Incidents at an Orphanage - 7Despite Bethany's less than circumspect questions about the future, it is the near future that you are concerned with. Namely, getting a group of kids and youths out of the Edgewood Home for Troubled Children and into the nearby Pauper's Rest Cemetery. It's not that difficult to plan, but actually managing it might be harder. However, you intend to do that in the early evening, during the latter half of 'free time'. Everyone else has left in order to prepare their beds, get last minute snacks, take naps, or otherwise prepare for what may be a long night. That leaves you, who doesn't care what the authorities in charge of Edgewood think, do or say at this particular moment (with one painfully raw exception), with time to kill.By and large, you've gotten answers, but the answers themselves aren't very satisfying. According to the records - including paper records - you've been here since 1956, which is only seven years after the place was built. You'd call it a coincidence that the number of orphans in San Francisco jumped during the gold rush, but you're not that stupid. And you have been sixteen years old the entire time. There are a few gaps, years where the records don't show you present, but they are few and far between, and none of them after 1975. The computer records are the same. Despite that, no one seems to think anything is amiss among the staff; you're sixteen, a troublemaker, and other than being a little weird, that's all they seem to know.Sister Christina knows you're a weird thing, but not what kind. She definitely knows that silver hurts you; you rub your hand, the ache dull but ever-present. Doctor Rikandra knows - knew? - you're some kind of strange being, something not human, but she also told you to stay out of the infirmary when you started asking certain questions, specifically those about trust, and trusting her in particular. She also confirmed that people ~forget~ about you, and suggested that she too would forget about you after your last visit. But what if....what if she included you in that? What if ~you~ forget about yourself?What that might mean for Shaun and Shauna, you don't know.You do know you've been suffering fugue states, moments of time that you know something happened, but you don't recall details. You vividly recall what you did to Jake, though. There was NOTHING human or normal about that. It seems to have affected Marie the same way. She's utterly terrified of you, and Shauna said that when you mentioned hurting the lemures, your eyes changed to blood red instead of....you don't know what color your eyes are.You don't recall ever knowing that.You have the sneaking suspicion something is terribly wrong with you. Go see Doctor Rikandra anyways. Go find that peculiar blue-eyed girl that seemed to know you and looked familiar. Go scope out the cemetery by yourself first. Write in:
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>>2076808> Go find that peculiar blue-eyed girl that seemed to know you and looked familiar.I'm not particularly sure how we'd go about doing that, but seems like a good lead.Is Doctor Rikandra's living quarters part of the infirmary or a separate room?
>>2076820Part of, with a separate entrance.
>>2076808> Go find that peculiar blue-eyed girl that seemed to know you and looked familiar.Kinda curious if she responds to us being called Annie/Anne since possessed Priscilla referred to Hekah that way.
>>2076821> "All growing up now, huh? Well....that's okay. You need to be grown up. So, you listen to me, one last time, before you are all gone and grown up."> "You are a good girl, Hekah. You are going to do strange things, dangerous things. You may not feel so good, may not act so good. But if you have question - if you doubt - you think of your girl and your boy. What they would think. How they would feel. You remember them first. Then, if you don't feel so good, don't think it's a good thing, you stop." ...these are weird things for Doctor Rikandra to say about Hekah. Telling a girl who seems to have been frozen at sixteen for over sixty years that she's grown up, and to remember Shaun and Shauna when it seems like we don't remember anything at all... It could just be generic advice to get some distance from us, or she could think that something is changing this time.
>>2076820Though Rikandra did specifically only forbid us from entering the infirmary, and left it open for our friends and even cats, so I don't know, maybe... >leave a note under her door saying we're settling things with Sebastian if there's anything she thinks we need that she's willing to give, we'd be very grateful for her to deliver it tonight.Or something like that. Like I'm not sure whether or not that'd just cause her to call for a lockdown.
[X] Go find that peculiar blue-eyed girl that seemed to know you and looked familiar.Rolling to your feet away from the tree, you hop off the ledge. It only takes a glance to make sure there are no orderlies watching, and most of the kids are doing their own things, not paying attention to you. Walking towards the fence casually, you head towards the corner of the building, pulling your jacket a little tighter against the chill that seems to come over you as the sun comes out from behind the clouds.When you reach the fence, most everyone is occupied, distracted by cats, or otherwise not paying attention to you. You grip the links of the fence in one hand and glace at the wall, managing to find a handhold up higher to prepare a leap over the fence with. One last glance at the yard, then you turn to check the street on the other side of the fence....She's staring at you from the other side of the fence, her inhumanly bright blue eyes staring into yours. She's close leaning forward so her face is only inches away from yours, dark hair framing her paleness, black clothing that looks like it came from a fetish shop. The weirdest thing is how aggressive she looks, just daring you to hop the fence and step into the street.She almost looks like she would try and hurt you if you did that. Hope the fence anyways. She's not the boss of you. Stare back, wait for her to say something. Ask her who the hell....what the hell she is. Write in:
>>2076836> Ask her who the hell....what the hell she is.> Write in: Ask how long has she been keeping an eye on the orphanage.And if it's a long time, ask if the names Sebastian and Anne/Annie ring any bells.Also considering asking if she's familiar with after hour adoptions depending on the answer to the write-in.
>>2076836...one thing I forgot to suggest Hekah do was look into a mirror, and compare to this girl, just to eliminate that bit of weirdness as a possibility.Also damn it, part of me worries that this is one of those implicit animesque fight for the right to answers things/test of courage things but generally I'm against picking fights with people we just met. Hm.> Stare back, wait for her to say something.Maybe give her 30 seconds to one minute?> Ask her who the hell....what the hell she is.Or to elaborate,>Greet her and say we want to know information about her and, if she has any, us. I'm not sure if it would be rude or not to ask if there's anything she wants?
[X] Ask her who the hell....what the hell she is.[X] Write in: Questions. So many questions.You stare into those blue eyes, unmoving, and she stares back, her gaze no less intense. Only when you slowly lower your hand from the wall does she ease up a little bit, straightening slightly. Still aggressive, but not....looming as much. You place your hand on the fence, which doesn't seem to bother her, and she blinks at you slowly, her expression speculative now."I'm Hekah."It takes almost a minute for her to respond, and you wait, watching her intently. When she does, her voice is cool. "....Rune."You leans closer to the fence, looking at her intently. "What are you?"Her eyes narrow, and her expression becomes suspicious. "I don't owe you anything anymore.""What do you mean, 'anymore'?" you ask sharply. "I haven't done anything for you!"Rune looks surprised. "You dealt with Jake. You made him go away."So he did kill himself. "How did that help you?" you ask, truly confused now."He was a threat to my people." The hackles at the back of your neck rise. "He was going to hurt my people eventually. He's done it before. I couldn't reach him. He always watched, always waited. But he never did anything, not here. But he was yours, so I had to let you pass to get to him." She shrugs. "You made him go away. I helped you. We're even.""How long have you been watching the orphanage?" you ask softly. Rune's disdainful look is almost offensive. "It's not my orphanage, I don't watch it at all. This is My Street. It's my place, my people. Jake was a threat. He's gone now. So we're even." She starts to walk away."What about Sebastian?! Or Anne?!" you call out a little more loudly. She hesitates, and then turns slowly, her hands tucked deep in the pockets of her black overcoat. "Do you know anything about them?" Rune frowns at you, looking almost exasperated, yet....there's something more, a touch of concern. I can pay! Who am I?! Please, Rune, help me! Write in:
>>2076849> Who am I?!> Please, Rune, help me!
