Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Be a knight in shining armor, a troll under a bridge, a helium-seller in a steampunk world...whoever you want to be.

Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby agoraoptera on Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:04 am

"Asterus.. Haberdasher... You're a haberdasher, could you-" Calarine stopped abruptly and shook herself from her daze. "What the hell is going on here, Asterus? What's with the siren, what in the world happened?" Then a thought occurred to her. "You! Was it you? Did you cause this?"

My dear, be careful about him. The Cat whispered. There's that dead man on the floor, my, what a fine grin. I'll bet you the boy's had something to do with it. Calarine felt the Cat's presence recede into her and suddenly she was alone, frightfully alone, with a grinning boy, both of them drenched in sticky crimson. The Cat was gone.

"Did you kill the man too? What are you, some kind of psycho pervert? Stay away from me!" Calarine screamed hysterically, backing off and holding the scissors with both hands in an attempt to ward off the hatted magician. "Y-you've always done crazy things, now you're completely off your rocker and gone and killed people and cut their faces and you're gonna kill me and cut me too, aren't you? Stay the hell away from me!"

Then her eyes caught sight of the drying blood that plastered her skin from fingertips to just before the elbows, a macabre glove that cracked and crinkled with every motion she made.

"What.. the blood.. I..." Her head drooped low, eyes to the floor, hair falling forward in an undignified sprawl as if in mimicry of some haunting ghost. Ever so slightly, almost imperceptibly, she shook and shivered. Without warning, a screeching wail arose from deep within her ragged throat. The siren continued to whine, rising and falling, and her own unnerving wail followed suit. It was very much like the strange crying that two cats made when they stood off, each unmoving, each waiting for the perfect moment to strike. The shrill piercing went on and on, neither of them moving. It could have been mere seconds, it could have been long minutes, neither could say with complete certainty.

Then Calarine jerked away with shocking violence as if breaking out from some invisible bond.

"Why is this happening to me? Why? Why?" She yelled with ever-increasing volume. "What is going on?"

With one final shriek, she ran down the hallway and, quite literally, faded from sight into vague translucency.
If you can make it better, don't make it sentient.

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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby Scarab on Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:36 am

It was safe to say that Akahana no longer cared about the physics test. Not with such a bright and burning example of thermal activity taking place right in front of her anyway.

That thought was... not her own, she was sure of it. But then, she didn’t think it sounded very much like Alice, either. When she had been small she had watched the oil spilling from a wok and catching aflame, rising up against their kitchen ceiling and scorching your face. The heat now was similar... Except the tempura hadn’t screamed the way the mussels would, alive in a boiling pan. Not the way that people were screaming now. And yet here she was, probably only alive by virtue of Alice’s dip in the lake. She was outside, in a hastily thrown on uniform and with her hair still slightly damp, watching as the main building was consumed in a fire that seemed to burst from one room to the next in sequence, like pinecones bursting open on a spring day.

‘A-Alice? Alice!’

Alice stirred, tense and anxious. No wonder really: the whole building was on fire, but Akahana couldn’t hear any sirens, couldn’t hear anything but the fire and the screaming. There weren’t even people trying to climb out of windows as she was sure there should be by now. ‘Oh... oh dear, oh dear, I don’t think that’s the proper way to paint things red at all.’

‘Alice the... the school...’

‘Yes and also there is a cat, Miss Akahana, I do believe there is a cat in there.’

A cat? The whole building was aflame! Akahana could feel the heat from over here! Why on earth would a single CAT stand out amongst all that?

‘There’s... there are people in there, Alice we have to do something!’

‘Not for long there won’t be, Miss, and the cat doesn’t burn, the cat laughs at the fire. Did you not hear him laughing? How cheerfully he seems to grin, how neatly spread his claws, and welcome little people in with gently smiling jaws!’

‘Stop it! You're talking gibberish and tell me what’s going on!’

‘Everything is the wrong shade of red, Miss Akahana,’ Alice said. There was no humour in her words. Panic was growing inside of them, like a nest. Something building twig by twig by twig inside of her, except that the twigs were alive and moving and it felt as if they were scratching at her ribcage. Akahana knew it was Alice thinking these thoughts and not herself: she didn’t have the imagination to come up with something like that. ‘Blood and fire are not the same, it is not the same as the roses at all, they don’t understand and now they’re burning everything to find us.’

‘U-us?’ Akahana could feel her stomach rising. Before her, the building burned. ‘We have to do something!’

It sounded ridiculous to her, even as she said it. After all what could either of them do? A crazy little girl and the voice inside her head, standing watching as the building burned to ashes with all the people inside of it and oh god, all those people... Akahana could feel the dread creeping through her, like a dream, as if something (maybe Alice) was holding it back just a little. ‘Alice, we have to do something! Can’t you DO something?!’

‘No no no no NO no no.!’ Alice’s voice yelled. ‘Stay here Eager Eyes, stay here or go back. Either way, stay quiet and eager not to be burned instead of eager to put all those words into our brain, for words will not help us now, not at all. The only words that matter now are ‘fire’ and ‘run’... well, and possibly ‘roses’, because they always matter, Miss Akahana, always. Remember this and perhaps you might not die.’

‘Y-you’re not...’ Akahana stammered. She tried willing herself to move. Forward, backwards, anything was better than just standing here in the parking lot while the world around her burned, but her feet stayed rooted to the spot. ‘You’re not making sense!’

‘We are not the lizards and this is not a hot day in the desert places...’ Alice said sharply. Then she hesitated. ‘This is the important thing.’

‘The... important thing?’ Akahana found a voice from somewhere. Her eyes were stinging from smoke and panic alike.

‘Yes. Do you know the Walrus lured the fish to him, to dance and sing and be eaten? He called it funny and I suppose it was, in a way. Comedy is what you call it when it isn’t happening to you. It is happening to us, Miss Akahana, and it is happening all around us. Do you want to be eaten?’

‘N-no.’

‘Then we must not go into the fire,' Alice sounded frightened... no, more than that: Alice sounded angry. Akahana could feel that anger now, easting its way up from the dark, hollow place inside of her: it was a place that everyone had, a place where monsters came from, but Akahana had come to think of her’s as Alice. ‘We must wait... we must wait for them to come to us. And if there is a cat...’ she paused. Then, inexplicably, Alice felt a laugh rising up inside of her, like a kind of happy hysteria. ‘Oh, I have heard of this! That must be them, it must be!’

‘W-what?’

‘That must be so! The storm has come, Miss Akahana! We had best to hope everyone has brought their umbrellas!’
They sometimes say, "the place where I am right now was circled on a map for me"... Unfortunately, I kind of suck at orienteering.
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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby Qara-Xuan Zenith on Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:29 pm

Daniel laughed louder and louder, drowning out all other sounds-- and yet, at some point, his ears registered what wasn't quite a different sound, a soprano voice joining in his laughter, harmonizing and intermingling. He looked up, to locate the source of the sound...

"My, my... I'd heard tales of the Hare's truly dynamic sense of humor. Seeing it for myself for the first time is rather... purr-fect." The voice was Lorelei's but he couldn't make out where it was coming from. He felt a minor twinge of annoyance that she hadn't stayed put where she was safe, but it was clear, as drew her sword out of the man he had been beating with his human club-- how had she managed to stab him without Daniel noticing?--, that she had a sense of humour to rival his own. And who was he to hog all the fun?

"Oops," Lorelei said, as her target slumped to the floor. "My hand slipped. My bad."

Daniel chuckled, the sound almost eerily tame compared to his earlier mad cackling, as he stepped back, allowing Lori the fun of stabbing her own target or whatever she planned to do, as he proceeded to slowly break all the bones of the man he was already conveniently holding.

The corridor filled with the Clubs' agonized yells, as the two teenagers dealt with them as they each saw fit. However, while Daniel's target was imprisoned in the boy's steely grip, Lorelei's mark was luckier, able while there was still strength enough for movement in him to try to escape the range of her sword. Where did her sword even come from? Daniel wondered, as he tested how far he could twist the Club's elbow before it snapped.

Lorelei's Club scrambled away from her, tucking himself into a roll down the hallway and emerging with his weapon upraised. Bruised and scraped as he was from her attacks, he hardly looked in a position to use it, but he certainly had nothing to lose from firing if they tried to follow him. They watched him disappear around a corner, before turning their attention back to the Club that Daniel still held, who had long ago stopped struggling and was now growing increasingly white in the face.

Daniel looked down ah his prisoner, then across at the tiny girl, his eyes travelling from the tip of her now-bloody sword up to her face, which looked more animated than he'd ever seen her. He cleared his throat. "So, uh... it's going to take a while, and probably be really messy, if I just squeeze this guy to death or whatever. Care to lend a hand?" There was a muffled squeak of alarm from the man who had already run his voice ragged in screaming earlier, as Lorelei walked over, seeming more than happy to oblige.
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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby AMimsyBorogove on Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:17 pm

Asterus raised an eyebrow beneath the brim of his hat, his grin becoming somewhat lopsided and sardonic as the girl reacted unexpectedly, stumbling away from him in fright and accusing him of all people of killing the man now lying on the floor. Honestly, even the Hatter's twisted mind couldn't wrap itself around whatever leap of illogic had brought her to that conclusion. I mean sure, he was soaked in blood, but the wounds on that body had been inflicted by the very scissors in Calarine's hands, and she, given the stains all over her, had pretty obviously been the one to do it. So, did that mean that she didn't remember what happened when she used her powers? Odd. Her connection to her spirit must have been flawed. Well, either that, or the spirit itself was flawed. Asterus had already predicted exactly who it was he was speaking to - the Glaswegian grin on the body's face, and the unique Underland energy he'd sensed around the girl as her spirit spoke to her, had been more than enough to tip him off - but it was always nice to be sure of things. So, the jolly old cat's wounds had carried over to this mad realm, after all?

