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 Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]

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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-10, 2:23 am

Katherine paused for a moment, before pulling away and wiping at her eyes. One hand moved down to grip Ayano's, however. "But... where are we? What is going on? This... this isn't the normal world, it can't be..."

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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-10, 2:34 am

The older girl's response was immediate as her gaze drifted off to the frozen sunset beyond the windows.

"Hm... well I suppose you could call it Hell. Or Limbo, at least." | bitterness-anger-bitterness-guilt-self-recrimination-bitterness-regret-sorrow.

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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-10, 2:38 am

Katherine frowned a bit. "It can't be Hell, you wouldn't be here." She paused for a moment, shifting. "...So, what is going on? Why are we here? And... how have you been?" The last part was quiet, her own guilt surfacing. She'd never gotten to properly say goodbye to Ayano...

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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-10, 2:55 am

"I've been... about as good as you could expect someone to be, in this place." | guilt-sorrow-worry-regret-bitterness

Katherine was blind, but Ayano still averted her eyes evasively, as if she couldn't bear to lie to such an earnest gaze.

"As for this place... that's something of a long story. I think I can remember most of it, though." | nostalgia-sorrow

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"Graduation Day (2116): Dairoku Eien, Iyoku Seimei, Tachibana Miyori, Issun Keishin"
"Some things are worth preserving, even if they'll one day fade."





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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-10, 2:59 am

Katherine squeezed Ayano's hand more tightly, moving in front of her to 'look' her in the eyes. "Ayano... I can sense your emotions, it's how I found you. I searched your feelings. I know them to be true, so please... tell me what's wrong... you were... you were there for me, when I desperately needed a friend... if I can be here for you now, then nothing would make me happier..."

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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-10, 3:17 am

For a moment, Ayano stared into Katherine's eyes in shock. Then she snorted, and the dam broke as she started giggling, solemnity lost for a time.

"Sorry, sorry, it's just... Really, you didn't do that on purpose did you?" | Humor-Nostalgia-Happiness. | "But seriously, don't worry. Just... being here, is already more than I could - more than I should - ask of you. Really."

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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-10, 3:30 am

Katherine blinked in confusion, mumbling a bit. "Do what on purpose...? I... nevermind." She didn't know what she'd said, but Ayano's reaction relaxed her a bit. That was good enough for now. "...Okay... so, I guess... please tell me this long story?"

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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-10, 4:26 am

"Right, well... you might want to take a seat. I wasn't kidding. Ready? Alright then..." | sincerity-nostalgia...

Ayano coughed, clearing her throat, and began to speak...

[Warning: The following story seriously is long. For a shorter version, see: Shinigami Record, by Jin]
The Story of the Lonely Monster:
 

"...and that," Ayano declared solemnly, "was how this world was created." | sorrow-bitterness-nostalgia-despair.

"And it turns out, that serpent," | anger-HATRED-bitterness-sorrow-despair | "was lying the entire time. This place is far from paradise. It's timeless, true, but there is nothing to be found here but suffering and despair... and it only lets you leave if someone else stays behind, all the while torturing and tormenting those trapped within until they wish with all their hearts it would let them die..."

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"Graduation Day (2116): Dairoku Eien, Iyoku Seimei, Tachibana Miyori, Issun Keishin"
"Some things are worth preserving, even if they'll one day fade."





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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-10, 4:32 am

Katherine... wasn't sure how to respond to all of this at first. It was a lot to take in. However, something stuck with her. Firmly. "...She reminds me of... me, in a way... I think I'd do the same as her, if I was in her place...." She paused, then shook her head, sighing deeply. "So... how do I get you out of here?"

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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-10, 4:38 am

"You're not a monster, Kathy." | kindness-concern-pity

Ayano was smiling softly, though even she had some tears in her eyes from the telling of the story.

"...and I told you how. You can't. You would have to die... and, besides... I can't go. If I do, he wins." | frustration-hatred-worry-despair-regret

She sighed, before firming her face sternly.

"But you can save the others trapped here. The children. I know you can. Neither they nor you needs to die, and if you can escape from this place... I think you could save the others, too, eventually. Somehow." | resolve-pain-sorrow-GUILT-respect-envy-admiration.

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"Graduation Day (2116): Dairoku Eien, Iyoku Seimei, Tachibana Miyori, Issun Keishin"
"Some things are worth preserving, even if they'll one day fade."



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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-10, 4:43 am

Katherine fidgeted a bit. "No, I mean... the loneliness. And she doesn't sound like a monster to me anyway..." More fidgeting. "Why do you have to stay here? How did you get here? And why can't I save you? I don't mind dying, especially if it means it will help someone else... and, and how could I save anyone else? What kids? I don't understand... you told me that story, so I know what this world is, but I don't know why we are in it, how we got here, or anything else..."

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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-10, 4:58 am

Ayano sighed as she slid off the desk to stand opposite to Kathy, before frowning, crossing her arms, and gathering up every scrap of frustration she could feel about this situation... which was quite a lot.