>>2076850I feel like while if she says we owe her then we won't contest it, but if she is showing concern, then maybe offering payment would put her in a less talkative mindset.
>>2076836> Hope the fence anyways. She's not the boss of you.> Ask her who the hell....what the hell she is.Maybe a bit too late to vote, but here it is anyways.
>>2076849> I can pay!> Who am I?!>>2076855Definitely too late
>>2076855Bit late yeah, but just in time for a fresh vote.
>>2076849> Who am I?!
>>2076858Yeah. Seems my auto updater has broken.
>>2076854Also I'm not sure if it's a good idea to say we can pay outright without knowing the price? Because there are definitely things she could ask that we aren't willing to offer.
>>2076854>>2076862I agree it would be smarter to change "I can pay!" to "What do you want in payment?", but I don't think it's better for the story.
>>2076863That's a fair point, but I'm also just not sure how best to capitalize on her apparent concern without offending her, since she's almost certainly not a human.
[X] Who am I?!You stare at her and when she starts to turn you almost - no, you do shout at her."WHO AM I?!"She takes one more step....then stops. Turning, Rune looks at you speculatively. With a sigh she walks back to the fence and then places her hands on it, leaning close again as she looks into your eyes. "Fine. When one of my people enters the orphanage, you have to take care of them like you would take care of your own."You open your mouth to ask her to explain, but the words stick in your throat. You nod mutely and she stares into your eyes for a moment more. Finally Rune stands up, letting go of the fence and shoving her hands back into the pockets of her coat. "You can come over here now. You can't stay here, but you can cross over whenever you need to."Rather than granting permission it sounds like she's telling you these things, explaining them. Climbing over the fence takes you only a few seconds, and she waits patiently, watching you. When you're over she points at the intersection to the left. "That's where my street starts. It ends....I think....around 49th." She starts walking to the right, towards 49th street. Her 'street' is half back alley and half common road, and the Pauper's cemetery is across from the - your - orphanage. "I think I've been here, this time, for....six years? I think. It might be more. That's how much I remember right now.""What do you mean?" you ask with no small amount of dread.She shrugs, but it's not so much as an 'I don't care' as 'it doesn't matter'. "Right now my people need me a lot. They don't always, and sometimes there aren't any." You glance at the apartment buildings, wondering how there could be no one there. She slaps you on the back of the head lightly, which doesn't hurt at all, but is annoying as all fuck. "Not them! Them."Rune stops and you loom at the people she's talking about. It's very obvious once you see them who she is talking about.Homeless. Streetwalkers. A couple of stray dogs.
"When they don't need me, I'm not here. When they do, I am." Rune starts walking again and you follow, looking at 'her people'. she stops, kneeling next to an old man, and takes a half a sandwich wrapped in plastic wrap, giving it to him. He takes it gratefully, and then settles back down to his cardboard, the bundles of clothing that serve as protection from the chill smelling of cheap wine, urine, and the shimmering wet floral scent of madness. "They make me be here for them when they need me.""So, we're what? Protectors of the innocent? Guardians of them in our places?" you ask, a sharp note of irritation in your voice.Rune glances at you with a knowing smile. "Innocent? Do any of these people look innocent to you?" You look down the street at the tramps, the hookers, the winos. The drug addicts. you shake your head. "Do any of your people seem particularly innocent to you?"The protest dies before it ever reaches your throat. Bethany's father. Shaun and Shauna. Lyrical. Kit. Even Jeanine, whoring her services to fit in to whatever group she can. You can only shake your head."Innocents don't need us. They have hundreds, thousands of protectors. Guardian angels. Gods. A ton of services. Prayers." she steps back into an ally as a family of three approaches, and you do the same, feeling the waves of nausea start as the wife pushes her stroller past you and Rune. Rune stares down at the baby, while you try to avoid throwing up. The husband gives his wide a one harmed hug, but the three year old suddenly burst out crying as they pass the ally you and Rune are hiding in. None of then seem to see you, yet you know, somehow that baby knew or felt something. "Innocents don't need us," Rune repeats as the happy family continues towards their home. "They can hurt us badly." She glances at your hand. "Like silver. Or flowers of a certain kind. Purity is unhealthy for us."As she starts walking down the street once more pulling a dark, curved bottle from her pocket and unscrewing the top, you ask her the question that's been haunting you this past....week, the last few days. You wonder how long it's been haunting you. "What are we?"
>>2076877>Fine. When one of my people enters the orphanage, you have to take care of them like you would take care of your own.That seems like a reasonable price.
She takes a drink from the bottle, the scent of blackberries wafting from the potent alcohol. Rune sighs when she lowers it, then offers it to you. "Spirits, of a sort? Not ghosts, we're living creatures in a way. Like nymphs, or genius loci. We have our places that we exist within, and we protect the people in them, when they are our people." Pausing, she gestures at the buildings, the few trees, the wires of the telephone system, the people on the street. "It takes us time to grow into what we need to be to be what we are. People teach us, help us grow. When we become whole, when we mature, we are dark and beautiful: the terrible things that hide in the shadows of our places, taking vengeance on those who harm our people and places and animals that live for us."She drops her hands and looks at the street. "What are we? I don't think there's a word that is for us, really. Someone told me of a story, where creatures like us were part of it. Darklings, he told me. Protectors of children. But we protect other things too.">Choose no more than two + write ins; sorry, no you can't count a write in as a repeat of a question. What about people who care about us, then? How long have you actually been here? What happens if something or someone kills us? What does memory have to do with it all, it seems important. What about the cemetery, is there someone like us there? Write in:
>>2076880> What about people who care about us, then?> What does memory have to do with it all, it seems important.
>>2076880> What does memory have to do with it all, it seems important.> What about the cemetery, is there someone like us there?>Will I forget the ones I'm protecting now when they no longer need me?
>>2076880>[X] What about people who care about us, then?>Tell her about our ability to mark things/people, is that bound by the limitations of memory?>[X] What does memory have to do with it all, it seems important.>Someone said I was a Hag, was that just a convenient analogy or is that the kind of thing I'll be when I'm grown?>Does she know anyone who has grown?>Who told her about what we are?>Why does she not want us visiting her domain without permission? If it's instinctive, why don't we feel the same?>If I'm supposed to protect these people, why did I allow lemures and a vampire to treat this orphanage as a larder?
>>2076849So Jake used to attack homeless people? What a dick.
>>2076880So, Hekah and Rune are somewhat like this?https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landv%C3%A6ttir> What does memory have to do with it all, it seems important.> Write in: Protecting something implies a threat is present. Does a threat also manifest in this same manner then?
