Crossroads: Chapter 1

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illirica
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Crossroads: Chapter 1

Post by illirica » Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:18 pm

Welcome, traveler.

First time here? That's all right.

Don't remember how you got here? That's all right, too. Most don't, first time around. I suppose you're wondering where you are. That depends on where you want to be. There's a lot of names for this place. Some of 'em, I won't repeat. Lot of folks just call it the Crossroads, though. I suppose that name works as well as any. Don't ask me how they work. You're not ready for that discussion.

Not yet.

Here's the deal. You're here because somewhere out there, someone needs help. Might even be your help. What's it going to be like out there? Well, you never quite know. See, a place like this... it's joined to a lot of other places. You'd be surprised what you can find out there, if you look around a little.

You'd be surprised what can find you, if you don't.

Something brought you here, after all. Something... or someone. Was it me? Now, there's another question you're not ready for.

Who am I, anyway?

Well, that one you're going to have to figure out yourself. Don't ask me. I'd lie to you.

Does that bother you? Let me tell you a secret. There's no such thing as a reliable narrator. Everyone has their own goals, their own plans. I do you the courtesy of telling you upfront where my loyalties lie. You'll forget about it though. They always do.

Maybe you'll be the one who surprises me.

Don't get too far ahead of yourself, though. You're not here for me. You're here for something else. A job, of sorts. That's the way it works, here in the crossroads. You come here, you do the job, you go home. Maybe you do another job another time, maybe not. Maybe you die.

Some do.

You're wondering if this is even real. I know that look well enough by now. Are you going to wake up and realize this was all a dream, that you were never here at all, that all of this was just your imagination or a hallucination or a religion or something else that doesn't exist?

Do you think I care if it's real to you?

It's real to me.

Ready for your task? First, let's find out who you are...
.
The Wyrm.

Calls himself a banker, but that sort of greed shows up most in one specific kind of creature, and we all know what it is. Folks from the time he’s in, they’re too polite to mention it. Call ‘em snakes, like that’s any better. A diminutive. Where are you going, little dragon, with your little treasures in your little houses? Take stock of this situation, it’s not gonna be like anything you’ve seen before.
.
The Tigress.

Brought her own cub, a little ball of fluff. Not sure how it got here - sometimes these things slip through the cracks. She’s restless, moving from place to place, looking for somewhere to pounce or something to pounce on, and she’s hungry enough that she won’t be too particular about what it is. She’ll prowl about a while before she settles down - but you know when she’s at her quietest, that’s when she’s going for the kill. Down, girl. Don’t take much for the huntress to become the hunted, in a place like this.
.
The Giant.

She’ll grind your bones to make her bread. The woman’s been through blazes hotter than any hell and come out on top of her game. She’ll sniff out trouble before anyone else does, mix it up into something more palatable. When something happens, people turn to her for answers, and it’s no surprise she’s head and shoulders above the rest. Won’t take much for this one to rise up above the rest. Just gotta be careful. Sometimes, the bigger they come, the harder they fall.
.
The Siren

Boy’s got a song for the ages, a tale that'll suck you down into the deepest waters. It's a bit of a sob story, but there's one of those in every tale. He's got an instrument on his back that might be more use as a bludgeon than as an accompaniment, but you never know what's going to be out there. Might be he finds something to heal his heart. Plenty of fish in the sea... but there's plenty of sharks, too.
.
The Unsung Hero

Anyone that mediocre has to have something interesting tucked away. Won’t reveal itself just yet - he’ll struggle a bit, bumble around. It’ll take him a while to grow into his skills, but when he finds out what they are, worlds are gonna tremble. Boy’s already got his own code and everything. Usually that means conduct and not computers, but it’s probably a reference to something. Foreshadowing. That, or he’s just a mistake and he’ll die early. Never do know, with a boy like that.
.

Today’s finest heroes. I’d say they remind me a bit of yesterday’s finest heroes, except they’re all still in one piece. Last mission... last mission didn’t go so well.

We’re not gonna talk about that one.