"Now, now, Miss. Don't be absurd!" Asterus said altogether too cheerfully, holding up his hand in a manner that might have been placating if that same hand hadn't been also holding a cane that seemed to have somehow acquired a few scraps of internal organs, as well as a staggering amount of blood, upon its blunt end. "Just because somebody's mad doesn't mean they're a pathological, bloodthirsty homicidal maniac. I mean, seriously now. That's just a misconception promoted by Hollywood." He dismissively waved his hand, spreading a few scraps of leftover gore from the end of his cane. "Besides!" He said cheerfully, with the air of someone completely and totally innocent, as though he was simply talking about the weather. "I couldn't have killed this man. I was too busy murdering his two accomplices downstairs after they blew up all of the students hiding in the west wing and massacred the doorguards and the receptionist. Oh, and that reminds me, long story short, these guys-" He poked the corpse with his cane to demonstrate his meaning. "-are here to murder you, me, and everyone you and I might conceivably be even remotely acquainted with, and so far - at the latter task, at least - they've largely succeeded."

...

It was around this time that the girl started crying. Asterus' smile faltered slightly, turning into an expression of bemusement, as though this hadn't been something he'd expected. Well, in his own humble opinion, it was rather unusual. I mean, all he'd done was answer all of her questions calmly and in a clear, understandable manner. It paid not to panic in situations like this, after all. But, in any case, she'd gotten the answers she wanted, so why was she staring at him like he was the devil incarnate? Well, he supposed, he might have been just a little disconcerted by just having brutally killed two men in cold blood, but it wasn't all that bad as to warrant breaking out into tears, was it? Seriously! It was just self defense, and besides, those schmucks had it coming to them! But, evidently, he was the only one looking at this situation from a logical perspective. The girl seemed too preoccupied with bawling in confusion, fright, and grief. The Hatter sighed, rubbing his forehead with a somewhat bloody hand. Why was it that he always had to be the sensible one, anyway?! He was supposed to be mad. Geez. If things continued at this rate, he'd be unemployed. Well, then again, there was always that bagel business. Yeah, he could probably fall back on that...

Asterus sighed, shaking his head sadly as the girl screamed something and began to run away. Granted, he was quite used to women shrieking at him and fleeing for their lives - his attempts to charm the ladies had just never been the same after the time he accidentally turned poor Caroline's hamster into a mobius strip - but still, it was rather frustrating, nonetheless. Seriously, why the hysteria? They were just at ground zero of a massacre, forced to watch as everyone around them died a fiery death, and to fight for their lives and commit unspeakable acts of manslaughter that would probably scar most witnesses for life, all in the name of their own survival. This was possibly the most inappropriate place for an emotional breakdown and subsequent panic that you could possibly imagine. Still, he supposed, he couldn't expect everyone to be mad like him. He really pitied those sane folk. Sighing yet again, the Hatter folded up his umbrella, removed his hat, and dropped both his cane and the bloodstained parasol into its depths. Then, donning the accoutrement, he turned, and walked into a nearby bathroom.

...

The grin the Hatter wore as he abruptly swung down out of the ventilation shaft above the corridor, hanging by his legs with his arms crossed idly as he dangled upside-down - his hat inexplicably failing completely to dislodge from his head under the force of gravity - could best have been compared to a small child let loose in the largest candy shop in the world with a million dollars in his pocket. Well, either that, or to a lion preparing to devour a particularly tasty morsel of meat.

"You know, it's really rude to run away from people when they're trying to hold a civil conversation," He pointed out, speaking to the seemingly empty corridor before him. But, even if he couldn't see her, he knew the girl was here. Her footsteps hadn't exactly been hard to locate. Mentally, he sighed again. Why did he always have to be the responsible one? Seriously. What would people do without him to keep things under control? Most likely, run blindly into their remaining enemies, or into the strange barrier around the school, which would probably disintegrate them upon contact, or something equally troublesome. And, he supposed, friends didn't let friends let their host bodies fall into a fatal panic and kill themselves.

"In any case," He continued, casually dropping from the air vent and promptly landing perfectly balanced upon his head. Once again, his hat failed entirely to obey the laws of physics, somehow managing to stay atop his head in addition to somehow supporting his weight without issue, like some sort of bizarre pedestal. Grinning, the Hatter bounced up, landing on his feet once more and dusting off his jacket with an altogether too casual demeanor. "You need to stop, take a deep breath, and listen to me." These words were delivered with an almost parental air, as though he was scolding a child for misbehaving instead of accosting an invisible girl while soaked in the blood of two men he'd just horrifically murdered.

"First: calm down. I don't mind if you get all hysterical when your life isn't on the line, but I'd greatly prefer if you didn't run the risk of dying needlessly by running about like a chicken with its head cut off in what is now officially a bloody warzone." Asterus held up a single finger, then another as he continued. "Second: have some tea~!" He punctuated this abruptly much more cheerful statement with a friendly grin as he produced a saucer and steaming teacup from his back pocket, gleefully failing to spill even a single drop of it as he extended his hand, offering the dish to thin air. "And thirdly..." He finished, holding up a third and final finger.

"Smile a little, why don't you!" His smile suddenly became almost sinister in its slyness, and his voice lowered to a knowing, almost teasing pitch. "It's uncouth of you to lose your grin so shockingly..." The Hatter cooed, adjusting his fedora. His eyes flashed a bright shade of azure, and his smirk broadened, revealed as he tilted back his head to brush a stray strand of auburn hair from his face. A stream of blood-tinted light, disrupted but not broken by the barrier around the school, silhouetted him in a crimson glare, bringing the blood soaking him from head to toe into stark relief while casting a black shadow over his blood-streaked face.

"...my dear Cheshire Cat."
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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby Sicon112 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:41 pm

There was a crash as the whiteboard at the front of the burning classroom fell to the ground, snapped, and was consumed by the ravenous flames. Lawrence stood silently at the windows and removed a hand from his pocket to brush a stray strand of hair aside. However, his eyes caught on to the ephemeral red glint surrounding the raging inferno that had once been a building and his hand paused.

Rabbit, get up here.

The response came a moment later. "You called?"

Lawrence's hand began to absently play with the strand of hair hanging between his eyes, leaving his right hand inside his pocket. Even though the fire was consuming the room behind him, the boy wasn't particularly worried. He had plenty of time until the room became inescapable to normal humans, and it would be even longer before it became too late for him to get out. Look closely at the edge of the grounds. I think there's trouble.

The Rabbit's voice was dim, almost as if he was speaking from a great distance. That was actually a good description of what he was doing, hiding deep within his tower and speaking to his host through only the smallest of links, partially to conceal their presence from the attackers, if there were any more, but also partially because both of them were still disturbed by the recent incident. "What do you- Ah. I see it. It's from a distance, but that's definitely Underland energy, courtesy of our fine friends from before. They really are taking this seriously."

It's safe to say we are trapped here then? Lawrence's frown deepened. A desk collapsed with a clatter behind him, but he payed it no heed. Looking to the sides at the rest of the building, which was almost entirely on fire, he focused on his partner once more. This building won't last for much longer. It looks like those damn firemen are uselessly late as always, though I wonder if they could even get through that bar-

The Rabbit's shout of surprise cut him off. "Lawrence, below us!"

What?

"On the grounds, looking up at the building, someone is there. I can sense... Oh. OH. There is only one person who resonates like that."

Lawrence looked down, and sure enough, a small girl was looking up at the building from far below in horror. It's Alice's host then? He filled in the blanks without needing to be told. Our earlier assumption was right, in that case. It appears they didn't come here for us. At least, not specifically. That's better than expected. The observer's mind whirled as he kept messing with his hair in silence, trying to come up with a new schedule, and a new plan. However, he had no goals currently other than survival, and that seemed to have been relatively simple so far. Furthermore, this situation had too many unknown elements to properly create a schedule. Annoyance flared within him, and he made a noise of disgust. With another look at the person below, who almost appeared to be looking in his direction now, he turned and left the room as the roof collapsed behind him and flames poured out into the corridor. The Rabbit remained deep within his mind, hidden from the senses of almost everyone as Lawrence strode quietly down the burning hallway, ignoring the heat and smoke.
Normal people are the easiest to manipulate. Too smart and they have an annoying tendency to catch wind of your plans, too dumb and, in the words of a certain pirate, "You can never tell when they are about to do something incredibly...stupid."
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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby Lordxana0 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:38 pm

"Sadness, I didn't get to see the Alice in action, maybe next time" the man on the roof stood up and explode into butterfly's which migrated their way over to the girl who held the Alice inside of her. They quickly reformed into a man and knelt before her.

"It is an honor to see you again dear sweet Alice, and Akahana late to class again, I might have to drop you a letter grade if you are late again" standing for the most likely confused girl was her physics teacher dressed in his usual ware but looking quite different at the same time. He sported a small smile that replaced his normal frown. "Oh dear girl I am sure you are confused, so allow me to show you something" he put his hands together and a butterfly appeared and flew up to rest on her head. As it did it flooded her with images and information about the battle and those who held the guardians. "Isn't that much better?" he stood up. "By the by, no need to call me Mr. Masters since we are in such an informal setting, call me Loric, holder Seeker of Miracles Caterpillar" He allowed some of his power to slip through, just enough to allow everyone to know he had arrived.

