[IC] To Live ... [1]: The Sun, The Rain, And The Appleseed

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Davies
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[IC] To Live ... [1]: The Sun, The Rain, And The Appleseed

Post by Davies » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:34 pm

The hardest thing in the world is to live in it.
Source unknown, believed to originate in the first decade, XXI century

The 2060s were a time of unparalleled war. War between states, wars within states, and wars against non-state actors. Portions of the world were conquered and ruled by extra-terrestrials. Other nations were openly ruled by criminal organizations. Still others were dominated by superhuman dictators. Those who resisted these tyrants often found themselves becoming as bloody-handed as those they opposed.

This is the world you knew, the world in which you fought ... and ultimately died.

How did you die, in the end?
After everyone has posted their death scenes, this happens.
Except that wasn't the end.

There was no light calling you towards it. There was no reunion with long-lost loved ones. There was no moment where you finally understood anything. What there was, instead, was a period of void, in which you had awareness and consciousness without any real memories of your previous existence, and no ability to perceive any universe around you. It is impossible to say how long this endured, only that it did end.

It ended when you found yourself suspended within a clear liquid, gazing at a window through which you can see a number of people performing tasks you don't understand. Despite the fact that some unknown fluid fills your mouth and lungs, you can breathe normally. The universe becomes rigid less than inch away from your body, and no matter how strong you think you should be, you feel as weak as a newborn kitten. Your memories of yourself return, but the hollow moment in which you didn't have any of them stays with you as well.

After a moment, you see a woman with blue hair lean into your viewpoint. She nods once, and the liquid in which you were suspended begins to drain away. The window pulls back, and the vessel in which you have been entombed all this while opens up. You fall forward, landing on a soft surface, and feel hands lifting you to turn you onto your back. Quiet voices are speaking in a language you do not recognize.

Then someone leans over you. It is the blue-haired woman. She speaks in faintly accented English. "It is all right. You are safe now."
Inquisitor: Your psychic translation is functional, and when people are in contact with your person, you can make sense of what they are saying ... but it is almost all medical terminology that you don't fully understand. One phrase does register, however -- "Psyche implantation successful, no memory loss."
Last edited by Davies on Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Flynnarrel
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Re: [IC] To Live ... [1]: The Sun, The Rain, And The Appleseed

Post by Flynnarrel » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:52 pm

Freebird


What had he been thinking!?!

He liked his lab. It was far enough underground so as not to get too hot or too cold. Not too dry or too damp: which was good for his instruments - both technological and stringed. Soldiers would bring him memorabilia of Earth-that-was. Relics, recorded media, posters of partially faded or sometimes torn movies and concerts and bands. His prize piece was a mostly intact cardboard life-sized cut out of a classical musician, Elvis.

Why did he ever leave his Elvis? Yet there Marcus was, the wind whipping past at an alarming rate. This had been only a theoretical top speed for his Hum-V, a prototype that he had meant to create a larger version of for rapid transport of Resistance Fighters. It shook slightly and Marcus made a note to check the lateral wave emitters. The ultrasonics were slightly off. He could hear the slight dischord. "Your a little pitchy, Buddy." he muttered to the flying board. He couldn't see it though, even if he looked down. His stealth suit was fully engaged, well, Dr. Theo's stealth suit to be more accurate, another prototype on loan, slightly modified of course. It, and the familiar weight of his axe (not a medieval sharp-headed weapon but a heavily modified turn-of-the-century, built-in amp, stratocaster) strapped across his back, reminded Marcus of the seriousness of this up-coming conflict.

The Man had gone too far today. 'The Man', Marcus's word for the oppressive authority that tried to keep the people down, had launched a full-scale assault on The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in what was once known as Cleveland, Ohio. Whose black-latticed pyramids stood as silent monument and whose archives and museum held the greatest cultural treasures available to all of time! Oh, and a cell of the Resistance used it as secret headquarters. When they'd heard that The Man was going to blow it and the surrounding areas up Marcus knew it was time he left his lab. Seriously, what had he been thinking?

