actually gonna want to go out so soon. Some here are actually pretty young. Better to give them a choice."
I've been lost in thought for a while, but upon hearing Kaz's question my head shakes and I walk forward. Glancing down to my Calamity Driver for a moment before answering him with a sigh.
"In terms of powers, H2O isn't the strongest Rider around by any means. But he is reasonably tough, doing serious damage to water is hard after all. The forms... Basic is an all rounder, standard shit really. In terms of mental effects, it's... Not too strong, I guess you could say that's the advantage. "
I pause for a second, thinking some more before moving into the next one.
"Boiling, high speed and melee-focused. I was using it at a range before, but that's not really the intent behind Boiling. Just like the burning heat that wells up though, using it makes one more aggressive and hot-headed."
A breath is taken as I get to the Arctic form, just thinking about that one sends chills down my spine after using it.
"Arctic form, it excels in long-ranged attacks and defending as well. Plus hampering foes to make that second bit easier. The effect it has on my mind, however, is quite bad news. Its calming, makes ya colder and much more focused. I could get used to it, and that scares me."
Then there's the last one, the one I haven't used at all here. Not even sure Mizui used it on site.
"Finally, Caustic form. It can tear things down over time, slowly but surely melting away at a foe with powerful acidic waters that are also liable to leave foes debilitated. Except me to well... More caustic when using it."
Then we have the thought of a leader, that makes me chuckle a bit. Oh man.
"I'm not sure who should lead, I'd be willing to try if people asked. But I won't nominate myself by any means, the thought of doing that is blunt a bit much. I kind of agree that it might be needed though, we can't afford to waste time bickering or something in the middle of danger."
I shake my head and snicker at Cait's jest about hand-holding
"Thanks, Cait, I needed that."
Watching the chaos unfold, I turn around and take a step towards cait, waving behind at Kaz.
"I'll make myself useful, I guess."
I had appeared more cheery watching the interaction between Cait and the others, giggling often before listening to what Tatsuya had to say.
"Well, if we have to have a leader, there's no one i'd rather have than you, Tatsu."
After listening to all that was said, i finally decide to chime in. I've got a grasp on who's who now, thanks to the banter.
"first of all, I disagree with making kaz the leader. He's a hothead. Making a hothead the leader doesn't sound like a good idea. Sure he's powerful, but that's all the more reason to have someone else guide us. The head and the brawn need to be separate. That said, I think he-" pointing to quintus," is far better fit to lead. From what i've seen, he's the thinking type and a leader needs that quality.
But that's just my two cents.
As for our abilities, it's not that I don't trust you guys, but I'd rather keep some of my cards close to myself, in case alphinaud goes backstabbing again or pk or kaz decide to implode.
The general gist of my skills though is that I'm a jack of all trades. I can deal damage with various attack jobs, heal with white magic and even defend you all and support thanks to buffs and the Knight job. A true jack of all trades.
That being said, I'll stay back for now. I want to help searching for info back here. Unless you really want me to be with you."
Having said my part, I place my finger tips against each other, the American power stand they call it, and gaze upon my comrades, awaiting a reaction. I really hope we get to further discus the leader thing. I'm not about to let spanish junpei guide us. If only Yu were here. I think he'd make a decent leader. Regardless, I'm not going to force myself to listen to any leader. But having someone to coordinate our assault does make things easier.
Walton raises his hands in an appeasing manner after being tossed so many questions at once. A slight huff suggests that he expected to be a mere spectator, but severely underestimated the curiosity of the group.
I didn't actually mean that I was here for your assistance. The note was supposed to be a mere formality for your stay.
With that said Walton fixes his expression to a blank veneer. He then doles out information in a bored monotone that could have easily come from a machine.
Gender has little importance here given the loss of body. Hence, I don't pay attention to such trifling details. To my understanding all that mattered was that three people left and only two came back. You may as well give up on the third person since it is impossible to survive each life alone. Nevertheless, if you insist on finding this person then you would have to explore the angel's life. The key you have now is for the god's life. One of the hardest, but to make it back you must experience it like all the other lives you will encounter.