( Spirit Information- Caterpillar
He is known as the Spirit of ultimate wisdom, said to have been the one that raised the Alice spirit before she was locked away due to the uncontrollable nature of her power. Most people say he has the power level of a queen, through he has never been seen in action. This spirit yearns for information, its only goal in existence is to see something that can truly be called a "Miracle" by him. He has never actively taken a side in the Blood War between the Red and White queen, much happier to observe and smoke.)
Who you going to call? ME!
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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby agoraoptera on Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:47 am

Between one moment's blink and the next, at the sound of the word 'Cat', the indistinct long-haired silhouette resolved itself. Calarine sat against the wall, head to her knees, rocking back and forth in an almost languid manner. Her gore-covered arms were wrapped around her slender legs and her fingers tapped a constant rhythm, as if she were attempting to hypnotise herself.

Slowly, her neck turned to face the hatted youth and, surprise surprise, across her face was plastered back the original smile that stretched too widely in a painful arc, almost from eye to eye, almost like the dead Clubs with his cheeks adjusted to fit his beatific new look. A pity, that he was dead and so would not be able to enjoy it.

"Aaaaaasterus?" She called out through her gleaming teeth splotched with irregular Rorschach blotches. Then her pitch changed, being less whimsical and being quieter. "Asterus? I can't... I.." Her voice returned to its singsong state. "Aaaasterus, she dragged out, "dear darling Asterus, did you feel that? Unmistakable, isn't it?" There was something vaguely mocking in her tone, though there was no discernable reason for it to be so. Then her voice switched again, this time with mewling fear. ".. just can't stop it, Asterus, help me, please, help me, I'm begging you-" Switch. "-to help me find the old Caterpillar. He ought to know something, that might even be important, hm?"

All the while her body continued to rock back and forth as though caught in the throes of some muscle spasm. "It's in there, it's taking over, Asterus, help me, please.."

Then with a frightening crick, she stood, if a broken ragdoll being drawn up on invisble marionette lines could be regarded as standing, arms and legs limp, body curving backwards, balancing unnaturally on the front of her feet. Another loud crack sounded as her head snapped like a speeding bullet to regard him with the unchanging grin they both wore.

"Let's have a little fun now, Hatter dear. But first, that tea you were saying?" Her arm shot forward, outstretched, but her hand hung dangling, scissors still caught between her flaccid digits. "This might be a problem. Be kind enough to feed this little kitty cat some tea and milk,- especially milk!- would you?"
If you can make it better, don't make it sentient.

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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby Scarab on Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:06 pm

Somewhere through the snare of panic (not all of it her own), Akahana was aware that her physics teacher had just leapt down from the roof, turned into a swirling mass of butterflies and reformed in front of her, before starting to talk in a voice that was very much not the voice of the man who was always calling her up to give answers in the middle of class, because she was the only one who paid attention.

She was starting to get the impression that she shouldn’t be surprised by this stuff.

‘I... we...’

"Oh dear girl I am sure you are confused, so allow me to show you something."

Akahana had no time to protest before the butterfly appeared: small and black with red painted wings, it fluttered over and landed on her head. And that was it, basically. Whatever coherence and control Akahana had been clinging to disintegrated under the memories hitting her like a torrent of ice water. The bottom of the world dropped out and she fell for what felt like forever, the rest of the world seeming to fall too. There were the cars that had been strewn throughout the parking lot, and uprooted trees and streetlamps tumbling into the abyss right along with her.

When she came back to herself, Akahana was standing in what looked like a throne room. Except that most throne rooms didn’t go off so far into the distance that you couldn’t see the actual throne, and they weren’t covered in crawling vines that entwined themselves around every available surface.

She saw blood, and roses, and the throne room floor became a road spread out before her, strewn with the blood of millennia. The people all around her were shadows. There was a battle going on, she knew that much, but it was a battle happening... somewhere else. Sometime else, before tests mattered, before school mattered, when the only things that bound people together were love, hate and blood. Mostly blood.

There were... only the the shapes of people. And not even really people. There was a man with the cruel laugh, and the cat... It was a cat, wasn’t it? And yet it’s jaws were as wide as a city, and it’s eyes as bright as madness. And there, in the middle of it all was a girl, standing in the midst of a throng of battle. Her body was wrapped in chains that should have crushed such a tiny figure with their weight and the chains themselves were wrapped in vines, covered in white roses that were steadily turning red. Her dress was blue, her eyes bright red, and hr face looked almost exactly like Akahana’s own. There was a pounding inside of Akahana’s mind.

‘No no no, leave here leave here get out we do not like these memories miss, get out of these memories!’

When she dragged herself out of the wellspring of thoughts, the world felt cold and still and her body felt like it were held together with masking tape. Mister Master’s hands were still gripping her shoulders, and the school building still burned in the background.

Akahana fell to her knees, gasping in the cold, ashen air, tasting blood on her tongue. This morning Alice had been... what had she been to Akahana? Just a strange voice in the back of her head, Akahana thought. Alice was... a delusion or something, something she had cooked up to keep herself company. There were all kinds of psychological papers that she had read on the subject: disassociation, hallucination, there were explanations for her, explanations for everything.

But there were no answers or explanations for the things she had just seen in her head: the courtroom battlefield, and the rose strewn grounds.

‘The Alice in Chains.’ The voice of Mister Masters (no not Mister Masters, anything but him, how could this ever still be the same man who taught her physics class and science with all the energy of somebody who actually enjoyed teaching?) ‘A remarkable creature. Perhaps the most remarkable of them all, and there she rests inside of your tiny human mind. It’s a bit much, I know, but you have to control it, Miss Sato. Frankly, you have no choice in the matter. You’re the only one who can. You have to stand up, and you have to run.’

‘I-I don’t...’

Mister Master was chuckling, but his hands were on her shoulder. His fingers were thin and tight, but he was... smiling, almost madly. ‘She chose you. Surely you have some inkling of an understanding as to what that means? Run, Akahana Sato. Pretend you aren’t pathetic on the track team, and perhaps she’ll show you. You have to get away from this building... although that said, there are walls around us. Walls you can’t break without risking your life. So you must hide as well, do you understand?’

‘No!’ Akahana blurted out, shaking her head rapidly back and forth. She didn’t. She didn’t understand at all, she didn’t know what was going on. All she knew was that the only world she knew was burning down and people were screaming and her mind was filled with images of the world crumbling asunder and a girl, in a blue dress.

‘Eager Eyes? Please don’t.’ The voice of Alice was sad and desperate inside her head and perhaps, in a strange way, it was also tinged with something almost like affection. It was mad, and desperate, but Akahana clung to that feeling even as she clutched the sides of her head in pain, feeling as if the fibres inside her head might all explode at once.

‘You... you never told me this. You never said anything about any of this!’

‘There was no way it could be told, miss Akahana. It would be like teaching a fish to breath in the air. It does not work. But you see now. You see. We shall be together, and I will protect you and you will keep me whole and here, and we shall not be slaves to anyone. We shall never be slaves again!’
They sometimes say, "the place where I am right now was circled on a map for me"... Unfortunately, I kind of suck at orienteering.
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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby AMimsyBorogove on Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:27 pm

Asterus raised an eyebrow as the Cat's contractor, the girl whose name he still did not know, abruptly re-appeared. For a moment, he'd thought that he'd coaxed her out of hiding by revealing that he knew her identity, but was on her side. However, it quickly became apparent that he'd only coaxed part of her out. Specifically, the Cheshire Cat she held within her soul. Asterus was familiar with the uncomfortable feeling of madness taking hold on one's soul, having experienced it many times over the course of his training to master the powers of his hat, and, consequently, also had little trouble recognizing when a similar type of madness was beginning to overwhelm another Human being.

Now, Asterus liked to think of himself as a good person, despite all of his insane tendencies. Consequently, it was rather saddening to him to see the girl so overwhelmed by the creature inside of her. He'd assumed that, since she'd employed the Cat's powers before, she must have had at least some degree of control over it, but evidently, it was just the other way around, with the Cat taking over her body in situations where it was called upon to do so. He almost wanted to reverse what he'd just done, but, even as the girl pleaded him to do something, he had to recognize that there was very little he could actually accomplish to suppress an Underworld being when it already had such a firm grip of another person's heart. Hmm, maybe whatever strange mechanics the barrier now surrounding the school ran on could be reverse-engineered and reproduced on a smaller scale to generate a seal against madness... But, there would be time for that later. At the current time, the Hatter had not the means nor the time to help this girl. Just like he hadn't been able to help the girl from his world...

Shaking his head sadly, Asterus gave a wry smile to the girl just before the Cat's influence took sway. "I apologize, miss," The young magician said regretfully. "But I'm afraid that I can't help you control yourself. Don't worry, though. No harm will come to you. You're in capable paws now. So just sleep, wake up, and, if you like, pretend all of this was just a dream. Yes, that's right. Everything will be fine. 'Night, now. Sleep tight." He grinned down at her, and then stepped back just as the change came over her face for the last time. As the girl, now fully and totally the Cheshire Cat, rose with her - or would it be his now? Its, maybe? - trademark absurd grin, and the Hatter matched it despite the lingering regret within his heart.

"Indeed," The Magician concurred, handing off the saucer of tea to the Cat, then procuring a small dish of milk from within his hat and offering it as well, so that the Cat, who knew best what he-she-it wanted, could decide how much to add. "If the Caterpillar's here, he must have located a certain someone, even before I could. In that case, if we find him, we find-" The Hatter continued, but then abruptly froze mid-sentence, spinning to look out the window, his azure eyes dancing frantically across the glass until he found two distant figures upon which his gaze settled. Down there in the courtyard, he was sensing a sudden flaring of Underworld energy. First, it was just the power of the Caterpillar he'd sensed, but now, that power was interacting with another medium. Probing to see what this other familiar entity was, he'd discovered at long last what he'd been trying to find for so long. That power could only be the one and only strongest of all the Underworlders, Alice in Chains!