Right now they’re lookin’ around, trying to figure out where the voice is coming from. Whether or not the others can hear it too. Some of ‘em can. That'll be them, looking around now, trying to pick the others out of the crowd. Ain't too many here at this hour, mostly shades. Shades are a bit like people, 'cept not so distinct. Try to have a conversation with one and you'll think it makes sense, but all you can remember later on is an kind of mumbling sound. Same with the way they look - they seem reasonable, but you try to recall 'em later and can't say for sure. Some say they're remnants - what of, I couldn't tell you.

Might not, even if I could.

They'll be looking for me, now. Bit disconcerting, hearing voices in your head. 'Specially when everyone hears the same voice. Well. There you have it. You won't see me, though. Not yet. I ain't here.

You? Yeah, you're here.

Some of 'em don't believe me when I tell 'em that, of course. They think they're dreaming or they think they're dead or they think they had one hit too many of the good stuff. Don't matter to me one way or another what they believe. Job's the same, whether they want it or not. No one gets to leave until it's done.

For some, that ain't an advantage. I try to weed those ones out pretty early. Most of 'em don't make it this far. Well. There you are. Let me know when you're done deciding whether or not you're crazy.

Then I'll tell you where to go from here.

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Re: Crossroads: Chapter 1

Post by cz_invazion » Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:28 pm

'this is just a bad trip... There was something in it this time... That sonvabitch Perez is trying to make a fool of me or kill me, if I survive this I'm getting Big Jim to bust his damn knee caps!' Vincent thought to himself. The voice in his head seemed too real to be real in this nightmarish hellscape of... Confusion? That was the only way he could describe it, so jarringly out of place his mind could barely grasp it. "Okay okay who ever you are, this is just my mind trying to convince me I'm out of touch but I'll have you know I'm still on top of my game and if this is Perez messing with me you are a dead man!" He stated as he rubbed his eyes trying to wake himself up.

The voice said to look for others, but be figments of fragments of his concupiscence like morality and greed or something stupid like that. He looked around and saw what looked like walking shadows, just figures of smokey black. "Guhh! I guess those are those... Shade... Things... Well there's that now where's..." He looked around and saw a distinguishable figure, just like it said, a figure with bright pink highlights. "Ah great, I guess part of me actually likes those euro-trash freaks. Hell might as well embrace it now, note to self invest in synthesizers." He angerly mumbled to himself as he headed toward it, shoving the shades aside with no care.
Remember, when you go to war. If peace doesn't work carry the bigger stick.

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Re: Crossroads: Chapter 1

Post by Azra » Sat Jun 13, 2020 2:54 am


Kat didn't know where she was, which she was not a huge fan of. Admittedly she wasn't always the best with directions, go off skating middle of the day talking to friends end up somewhere downtown on a road you don't know. Usually a bit of work though and one could find their way back. This however whatever and wherever this was seemed imposible to do that with. She considered going to ask someone she saw in the distance but closer she got the more empty that idea felt. It was as if the people were there yet not. "Am I a ghost? Wait no I got it, that card game from when I was nine has kicked in and I've finally been banished to the shadow realm?"

Not that she played that game, couldn't remember the name. That was for losers and softies which she wasn't. Well until she heard a meow, after a bit of roaming the small cat couldn't find anywhere to climb on or someone to bother so it returned to the skateboard. A warm weight keeping Kat's foot in place, "Purrderr! Ite so least not hell right? No asshole is so evil they'd send a cat to hell."

Granted none of that answered where she was or why it felt like they were being narrated over by some distant voice or something. Made her think of those figures on D&D maps, like she was a stylish piece on the board being directed. If she could she would punch someone for thinking they could control her that way. She got the feeling though answers would come by finding the suggested others more though then yelling at the skies. So her foot kicked against the ground and sent the punk rolling forward. Well forward for her and Purrderr she couldn't really tell direction here. Someone who looked the business type soon coming into view.

Gross.

Probably would rather talk about if she had done taxes yet or needed help with college loans over holding a conversation. Granted art college was a miserable fortune and she could use help but that wasn't topical to right now. She also heard euro-trash she was pretty sure. Which while certainly being a very alternative look she was picky with words. People weren't trash for how they looked. Besides wasn't like that suit could pull off neon pink bangs. "Any idea what the hell this is about? Kat by the by, and that's Purrderr." She remarked pointing to the ball of fur at her foot. Moment the kitten had purred in Kat's hands a few years back she thought she'd die from his cuteness so she named the feline murder by purring.