>>2076880>Will we still be able to present as people when we're grown, or will we become more like... ideas?>Would you be okay if we just kind of hung out sometimes? I know that we don't need to talk to each other, but it can't hurt. I'll stay on my side of the fence if you want.Sorry for all the questions XS.>>2076888while "Land Wight" is a cool title, it seems like those beings are concerned with the land itself, while we care more about those who dwell within it, which... feels like it brings us closer to deity territory, but not quite since I don't think we ask for anything from those we protect.
>>2076888>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landv%C3%A6ttirSomewhat yes. Also similar to shinto kami, but also not quite.
>>2076828Well... that answers a lot of questions about what Doctor Rikandra meant by this, though not quite why she thought us asking if we should trust her meant we were close to growing up.
>>2076880>Where do our names come from? Who is responsible for me going through eternity being named Hekah Strange?
[X] What about the cemetery, is there someone like us there?[X] What about people who care about us, then?[X] What does memory have to do with it all, it seems important.[X] Write in: Oh, so many questions...."So is there someone like us in the cemetery? Will they try and keep me out too?" You can't help but ask that a bit pointedly, but she doesn't seem to notice the barb."Not like us, no. There's no one living in there." She takes the bottle and caps it, placing it back in her pocket. "We're not dead, but we're not....really alive either. We can die, and be hurt, but we can't really be killed, as far as I know. We can vanish, which I guess is like being dead." You can't help but think of those gaps in the timeline of your 'stay' at the orphanage."What does memory have to do with it. It seems important somehow."Rune nods. "Places have memories. We remember the things that hurt our people, that damage our places. We are physical, don't mistake us for just ghosts. We can eat, drink, have lovers," this she says as she smiles at a pretty hooker-boy, probably no older than seventeen, who smiles shyly and blushes as the two of you pass, "be injured, bleed. We're as much memory as physical though. We don't....we're not always HERE. sometimes we cease to exist, for hours, days, years. It seems to be as much need and pain that draws us as people living in our places. And our memories are fluid as well. We forget things that don't matter to us, and remember things that become part of how we deal with the people we protect, or punish."That is a sobering, strange thought. "Will I forget about the people who care about me? The people I care about? Will I forget them when they no longer need me?" She glances at you. "I have lovers too," you say a little defensively, but she gives you a wicked grin."Those pretty twins that look like us. And no, I don't know why we look like we do. I do know that we're named for magic." You look up at her, startled. She glances at you and smiles. "Heka, Rune, Numen, Mana. Magick. I don't know where our names come from, just that we always call ourselves magic." Her smile fades. "I'd like to tell you no, we won't forget, but you might. I have, I know. And yet...." She stops walking, closing her eyes."I remember a woman, motherly but aging, in petticoats and heavy makeup, looking down at me, my cheeks hot and her hand on my breast. I remember an old Native American, sitting cross-legged with me in his lap, naming stars for me. not what they call them now, but other names. Coyote, Raven, Snake, Wolf. He was hot, radiating heat, because he was so sick."
She places a hand over her heart. "I remember a police officer, beating one of my whores, hitting her again and again as she feebly tried to get up. I drove him mad, so mad that they named a sanitarium after him. I remember a little girl, sitting on the curb, eating an apple I gave her. Sally, her name was, and she grew up into a fine young woman despite what her father did to her." She opens her eyes and looks down the street. "I remember many people. The ones who taught me, I don't always remember their names, but I remember everything I need to know about life on this street that they taught me."You frown at her. "If we're here to protect them, that means there's some kind of threat doesn't it? Does it just....appear, or grow out of something?"The question seems to surprise Rune. "I never said that. I said that these are our places and our people, and we protect them because they are why we are here. Without them we wouldn't exist, and with them we can be....well, alive. Your vampire, your ghosts are a problem that grew from human stupidity and mistakes. We're not omniscient, and we're barely sapient. We are sentient, and we enjoy the world and what it offers. When something starts interfering with our interactions with the world, troubling the people and places we exist in...." she grins, a vicious, sharp grin with far too many teeth, her hair becoming more like liquid darkness that seethes and shifts behind her. She looms over you, leaning improbably, maybe impossibly close, her hands still in her pockets, a dark serpent ready to bite. Your heart starts hammering, and you can guess how Jake must have felt in those last few minutes of his life. "I think you know."Just like that she leans back, ordinary, human looking, her eyes no longer an electric blue glow with pinprick pupils. You don't know how you arrived back at the orphanage, but here you are. You shudder, looking at Rune with a new respect. "You're nearly all grown up now. You'll see things only a little differently when you're an imago. Larvae are limited in certain ways, but also a lot more fun to be in other ways. Still....I'd rather be me, than what I was.""You recognized the name Anne." She looks at you and there's a shadow of pain in her eyes, an old hurt. "Who was Anne?"
Rune looks at you and then speaks very softly. "There's always....a catalyst, a reason we come into being. It's usually because....because we failed to protect one of our people. And when they die as a result, then....then sometimes, if others who are like them come to a place, the memory of them takes root in that place. A ghost story, a rumor, a hint of something terrible in the past, that grows and learns and feeds on the memory of it's own birth, until it becomes....well, alive, for lack of anything else to call it." You stare at her. "Goodbye, Anne. You won't leave your place unless you're doing something related to it, any more than I can leave mine. Something like Jake. Like that monster that thinks she's a person, the one who runs your little slice of hell, the way she is probably going to have to be dealt with." She tilts her head as you look at her from behind the fence, your heart pounding as she smiles."Happy hunting," she murmurs before walking away into the darkening evening, a mangy mutt walking out of an ally to accompany her as she lays a comforting hand on it's back.>To Be Continued....
Thank you for reading and playing.Hope you enjoyed the reveal.
>>2076906Thanks for running XS. I didn't see that one coming.
>>2076906Thanks for running. Interesting to get some answers to our many questions.
>>2076905Thanks for running and thanks for integrating my ridiculous amount of questions, sorry if I got carried away.
>>2076906>Hope you enjoyed the reveal.Yeah, it was satisfying to see all those dangling plot threads weave together into a tight tapestry.You'll get me hooked on rampant speculation now.
>>2076905Also it seems like that ghost story Jeanine told us was mostly right on the money, only it seems like we're more occupied with stopping more people from being like us than avenging our death, and there doesn't seem to be a way for us to stop or be stopped?
>>2076905>Like that monster that thinks she's a person, the one who runs your little slice of hell, the way she is probably going to have to be dealt with.Oh right, she's even more of a threat than the vampire in a way. Luckily I'm pretty sure we can exploit her weakness, thanks to our friends.
>>2076902Though wait, while I get why we only remember certain things, but that was half the question. It doesn't really get into why we make other people forget. Is that even something we generate, or is that like a mental defense mechanism humans have whenever they're not in the presence of something spooky?
>>2076919>People forget. They don't like to remember. Bothers them, yeah? I remember. I do not forget. But for you, this time, I forget. And your secrets remain secret with me.Wait yeah, that seems to be Doctor Rikandra's understanding. So... It doesn't seem like they'll be forced to forget us if they don't want to? But at the same time, they'll have to leave.