"You can't save me." | FRUSTRATION-ANGER-regretguiltsorrowpain-FRUSTRATION. | "If you die to free me, then The Serpent will just kill me. And then he'll kill everyone else too. If you die, everyone else you could have saved will be lost. If you save me, then all these years I've spent in this hellhole will have been for nothing!"

Her face softened.

"The children Momo-chan was trying to save - they're in here too. You all are. It's August 15, and you were run over by a van. Those with strong wishes who die on that day are drawn into this place. If they stay here, eventually one of them will be lost forever - just like me - and the other will escape into the real world with a power, unable to return even if they want to. But you can save them... You just have to let me go. I'll help you as much as I can... but I can't leave this place. I need to stay here." | regret-sorrow-pain-exhaustion.

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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-10, 10:42 am

Katherine had reeled back as if physically struck by Ayano's initial words, stepping back with tears welling up..... but she listened. Her own self-esteem issues made it difficult for her to view someone yelling at her, or just raising their voice, as anything other than something she deserved. She just assumed that if Ayano was venting her frustration at her, then it was important. So despite it hurting, she listened. When Ayano was done, Katherine sniffled a bit. "...I don't... I don't see what is so special about me, that I'm the one that can save people, when others can't... I've always been a burden to everyone around me, how is..." She paused, biting her lip. "I don't see why my life could possibly be more important than yours... but if you say that you have to stay here because of that serpent, then..." She paused, fidgeting a bit, before seemingly steeling herself. "Then I'll get rid of him. I don't know how, but I will."

She paused again, shifting from one foot to the other nervously. "So... so tell me what I have to do. Tell me how to save those kids and get out of here so that I can get rid of that serpent and take you out of here. I don't care what I have to do or what it takes, I refuse to just leave you here!"

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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-10, 12:25 pm

"Well... I'm not entirely sure, actually." | embarrassment

Ayano scratched her cheek anxiously.

 "You have to find your way to the kids, I know that. You also have to protect them and keep them from dying - or yourself! You won't be getting them out if you're dead... but as hard as that is alrleady going to be, with the Haze itself trying to stop you (or even kill you)... After that, you have to figure out how to bring them out." | worry

She glanced away self-consciously and clasped her hands behind her back.

"And even after that, getting rid of the serpent... He's possessing my dad, you know? You'll have to catch him while he's out of my dad's body. Bait him, somehow... but that'll kill my dad unless he's in here, because the serpent's the only thing keeping him alive." | worry-anger-concern

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"Some things are worth preserving, even if they'll one day fade."



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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-10, 12:31 pm

Katherine seemed to be digesting that, then nodded. "Okay... so find the kids, keep them safe, try to get the serpent in here and out of your dad's body..." She paused for a moment. "How do you know all of this? How did you get in here? You said I got hit by a van... which, I kind of remember a sudden pain, but... what about you? What happened to you?"

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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-10, 12:48 pm


"I know because I've seen it, and I'm here because I chose to be. I have to be." | bitterness-sorow-regret-frustration.

Ayano frowned, still looking away, though she turned to face Kathy before continuing.

"I told you this place is timeless, right? Well, it's literally outside of time, too. A thousand years could pass in here, but the world outside would still be the same... Well, it turns out, if you turn back time in the outside world... It stays the same in here. Forever." | sorrow-bitterness-RAGE-regret

She smiled bitterly as tears stung her eyes.

"I've seen you come and go - though this is the first time you've found me on your own. I've seen you die... seen them all die, and I can't save them. But I can't leave either, because if I die out there... will I reset too, or will that be the end?" | regret-sorrow-DESPAIR-frustration

She shivered as she continued, before pointing to the window.

"So I'm just stuck here, watching the real world through the window as that serpent tears everything apart, again and again... Sometimes I wonder if time is turning back, or if they're just alternate timelines. Are my siblings just dead?" | despair-sorrow-regret-DETERMINATION

Firming herself, she shrugged as she continued.

"But it doesn't matter. I love them anyway, and they'd love me too, I know. I have to protect them, and what other choice do I have?" | frustration-love-DETERMINATION-resignation


Her smile turned even more brittle and fragile as she finished:

"Some Hero I am, huh?" | self-recrimination-regret-sorrow

Ayano's Expression:
 

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"Graduation Day (2116): Dairoku Eien, Iyoku Seimei, Tachibana Miyori, Issun Keishin"
"Some things are worth preserving, even if they'll one day fade."





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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-10, 1:11 pm

Katherine just watched Ayano with wide eyes, listening intently to every word. At some point, she'd started shaking, she wasn't sure when. She was shaking, her fists were clenched, and her jaw hurt from how she was clenching it so tightly. Everything was sliding into place for her. She may not be 'street smart' or even 'book smart' she figured, but she could connect the dots. Things were making sense now. Those odd feelings, that horrible 'dream', the way her powers seemed to be stronger than they should be at times... and the 'coincidence' of what the Dan's sister had said. It all made so much sense now. And beyond all the pain and sadness she felt, another feeling was overriding it all.