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Re: Crossroads: Chapter 1

Post by Ryoko » Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:30 pm

Her eyes slowly opened to a white ceiling.

"Ugh... this isn't my room."

There's a pain in her back. Unusual, but familiar. It shot through her body any time she fell asleep on a hard bench or a couch that was way past its expiration date.

"Damn sure not my bed, either..."

She got up and started looking around. And, as confused as she was, she wasn't panicked by any of what she saw. Maybe she was too tired or maybe she had panicked one-too-many times in her life already and was just out of energy. So, she started going down the checklist.

"Did I drink last night? Damn, how much did I have?"

She'd never seen this room before, that was for sure. Or any of these people. Or... what am I looking at?

"Shadows... Is this what a concussion feels like? I don't remember hitting my head, but that's not the kind of thing that you remember in the morning is it?"

She pulled out her phone, hoping that she'd be able to read any of it with the potential head injury bogging her down. She could. No service, though.

Damn.

At the very least, there were a few people that she could make out clearly. And she could actually understand them, too.

"Hey! Anyone here got a working phone? I've got no signal in here," She called out to, well, anyone who would listen. She debated getting up and trying to find a way out of the room but, given how much she was hallucinating, she felt it best to just sit still before anything else in her nogging could get jumbled up, "I'll give the first person who calls an ambulance $300. I don't carry cash, but I'm good for it as soon as I can get to an ATM without hallucinating.

She sat on the floor, Indian style, and started running her hands through her hair and over her scalp in search of signs of blunt trauma.
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Quirkless Deku
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Re: Crossroads: Chapter 1

Post by Quirkless Deku » Sun Jun 14, 2020 5:03 pm

A voice...it was a voice. HE was hearing a voice. How long had it been exactly? Over ten years at this point since he last heard someone speak? It was jolting, disconcerting almost, like a ghost, or a memory come back to life.
Could it be?
Ejilah brought his hand close to his ear and snapped a few times.
No. Of course not. He wasn't disappointed exactly. His feelings about his hearing were complicated. Anyway, he'd gotten used to being deaf. It was just another part of his life, and why pine after something that will never be? No, he never even let himself go there.
But still...
Hearing that voice...
No not really hearing. It was in his head. That was the only logical explanation. Except it wasn't. It was not like your normal internal narration or train of thought. It wasn't HIM it was someone else, and it sounded REAL, as if it were being spoken out loud except directly in his skull.
Crap.
Was he having a psychotic break? Had one too many all-nighters pushed his mind over the edge? or...was it back? No, the last check up came back clean, and anyway he had never experienced anything like this. This: the voice in his head, the people walking by who almost seemed real but dissolved into amorphous figures the moment he tried to recall any of them. It was the definition of the uncanny valley. It was all wrong. But it felt so real. He took a deep breath. He needed to collect himself, to assess the situation. Right now either he had lost touch with reality, or reality had become something completely unexplainable. He needed to stay calm and try to figure out how he had gotten here and how to stop it.
The voice had said there were others. He began looking around trying to find other confused people. People who preferably with not turn to grey smoke in his mind.
There was one. And another. There looked to be about five other than himself. There was a business man who immediately made Elijah's skin crawl who was talking to a young woman with bright hair and tattoos. Odd pairing. They didn't seem to have noticed him and they were far enough away that it was nearly impossible to lip read. There was another woman closer to where he was. She was tall and slightly intimidating. She sat down on the ground running her hands across her head. There was also a man with a guitar on his back and a younger man who looked very awkward. Elijah watched them all trying to assess whether to approach any of them and who they might be. He would rather know what he was getting into before jumping into a conversation.

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Re: Crossroads: Chapter 1

Post by kotetsu » Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:00 pm


He paced around within the empty space with a confused look on his face. If Jeremy had tried hallucinogenic drugs that one time his college roommate had suggested it to him, he imagined this is what it would be like. To the life of him he couldn’t remember the last time he had touched anything harder than the devils lettuce… of which he hadn’t even touched in at least a year or so. So what was this? This place, this voice speaking to him, it was all too much to wrap his head around.