>>2076913Just doing my job.>>2076914'Anne' is dead, and has been dead a very long time apparently. Hekah isn't actually Anne - she's not a ghost. Anne might have been the catalyst for the creation of whatever Hekah may be, but Hekah isn't a ghost. She is something that is alive in a very real sense, but what she is there isn't much of an explanation or a word for aside from 'daimon' or 'genius loci', perhaps even 'tutelary spirit'.However, injury, pain and death to those things that Hekah is 'born' from - the people, the orphanage, her cats - might cause her pain, injury, or even kill her. She's physical enough - Chrissy proved that - and she can be harmed as proven by the vampire, but at times she isn't a physical presence or perhaps even an existing presence. Shauna merely singing about clovers put Hekah to sleep, so she's vulnerable in some ways. What you mean by 'stopping' or 'being stopped' would be death to Hekah, and it's fairly obvious she's not interested in dying.
Books quoted are "Ghost Story" by Peter Straub and "The Darkling: a novel" by Chesterton
>>2076930Sorry, R.B. Chesterton.
>>2076927That is true, but I'm not sure if Hekah would also interpret the orphanage being at peace for years different than being dead, albeit a nice one?
>>2076930>>2076931I'll definitely check out those books then.
You stare after the departing figure of the creature that called itself - herself - Rune. you finally got the answers you were looking for, and they were much stranger, much more chilling than you expected. You knew you were not human, you've known for a while now, but to find out you're some kind of....not ghost, Rune adamantly insisted you weren't a ghost, but some kind of spirit, a creature born of memories and needs and pains suffered by others who have lived in this building. You're only a little older than it is, but you don't recall much.One thing that both Rune and Doctor Rikandra seem to agree on is that you're not an adult whatever you are. You're becoming one, and you suspect that the more you learn about what you are, the more you'll be able to act like what you are. More importantly, what you are is threatened by the vampire as much as it threatens your kids. That much, at least was clear to you. The kids, the orphanage itself, and your cats all make up parts of you, and you are real and alive because of them. And if they are hurting and being hurt, then you can do a lot of things you ordinarily can't do to protect them, such as invading other....well, spirits territories, driving people mad, and other stranger things.Memories seems to be key, both to your existence and the secret of it. People forget you, and the orphanage seems to protect your existence, the rules and notes and paperwork reflecting your presence over the years. But there are mysterious gaps in those times, times when you didn't seem to be around. you don't recall them exactly....but maybe if you tried, tried really hard...."Penny for your thoughts?"You jump, startled by Lyrical's husky voice, and sigh, turning around. She's dressed more casually, jeans and her jacket and a warm winter blouse, and looking at you with some measure of amusement. "Hey freak, didn't mean to scare you. You looked kind of out of it. You okay?" Dunno. Doesn't matter. Yeah, I'm fine. Where have you been? No, I'm not okay. Hey....how long have you known me? Write in:
>>2079840> Yeah, I'm fine. Where have you been?
>>2079840> Dunno. Doesn't matter.>Just got some answers to a lot of questions I didn't know I had about myself until last night, and they're weirder and more magical than I expected. I kind of want to talk about it but I'm a little worried that there's something to that "things humans aren't meant to know" schtick and... We've got a busy night in front of us If she wants to get more into it, then maybe ease her into> No, I'm not okay. Hey....how long have you known me?She agreed to be scarred by us, which means our life is tied to hers in ways that I'm not sure how far they extend. (Like did we never scar people until we met Shaun and Shauna, does the magic fade when we forget people, or could we at any moment drop dead because someone we scarred thirty years ago got hit by a bus?) Also Lyrica isn't really the delicate sort, so maybe she could handle it
[X] Write in: I'm fucking confused as all hell, really.Turning around you tuck your hands into your pockets. "Yeah? Well, maybe. Fuck, I dunno, I just learned a shitload of weird crap about myself and it makes shit even weirder than people think I am." Her eyebrows lift and she looks at you with a rather surprised expression as she digs her cigarettes out of her pocket. She shakes one out and places it between her lips, then looks at the pack speculatively before offering one to you. Taking it, you study it a moment. It's not like you can die from cancer, after all. "Hey, how long have you known me?""Since I've been here, I guess. Well, I've known about you since I've been here. Everyone known the Rules." You glance at her. "It's like the first thing anyone who comes here ever learns. 'Don't make Hekah mad, don't hurt Hekah's cats, tough as nails and thrice as mean.' I mean even the kindergartners know the rules, Hekah." She shrugs as she lights the cigarette with a match, and leans over to offer you a light off her cigarette. "I learned it from kids my age, because that's when everyone learns them, like, hours after they get here."Tucking the cigarette between your lips, you light it off hers, the near kiss appealing to some perverse part of you. You inhale deeply, the smoke filling your lungs, but you don't cough; it feels familiar, this slow burn in your chest, and you relax. "How old do you think I am, Lyrica?" you ask mildly, trying not to sound too eager or upset. You're not sure how you feel, actually, but the point is not to give anything away at the moment.She looks at you like you're stupid. "Sixteen, of course. What kind of question is that?"You look at her, taking the cigarette out of your mouth. "And that makes sense to you?" Lyrica nods slowly. "How old was I when we first met?""Sixteen," she says without hesitation. Then she blinks. "Wait....yeah, I remember you being sixteen when we first met."You stare at her. "And how old were you?"Without batting an eye she answers, "Eleven." You watch with great interest as her eyes slowly widen. "....holy shit." Yeah, pretty much. Just let that settle for a moment. ....what about room numbers? that might be interesting. Write in;
>>2079892> Yeah, pretty much.> ....what about room numbers? that might be interesting.>It's not something I have control over, not yet and maybe not ever, but still... Sorry?>I've been inadvertently Twilighting since before the author was born. This is the worst.Though upon saying that, maybe examine how much we actually remember from school?
>>2079892>> Yeah, pretty much.
>>2079892> Yeah, pretty much.> Write in: Well, probably not holy.