****
His chest felt full and his hair didn't fall like it normally did. Sounds assaulted his ears but echoed strangely, reminiscent of whale song recordings.
****

His bridge fingers flexed and the pick felt cold as he prepared to play the power chord that would mark the transition of his life as a weaponsmith to an actual Resistance Fighter. A slight shift of his weight on the Hum-V brought him in to a swooping dive as the first note in the symphony of the rest of his life sounded from the struck strings. He could trace the rough ball of sound, followed it's receding pitch as it sailed toward the weaponized APC. It struck and the resonance hammered asunder atomic bonds of the metal rendering it as brittle as glass. The stealth field lost cohesion and he and the Hum-V stuttered into visibility. Infantry soldiers shot at him but he hoped the counter-vibration field (another prototype based off old sound dampening technology) wound stop their projectiles. His field worked and he veered away unhurt. He vaguely heard the sound of the APC shattering as one of his companion's bullets must've found it's target.

On another stretch of the battlefield a whole regiment of soldiers was before him and Marcus strummed rapidly and frantically as if the "Dance of Eternity" (Dream Theater) was ported over to the Spanish Folklorico style then played by someone in the grips of an epileptic seizure. The cacophony of sound had its effect as many of the soldiers dropped, their hands over their ears. Everyone's a critic.

****
His hands spasm and fingers jerk as if he were an arcane wizard weaving the somatic components to a delicate eldritch spell. But the movements are slightly slowed and reminiscent of a dog running in it's sleep.
****

He soared up again and re-engaged stealth though if the reports of them having units with cybernetically implanted radar were accurate he couldn't rely on it to save him from attacks forever. Speaking of, a cell of Resistance were pinned down and he recognized one fighter, Harl, who had scored some wicked hallucinogens, slightly expired. They'd made both he and Marcus sick but he would never forget the technicolor yawns that he'd had. On the upside, many of The Beatles' later songs finally made sense that day. "I am the walrus, koo-koo-kachu." he mutters and riffs a wall of sound with overlapping amplitudes so dense as to stop all directional movement from outside to in. The fighters quickly clued to the fact that their bullets were passing through but the enemy projectiles would splash against the field.

Even the sight of enemy soldiers being struck down made his heart heavy though.

****
His eyes fluttered and occasionally winced though remained closed even as the fluid drained and suctioned from his body cavities
****

Though they were being repelled from the Hall itself with some efficiency the call came that the soldiers had rigged explosives at the base of a nearby populated high rise in such a way as it would collapse on to the historic landmark of holiness.

Marcus flew for all he was worth. He had to get there. He had to stop it. Somehow.

He could see it. A confused milieu of running bodies mostly in the uniforms of The Man. Mostly away. Was that a uniform running towards...? He didn't even have time to ponder when the explosives went off. The concussive wave hit him first and blew him off the Hum-V robbing him of the breath to even scream. At the speeds he was going and the height he was at it it was a toss up whether the landing would kill him first or the energy of the demolition charges or the debris of the collapsing building. He'd like to say his last thoughts were a sudden composition to rival the Music of the Spheres, or a profound and sudden understanding of Van Halen's 'Eruption', but sadly his last thoughts were....

****
Marcus drew a sharp breath, the first in who-knows how long. His eyes flew open but unfocused. He tried to sit up with uncertain success. "SEATBELTS!!! I needed to install Seatbelts!"
Then someone leans over you. It is the blue-haired woman. She speaks in faintly accented English. "It is all right. You are safe now."
"Did I... fall asleep?" he asks uncertainly.
"Something pithy this way comes."

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Davies
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Re: [IC] To Live ... [1]: The Sun, The Rain, And The Appleseed

Post by Davies » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:11 pm

Flynnarrel wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:52 pm
Then someone leans over you. It is the blue-haired woman. She speaks in faintly accented English. "It is all right. You are safe now."
"Did I... fall asleep?" he asks uncertainly.
"No. You suffered a very serious injury, but you are in a hospital, and your injury has been treated," the doctor tells you. "Please remain calm, and everything will be explained shortly."
To clarify, you don't all wake up in the same place, but in separate rooms, even though you go through exactly the same situation.

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Re: [IC] To Live ... [1]: The Sun, The Rain, And The Appleseed

Post by Flynnarrel » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:42 pm

The rocker takes it all in stride. "Cool."