Spinning about once again with a sudden violence, he turned to face the Cat, his expression serious but his eyes gleaming. "There'll be time for tea later, my friend," He said with a sudden quiet sternness that clashed with his previous carefree demeanor. "Make haste, for our dear friend is here! It's time for our long-awaited tea party, one attended by a guest we've been missing for all this time!" With this hurried explanation, the Hatter once more doffed his hat, reached in, and hastily produced a large, oriental-style blue and gold parasol to replace the last umbrella he'd so badly soaked in gore. This one, a very old-fashioned accessory made largely of woven straw, was unusual in that it had an oddly broad handle and haft to it, more ovular in shape at its base than circular. The purpose of this odd design was made clear a moment later when, laying hold of the handle, the Hatter drew forth a concealed sword, a thin-bladed Nodachi almost as long as he himself was tall that somehow inexplicably emerged from the parasol only about 2/3rds its length. At any rate, there was little time to ponder this, for with a grunt and a powerful slash, the Hatter brought the blade to bear against one of the large hallway windows, somehow managing to deal four quick blows so fast as to carve the pane of the window completely free of its fastenings and to send it falling from its placement without even breaking the glass in the process. This left no jagged edges to be dealt with, which in turn made it much easier on the Hatter for him to swiftly sheathe the concealed weapon within the umbrella once more, then to leap out through the hole, holding his hat with one hand and the umbrella with the other, evidently completely undaunted by the three story fall he now faced. Flipping head-over-heels in mid air, he unfolded the umbrella... and inexplicably began to hover slowly down as though slowed by a parachute. Satisfied once he got decently close to the ground, he folded the parasol once again, dropped, rolled, and hit the ground running, laughing to himself all the while as he dashed behind a tree, and disappeared.

...

The man in black, the blood that had stained his suit now vanished without a trace, stepped out abruptly in front of the fleeing girl only a short distance from where she'd first begun her flight. His umbrella casually spinning over his head despite the clearness of the sky, he gave a cheerful smile and tipped his cap with his free hand, exposing a few strands of auburn hair to the red tinted sunlight as his eyes flashed their usual cerulean hue. He grinned in a manner that might have been kindly if it didn't at the same time cause him to seemingly close his eyes in an altogether too foxlike manner to be considered normal.

"Good afternoon," The Hatter said cheerfully. "Although I understand your desire to escape, I'm afraid its foolish for you to go any further. As far as I can tell, this little wall here-" He pointed to the gleaming scarlet boundary a short distance behind him and shrugged. "-is specifically geared to hurt people like us. But of course, you probably already knew that, didn't you... Alice?" Asterus' grin broadened. "I'm sure that you could easily break through it with your powers, of course," He continued, speaking as casually as ever. "But before you go to all that trouble and risk hurting yourself, why not see if there's an easier solution, no? There must be some sort of machine generating this ward, after all. A puddle only forms if it rains, and rain can't reach us here, so if we could make it rain here, then the barrier needs must fall. So, if water will break whatever is causing this, then we can logically assume that it must be some sort of machine, because machines short out when wet, yes?" The Hatter smiled, rather pleased with his impeccable and indubitable illogic. "So, all we have to do is find the machine and turn it off, and then we're free as can be. But, oh, I seem to have forgotten to introduce myself. I have a bad habit of doing that, you see. But then again, you probably already know at least something of me, don't you? Or have you forgotten? In any case, my name is Asterus Xerxes Rysell, the Mad Hatter, an old friend come to find you at last." He removed his cap, folding his umbrella as he did so, and took a deep bow, then went even further and dropped entirely to one knee, kneeling before Akahana, and, more importantly, the spirit he now knew dwelt inside her. "It has been a long time," He said regretfully, smiling up at her. "A dreadfully long time. I'm glad to see that you're alright despite all this messy business, Alice. Oh, but how rude of me! I should ask what you are called in this world, shouldn't I? Or are there two of you, now? Then perhaps I should inquire as to the name of your lovely new friend. It is a pleasure to meet you, whomever you might be, young miss." Still grinning, he rose, and, bowing once more - still to Akahana, but this time actually to her instead of towards Alice, who dwelt inside her - before placing his fedora upon his head once more, and unfolding his parasol again. In the split second that he was obscured from view by the umbrella, however, he suddenly seemed to have procured a tray of tea and cookies from thin air, for he was holding it generously out when he became visible once more.

"Here, Alice and young miss. Have some tea, why don't you? The time has come to talk of many things: of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax; of cabbages and kings, of why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings!" The Hatter declared with a short, shrill, and, above all, mad cackle of victory and elation. He'd done it. He'd finally found her! No matter what the Queens threw at him now, he'd be ready, for he'd finally found his charge once again!

He'd already won!
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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby agoraoptera on Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:22 am

".. a guest we've been missing for all this time!"

The unspoken name sent a shiver through Calarine, or more accurately, the Cat, and its grin widened ever so slightly. Then the Hatter took out another umbrella, took out a sort of blade from the umbrella, then cut the window to pieces before jumping out without so much as a second glance back. Forcing the unwilling body to move jerkily- the Cat wasn't entirely used to such a method of locomotion, after all- and it gave up trying to move on two legs.

Though a few seconds behind the Hatter, Calarine landed on the soft grass on all fours before him. After all, she had simply jumped while he had floated down so serenely. She- the Cat, really- purred and waited for him to take the lead.

-

So that was the Alice? She didn't.. seem much. At least, that was the sort of judgement Calarine might have made. The Cat could sense the power fairly rippling off her in tangible droves. Then the Cat stood to the back, leaning against a tree, hiding in the shade, using its power to make herself absolutely inconscpicuous. Oh, Alice would sense her presence, if she had bothered to properly search, but none of the others would realise her presence. Maybe the Hatter, since she had been following him after all, but he wouldn't know precisely where she was.

No, the Cat grinned, the others wouldn't know it was there. And how it wanted to see what was going on! If Calarine had a tail, the Cat would already have been swishing it from side to side in absolute glee.

Tea! That Hatter was offering Alice tea after denying her it? How rude, the Cat thought, decidedly miffed. Alice was a Very Important Person after all, but for him to forget the Cat so quickly! The Cat supposed it could only blame itself for masking its presence. It would have to get that tea later. And the milk too, of course. Now.. who was that over there?
If you can make it better, don't make it sentient.

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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby Guyshane on Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:02 pm

Is that everyone? Everyone who we can save. Shane looked over at those few he had been able to find in the flames. He himself was supporting one of his fellow seniors while carrying a freshman, not far behind him a junior helped along one of her friends whose was too weak to escape on her own. There aren’t a lot of them. You’ve done all you can, right now we need to get out of here. Shane’s armor had disappeared a while back and he could feel the flames had gotten hotter. “Come on we should use the stairs to get out.” Everyone still conscious nodded and they made their way to the staircase. As the group looked down the staircase the senior Shane was holding up let out a groan.
“Oh this is gonna suck.”
“Well we’re really out of choices aren’t we?”
“Heh. Who knew all we had to do was light a fire under your ass to get you moving”
“Yea well everyone has their limit, now I dread to say this but its time to stop procrastinating.”

It was between the injured, the heat and the threat of imminent death it was slow and difficult going down the stairs. But eventually they burst out the door to the front lawn of the school coughing and hacking as they did so. Well done, now get that wound looked at before you pass out from blood loss. Do I have to? I just want to rest…so tired. YOU FOOL, THAT’S BECAUSE YOUR LOSING BLOOD. Shane winced. Alright, alright I’m going Shane got up from the ground and started heading over too the large group, who had already pulled the others away from the building. Good once that handled we can- Shane didn’t need the Knight to tell him what was happening. He could sense the Underland energy so strong it was. Was that- Only partially, at least part of it came from the Caterpillar. If I have to fight a giant bug, I quit. No, you wont have to fight him he’s a neutral spirit. Okay so will he help us since we’re also a technically neutral party? Maybe, maybe not. Flip a coin and you might have your answer. That is in no way helpful. Before the Kinght could respond a girl ran off speeding past Shane. I got a weird chill off her. Who is she? I don’t know, seen her around but she mostly keeps to herself. Come to think of it I’ve never actually seen her hanging out with another person…Do you think? No time! Follow her!

Shane took off after the girl. It was hard to run with a flesh wound but he followed all the same. The Knight tried to help encourage Shane but he failed quite miserably. Faster my boy we’ve almost caught up…You lost sight of her! What are you doing? Shane decided not to respond. By the time he came upon Alice’s host there was already another person in the clearing. Another enemy? No an ally. The man in black turned and so revealed his face to Shane. Now Shane was never especially good with names but you don’t forget the name of a person who set you on fire.Asterus. “Oh hell not you.” Then the world suddenly went dark and the ground rushed towards Shane.
I say we nuke it from orbit...its the only way to be sure.
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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby Scarab on Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:58 pm

Everything had a comet trail behind it, and Alice wasn’t sure if that was just because she was going funny, due to inhaling all that smoke from the burning building, of if the comet trails actually came from the boy now kneeling in front of her.

He was on his feet before she could wonder any further, holding out what appeared to be a tray. Of biscuits and tea. The comet trails followed, and Akahana recognized it as power. The body was human, true, but it was a little like somebody had encased a thunderstorm in flesh and bone. Violent, bright, and barely contained.