[X] Yeah, pretty much.[X] ....what about room numbers? That might be interesting.[X] Write in: I don't have any control over it, sorry....oh my Gods, I'm a character in Twilight. Fuck."Yeah, that's what I said. You're the first person I've talked to about it though. And there ain't nothing holy about this stuff, it's way weirder than that." You take another drag and sigh. "Hey, what room number did I used to be in?"She shrugs, looking confused. "8-A, across from Bethany's room, why?""What room is Shauna assigned to?""8-A, across from...." Her blue eyes go wide, and she stares at you."Wanna bet that if we ask an orderly where I am and where Jeanine is, they give the same room number and don't even notice?""No fucking bet! Jesus, how come no one notices this shit?!""Dunno," you say breathing smoke slowly from your lips and inhaling through your nose. It tickles, but again, you feel more familiar with the sensation than not. "i don't have any kind of control over it - at least, that I know of. Doc's not gonna remember me either. when - if i meet her, it'll be for the first time. She says that a lot of people forget about me, until they remember me, or something. I mean, the Bratz and the freaky kids all remember me all the time, but....it's weird, sometimes I just...." You drop the cigarette and grind it out with your heel. "I feel like those fucking idiots in that stupid book. Shit." you close your eyes, remembering the classroom, remembering what you learned. The teacher, putting the A-B-C's on the chalkboard, the starched cotton shirt making your neck itch, glaring at the girl tugging on Haley's braid, watching the cat leap on her desk and growl, the bell tolling for lunch, so you set your slate down and rise, thanking the nun who was teaching class.Your stomach gives a slow turn as you remember that the classrooms have the A-B-C's as letters above the whiteboards. there haven't been nuns in here since 1964, when it was sold to a private company. You watched them sign the papers from the attic, wondering who would be your friend now. Watching the bus pull in, with the first victims of this troubled home. The girl who pointed up at you, and the orderly who refused to look."I think I need to stop thinking about this for a while," you say in a small voice."Uh huh....we gotta get ready to go," Lyrica says in an equally small voice. "I....I don't think we should tell anyone else, just yet." She rubs her arm where you cut it, and you feel her rubbing her arm, the tingling sensation on your arm. Agree, and head inside. Tell her you'll meet her up there, you need a moment still. Ask her if she regrets knowing this. Write in:
>>2079923> Agree, and head inside.
>>2079923> Agree, and head inside.Oh boy. Beth's gonna be lonelier if she finds out.
>>2079923> Agree, and head inside.>Thank her for helping us talk through this even if it just seemed to result in a series of chills up both our spines.
>>2079928Not sure about that. It means we'll be here as long as she is, and if she's a conniving one, she might consider how it could be when she's 16/17 and we're still "16"
>>2079934I guess that's one bright way of looking at it.I'm just recalling the conversation Hekah had with her with adoption in mind.
>>2079935Yeah but that hinged on her thinking we'd be gone in two years and leave her behind. When in reality, it's everyone else who's going to leave us, -has- left us, for over sixty years.
[X] Agree, and head inside.[X] Write in: Thanks, though, for this. Creepy as it was."Yeah. I think that it would be a good idea not to talk too much about it. If it makes you feel better you'll probably forget-what?" Lyrica is shaking her head."I'm not going to forget. If that whack-job doctor can remember, so can I." She frowns. "It might not matter, and it might not do any good, but fuck the universe if it wants to make me forget a friend."The warmth that her words gives you is soothing and you smile. "Thanks. Thanks for that. For this stuff." The frown creeps back. "Creepypasta shit that it is."She snorts. "I always knew you were a freak.'"Sure thing, psycho." She punches you in the shoulder rather hard, which doesn't really hurt, and you give her the finger."Hey. Does this mean you won't get sick when you take out that vampire thing?" she asks softly as you head into the building and up the stairs.Regretfully you shake your head. "I think I'm getting kind of immune, but it still fucks me up. But if I get it off of me," to which she makes a face, and you don't blame her, "then I don't get sick. The cats hate the thing, but the way, and they hurt it as much as I do. which, I have to say, isn't much at all." You rub your hand purposefully rubbing your thumb along the wound to make the pain lessen after you're done. "I was told I couldn't really be killed, even if I die. How's that for a paradox.""Sounds like something you don't want to test to me," she suggests as you reach Shauna's room."You're probably right." Opening the door, you're surprised at the number of kids you can pack into a room. You smile and pick up Bethany as she runs to you, holding her against your hip as she wraps one arm around your neck and keeps a death grip on her stuffed bunny. the one you gave her when she first arrived, when she was six. To keep her company at night. "Hey lil' rabbit!" you smile and give her a smooch on the cheek. She grins brightly. "What's this?" You pick up a hand spade and glance at Shauna, who smiles up at you from her tool-covered bed."That one's mine," Bethany proclaims seriously. "Shauna said I have to help.""I did," Shauna claims softly, still smiling. Shaun shrugs, while Kit snickers softly, earning himself a glare from your lil' rabbit. "Everyone has to help.""Makes sense to me,"you reply, as Lyrica walks over and picks up a trenching tool, fingering the edge. Bart smiles and nudges you, and you nudge back. "Cool it big guy, I've got the royal rabbit.""I'm not a princess," Bethany says in a very dark, unhappy tone of voice.
"Nope, you're the king. Gonna get you a crown to prove it too." She brightens at your easy cover up. "So, we all ready?" Jeanine nods, and smiles shyly. "Okay, lil' rabbit, I gotta make big-girl talk with Jeanie. No mittens?" you ask dubiously. Beth shakes her head, but Shauna only smiles more broadly."Everyone has to help," reminds Shaun, and you nod, realizing that's what the stuffed rabbit and spade are for. You wink and let Shaun handle the hard stuff while you step outside the room with Jeanine."So, you have a plan?" She nods. "Thanks for this. It helps.""I owe you, Hekah. And not just for screing up Helena. I mean....for letting me hang around with your friends.""Hey, I don't make them do anything. That's all on you, and all on them. Oh, be careful. I think Beth's getting a crush on you."But I'm straight," she says, blinking in confusion."What's that got to do with it?" you ask, genuinely confused. She looks startled and then shakes her head, smiling shyly, then sobers."Uh, this may sound weird but....why does she do that all the time? the thing that she has to wear mittens for?" You blink at her. She blushes deeply. "You know, masturbating." Her blush deepens. You don't want to know, Jeanie; but if you really do, ask her. ....well, honestly.... You really shouldn't ask questions like that here unless you want to learn about the worst people can do. Write in:
>>2079942> You don't want to know, Jeanie; but if you really do, ask her.
>>2079942> You really shouldn't ask questions like that here unless you want to learn about the worst people can do.
[X] You really shouldn't ask questions like that here unless you want to learn about the worst people can do.[X] You don't want to know, Jeanie; but if you really do, ask her.You lean back against the wall, one arm behind you, while running your other hand through your hair, wincing as you hit a tangle. "Jeeze. You don't ask easy things do you." You take a deep breath and then let it out slowly. "You really don't want to know, Jeanine. It's the kind of shit that would only upset someone nice like you." Not innocent, and definitely a virgin, but still nice. "If you ask those kinds of questions around here, you're just going to find out things you never really want to know. Especially in A-wing. But....if you ask, she'll tell you. She's totally honest.""To a fault," says Bart as he steps out of the room and shuts the door behind him. "sorry, I heard something out here." You know that it wasn't necessarily you and Jeanine talking. "It's a shame what happened to her," he adds, "but what happened to her old man was worse."What do you mean?" asks Jeanine despite your previous warning."Well, I heard that he somehow snuck inside, or maybe tricked her into coming outside," he starts, glancing at you sidelong. You pretend to ignore him."Probably bribed an orderly," you suggest."Something anyways. He got in, and someone found him doing stuff to her, and they were pissed. I heard it was Jake, or maybe Thomas....""Could have been Sister Christina," you suggest, waving your injured hand. "She's got quite the temper."Bart nods, but he doesn't believe it for a second. He smiles wanly at Jeanine, who is horrified, but listens eagerly despite that, like one does with ghost stories. "Whoever it was just wanted to make sure he couldn't do anything to her ever again. They cut off all his fingers, all the way to his palm. Then they cut out his tongue, and sliced his lips off.""It's said they tore the fingers off, rather than cutting them off," you murmur idly."Some people say that," agrees Bartholomew. "But they left the worst for last. They took of every bit of his junk, left him bare as a Ken doll." Jeanine looks sick, and you smile faintly. "not that he was doing anyone any good with it.""He's in an assisted living facility across town," you murmur softly. "Some kind of veteran's hospital or something. Won't talk to anyone - well he can't, really, but he won't write or anything like that. He stays away from kids though. They say he bursts into tears and starts screaming, as well as he can without a tongue and all.""That's horrible," whispers Jeanine softly.