"Ummm... Got any Morphine?"
"Something pithy this way comes."

jmucchiello
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Re: [IC] To Live ... [1]: The Sun, The Rain, And The Appleseed

Post by jmucchiello » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:53 pm

"You'll never win," Binary shouted at The Necromancer as she threw a haymaker at him. The Necromancer moved enough that the blow only cause a minor bruise.

What are you antagonizing him? Jacen asked.

I'm distracting him. Why do you have to worry so much? We've got this. Jaina thought back.

The Necromancer pulled a lever and more deadless goons rushed into the room. "Now you die," he shouted. The goons all grabbed onto Binary. She tried to shake them off but something was draining her strength.

Get out now, they are sapping our strength. Jacen thought.

I'm aware of that. Jaina thought back.

Binary makes an adjustment to her wrist blaster and it explodes knocking out all the goons but at a price. She cries out in pain.

That hurt more than I expected. Jaina thought back.

"Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, now you join my deadless army," The Necromancer taunted.

"Never!" Binary replied.

Necromancer swung his scythe straight into her chest.

Binary spit out some blood instead on the taunt she was planning.

Fly... awa-- Jacen thought.

Can't. Sorry, Jac-- Jaina thought.

Time passes.

It is dark. There's a floating sensation, a wet sensation.

Whuh? Jaina? Jacen thought.

Jace? Jaina thought.

Binary opened her eyes. She is in a tank of fluid. Through a portal or screen she sees a blue haired woman. The sound of the fluid draining fills her ears.

WTF is going on? Jacen thought.

We're about to find out. Jaina thought.

The portal rises and it appears to be part of large door. Binary attempts to step forward into the strange room but immediately stumbles, caught by unseen hands. People move around speaking an unknown language. The blue haired woman says, "It is all right. You are safe now."

"When am I?" Binary asks.

When? Are you being crazy on purpose Jacen thought.

Look around. We ain't in Kansas any more. Jaina thought.

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Re: [IC] To Live ... [1]: The Sun, The Rain, And The Appleseed

Post by Davies » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:15 am

Binary:
jmucchiello wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:53 pm
"When am I?" Binary asks.

When? Are you being crazy on purpose Jacen thought.

Look around. We ain't in Kansas any more. Jaina thought.
The doctor looks slightly startled, then nods once. "Quite some time has passed since your last awareness. Please remain calm, and everything will be explained shortly."

Freebird:
Flynnarrel wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:42 pm
"Ummm... Got any Morphine?"
"No," she answers in the same calm tone, then turns to leave you. You are still too weak to move.

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Re: [IC] To Live ... [1]: The Sun, The Rain, And The Appleseed

Post by Flynnarrel » Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:37 am

"Cool." he says, and shifts to staring at the ceiling. Occasionally Marcus looks around as much as he's able out of idle curiosity.
"Something pithy this way comes."

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Re: [IC] To Live ... [1]: The Sun, The Rain, And The Appleseed

Post by RainOnTheSun » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:07 am

Peacekeeper

Genevieve landed on the ruined highway and waved to the civilians on the transports. "Hiiiii!" she sang. "Thanks for waitiiiiing!"

Most of the children waved back. They recognized her from vids, and their faces lit up with hope. Their parents mostly looked tired and afraid.

One by one, Genevieve picked up the transports and carried them across the blasted section of highway, setting them down on the other side. She waved again as they drove away. "Don't worry!" she called out cheerfully. "This'll all be over before you know it, and your homes will be right here waiting for you when you get back!"

If you had homes.

"You're needed in sector seven," one of the soldiers said to her when she got back to camp. Genevieve sighed and jumped back into the air, soaring over city blocks. There was someone else in the air, too, riding on some kind of flying board. Wait, was that him? If that was really the rebellion's infamous armorer, the price on his head would be enough to set Genevieve up comfortably for the rest of her life...

No. No, earn the regular paycheck first. Hunt for bonuses later.

The rebels had set up a sonic generator at a choke-point leading to a major apartment building. Collapsed soldiers littered the street in front of it, some of them trying to crawl away and some not moving at all. A rocket fired from an APC and exploded ineffectively against the force field surrounding the generator. Before she even landed in the street, Genevieve could feel the horrible screech of the generator trying to flip her stomach upside down and turn her brain into jelly. It didn't work, but she could feel it trying. She landed and plunged her hands into the force field, forcing her way through it slowly but steadily. The field was only about ten feet deep, and then the generator was hers for the taking. Genevieve put her fist through it and the screech stopped.