Maybe it really was a dream? Heck even the voice suggested it might be. Then again the voice also hinted it was a liar. He went for typical fallback on bad dreams. Well okay, he skipped the part where you huddle in the fetal position and proclaim for things to not be real. He did however roll up a sleeve and pinch his arm. When that didn’t work he did it again, but harder. Then he did it again, pushing the limit of drawing blood, or as close as his finger nails could muster. Nothing had changed aside from a slight pain in his arm. Plus at this point, he had read somewhere that people achieving lucidity in dreams usually struggle to maintain that… okay so he heard it for a second on a television documentary while flipping channels one night. Point is, this was as real as anything at the moment, and he’d have to work around within the bounds of whatever this places rules were.

What did he know for sure? There were people around. The things described as shades and by the sounds of it, others in his situation. At least one of them was losing their cool, others asking reasonable enough questions. A larger looking woman asked about cell phones. It was much to his surprise that he had it, not so much that it too had no signal. It made it clear that they were as clueless as he was, and the unreliable narrator left much to be desired.

He was left resorting to the one thing he knew how to do. He pulled his guitar case off his back and unclipped the latches, and sat down with his baby in his lap. What’s a good crowd pleaser here? He thought to himself. He wasn’t so much interested in the peoples reaction around him so much as the shades. The voice mentioned that confusing things happen if you tried to talk to them, but what if you could get the attention of multiples of them. He rarely remembered individual faces of those he performed for, so this shouldn’t be much different. The simple but hopefully recognizable cord progression rings out. About 10 seconds in he opens with the songs first verse.

"Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time…"


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Re: Crossroads: Chapter 1

Post by cz_invazion » Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:18 am

Vincent was visably taken back for a moment, slowly blinking trying to comprehend what just happened. How could a figment of his own mind not know what going on? Unless this all wasn't in his head after all. "Wait, wait, wait, wait! You arent my imagination!?! Your actually some punk with a cat? Oh god this is way worse than I thought...." Realization sat in for a moment, this wasn't a bad trip or prank this was something else entirely, he was than met with a harsh headache.

"Ergh... Sorry, my names Vincent and I have absolutely-" he was cut off by another voice, it was from a taller woman, asking for a cellphone. Vincent had no idea why she wanted one, they barely worked half the time and were the size of bricks so they probably wouldn't work here either. "Do I look like I got one of those freakin radioactive bricks on me? I don't think they get service in hell either. Say who are-" Vincent was cut off again, not by a voice but by a guitar. Vincents head pulsed with each strum of the wooden ear drum stabber. Vincent angerly spoke to the noisey stranger. "Kid I swear to God if you strum that thing one more time I'm gonna break it in half, I've got a headache the size of Harvey Wienstens hernia and I'm trying to think." He said as he pointed his finger at him.
Remember, when you go to war. If peace doesn't work carry the bigger stick.

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illirica
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Re: Crossroads: Chapter 1

Post by illirica » Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:36 pm

One more for the road.
.
The Seeker

A numbers guy. He hears my voice, but nothing else. Takes a moment to wonder if he's hearing it at all or if it's just something broken in his head. It's a good question, with an easy answer, but any mathematician knows the easiest answers are often the hardest to understand. One and one makes two. You ever wonder why? You know why, it's just the way it is. You ever prove it? The proof's a lot more complicated. For a set N containing all real numbers... it goes on from there. He knows it - just like he knows he can hear my voice. Is he really hearing me? Yes. Why? It's just the way it is. You want proof? Don't think you've got the background to understand it.
. That might be all of them. Or maybe another one will come in later. You never know, with the Crossroads. Sometimes someone comes in late, joins in like they were meant to be there all along. Other times, you think someone was there and turn around to find they're not. Maybe they never were. Best not to think too much about it.

It's just the way it is.

Well. The group's off to a good start, aren't they? They've only been here a few minutes and already there's a disagreement. I won't say I've never seen worse, but let's just say I've seen better. You never know which ones are going to last, though. The last group got along just fine. All the way up until the end.