"Well," says Bart, looking at her very seriously, "they say that's the kind of thing that happens when You Make Hekah Mad."You glance at Bart calmly. "Couldn't have been me," you say mildly. "That was what, six years ago? I'd have been ten. I'm weird, but no ten-year-old is going to cut a grown man to pieces, even if she could overpower him!"Bart nods his agreement. Jeanine looks a little pale, and smiles uncertainly. "I'll go take care of that stuff now, Hekah. Thanks, for everything." You smile and wave before she turns and hurries down the hall."What was all that about?" you ask Bart pointedly.He shrugs. "Just wanted to remind her what happens when people make you mad, that's all. She's still kind of new, and you know how the Bratz are. Just because she's nice doesn't mean she's a friend." He glances down the hall. "I hope she is really being honest about helping us, but I hear things about her, you know."With a short nod, you acknowledge that he does in fact hear things as you open the door. "And Bart?""Yeah?""His tongue was bitten out, not cut out." He shivers violently as you slip back inside, smiling as you pick up Beth and give her Eskimo kisses.>To Be Continued....
Thank you for reading and playing. Tomorrow night, the graveyard gets a visit.
>>2079958Thanks for running XS
>>2079958Thanks for running, I'm really glad we let Lyrica in as our friend.
>>2079961She is a smart cookie.
>>2079958Thanks for running.
>>2079962That is part of it, but also her seeming to be pretty kind as well.> You and she got off to a bad start, and she nearly beat you unconscious. The fact that she couldn't beat you unconscious and you didn't break any bones or cut her to ribbons apparently earned you her grudging but firm respect.I'm guessing that this is what Hekah/Hekah's subconscious decided was our first significant interaction with Lyrica, and not that she almost kicked our ass when she was eleven years old, as funny as that would be?
>>2079967Something like that. It is something that happened but 'when' is harder for Hekah to determine. that may have happened when they were in their tweens.
>>2079977Wait, "they"?That kind of lines up with>The teacher, putting the A-B-C's on the chalkboard, the starched cotton shirt making your neck itch, glaring at the girl tugging on Haley's braid, watching the cat leap on her desk and growl, the bell tolling for lunch, so you set your slate down and rise, thanking the nun who was teaching class.At least feeling like Hekah's mental age was significantly less than sixteen for this memory, and I guess why she feels like she was under sixteen when she did a sexual favor for Jake, but not why our records have "Age: 16" as a constant. Then again nothing about Hekah is simple or easy which is honestly a lot of fun.
>>2079979>"You'll see things only a little differently when you're an imago. Larvae are limited in certain ways, but also a lot more fun to be in other ways."Hekah isn't full grown yet. She's capable - or incapable of controlling - certain things that aren't possible for fully matured spirits of her kind. Right now she sees things as a larva does, not as a full fledged creature of her kind does.
>>2079985That does add up, I guess what I'm curious about is if it's the somewhat reasonable >While being 16 is Hekah's baseline, she's capable of unconsciously shifting her age under certain circumstancesOr the more esoteric>Hekah has been progressing in apparent physical and mental maturity linearly albeit at a slower rate than humans, and while she was "12"ish when she met Lyrica, some certain circumstances caused her to mature almost in linear time however her memory-altering powers are, for lack of a better word, stupid and just project her current "age" backwards through time regardless of if that causes contradictions. Like back when Hekah was mentally 11, all her records would show her being 11 forever and that just gets re-altered whenever she grows up
Coordinating a mass escape out the side door of an orphanage just past dark before bed counts are done with other people awake is just as hard as it sounds like it would be.You have three things in your favor: the worst tattletales are the Bratz, and you not only know exactly where they are, you can tell most of them are too intoxicated on substance of a nefarious nature to be a problem; the cats are adorably in the way, underfoot, demanding attention, and otherwise inflicting themselves on other people; and Jeanine is willing to keep Judith distracted with whatever it takes to let you guys get away.With beds made up to hide the fact that you and your friends aren't actually in them, and a general plan, yourself, Lyrical, Bartholomew, Shaun, Shauna, Kit, and Bethany (armed with a stuffed rabbit and a spade) slip out as quickly and quietly as possible. The shovels, carefully planted outside earlier by Shaun, are easily picked up on the way. Surprisingly, it goes without a hitch; Judith is distracted by Jeanine, kids are distracted by cats and drugs and other things, and you all manage not to drop, trip, or otherwise cause yourselves to be noticed.It rather weirds you out.Not one to look a gift escape in the mouth, you all make your way around the block, to the back side of the orphanage. Crossing the street - you holding Bethany's hand, though she's twelve - you reach the Pauper's Commons Cemetery, a place where people may be laid to rest regardless of faith, denomination, or wealth. Somewhere in here is the grave of Sebastian Van Dyke, a strange child who might have been more than human, and died heartbroken and alone, forced to stay away from the things that made him less than human. the grave that something awful and dangerous rises from to sicked and kill the children of Edgewood Home for Troubled Children. For lack of a better word, the vanpire.You're not entirely helpless beyond the shovels. The M-120's have been distributed, and Shaun has a flare pistol, while Lyrica carries an actual gun. A small gun, but a gun nonetheless. The lemures are easily scared, which is what the fireworks are for. The vampire....not so much. Still, you have high hopes. You also suspect the vampire can't materialize until after midnight. It's just a hunch, or really more of a hope, but still, evidence has been mounting!
As Shaun opens the gate a sharp voice calls out. "You can't be here!"It takes a moment to find the owner of the voice, a slender girl with long, straight hair and wearing all black - except for the batch of silver necklaces about her neck. She is sitting on a tree limb. At first you suspect the other creature like you, Rune, was wrong, and there IS another one of your kind here, but when she jumps down and stumbles, that impression is instantly gone. She walks over to the fence as you step up to it."We really have to see a grave here. We'll put everything back the way we find it, I promise." You smile a little."No, they're fine. You can't be here; I haven't done anything wrong!" She is, of course, pointing at you. And her voice sounds very familiar. Too familiar. In fact....the last time you heard it was in your head. Don't challenge her, just have the others go on while you talk with her. Ask her if she's Circe and why you can't enter. Enter anyways, see what happens. Write in:
>>2083560> Don't challenge her, just have the others go on while you talk with her.> Ask her if she's Circe and why you can't enter.>If you haven't done anything wrong, specifically anything wrong on my turf, what in the world makes you think my presence here has anything to do with you?