Genevieve took a moment to appreciate her work and then reached out, wrapped her hand around something in the empty air, and lifted. A rebel technician appeared in her grasp as his cloaking suit failed. Genevieve turned back to the soldiers.

"Way's clear, boys!" she said cheerfully, shaking the rebel like a trophy. "Look alive!"

Then she was called away to another hotspot, and another one after that. Half an hour later, she took a moment to check on the apartment building again, but there weren't any transports around it. The soldiers were wiring explosives to its base.

"What's going on?" she asked. "What happened to the evacuation?"

But there was no evacuation. Blowing up this building would also destroy the entire rebel base, and taking the time to evacuate it would give them time to escape.

"So we just kill everybody?!" she demanded.

These were sympathizers, Genevieve was told. Most of them were rebels at heart themselves. The peacekeepers had already evacuated enough people to tilt public view of the battle in their favor. Any further civilian deaths could be blamed on the rebellion without significantly damaging public opinion.

And it occurred to her that nobody had ever told her there was going to be an evacuation here at all. She'd just wanted to believe that there would be, so she did. She hadn't actually asked for any details on the op.

When was the last time she asked a question about anything, except for what her fans were saying about her?

She remembered pulling a two ton bomb off of the support columns while the soldiers she had gotten used to thinking of as her teammates shot her, and jumping farther than she ever had before while carrying it. She had to get it away from anywhere populated, she knew. Dispose of it somewhere safe.

And then a remote detonator set the bomb off while her arms were wrapped around it. Her body was just tough enough that the explosion threw her back to earth in agonizing pain instead of cleanly evaporating her.
Davies wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:34 pm
Except that wasn't the end.

There was no light calling you towards it. There was no reunion with long-lost loved ones. There was no moment where you finally understood anything. What there was, instead, was a period of void, in which you had awareness and consciousness without any real memories of your previous existence, and no ability to perceive any universe around you. It is impossible to say how long this endured, only that it did end.

It ended when you found yourself suspended within a clear liquid, gazing at a window through which you can see a number of people performing tasks you don't understand. Despite the fact that some unknown fluid fills your mouth and lungs, you can breathe normally. The universe becomes rigid less than inch away from your body, and no matter how strong you think you should be, you feel as weak as a newborn kitten. Your memories of yourself return, but the hollow moment in which you didn't have any of them stays with you as well.

After a moment, you see a woman with blue hair lean into your viewpoint. She nods once, and the liquid in which you were suspended begins to drain away. The window pulls back, and the vessel in which you have been entombed all this while opens up. You fall forward, landing on a soft surface, and feel hands lifting you to turn you onto your back. Quiet voices are speaking in a language you do not recognize.

Then someone leans over you. It is the blue-haired woman. She speaks in faintly accented English. "It is all right. You are safe now."
Genevieve looked at the blue-haired woman blankly. Her spatial sense tried to gather information about the world around her.

"I don't understand," she said.

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Re: [IC] To Live ... [1]: The Sun, The Rain, And The Appleseed

Post by Davies » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:31 am

RainOnTheSun wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:07 am
Genevieve looked at the blue-haired woman blankly. Her spatial sense tried to gather information about the world around her.

"I don't understand," she said.
Your radar sense tells you that you're resting on a bed that is floating above the ground, in a rather spartan room that basically contains the mechanism from which you just emerged, the bed, and five people, including the doctor who's talking to you. There's a window that reveals an empty hallway to your left, and a doorway beside it.

"Your confusion is understandable. You suffered a very serious injury, but you are in a hospital, and your injury has been treated," the doctor tells you. "Please remain calm, and everything will be explained shortly." She's following a script. Having followed plenty of scripts yourself, you can recognize that.

The other people -- nurses? -- are consulting tablets and speaking quietly in a language that doesn't sound like anything you've ever heard before.

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Re: [IC] To Live ... [1]: The Sun, The Rain, And The Appleseed

Post by RainOnTheSun » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:44 am

Peacekeeper
Davies wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:31 am
Your radar sense tells you that you're resting on a bed that is floating above the ground, in a rather spartan room that basically contains the mechanism from which you just emerged, the bed, and five people, including the doctor who's talking to you. There's a window that reveals an empty hallway to your left, and a doorway beside it.