Probably best not to talk too much about that part. Don't worry, though. They did what they needed to do. Just so happened that what they needed to do was die. Yours will be a different task.

Group seems a bit skeptical. It's their choice, though. They can sit around here all day, or they can get out there and see what they can do. See, the thing is, I need something found. Something that got left behind. It'll be a familiar sort of thing, but the place where it is will be anything but familiar. A while back, a group got sent out - no, not that last group - to defeat an evil. Managed it just fine, celebrations and honors, everyone goes home happy. One of the sorry sons of guns got a little too celebratory, left his cell phone behind with a girl.

Wasn't a place a cell phone belonged.

Now there's a bit of a cult around it. So, that's unfortunate. Your task is going to be to grab the item, get it out of there, and not leave anything behind. Try not to screw up, will you? The person who has to fix your mistake might be someone you like.

Anything you need to know before you head out?
.
> Ask about this place
> Ask about the place you're being sent
> Ask about the cell phone
> Ask about the Narrator [Requires additional experience]
> Other Questions:
|

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Quirkless Deku
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Re: Crossroads: Chapter 1

Post by Quirkless Deku » Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:35 pm

There was one thing Elijah knew so far. He didn't like the guy in the suit. "Radioactive bricks" why did there have to be so my conspiracy theorists with no scientific knowledge. Cell phones used non-ionizing radiation. They were not radioactive. And of course he tried to shut down the music.
Speaking of which, the musician seemed nice enough. Elijah always had a soft spot for music, helped him focus.
"Hey!" He said to the annoying one, "Lay off him. You're the one who's giving everyone else a migraine."
He did have a bit of a headache. It wasn't technically because of him but might as well blame him anyway. What Elijah needed was a cup of coffee.
He pulled out his smart phone and tried to turn it on. No reception. As expected. Looks like he wasn't going to be able to offer any help to the woman on the floor.
Then the voice came again. This time it spoke about him.
How did it know what he was thinking? He supposed it would make sense if he were hallucinating. But he still didn't have enough to go on to know for sure. And it still didn't feel like a hallucination. Emotions can lead you astray. At the same time the assumptions that seem common sense and logical could do the same. The fact was that he wasn't going to get an objective view on what was happening. And to a certain extent it didn't matter. The most important thing was getting out of it alive. And since there didn't seem to be any other way out, it looked like they were going to have to play along. Which meant that the most important thing was surviving this task.
"What is this place we are being sent to? You said cellphones are out of place? Is it on a remote untouched island? Or back in time? What do we need to be careful of there? What are the cultural norms that we need to abide by?" He threw in the time bit as things were already weird enough. He had to bite back his tongue to stop himself from asking exactly how it would work.

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Re: Crossroads: Chapter 1

Post by cz_invazion » Fri Jun 19, 2020 6:44 pm

Vincent being the calm and rational man that he is turned towards the voice of the one who back talked him. As he wound up ready to give the stranger an earful he stopped for a moment, he looked around and saw the others faces that looked him with discontent and anger. 'No sense in making enemies right now if I'm gonna need these people to get out of here...' he thought to himself. He let out a long air filled sigh and calmly spoke out. "I'm sorry, I'm a bit overwhelmed by all of this and confused, and when I get confused I get angry and I yell and so on..." He tried defending himself to try and retain some sort of connections with his new partners.

Of course than the magical voice in either his head or the sky in this hell spoke again. He... She... It? Didn't exactly seem like the most poliet person Vincent has met before. And it finally gave a sense of direction as to what was happening here. They needed to take a cellphone from some group that made a cult from it, poor bastards are probably mutated as all hell now. And judging by the new persons reaction to the voice Vincent guessed others could hear it too. Above all that Vincent had a couple of questions because he felt as if the voice was allowing them too at this time. "Yeah jackass I have few questions, obviously I'm not back in San Fran right now, what's happening there while we're here? Did my deal with Delorean go through the bank yet? Is my Porsche okay? Are ya atleast gonna point us in the direction of this stupid phone?"
Remember, when you go to war. If peace doesn't work carry the bigger stick.

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