Walton strides over to one of the elevators and at the tap of his hands a set of blue doors glide open. Inside of the doors are the interior of a common elevator hinting at nothing out of the ordinary. However, when Walton takes out another key and brings it inside the small space a rapid changes occurs. The common interior hazily becomes a pathway by the sea and the elevator doors slowly close in. Walton pulls his hand out before the doors completely close and after a few quiet seconds the doors once again open revealing the basic interior. Walton pockets the key before once again stating an additional thing.
On your way out make sure that all arms and legs are within the elevator. We wouldn't want a repeat of the missing limb incident that occurred to a previous group.
Walton titters at his own grim statement before coughing and resuming in his normal monotone.
Anyway each life you enter bends to the will of one powerful soul that is constantly manipulating the whole. Not even I can say what you will face out there since it is never static. To make it back to this room you must complete the life by making it static. Kill, maim, or destroy the soul within as you see fit. If you leave the soul intact then you may never be able to return to this room and I don't believe there are additional rooms that could take you. Choose wisely and survive is the only advice I can give in this situation.
Walton ends on that ominous note and waits by the elevator.
I just sorta shrug. Good to know that there'll at least be variety in enemy types.
"Well then, when you guys are done bickering over who's gonna be our leader, we should probably get going. I don't think there's anything else we can do here except wait."
God's and Angels and talk of the soul, this reminded me of cultist sim if nothing else. At any rate Watson didn't seem too keen on answering more questions, so I might as well pitch in to the strategy meet
Er, I'm fairly certain most people here are familar with PK, if not the gist of it is that I'm pretty durable and prefer to be up close. The only option I have for long range is persona skills and my cross bow which aren't the best. Speaking of persona I can fuse Mordred here into multiple forms, I've only tried sword and full form though. As for persona skills I've got mostly single target spells like diarama, marakarn and ziodyne. The only one that's aoe is deathbound. I also resist physical, null lightning and I'm weak to nuke. My laser blade also transforms into forms and elements. I suppose I could play utility or tank if I'm going out.
As for leader, it's all up to you guys.
“So we have to beat a boss...? I’m not sure about the details, but live and learn I guess. We can’t do anything except play by the rules.”
I pull down the brim of my hat and step into the elevator. I make sure even my tail is safely within.
“Time’s a-wasting. Pass the key and six of us’ll be on our way. Just... don’t forget us in case we don’t make it in one piece, alright?”
Forgetting myself from my soul breaking is terrifying, to say the least. It’s flimsy comfort, but still comfort, to know that someone will still remember the person under this fur. I’m grateful that the hat’s able to hide my expression right now.
I look at the Elevator nervously. The only way I'm getting out of this is either barely alive, or not at all..... But I can't let that effect me. I have people waiting for me. I have people who deserve to see me.
"Whatever I need to do to get out of here, I'll do it. Hopefully I'll get home soon...."
I sigh. I'm really hoping I can get out of here. My heart is racing, my brain is scrambled, but I can't lose myself. And I won't.
Eh. Hate to be cocky and all, but we did it before. Unless the Paradox brothers were supposed to be normal enemies.
*I would laugh nervously. There's no way that would be the case... r-right?*
Well, no time to be worrying about that. I'll tag along. As much as I'd love to be lazy right now, there doesn't look like there's much of anything to do here.
* With a smile, I'd step in the elevator. This is probably a bad idea but who knows? Maybe the next enemy will be weak to lightning? Ha ha. Ugh. We're all gonna die.*
"I mean, if no one else is going.. And I guess I'm one of the more stable ones..."
I'd kind of mutter to myself before heading towards the door, I didn't really care who ended up the leader or if we even got one, I'd rather just get started. The sooner we're finished the sooner we're home.
Seeing everyone else being hesitant I step up to the elevator, I didn't fancy sitting around here.
If noone else will I'll go, with me thats 4 I think. Gin, Cait, me and Gamma. Two people gotta step up.
"Don't look at me. I don't feel nearly ready to get into another fight. My head still kinda hurts from the shot i took from the kamen guys."
Besides, I feel like I should observe more. I waltzed into the room all gaily last time, but i'm not about to make the same mistake. My life is on the line. Gotta be prudent.
"I wish you guys good luck though. You all beter come back safe and sound."
I shrug at PK's declaration.