>>2083560> Ask her if she's Circe and why you can't enter.
>>2083567Nevermind that last bit seemed a bit hostile, since she really came through for us earlier.
[X] Ask her if she's Circe and why you can't enter.Lyrica looks at you and tucks a hand into her pocket. You shake your head slightly; if she's actually a witch, pulling a gun on her would probably end badly for everyone involved. If she wasn't, well, who knows what would happen, but it would probably suck to be her."Hekah?" asks Bethany uncertainly, squeezing your hand. You ruffle the younger girl's hair and smile."It's fine, lil' rabbit. Are you Circe?" you ask the stranger, pronouncing the name properly, with hard 'c' instead of 's' sounds. She narrows her eyes and slows down as she approaches the fence. she's maybe in her late teens, or even early twenties. Definitely his rocking the goth thing, big surprise for someone living in San Francisco while wandering around a cemetery."That's what I'm called, yes. What do you want here?" She seems a little less overtly hostile now that you're not trying to get in."Well, like I said, we need to check a grave. We're not going to do anything horrible to anything. Something from this graveyard might be coming over to the orphanage, and we're just doing due diligence." You like that last bit, you heard Judith using it, and it sounded cool.Circe looks at the others, then at you. "They're fine. You can't be in here. This is my place, and I won't have you disturbing the dead with your presence."  That's fair. I'll wait here, if you'll stay and talk. I won't disturb anything or anyone. But I have to know. There's disturbed dead in my orphanage that are probably from here, you know. Write in:
>>2083629> That's fair. I'll wait here, if you'll stay and talk.> There's disturbed dead in my orphanage that are probably from here, you know.>And if we're not done by midnight, one of them could very well show up here not just disturbed but downright disgruntled and I don't think anyone wants that.
>>2083629> There's disturbed dead in my orphanage that are probably from here, you know.
>>2083629>The dead are already disturbed. I'm here to undisturb them. If you want to stay at my side, that's fine, but I need in.>Open to negotiating a Price
[X] There's disturbed dead in my orphanage that are probably from here, you know.[X] Write in: There's something worse that might show up after midnight, and it won't be just disturbed."There's already disturbed dead in my orphanage, and they probably came from here," you warn her. "There's also something worse that isn't just disturbed but outright disgruntled, and if we're not done by midnight it just might show up here instead of in my orphanage. I'm only here to stop things from happening in my place, to un-disturb the dead. You can understand that, right? you can follow me in, but I need in."The revelation of the malignant ghosts doesn't seem to surprise her, but she gets a steely look in her eyes. The other thing you mention doesn't make her more annoyed - it makes her worried. She looks at your friends, and bites her lip. "Fine. Your friends can go in, but if they mess up any gravestones or hurt any trees or animals, I'll know. Not you. There's a reason you can't come in here." You nod to Shaun and he leads the small entourage. You give Bethany a hug and Shauna steals a kiss, which you chase a little before letting her go. They file off with 'Circe' watching them, before she turns back to you."I didn't send the lemures to your place. I don't have control over them. They're like the vermin of ghosts, cockroaches or mice. when one shows up, usually more show up. I placed offerings at all the graves and made propitiations for the dead for the cemetery as a whole, so if there were any here, they're not here now." She hesitates and then looks at you seriously. "If there's something controlling them, making them show up, you have a lot bigger problems than some wayward ghost-roaches.""Is that what you do, take care of this cemetery?" you ask curiously. "You're just a human, right?"She nods slowly, still tense. "I'm a natural witch. I was born with it, I didn't have to learn it. Ghosts and spirits and such, I can see them, interact with them. I can call down birds and squirrels, and I've got a green thumb, but the worst curse I've ever managed is giving someone poltergeists. The cemetery is the safest place for me to practice without getting in trouble or attracting attention.">Pick two. No, you cannot use write ins to pick more. Not all write ins will receive direct answers, just like last time. Ask about the vampire. Ask about Rune and yourself, and the reason you can't come in. Ask about the lemures. Ask about her. Ask about demons. Ask about a specific demon you will not mention by name. Write in:
>>2083686> Ask about Rune and yourself, and the reason you can't come in.> Ask about the vampire.Topics under the umbrella include if our plan will work and if she can help find his grave maybe?Damn, so much information but so little time, unfortunately these seem to be the most pertinent with asking about her coming in third.
>>2083699Wonder if the reason we're not allowed us because we can eat ghosts, and that riles them up?
>>2083686> Ask about the vampire.> Ask about her.Just gonna have to hope it ties up to whether Circe can give protection to the group if Hekah's not around to face against the vampire.
>>2083686> Ask about the vampire.> Ask about Rune and yourself, and the reason you can't come in.
>>2083686>Side Vote: Don't actually mention Rune by name, or by her street.Sure, Circe probably already knows about Rune, but that's no reason to let on that Hekah does as well.
>>2083715I don't know, maybe saying that Rune recommended this course of action could be seen as significant?
[XXX] Ask about the vampire.[XX] Ask about Rune and yourself, and the reason you can't come in.[X] Ask about her.[X] Write in: Don't mention Rune by name or by her street."What do you know about vampires?" you ask softly. "And I'm not talking about twipires or Bela Lugosi, or Dracula, I mean like Varney the Vampire, or Carmilla, or apparitions that just steal the life from people. The real ones." Your question clearly fills her with dread."It's no wonder you have lemures if you have something like that in your place. Is that whose grave they're looking for?" You nod, and tell her his name. "Yeah, he's buried here. They won't have any problem finding his grave, it's pretty clearly marked." She bites her lips again and looks worried."A vampire is what happens when someone dies because they gave up the things that made life worth living for them. Like if Van Gogh had given up painting, or Shakespeare had given up as a playwright, and just sat there doing nothing, with no one to remind them that they were once holding onto those things. It's just about giving up, it's giving up and allowing yourself to fade away without giving them any further thought ever. If you remind someone of those things constantly, then they're still thinking about them, even if they aren't doing them." She takes a deep breath and places her hands together in front of her mouth, looking at you seriously. "It's not enough to just pine away, they have to be completely and totally alone in every way. Isolated, abandoned, and allowed to die without any reminders of what they gave up."The hackles on the back of your neck rise. "So it's not just enough to just give up, you have to give up all hope of anything ever. That doesn't sound like it would be possible in this day and age. There's always something to distract people." "Yes, that's why they're so rare. But when they are created, they're almost unkillable. It takes some serious power of some sort to kill one. Like, exorcist, sorcerers, grand witches, or really powerful spirits. Something like you can do it, if they're really strong. But if you don't bind the body and prevent the vampire from rising again, even killing it doesn't make it die." You remember what Rune said about dying not meaning you were killed. "Staking the body to the coffin - it doesn't matter if it's through the heart, just nailing it in place. Or burying it at a crossroads, or upside down. Wrapping it in iron chains. Something like that.""Something like me....you know what I am?" She stiffens and nods slowly. "What? Why does that bother you so much? Why am I not allowed in?" Circe takes a slow, deep breath and lets it out just as slowly, calming herself down. "I'm trying to be patient here, but I'm starting to lose it with all the run-around I've been getting."