‘Underlander...’ Alice’s voice whispered in her head. Akahana had no idea what that meant. The cup in her hands was steaming slightly and the senior was... well, he was talking to her, but a lot of what he was saying was going right over Akahana’s head. Still she could feel Alice’s interest, a kind of restrained intrigue, tinged with what might have been delight.
‘A senior student just knelt in front of us, Alice.’ Akahana thought at her odd tenant.

‘Yes, Miss Akahana.’

‘...He’s bowing to us, laughing hysterically, and he just handed us tea.’ Akahana went on silently. Adding: ‘Also biscuits. The school is burning, and he’s handing us biscuits!’ insistently, as if those words alone might finally convince Alice of just how peculiar all of this was.

No such luck. ‘Can’t have tea without biscuits, miss.’

‘Yes, but—‘

‘Custard Creams are your favourite.'

‘I... right.’ Of course a few moments ago, they hadn’t been custard creams, she was fairly sure of that. It was as if the idea of a custard cream had coalesced into being the moment Alice mentioned them.

Cautiously, as if he might turn into a swarm of piranha’s, much as her Physics teacher had transformed into butterflies, Akahana reached out a hand towards the tray and thought about something other than custard creams.

She picked up a chocolate digestive.

The senior stopped laughing briefly and grinned. A mad, excited smile, as if she’d gotten the answer to a difficult puzzle. Akahana took a breath and sipped at the tea. ‘Redbush... how did he know?’

Alice could barely contain herself by this point. ‘I know him! I’m sure I do, Miss!’

‘But... Alice—‘

‘I KNOW him!’ Alice was frowning intently, using Akahana’s mouth to do so. ‘We are not sure how, miss, but there is... something. He is there somewhere, in the place with all the blood and thorns.’

‘...And thats supposed to endear me to him, is it?’

‘But he hails from there! He comes from the Underland, where the oceans can boil, miss! I know it, he must be from there he must be! May I talk to him?’

Oh, lord, not that again. ‘But... I...’

'It will not hurt much this time, I promise, cross my heart and hope to grin, I’ll be outside, you stay in! Nice and safe and simple just like always and anything you don’t trust I will stop.’

There was a deep threat in the young voice, making it seem so older than it ever had before. Akahana didn’t know this boy –creature, whatever he was, but there was certainly something about him which was anything but human. In fact, it was so far beyond human it could’ve had its own entry in a Psychiatric Encyclopaedia: no doubt somewhere between the sections on Schizophrenia and Disassociation Disorders. Was still standing there, laughing. She didn’t trust him... but she trusted Alice, and for now, with the world ending all around her, perhaps that would have to be enough. ‘Perhaps... perhaps there’s no other way we’re getting out of this alive.’

‘I should say not, miss.’

She was standing in the fields behind the school while the building burned, listening to a mad man ramble on about walruses and boiling seas and puddles... ‘I... well. Okay then.’

Alice stepped forward, like somebody bridging a thousand miles in a single step. There was a brief flare of pain, and then the world became soft and muted as Alice took forefront in Akahana’s mind

Alice spread their arms and leapt forward, wrapping her arms around the strange third year's waist. Somehow the cup of tea in her hands didn’t spill a drop.

‘What the... Alice, that isn’t TALKING!
They sometimes say, "the place where I am right now was circled on a map for me"... Unfortunately, I kind of suck at orienteering.
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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby Qara-Xuan Zenith on Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:01 am

Lorelei pulled her sword out of the ex-Club with a flourish and a wide grin, which, coupled with her earlier laughter and ability to speak without being seen, seemed to confirm Daniel's-- or, rather, the Hare's-- suspicions as to who exactly the Hare had recognized when he looked into her eyes.

"That was some good teamwork," Daniel commented, not specifying whether he meant teamwork between the two of them, or between them and their respective spirit contractors. Hell, why couldn't he mean both?

"You've never complimented me on my teamwork before," the Hare grumbled.

Since when have you ever been good at teamwork?

"Point taken."


Lori's eyes flicked to the Club and back up to Daniel. "You need that for something?" she asked, her voice quiet enough that he had to strain to hear.

It took Daniel a moment to figure out what she meant, before realizing he was still holding the man's body. "Oh. Right. Oops." He let it go, and it fell to the floor, devoid of life.

Glancing at the scorched walls and ruined classrooms, Daniel said, "We should probably get away from here." He had no idea if they'd get in trouble for killing the Club if they were discovered on the scene, but experience told him that the best thing to do was try not to find out.

Lorelei seemed to nod (was it a nod? or just a trick of the light?), so taking that as his cue, Daniel picked her up again, his arms now being free of Human-Playing-Card-Corpse. When he picked her up, the small girl gave a little squawk of surprise-- maybe it hadn't been a nod? oh, well-- before he started on his way, fairly uninterested in his destination, so long as it was "not here".

Left here... turn the corner... right there, because why not... left again...

"Stop!"
the Hare commanded, interrupting his random path.

What now? Lorelei's head jerked up as he came to a shuddering stop. He could see another student at the end of the hall, already walking in his direction, but there was clearly no danger to him or Lori. He was pretty sure he'd seen this guy before-- a little quirky, maybe, but obviously harmless.

"Not harmless! Not good! NOT GOOD! Abort abort abort!"

The hell, Hare? It's just this guy. Even if he were dangerous, we could easily take him.

"Get away from him! I'm warning you! Stay AWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!"


Daniel's hands, still cradling Lorelei, curled into fists. Bloody HELL, Hare, you're supposed to be the one who can have a cool head every now and then! I am not running away from some guy who I think is in my functions class, just because you're flipping CRAZY. He forced himself to ignore the Hare's misgivings, and walk forward down the hall. After all, the Hare's ability to sense danger was one thing, but he wasn't feeling it this time.

"You're doing this out of spite, aren't you?"

You bet I am. And if you weren't so busy freaking out over nothing, I'm sure you'd be having a good laugh.
Lead by example. Get lost in a swamp.

AS DICTATED TO INSTANTIATION 17-01-18-01.
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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby Scarab on Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:13 pm

The following conversation took place in little over five seconds inside of Akahana’s head. It felt a lot longer for... various reasons.

‘...Um, Alice?’

‘...’

So this was all reaching close to a fifteen on an awkward scale that only usually went up to ten. Akahana winced. ‘Alice please let go of our senior.’

‘I can hear thunder!’

‘...Yes, I’m sure you can, but Alice, Personal Space?’

‘No no, you don’t understand eager eyes, you don’t understand. Listen.’


The thrumming was there alright, close to her ear, something almost but not quite like any other heartbeat. It was a little like being attached to a tamed comet, that was actually only pretending to be tame. If there was a way she could be anymore embarrassed than this then by god it’s not going to happen in this lifetime.

‘...I’m sure I can listen quite well from a distance thank you.’

A laugh, bright and somehow disturbing. ‘Not this. Listen to the storm in us, Miss Akahana, it’s all there. One plus one makes two, or forever depending on how you look at it, and there are two of them. But I don’t hear a second!’

Akahana paused, wondering why that sort of amde sense. ‘He... only has one heartbeat? Even though he's an Underlander?’

‘Yes! I see you understand now that there should be more... There is always more. How strange that is. They are not as two anymore, and yet....’ Alice seemed confused but no longer frightened, as she had been before while they ran from the fire.

‘You and I... Alice, we have two heartbeats, right? Metaphysical ones anyway. You called him an Underlander... is he from your world? From that place we saw? Did he... take a human body in order to stay here?’

She could feel Alice nodding their head. 'You already know Miss Akahana. You saw it in my memories. I showed you. It will come abck to you slowly, but in time you will understand, I promise you will. There is a storm here indeed, just as he says. ...The storm shouldn’t be here though, the storm should be in a teacup. We can wash away the walls!’

'Wash away...’ and something in Akahana’s brain must have clicked over then, from sensible to uncanny. they say the human mind can adapt to just about anything, given enough time and enough hot tea, and Akahana could practically feel the change taking place. The shift from thinking about grades and sensible logical things like, say, calling a fire brigade, over to thoughts like...

‘...You mean with water? Like the lake?’

‘Yes!’ Alice laughed. ‘I always knew you were smart eager eyes! If it’s a storm in a teacup our new friend wants, then we shall find him one... We shall bring the water here!’

‘I... okay, I don’t understand what good it’ll do, but if you can...’ Akahana hesitated, sensing something else, something not right. ‘Alice wait, do you smell that?’

‘Yes. Redbush.’

‘No! Alice, not the tea, there’s blood!’ She didn’t say how she knew; she could smell it. It smelled like the water in the lake had tasted, and Akahana remembered how the local rivers ran through hills that were rich with iron, tainting stone with bronze.

The Underlander she stood before now, the one with so much energy bubbling up in one place. He had blinded her to an equal power sitting off to the left. The boy to the side.

‘...Two storms! He has two storms as well, you see?’

‘What? So he’s an Underlander too?’

‘Yes! Two storms, remember? Well...’
Alice paused. ‘More like... one and a quarter at the moment.’

‘Oh god...’

‘But there is always blood, Miss Akahana. We learned about it in those boring classrooms.’

‘Not OUTSIDE of the body Alice, let go of the bloody senior already!’

Akahana must have sounded angry enough to spark a reaction because she could feel the body coming back to her in slow, cold dregs. Feet first, then torso, then arms, vvold and heavy at first. Akahana forced herself over to the boy and tried to kneel without slumping, one hand reached out shakily to curl around his upper arm. She could feel the slip of blood, and beneath it, the thudding echo of a double pulse, much too fast for a boy with such a rapidly spreading red stain on his shirt... He muttered something grouchily under his breath. Akahana couldn’t make it out. It might have been something like 'About bloody time you noticed.' But hey, anybody would be grouchy if this were happening to them, right?