"Thought I already said I was gonna go, killer. As a specialized healer, and all that."
I then narrow my eyes and glare at Gamma.
"Well, if you were trying to hide your identity, you were doing a piss-poor job of doing that. You've known us for years, at any rate. No reason to act like a stranger, even though the circumstances are different."
*I would chuckle at Gamma's words.*
You all talk like you type on site. All you really have to do is pay attention and you can figure it out. For the most part at least. Sides, didn't the bellhop in the blue pyjamas over there say that trying to be your character is bad for soul integrity or something stupid like that?
*I would lean forwards on my cane and wink.*
In layman's terms, playing make believe is bad for your health.
Without looking up from my phone, I raise my hand as I continue on playing with my mobile game. Even with all the stuff happening; my droll, sarcastic tone still makes people think that I don't care at all about the situation.
"Uh, Walton, sir, I would've forgotten your name were it not being thrown across half the conversations my ears catch."
The situation in particular, I do in fact care about. Just that I don't feel like prioritizing. What's on the line, our very own souls? Pfft, that doesn't matter much in the grand scheme of things. This next following question also very much states my position on things without even making it known directly.
"And also, is there like a vending machine or something? I want a snack."
The elevator doors shut and the digital indicator above changes to a butterfly icon. Within minutes the doors open again revealing no one inside as a key silently drops to the floor. Walton quickly picks the key up and pockets it inside his vest
(Sam, Cait, Toki, and Pancake Knight have left the room)
Suddenly all the television screens inside the room turn on revealing a huge phansite thread with two pages worth of posts. The thread is scrolled down at a slow pace so that you are able to see your own apparent writings and that of the others, but the gm posts are all clearly missing. Each typed out post is presented with nothing but the sound of static to accompany it. Eventually, once all posts have been shown the image changes to an emptied phansite devoid of any other threads.
Walton makes his way back to his desk and impassively stares at the screen.
Once the group reaches the next life all their actions will be displayed on screen.
Walton then looks to you and everyone else.
While here guests are welcome to utilize any of the accommodations available. This location does have vending machines, pools, cafes, rooms, and spas for your convenience. If you want to access such areas then simply think of it in your head and walk through one of the doors to my right hand side.
Walton motions to the right of the check in desk where three blue doors can be seen with golden handles.
However, if at any time you fear for the safety of your companions there is still a way to help them. Just ask for the key and I will allow two more people to go. If the entire group is able to agree on the two people.(The 8 remaining have become part of the audience with auxiliary arrangements for two people.)
I think for a second. I'm not the most powerful by any means but I might just... Get lucky. Yeah. I go over to pick my bat off the ground and approach Walton.
"May I please have the key, sir?"
I attempt to look determined.
"...I've got friends to protect."
"well, that was fast. They didn't even wait for things to get started. It's nice that we get to see what happens, though it also feels like it'd be quite stressful to only watch without being able to act...
Anyway, who're you again?"
My last question was aimed at quintus whose phansite identity remained unknown to me. He was one of the only two i didn't yet know of, and was the one I was willing to listen to. He felt the most trustworthy here. Not that it amounts to much...
The television screens now show a new thread beside the previous one observed, but there are still no posts to be seen.
(The audience is now able to manipulate the fates of those that have left ...)(When a traveling guest dies the audience can decide the penalty they suffer
Revive: Instant comeback with no consequences
Ruin: Soul damage and a turn skip
Take Over: The audience controls their actions for two turns)(The audience will also be able to control the enemies they face
At the start of any fight, information on the enemy will be posted including health, move set, and additional features.
The audience must send Mish a desired action for death or enemies and the majority rule will win out. The audience will then be able to see whatever decision one out after every vote.
Choose wisely for the lives of the traveling guests are in your hands.)
Walton meets Niko's resolve with an inscrutable face and silently places the key on the desk in front of him. He then leans forward and gently flicks the cat boy on the forehead before resuming to business as usual.
Next time you miss the elevator I won't be as kind.
The elevator closes taking two others guests with it and once again the doors open revealing nothing inside. Not even a key is left behind this time.
(Niko and Alphinaud have left the room.) (No one else is able to join.)