Without even realizing it, an oppressive weight settled over the area. An aura of danger was settling over them both as Katherine's own rage was permeating her powers, blanketing them both in the weight of it. Despite this, there was a warmth to it; it was a righteous anger after all, and not directed at Ayano in the slightest. Finally, the dam burst, and Katherine shut her eyes tightly as she practically screamed at Ayano.

"You're wrong!"

With her words, desks around her were sent flying, though Ayano simply felt a powerful gust of wind. Katherine reopened her eyes, which were glowing brightly. "You... you are even more of a hero to me than you ever were before! After all you did for me, you are still doing so much for me, and for everyone else! You're here, suffering, because it's the only way you know how to protect us! Isn't that exactly what a hero does!? Puts other people before themselves!? Even though you can't do anything to stop the serpent yourself, you're sacrificing yourself to give others a chance! Don't ever doubt that you're a hero, don't... don't cheapen it by acting like you have failed in some way!" She pulled Ayano into another hug, clinging to her tightly.

"You are a hero! You're my hero, and you're a hero to your siblings! I understand now... Kido-san, Seto-san, Kano-san... you are their older sister. The sister they love so much, the sister they still see as a hero too! We believe in you, so you have to believe in yourself too!" She pulled away, and pressed her forehead to Ayano's, making absolutely sure that their eyes met. "I don't care what I have to do. I refuse to let you keep suffering. I refuse to let the others die. No matter what it takes, no matter what sacrifices I have to make, I won't stop until that serpent is gone, and everyone is able to live happily again. So... so let me be your hero, this time. You gave me a reason to live when we were little. Let me give you the chance now. Don't give up on yourself, because I never will."

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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-13, 5:47 am

Ayano stiffened - ]surprise-awe-vindication-Hope] - before smiling.

It wasn't really a large or 'radiant' smile, but it was genuine, if small.

"...thank you, but... there're still those kids to save, you know? The longer we're here, the less time they have."

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"Graduation Day (2116): Dairoku Eien, Iyoku Seimei, Tachibana Miyori, Issun Keishin"
"Some things are worth preserving, even if they'll one day fade."





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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-13, 5:54 am

Katherine seemed to hesitate, then nodded. She pulled away, clearly not wanting to do so. "Right..." She took a deep breath, then smiled softly. "So I just have to find them and keep them safe, right?"

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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-13, 6:42 am

"Basically, yes. Try um... 'feeling' them out, like you did me. They should be... very emotional right now." | confidence-anger-concern

"And I'll do my best to help you out from afar, even when you're gone.
"Just keep your heart open, and I should be able to reach you."
"But right now, you should ignore me to focus on them."
humor-confidence

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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-13, 10:17 am

Katherine paused, then pulled Ayano into one last, quick hug. "I promise, I'll see you again soon..." She then took off, knowing she had things she had to do. She had a goal, a purpose. And nothing would stop her. Holding onto that, she reached out, searching for the thoughts and feelings of one or both of those kids.

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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-13, 3:55 pm

The Haze certainly didn't make it easy for Katherine, however. Her empathy, while being stretched further than she even knew was possible, seemed clouded and even the beacon of Ayano's emotions seemed dulled, and might have disappeared entirely if it weren't for the connection being fostered by the girl herself.

But Katherine was not in a state to be deterred, and when presented with a boundary, she pushed obstinately through.

The layout of the streets twisted into pretzels, building shifted and slid, and forests of street-signs seemed to spring up from the ground, but that which Katherine could not evade she simply blew aside until -
if you want to see them so badly
- there! A boy and a girl were walking down the street (which, peculiarly, seemed mostly normal in their immediate vicinity.) Both of them were anxious, but neither of them was really showing it to the other.

But just before Katherine could approach -
"Katherine, quickly!" | Concern, Urgency
then witness and suffer
- the world shifted, and steel girders rained from the sky.

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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-13, 4:24 pm

Katherine didn't even have seconds. Suddenly, girders were falling down onto the two kids, and she didn't have a moment to spare. Instinctively, she threw out her hands toward the falling girders, and pushed as hard as she could with her powers, refusing to let them hit the kids.

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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-13, 4:44 pm

heh
A blast of raw force tore through the air from Katherine's hand, leaving a false thunder clap in its wake, and struck the girders as a hammer strikes a nail, sending the lot of them to the side... and into a series of telephone poles, which promptly snapped and fell toward the children, their severed lines coursing with electricity and wildly flailing about.

The girl was already pulling her friend out of the way, but she wasn't going to make it in anywhere near enough time.

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PostSubject: Re: Today's Tomorrow [Private, Invite Eligible]   2017-05-13, 4:48 pm

Katherine only had a moment to feel any kind of relief, before danger manifested once again. She was running now, throwing another blast of force toward the telephone poles and lines, trying to force them back. "Over here, run to me, please!"

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