Another one of them... There was no mistaking what he was. Even his blood reeked of power. And Underlanders, it seemed, weren’t immortal. Or at least their vessels weren’t. Akahana didn't really care much about the semantics.

‘Are you... are you all...’ Akahana stopped herself from asking because really, asking somebody who has obviously lost THAT much blood a question like ‘are you okay’ is beyond stupid. ‘H-hang on, give me a second I’ll... we’ll... Alice what do we do?’

‘You know a lot of them died today, but mostly not like this,’ Alice said aloud, using their shared mouth, sounding almost noncommittal. ‘There wasn't time. Still they are gone. Lots of the people wearing these uniforms. I don’t like it, Miss Akahana. It is like poisoning the whole pond just to kill the scum. If the scum contained storms anyway.’

‘He can’t die, Alice.’

‘No, he can't/ Not if you don’t want.’ Alice sounded confident and bold, as if the sight of the boy bleeding out in front of her did not frighten her at all.

‘I DON’T want! I mean— you can stop this?’

‘No Miss Eager Eyes, I cannot stop it... but WE can.’

‘Then do so!’

Alice... seemed to hesitate, which was uncharacteristic for her. ‘But eager eyes, you just said something about personal spa—’

‘Alice, please.

And this time Alice did not ask for permission before tightening her –their- grip on the boys arm tightened, and she wrapped her –their – arms around his neck. There was a twisting sensation in Akahana’s gut, like turbulence from a rising plane. Then the world went white and bold for the second time that day.
They sometimes say, "the place where I am right now was circled on a map for me"... Unfortunately, I kind of suck at orienteering.
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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby AMimsyBorogove on Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:22 pm

The Hatter grinned cheerfully, seeming completely unperturbed by the fact that the person to whom he'd been talking had just leaped forward all of a sudden and embraced him, and now seemed very intent on listening to his heartbeat. Of course, he knew why. It was something quite expected that she'd realize that his current state was rather unusual, even for an Underlander. But, things still seemed to be taking a very favorable path, since the fact that Alice had currently made herself known and was treating him so affectionately meant that she must have trusted him. Granted, her host probably had some silly misconception about him involuntarily possessing a Human to reach his current state, but that was an understandable mistake. She was only Human after all, and relying on such a useless thing as "logic" to discern things left one's perceptive abilities tremendously limited.

Well, she seemed very busy talking to herself, and, in any case, the nonverbal response she'd already given him was enough to assure him that she was both alright and her usual self. So, he merely smiled, patting his charge on the head and generally trying to be as reassuring as one could possibly be when they just finished speaking nonsense and cackling maniacally to the sky. "It's very good to see you again as well, Alice, and in the flesh, no less. I just might dance for joy, you know, and I don't even know how to dance," Asterus said cheerily, before laughing as though he'd just made a particularly funny joke. "Just kidding. I'm actually the lord of the dance. I'm not sure what dance, mind you, but insignificant details like that can be dealt with later." Alice, still busy talking to herself, didn't seem to notice overly much, but the Hatter, on the other hand, didn't seem to mind. Still, he did silence himself in regards to Alice for the time being, and instead turned his attention to where his invisible companion had last disappeared to. Casting a casual look over his shoulder, he called out cheerfully to her, holding up a cup of steaming milk tea he most certainly hadn't had in his hand before.

"Oh, Cheshire, dear!" He called in his usual overly-friendly - not to mention antiquated - manner. "There's really no need to be shy. Come out, why don't you? I'm sure Alice will be happy to see you. It had been such a long time, after all." Just then, however, another voice spoke from behind him, prompting the Hatter to shoot a glance over his shoulder. A disapproving light filled his eyes even as Alice ran to help the fallen boy whom his gaze fell upon. He recognized the hallmarks of those wounds - afteraffects of another one of his allies' powers.

"Why, sir knight!" He cried as though scandalized. "You're filthy! Have you not even the presence of mind and the common decency to at least make yourself presentable before appearing before our dear friend?" He tsked disapprovingly. "Making Alice worry about you from the moment you appear... How rude. I suppose this postpones our tea party, then. I hope you're pleased with yourself."
"The Apocalypse is basically just a tutorial." - Sicon112.

"Due to the ambiguity of this wording, I am unable to determine whether or not I am the leader of the X-Men!"
"UNIVERSE-BREAKING EPILEPSY RAVE!" - AMimsyBorogove
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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby Sicon112 on Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:26 pm

For someone who was attempting to escape a burning building, Lawrence's footfalls were surprisingly regular. Considering it for a minute, he supposed that the normal reaction would be to dash about willy-nilly frantically trying to escape the roaring flames and collapsing roof, but he wasn't particularly worried. He would arrive right on time and not a moment before or after. After all, that was his motto.

The wave of released power caught him as he strode down one of the many halls with his hands in his pockets. With a dull thump, his feet halted. Absently, he stepped aside into a small patch of air coming from a classroom that was not as of yet invaded by the ever growing inferno as his right hand reached up to his forehead and began to slowly twist a clump of hair hanging between his eyes. Discussion with the Rabbit was uneeded, he decided, and the Underlander agreed silently a moment later. Both of them knew well enough what was going on. The surge of power could come from one person and one person only.

This power... how annoyingly intense. I'd really rather not get involved with that person. This kind of strength makes them potentially troublesome.

The crackle of burning wood brought him back to reality as he slowly lifted his eyes and glanced at the corridor, impassively recalculating his path to bring him to his destination at the exact moment he wished. His hand fell back into his pocket, and with a shrug and a sigh he wandered off, taking a left instead of his previously planned right. Oh well. I suppose I'll just have to leave again. Inconvenient. I'll have to acquaint myself with a new routine all over again.

He didn't even look up as the roof of the hallway he had just left crashed to the floor, the blast of air sending his blue blazer whipping about and spewing fire out behind him. Dark bangs still covered the left half of his face as he walked smoothly in a perfect rhythm, paying almost no heed to the outside world, only thinking along with the tick of the tower inside him and the sound of his shoes against the floor. Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock.

"Oh great. Delays." The Rabbit's voice woke Lawrence from his reverie. He glanced up as the flames behind him settled to a steady blaze, only to see a large, brown haired student walking towards him, with a female student in his arms. Perhaps someone looking at the male for the first time would mistake him for a full grown man, for he towered over most people his age, and his features made him seem more matured than he actually was. However, Lawrence knew better, and his flawless memory filled in the pertinent details.

Name: Daniel Renoue. Age: 16 years, 9 months and twelve days. I remember overhearing a comment by him that it was his birthday. Class level, Junior. Hair-trigger temper. Identified as somewhat of a problem student. We share classes in Literature, Logic, and Functions. He is not present in morning physics class as he is working with the drama department at behest of the teachers at that time.

"You are really creepy sometimes, you know that?"

Shut up. His single revealed eye caught a strange facial twitch when the other student lay eyes on him. His sharpened senses also detected the slightest of falterings in the taller boy's steps. It was almost as if... Deciding on a whim to see what would happened, Lawrence nudged the door to his tower open a little bit. The resulting startled and fearful pulse of power almost brought a smirk to his impassive face. He did so love it when he was right. Care to identify your friend?

"No, not particularly. I would really rather pretend he doesn't exist, the annoying prick," came the stuffy response.

Suits me fine, as long as he doesn't get bothersome. Lawrence glanced at the other student, the one being carried as she raised her head to look at him. She probably had felt the tiny ping of power he had allowed out. He scanned her face. he had seen her before. However... She is an upperclassman, but I've never heard her speak, or seen anyone speaking to or about her. I haven't even heard her name.

"Oh joy. It's probably that feline nuisance's pet human then. That sounds so much like someone he would pick. Guess he actually survived the trip after all. Damn." The Rabbit's voice carried mild annoyance, but not much else.

What do you think? A fight with the both of them would-

"Require more exertion than we really want to make right now, yes. Let's just get this over with and get back on track."

As the taller boy approached, Lawrence stopped, turning his head to focus his right eye, the left one still invisible under his bangs, onto the other contractor. "If you are looking for a way out, you won't be finding it that way." Behind him, as if to prove his point, another bit of roof collapsed at the junction of corridors. "Not like I really care. I'm sure you'll find your path one way or another. However, I would appreciate it if you get out of my way now. I've got somewhere to be, and I would really prefer not to be late..." As he reached the end of his sentence, his voice slipped from perfectly emotionless and somewhat bored to a seemingly calm tone that would manage to send chills up the spines of even the bravest humans. His right eye narrowed slightly, and he fixed the older student with a piercing look that seemed to stare right through him, to the creature within, and underneath his bangs, a dull red glow began to emit from where his left eye was. In that instant, the being in the form and appearance of a student showed his true existence, and an almost, but not quite audible hum of power ran through the air, and though nothing about his appearance change, he suddenly seemed out of place against this sane background, a hole where the laws of the world should have been. The power of the Underland.
Normal people are the easiest to manipulate. Too smart and they have an annoying tendency to catch wind of your plans, too dumb and, in the words of a certain pirate, "You can never tell when they are about to do something incredibly...stupid."
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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby Qara-Xuan Zenith on Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:28 pm

"I've got somewhere to be, and I would really prefer not to be late..." Under his bangs, Lawrence's eye began to glow red.

Creepy? Sure. Turn-off? Not quite. Daniel's smile widened; everything off-putting about his classmate just made him more determined to drive the Hare up the wall with association.

"I was right I was right Rabbit alert RUN!!!"