"Your confusion is understandable. You suffered a very serious injury, but you are in a hospital, and your injury has been treated," the doctor tells you. "Please remain calm, and everything will be explained shortly." She's following a script. Having followed plenty of scripts yourself, you can recognize that.

The other people -- nurses? -- are consulting tablets and speaking quietly in a language that doesn't sound like anything you've ever heard before.
Genevieve tries to sit up. "I feel weak," she says simply. She expects her body to either be heavily atrophied or mutilated, when she looks down at it.

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Re: [IC] To Live ... [1]: The Sun, The Rain, And The Appleseed

Post by Davies » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:05 am

RainOnTheSun wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:44 am
Genevieve tries to sit up. "I feel weak," she says simply. She expects her body to either be heavily atrophied or mutilated, when she looks down at it.
Your body looks more or less like it did when you got up this morning, with no sign that you'd suffered any serious injury.

"Your weakness is a normal side effect of the process used in your recovery," the doctor says. "Based on our data concerning your healing factor, you should be fully recovered within the next two hours -- if you do not do anything to injure yourself further," she adds as you keep trying to sit up.

That's when you realize something odd -- while you do heal quickly, you have picked up a few scars in your combat training and active service. So where are they?

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Re: [IC] To Live ... [1]: The Sun, The Rain, And The Appleseed

Post by jmucchiello » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:10 am

BINARY

Could she hear us? Jacen thought.

Possibly, I can't really move. Jaina thought.

Binary tilted her head back with effort to see the cloning vat behind her.

The tech here is out of this world. That must be a cloning chamber or something. Jaina thought.

Jainie, do you remember after the scythe? Jacen thought.

What do you mean? We passed out. Jaina thought.

There was something else. Somewhere else. I-- I couldn't even feel you there. Jacen thought.

Oh, that. Jaina thought. I thought we died.

There was an awkward silence between them. In the room, machines of unknown purpose made periodic noises. Binary was sure one of them was her own heartbeat. She had heard it before.

I can't feel the collar on our neck. Jacen thought.

I know. Jaina thought.

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Re: [IC] To Live ... [1]: The Sun, The Rain, And The Appleseed

Post by RainOnTheSun » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:44 am

Peacekeeper
Davies wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:05 am
Your body looks more or less like it did when you got up this morning, with no sign that you'd suffered any serious injury.

"Your weakness is a normal side effect of the process used in your recovery," the doctor says. "Based on our data concerning your healing factor, you should be fully recovered within the next two hours -- if you do not do anything to injure yourself further," she adds as you keep trying to sit up.

That's when you realize something odd -- while you do heal quickly, you have picked up a few scars in your combat training and active service. So where are they?
Genevieve traces her fingers across her unblemished stomach. For a year she'd had a mark just above her navel from a kinetic energy penetrator. She'd been simultaneously embarrassed at being shot by something as obvious as a tank gun and proud of herself for being shot by a tank gun and walking it off. Now it's gone. She doesn't say anything about it.

"What about the people?" she asks the blue-haired woman. "The apartment building. Did I save them?"

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Re: [IC] To Live ... [1]: The Sun, The Rain, And The Appleseed

Post by EpicEclipse » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:44 am

INQUISITOR (Victoria Riese)
1 :HP ο COND: Healthy

Everything was ringing and blurry. Of course, that probably had something to do with the flash grenade that went off way too close for comfort.

She'd only had a split second notice, her sixth sense had failed, as it had been lately when the shadowy organization that had "made" her were involved. Victoria figured maybe they'd found a way to cloak themselves from her psychic danger sense. It was as good an explanation as any even though she had no evidence. Other dangers still set it off, just not the agents that doggedly hunted after her at any opportunity.

She was working with a squad of resistance "freedom fighters" who had planned to apprehend some corporate suit and use Victoria's powers to force an admission of guilt and control the guy to bust out all the evidence they could possibly ever need to put him away. What'd he do exactly? Victoria couldn't really remember from the mission brief, but it had something to do with pharmaceuticals. Gouging sick people for pills? That might have been it. Scummy in any case, though she wasn't sure how warranted the cell's plans were, but she was along because she needed to obtain a particular medication that would later be broken down and blended with a different medicine to create the serum she required in order to keep her powers in check.