I'd take a moment to observe the TV screens. It was somewhat disturbing to know that all of our thoughts were on display but it didn't seem like there was much we could do against it. I'd take a moment to ask one more question.
"Hey, I know you don't like being asked too many questions so I'll be brief. Is there a way to access that screen at ones own pace? Like a computer or something in here?"
I'd also look back at Bartz with a fairly neutral expression.
"Well, that's a good question. I don't know who you are either and I intend to do something about that soon. It'd be less of a hassle if we had an easier way to keep track of this stuff, which is what I intend to do.
I'd also like to suggest we all don't pay too much attention to that display up there. I don't think it'd be a bad idea to have someone dedicated to reading it but only someone level headed and trustworthy. It could actually be a good way to find out if anyone is close to having their soul corrupted or whatever it is that happens when instability reaches max.
Of course, that's only if people think that'd be beneficial, otherwise I'm just gonna use it to keep track of everyone."
"Ah right, I guess you weren't there when I mentioned it, huh. I'm Liam. Y'know, the touhou nerd.
Also, in this situation, I don't think anyone would consider an other trustworthy. I say we should all pay at least a modicum of attention to the screen. Just, don't focus on it. Anyway, what could we now? The attendant told us to relax, but I sure as hell don't feel like it right now."
There is a way.
Walton rummages through the cabinets of the welcome desk and brings out a basic tv remote. The remote only has a few buttons with clear indicators for pause, rewind, fast forward, and record. Walton places this remote on the desk for any of the guests to claim it.
This remote will allow you to control all the screens, but if you break it you will get no replacements.
I'd walk over and quickly take the remote. It wouldn't be wise to let anyone else hold onto this for now.
"Sounds pretty convenient to me."
I didn't want to say too much but not getting replacements just sounded like a good deal. That way nobody could view the screen at all, which would be the second best to having someone trusted view it.
I'd turn to face everyone else.
"I guess I'll hold onto this for now. Next up, I'm gonna check this place out a bit more."
These doors are supposed to lead to anywhere that we think of as long as they exist in this world? Or at least it sounded something like that. What I was about to try and do would be a test of that anyway.
I'd picture an office supply store in my head. I just needed a place with note cards and pens. Anything like that would do.
With that in mind I went up to the door and slowly tried to open it.
The door opens and you are met with a basic staples. A little too tiny than what you may be used to, but big enough to have everything from highlighters to multi-pocket folders. An elevator jingle plays in the background to try to spice up the otherwise empty environment.
No cashiers too so looks like the items are free for the taking~
Well, seems that, that worked and everything I could ever need was here too. It felt a bit weird just taking stuff but I'd quickly try to get my hands on note cards, pencils, and tape before heading back to the velvet room.
"Alright, whatever's happening on screen right now can wait. Not like any of us can do anything to help yet anyway.
I'm gonna cycle back to when everyone was explaining who they were and their abilities. All we have to do is fill in these note cards with the required information for each person here. Mostly I want to aim for everyone true name and the name of the character their possessing.
Of course, a good starting place would be doing ourselves first. I guess I'll make one as an example."
Well, I guess I better do it since I said I would. In all honesty, tasks like this usually bore me but there wasn't time to mope around about it. This would make investigating people for soul corruption easier if we knew how they were normally. I'd write out a card for myself though I wasn't really sure what to put down on it.
This body is Quintus I think. Seems the most logical considering the paler complexion than usual.
The name people know me by normally is Yu then and my abilities...
Actually, I still haven't even tested that out so I have no idea..."
"Alright then. I'll write one too."
I take a card and a pen as well and begin jotting down the bare basics about myself.
Abilities: Jack of all trades.
"Is this enough or do you need more? "
"It's mostly just to keep track of things anyway. Not like more can't be added on anyway. With so many of us it's going to be hard to make sure everyone knows everyone so getting the names down is the most important bit."
I wasn't sure if this would actually be on much benefit but it at least felt like I was doing something.
"Once we're done we can tape them up to an empty wall. For now I'm gonna go see if I can...summon a Persona I guess? Quintus' body should be capable of it even without any requirements.
But I'm not sure what'll actually happen..."
I'd just walk to an empty corner of the room and try to focus for a while. I wasn't sure what I was looking for but it seemed like the type of thing I just needed to feel out.