What,
mocked Daniel silently, the big bad Hare is afraid of a killer Rabbit? Aloud, he said, "Okay. Great. Looks like you know a way out, so... we'll be following you, then." Shifting Lorelei's weight so that he supported her with just his right arm, he gestured with his left for the shorter boy to lead on ahead.

"Are you insane are you insane are you insane? You can't go TRUSTING that thing!!! Get away from him! Go the other way!" Daniel glanced behind Lawrence. The "other way" consisted of a growing pile of rubble, as the building collapsed in on itself. Maybe, if his arms weren't full with Lorelei, he'd be able to dig his way out like that, but even then, the physical cost for doing something like that was higher than he'd like to pay, if there was another way out.

Are you serious? he asked. You'd rather be crushed to death than follow this guy? Oh, right, sorry, you probably wouldn't actually die. You'd rather I be crushed to death than follow this guy. Yeah, not happening, Hare. He slammed the mental door shut, ignoring the March Hare's complaints so he could focus on following Lawrence and keeping himself and Lorelei in one piece.
Lead by example. Get lost in a swamp.

AS DICTATED TO INSTANTIATION 17-01-18-01.
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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby Scarab on Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:33 pm

If Akahana had thought Alice’s standard way of getting somewhere else very quickly was painful, then that was nothing when compared to this. That said, it hadn’t hurt at first. It had been nothing more than warmth and the sensation of something shifting from one form to another. ‘Alice, what exactly are you... that is, we doing?'

‘He was missing blood, Miss. We shall give him a little of ours. Just a little, of course. The redness must stay on the inside, right?’

‘I... there are rules about that Alice, you can’t just...’
Akahana trailed off. It wasn’t as if Alice had ever ascribed to normal human rules, and they were O-Negative anyway. They had tested it in biology class once, slides of blood beneath microscopes, scribbled shapes on paper. Exceptthat in Akahana's mind, the slides were getting all mixed up, the magnifying lenses had giant eyes, and people were shadding blood on metal sheets and blades instead of on glass plates.

‘I... R-right. Well done,’ Akahana mumbled, feeling torn between confusion and hope. Alice kept their arms tight around the boy’s neck for several long moments.

Then out of nowhere there was a white rose, attached to the boy’s collar. It was white at first, but around its edges Akahana saw the soft petals turning red, like blood creeping through veins.

That was when the pain started: a full body shudder splintering through every nerve at once. Part of Akahana wanted to curl up into a ball and weep from it, but a combination of sheer determination (her own pain would only distract Alice, it always did, and Akahana didn’t want to boy to die before Alice had the chance to finish whatever she was doing) and Alice’s strong control over their limbs, kept her upright. her hands trembled where they gripped the boys collar but she could see the flesh knitting together again, leaving behind only the stains of blood and by gods it hurt.

‘A-Alice...?’

‘If the Ocean has to burn, then the Fire will have to run, miss,’
Alice said, gently. ‘You understand this, don’t you?’

‘I... not really. He won’t die now, though, right?’

‘Not unless he tried to let the blood out again, Miss.’ Alice answered, happily. ‘We are very good at this, and it does not hurt so much after a while.’

‘Oh... right. Well. That’s okay then...’

‘Good good! Then you sit tight, Miss. I will find the storm. When we are free, then I will show you everything, just as I promised,’
Alice practically trilled with excitement. ‘We can do this now, Eager Eyes. We are not alone anymore and we can do this.’‘Do what?’

‘Save the Underland of course!’ Alice laughed as if it were obvious and... Okay, Akahana was too tired to care about what the jumbled mess of memories were showing her. She could feel her own mind slipping backwards, the way it usually did when she was falling asleep. She knew this was probably a bad thing, but couldn’t find it in herself to worry about it right now. You know that this is Shock, of course, a part of her brain that was still more Akahana Sato than Alice piped up helpfully. Sometimes it was better to just... shut down and let things happen for a while.

So it was Alice alone who released their hold on the boy’s shoulders and smiled at him warmly. 'There you are, silly Underlander. You should take better care of your second heartbeat. All fixed! And now, you and our new friends must tell us what has happened and then we shall show you how to escape from monsters.’
They sometimes say, "the place where I am right now was circled on a map for me"... Unfortunately, I kind of suck at orienteering.
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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby IslaKariese on Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:19 pm

Lori sighed in resignation as Daniel continued to move forward, lifting her up as though she weighed nothing. Is this going to be a thing, now?

"Why, whatever do you mean, Willow dear?"

This. This whole lifting me up as though I were a child or a damsel in distress thing. Is it going to be a thing?

"Well,"
Chess drawled, curling invisibly in her lap. "I'd say it's already a thing as far as things go."

But I don't want it to be a thing!
Lori moaned, glaring up at Daniel. The too-tall goliath didn't notice.

Chess' grin widened. "It's always a thing, dear Willow. It's either something, anything, or nothing. But it's always a thing."

Lori rolled her eyes. What, it wouldn't count as an everything? It's not like you to put limits on yourself, Chess.

The Cat purred contentedly. "I leave the everythings to those with nothing better to do than worry about them, as should you." His attention flickered, and his grin grew even wider. "And you should think less about things and more about bodies, one of which is approaching quite quickly."

Just as it was said, Daniel stopped in his tracks as a wave of strange power washed over her. For the briefest moment, she wanted to glance at a watch she didn't have, but the urge was gone just as fast as it came. Looking up, she saw yet another boy, not nearly as big as Daniel but still tall. His clothes not in the greatest condition, but considering the state he probably should have been in, he looked downright sophisticated.

Lori narrowed her eyes, but kept most of her face expressionless. Chess drew himself the slightest bit taller, or so it seemed. "Well, if it isn't my good friend the White Rabbit."

Friend?
Lori asked in slight disbelief.

"Of course we're friends! When he has time for it," Chess allowed, making Lori snort internally. As the boy spoke, she reaffirmed her opinion on his sophistication and added a footnote on him being dangerous to cross. As he let out another stream of power to prove his point, Lori closed her eyes with the Cheshire Cat as he purred in utter bliss.

"Oh, how I've missed the chaotic essence of Underland..." Chess mewled, and he almost made to respond to the presence of power. Lori pulled him back the slightest bit, being sure to suggest and not command. The girl's silent plea kept Chess under just enough control to keep her from releasing the same power.

Stay hidden, she repeated to Chess and to herself, the Cat agreeing silently as Daniel began to follow him. The boy probably already knew who she was, but she wasn't going to make it any more obvious. Staying hidden was the best path to survival, and she wasn't going to risk survival for pleasure. Neither of them were.
The voices in my head tell me that we saved the world. However, they also told me that George Clooney's face is on the dollar bill, so... meh. The voices are more fun, anyway.
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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby Sicon112 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:30 pm

"Okay. Great. Looks like you know a way out, so... we'll be following you, then." Lawrence watched the other boy intently for a moment, noticing telltale twitches as he probably had a little discussion with his own contracted spirit. Glancing at the silent girl, who made no attempt to speak, Lawrence shrugged and stepped past them.

"Suit yourself. As long as you're not in my way, I really don't care." So saying, he began to walk onward, all traces of power vanishing from the air as if it had never been. Not bothering to hurry, he simply strolled along his twisting, indirect way, occasionally sidestepping tongues of flame or falling bits of debris without seeming to pay any attention to them. He didn't bother to spare a glance to check whether the other two were following him, and didn't bother to explain why he bypassed many apparently quicker and more direct routes of escape for his current meandering trail.
Normal people are the easiest to manipulate. Too smart and they have an annoying tendency to catch wind of your plans, too dumb and, in the words of a certain pirate, "You can never tell when they are about to do something incredibly...stupid."
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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby Lordxana0 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:04 pm

Loric sighed to himself and walked over to his students. "Okay now you both know the school rules about public displays of affection," he tisked. "One would think that you have forgotten that you have a teacher standing not a few feet away, now then Alice I am going to need a favor from you, I want you to fix up the school and all of the normal people, we need to make sure things look nice and tidy before we let this shield go down, using it to fix such mundane things as normal humans and brickwork made by dull humans should do little more to your host then give her an annoying headache, and don't try to pull any pranks, you know how we feel about disobedience Alice" he smiled knowingly at his student.
Who you going to call? ME!
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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby Guyshane on Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:19 am

Shane opened his eyes to find a cute girl with her arms wrapped tightly around his neck. Wow I think this is the best wake-up I’ve had in years. He then looked past the girl and saw Asterus and Mr. Masters standing there in the clearing. “Okay will someone explain why the physics teacher is here?” He is the vessel for the Caterpillar. Shane nodded. “Ah I see.” So what happened while I was out, Knight? You found Alice’s host only to embarrass us both by falling unconscious due to a flesh wound. Didn’t you tell me to skip on treatment for the wound so I could catch up to Alice? Yes and you should have drawn on your reserves so as not to make fools of us in front of our lady and our fellow peer. Shane scowled at that. I don’t have training to pull that off Skippy. You, lazy fool. That’s it I’m shunning you, much less effort than actually winning this argument. With that Shane closed the gates to the Knight’s keep inside his mind.

Back in the real world Shane put his hand on the girl’s back. “Excuse me miss, while I am not and have never been opposed to hugs from lovely young ladies. I do like to know their name.” Shane sat up a bit more to be in a more comfortable position. “In this case I believe that asking for both of the young ladies names would be appropriate.”
I say we nuke it from orbit...its the only way to be sure.
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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby Qara-Xuan Zenith on Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:24 pm

Daniel followed the older boy on a meandering route through the building, focussing on putting one foot in front of the other in Lawrence's wake, not looking any further than the boy in front of him. There was enough going on in his head as it was.