Just thinking about the pain her powers could cause if she was even a few hours late for a dose was enough to make her head throb momentarily, and that led to why she was working with the resistance. They had doctors that could make her medicine with the right supplies, but she had to help them with their goals, as well as with procuring the supplies for her medicine, which brought them all here. Two birds, one proverbial stone.

And then everything went sideways. Suddenly two of the freedom fighters were down, sniped likely and then there were blinding lights and deafening sounds as flash grenades were thrown, one going off within arm's reach of Victoria's face, blowing out her eardrums for certain and blinding her, sending the psychic scurrying. Blinded, deafened and unable to even use her sixth sense to tell where danger was coming from, Victoria was helpless and couldn't perceive the person who stood over her the moment before she heard one final bang and everything went from white to black.
Except that wasn't the end.
Victoria's eyes opened and she saw, surprisingly considering the state of her retinas, she was floating in some kind of fluid, but could barely move. Everything was still so fuzzy...she could see some colors and shapes, but details were too hard, as was consciousness as she founding it difficult to hang onto awareness for more than a moment here and there. It got a little easier over time, and eventually, she was able to make out someone approaching, though apparently not floating themselves.

The sudden reimplementing of gravity as the fluid drained away and Victoria felt herself falling was startling, but she was too weak to even move her arms to break the fall. Fortunately, the fall landed on something soft, but she felt disoriented as hands touched her and moved away, the voices belonging to those hands shifting back and forth from understandable to gibberish.
Then someone leans over you. It is the blue-haired woman. She speaks in faintly accented English. "It is all right. You are safe now."
Victoria tried to talk but winced as her voice came out harsh and ragged. Clearing her throat, she tried once more. "Safe....where?" she was suspicious...she couldn't remember the last time she felt "safe" without her sixth sense humming ever so slightly...or maybe that was paranoia making her think that's what that was... "I don't....I don't remember....they said 'no memory loss'...but I don't know what happened. What do they mean about psyche implantation?" She was starting to panic. The dissonance of having gone from a violent but at least familiar situation to this sterile and calm atmosphere was causing her mind to do some stressful acrobatics to make sense of things. "Am...am I dead? Is this....Heaven or something? I don't think I belong here..."

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Re: [IC] To Live ... [1]: The Sun, The Rain, And The Appleseed

Post by Davies » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:07 am

Peacekeeper:
RainOnTheSun wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:44 am
"What about the people?" she asks the blue-haired woman. "The apartment building. Did I save them?"
"I am sorry, I do not have that information," the doctor replies. "I will try to obtain the answers for you by the time of the debriefing. For now, please focus on your own health and well-being." With that, she turns and heads out the door.

Inquisitor:
EpicEclipse wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:44 am
Victoria tried to talk but winced as her voice came out harsh and ragged. Clearing her throat, she tried once more. "Safe....where?" she was suspicious...she couldn't remember the last time she felt "safe" without her sixth sense humming ever so slightly...or maybe that was paranoia making her think that's what that was... "I don't....I don't remember....they said 'no memory loss'...but I don't know what happened. What do they mean about psyche implantation?" She was starting to panic. The dissonance of having gone from a violent but at least familiar situation to this sterile and calm atmosphere was causing her mind to do some stressful acrobatics to make sense of things. "Am...am I dead? Is this....Heaven or something? I don't think I belong here..."
The doctor waits until you are finished speaking to answer, though her eyes visibly widen when you mention psyche implantation. When you at last fall silent, she reaches out and presses her hand to yours.

<This may be more efficient,> her mind speaks to your mind. <My name is Dr. Emiri Masuto. You are in a hospital, and you are not presently dead. You suffered what we would consider a serious injury resulting in your temporary death, but we were able to restore you, eventually. I will attempt to explain the situation in greater detail to you and to a number of other patients in the same situation at the same time, in the interests of brevity. For now, please accept my assurances that you are in a safe place, and that those who wanted to hurt you cannot do so.>

You do not have the energy to attempt to use telepathy beyond touch communication.

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