At last, they stepped out of the stifling, collapsing school and into the brilliant sunlight; a small, motley group of students gathered in the courtyard. No sooner had Daniel, holding Lori, emerged, than the door he had stepped through fell in, a plume of fire rising from the school. Well, that was good timing, he thought sarcastically.

He cast a glare at the shorter boy's back, but refused to give the Hare the satisfaction of saying or doing something about it. He concentrated on the breathing exercises for controlling his temper, so he wouldn't start a fight with Lawrence for cutting things so fine. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out... Calm? Good. Take a look around. Focus on something else.

Uninterested in the staff member standing with the group-- Daniel had learned long ago to tune out the presence of teachers except when absolutely necessary-- he turned his attention to the students grouped together.

There were a guy and a girl hugging tightly on the grass like they were a couple. Both seniors, so Daniel wouldn't have cared, but the Hare's ears perked up as soon as he saw the girl. Daniel was about to ask what was the deal, but then his eyes shifted over to another member of the group, and the Hare suddenly went wild, apparently totally forgetting about his Rabbit-related sulk.

"Friend! Good friend! Be friends with him! Go be friends with him!"

Him?
asked Daniel skeptically, eyeing the boy whom he recognized all too well from his Lit class. Crazy Hat-dude?

"His name is the Mad Hatter, Daniel. Or whatever his host's name is."

Whatever. As far as I'm concerned, he's just the crazy dude with the weird hat.

"Well GO BE FRIENDS WITH HIM. NOW! We like him! He's funny!"

Uh... are you sure he's my kind of funny?


The March Hare sneered. "My dear boy, you didn't have a kind of funny until I came along."

Daniel shrugged. Our kind of funny, then. Point is, I don't think--

"OUR kind of funny?"
the Hare interrupted. "Why, he and I practically INVENTED our kind of funny together! Go be friends! Shake hands! Laugh together!"

Daniel watched as, at that moment, the Crazy Hat-dude jumped in the air, executing a perfect spin as he tossed his hat up, caught a small but still too-big-to-fit-in-the-hat folding picnic table that fell out of it, and unfolded the table to reveal it to be laid with steaming teacups as he produced plates of snacks from his loose sleeves which he tossed, frisbee-style, to land at the places at the table, the fedora landing smoothly back on his head.

Yeah... not happening. Still, the boy's actions reminded Daniel that he was still holding something. Looking down at her with a guilty expression, he carefully set Lorelei back standing on the ground.
Lead by example. Get lost in a swamp.

AS DICTATED TO INSTANTIATION 17-01-18-01.
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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby Scarab on Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:49 pm

“Excuse me miss, while I am not and have never been opposed to hugs from lovely young ladies. I do like to know their name. In this case I believe that asking for both of the young ladies names would be appropriate.”

...Well that’s one way to wake up.

‘Oh good grief, Alice can we please cut down the hugging?’

‘But that is how it works! And anyway, this is probably for the best, Miss Akahana, you do not do nearly enough hugging on your own.’

‘What do you mean? I hug quite enough!’ The look on the boy’s face, a mixture of amusement, told Akahana that she was having this whole conversation out loud. Damn it. It was only now that she recognized him. Shane-something, she’d seem him around, usually slumping back on a convenient structure, or hiding his face beneath a book he was quite obviously not really reading. But he had never looked at her like that before, and she had heard the second heartbeat for those few moments of embarrassment. There was no doubting what he was.

Also she had apparently just saved his life by giving him some of her blood, which Akahana still wasn’t sure of the logistics to, and was probably more embarrassed by than she should be. ‘I... um... I-I'm s-sorry we—’

Alice was giggling loudly inside of their head. 'No no, that is not how this goes,' she whispered Then aloud she said. ‘You must not be angry with Miss Akahana, Underlander,’ Alice said aloud. ‘She is not very good at “the people thing.” There are lots of spaces in her mind where what-to-do should be, except she filled them up with books and words and now there is no more room! Isn't that sad?'

“Alice!”

“Well it is so, Miss Eager Eyes! You never have been! These people are our friends, we should be courteous, don’t you think?”

"Okay now you both know the school rules about public displays of affection," a tsking noise behind caught their attention, and Akahana was only too glad to turn away from the boy’s face, towards her physics teacher who had, it seemed appeared out of nowhere "One would think that you have forgotten that you have a teacher standing not a few feet away, now Alice I am going to need a favour from you.”

Akahana staggered upright, legs still trembling beneath her. But Alice held them firmer and taller than she might otherwise have felt like standing. Still it was Akahana’s voice which spoke for them. “Y-yes?”

'I want you to fix up the school and all of the normal people,' Mister Masters said. As if he was asking Akahana to hand out a stack of textbooks, as he had before. 'We need to make sure things look nice and tidy before we let this shield go down, using it to fix such mundane things as normal humans and brickwork made by dull humans should do little more to your host then give her an annoying headache, and don't try to pull any pranks, you know how we feel about disobedience Alice,' he smiled knowingly. Oh, well that wasn't ominous at all.

'...Eager eyes?' Alice asked, cautiously. Akahana knew the spirit was waiting for permission.

Akahana swallowed down the urge to say that what he was asking was impossible, that she couldn’t just undo all of this (and that even if she did it would all still have happened). ‘Think like Alice,’ she told herself, reminding herself of how easy that had been before, when it really mattered. 'You just brought somebody back from the edge of death with nothing more than your own blood. What else could Alice do if she put your minds to it?'

There was a crowd gathering around her. Akahana could see them in the memories Alice had fed into her, except their forms had been... different then. Less familiar. The smiling cat and the slouching knight, the long ears, ticking watches... and the man with an endless supply of teacups and a smile.

Akahana found herself looking around for the first Underlander, The one who only had a single heartbeat and had handed her the cup of tea, seeking out his face amongst the gathering of people, as if looking for reassurance.

Could they undo all of this? Just like that?
They sometimes say, "the place where I am right now was circled on a map for me"... Unfortunately, I kind of suck at orienteering.
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Re: Chain Wars: Battle for Alice

Postby Sicon112 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:33 pm

The moment he was outside, Lawrence noticed the group of people gathered around a small, frail looking girl who was bending over a larger boy. Glimpsing the bloodstained clothes and feeling the power in the air, he had little trouble understanding what had happened, though he did not particularly care.

Sure enough, in accordance with his guesses this morning, he spotted the form of his greatest annoyance amongst the group, a development at which Lawrence was understandably underwhelmed, though not particularly surprised. Scanning the rest of the huddle of people, Lawrence let a flow of names, classes, ages, temperaments, and other miscellaneous information flow through his mind, summoned from his perfectly ordered and indexed memory.

Focusing on the girl that seemed to be the centerpiece of the ensemble, Lawrence snorted to himself. Oh. It's her. The one who skipped a grade. Tch. Just another constantly hurrying human who can't manage to get timing right. Lawrence's scores, flawless as they were, had also brought him an offer to skip ahead, but he had summarily denied it. To him, skipping a year was the same as hurrying to arrive at your destination early. He would arrive exactly when he meant to, no sooner, and no later.

"Keep a close eye on that one, Lawrence. She has to be Alice's host." The Rabbit's cautious voice came from deep within him, still concealed from almost all outside observation, not because he truly cared whether those around him detected him any more, but because to leak power this way and that was simply sloppy work.

I'm well aware of that. You've already seen what I know about her, what about Alice?

"Had I actually met Alice previously, this wouldn't be happening. No, while my former employers sent me against her guards many times and I know them very well, I only know of Alice by reputation."

Some help you are.

"Hey! Don't in- Wait, who is that?"

Hmm? Lawrence glanced up at the point the Rabbit had mentally indicated, and say an older man stepping into view. Lawrence's eyes narrowed. Loric Masters, senior class physics teacher, and... He trailed off for a moment just as the other man continued what he was saying.

"Now then, Alice, I am going to need a favor from you. I want you to fix up the school and all of the normal people; we need to make sure things look nice and tidy before we let this shield go down. Using your power to fix such mundane things as normal humans and brickwork made by dull humans should do little more to your host then give her an annoying headache. And don't try to pull any pranks. You know how we feel about disobedience, Alice."

Lawrence finished his thought smugly, his guess confirmed. ...probable source of that undefined power flare I felt a short while ago. He paused, then scanned the crowd, summarily ignoring the annoying one once more as he pulled another physics defying stunt off to the side. Assessment of the situation?

"They are too distracted with other matters and more important enemies for the moment to care too much about us. However, if it were to come down to it-"

-a fight would require us to immediately transform if we are to have any chance?

"Yes. Such a battle is too much bother to hold, though, so if it comes to it, I much prefer departing in a timely manner."

Seconded. For now, it's a waste of time to speak with them. If Alice truly can repair the damage done here, I will simply stand aside and allow it, then go back to my daily schedule. This situation would end better than Lawrence had expected.

"Even if the Queens know we are here?" The Rabbit's tone carried a faint note of nervousness.

Transferring in the middle of my education is unacceptable, especially in the middle of a year. It will leave an imperfect blot on my record. Besides, as long as those people remain here, the bulk of the attacks can be dealt with by them, while I must only add a slight amount of variability into my schedule, as much as I hate to.

So saying, Lawrence contented himself with standing off to one side, making no attempt to interact with the others. Though not seeming to, however, he was intently observing every movement they made, cataloging this new information for future use.
Normal people are the easiest to manipulate. Too smart and they have an annoying tendency to catch wind of your plans, too dumb and, in the words of a certain pirate, "You can never tell when they are about to do something incredibly...stupid."
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