"Look, do you know what the difference between a ghost and a spirit is?" You shake your head. It's kind of vague, though you do know they're different. "A ghost is a whips of some kind of power that's left over and that someone, usually a group of someones, has imprinted with an idea of a person. Ghosts were never people, they are ideas of people that other people have, and are granted some kind of existence by being a wisp of power or ectoplasm or a shred of magic that just happened to be capable of taking that idea and existing as that idea. Okay?" You nod slowly. "Do you remember Freddy Kruger, or that movie 'I, Madman', or 'Candyman'?" You recall them, vaguely, nights spent on Halloween cuddling and eating popcorn and watching those movies.Circe takes a deep breath and speaks very slowly and clearly, like she's trying to explain something to a child using little words. Which isn't even remotely what she's doing, but that's how she's talking to you. "Those creatures, those 'ghosts' are what happens if you take a memory, or a series of memories, like those you would imprint onto a 'ghost', and imprint them onto a 'spirit'. A spirit is an entity that is associated with a place or thing, a being of power. They're not intelligent like humans are, they don't 'think'. They're like computers, doing their job and nothing else. A nymph might be able to talk to a person, act like a person, and even behave like a person, but all it's doing is following a set of subroutines, 'if this, then that', right up to sex or pretending to be in love or even dying when their tree is killed." She sees your mounting frustration and gestures for you to be calm. You know that's not what you are or how you work."What you are is called a tutelary deity. You're not a spirit. You're like all the memories, thoughts, beliefs about a kind of person, culture or thing, imprinted on a spirit and then given a form of life by those memories, combined with the power of the place or people you are formed by." You stare at her. "You're like Freddy Kruger, or the Madman or Candyman. A specific bunch of memories imprinted on the spirit of a bunch of fucked up kids, embodied by the orphanage. You're like a big angry ball of ghost with teeth and claws, programmed to exist when there are people like those kids in the presence of the orphanage, except because you're not JUST a spirit and not JUST a ghost, you can think and act and make decisions based on what you think and feel about things. You're a memory imprinted spirit with free will and a physical body to use." So you're saying I'm a kind of god of this orphanage and these kids? I do not fucking get it!" What does that MEAN then?! That I'm like a guardian angel or protector or something? Write in:
>>2083744> What does that MEAN then?! That I'm like a guardian angel or protector or something?
>>2083744> So you're saying I'm a kind of god of this orphanage and these kids?
>>2083744>I don't get why that would bother whatever exists here>Is it related by how I seem to kind of constantly alter memories without trying or even wanting to?>So wait if I have free will, that means that I'm not really forced or obligated outright to try to do things for other people, just at best kind of inclined to do that?
>>2083744>>2083758Oh and>Thank her for explaining this, even if it's a bit embarrassing that we actually do need a lecture or two on what we are. Ask if there's some guide somewhere we can find out about other things that we might happen upon, or if it's all oral knowledge?
>>2083744> So you're saying I'm a kind of god of this orphanage and these kids?>Is that what all or most deities boil down to?Yeah kind of this as well, sorry XS
[X] So you're saying I'm a kind of god of this orphanage and these kids?[X] What does that MEAN then?! That I'm like a guardian angel or protector or something?[X] Write in: Why would entering the cemetery be bad? Is that why memories fluctuate about me and around me? I have free will, so what does it matter what I do?"So what, I'm kind of a god to of fucked up kids in orphanages? I'm there guardian angel, their protector? What does it all mean?" Circe shakes her head violently. "It doesn't mean anything! You're a monster, something that doesn't fit inside the neat little definitions and boxes you think the world is supposed to fit into. Like that vampire, you're something that happened, and you're going to remain until there's nothing left of the orphanage or the people in it. you have to obey the rules other spirits have - if you leave your place, enter the place of another spirit, that spirit will hurt you, probably try to kill you unless you bargain with it. If you enter the cemetery, you'll have to try and cope with it - it's a place of peace, remembrance, and above all, endings and goodbyes. It's the exact opposite of everything you are, which is like a kind of living memory of something that has never died."You shudder. "So, that's why people have trouble remembering me, and why I remember things strangely? They're not just memories, they're moments I existed in, and when I leave, I no longer exist for them until the next time I do?""Yes! Exactly! You're like a kind of memory that's alive, physically and mentally; you exist as long as those kids believe and think of you, and the orphanage is like a hard drive for your existence, a physical representation of your existence. And there's probably something else there, that will keep you around even if all the kids leave." You think of your cats, how they obey you, how you need them and they seem to appreciate you. "It doesn't have to mean anything. You're a monster, you exist because you do, and you'll cease to exist when something destroys every trace of your existence."Shaun and company are walking back, and it's obvious something wrong from his dour expression. "And if the kids die....""Parts of you die with them. You'll recover when other kids think about you, remember you, but it still affects you." Circe shudders. "Don't come back here. You're not something that I can have around me. You're dangerous in ways you probably could never understand."
"Maybe," you murmur doubtfully. "What's wrong?" you ask Shaun, with the sneaking suspicion that you already know. He, Kit, Lyrica, Shauna and Bart are dirty and sweaty, but not nearly as tired as they should be. They didn't take all that long either. Bethany looks pale, but seems all right despite that. she smiles and takes your offered hand and beams up at you."We robbed a grave, but someone robbed it first," she proclaims brightly."You found his coffin?""Oh, we found his coffin all right. Empty....and only a third of the way down." Shaun looks pissed. "Someone moved his body.""He has to be buried on the orphanage grounds," Circe says matter-of-factly. "If he was anywhere else, he couldn't manifest in the orphanage. He'd get lost on the roads, or the street would have gotten him." You don't have to ask what she means by that, though it clearly confuses everyone else. "It doesn't matter what you do to him, unless you find his body and bind him to it, you can't kill him permanently."You think about how you ate the demon mark, swallowed Priscilla's evil and destroyed it."I don't know about that," you tell the others softly. "But I bet I know who unburied and reburied him....">To Be Continued....
Thank you for reading and playing. We will continue with the second to final - or final - arc next week.
>>2083774Thanks for running XS
>>2083774Thanks for running. So wait, was it impossible for Sebastian to be buried here, and still haunt the orphanage or is there properties of a cemetery that stops him from being lost unlike anywhere else but the cemetery and the orphanage grounds?
>>2083772>It doesn't have to mean anything. You're a monster, you exist because you do, and you'll cease to exist when something destroys every trace of your existence....huh we're a non-region specific youkai, kind of?
>>2083781Very region specific. One orphanage and it's inhabitants.If it was buried in the cemetery it would be able to move back and forth between the cem,etery and the orphanage safely. If it was outside there, Rune would get it if it entered her street, and if it was buried in places where it had to deal with cross sections, it would get lost.
>>2083783You know what, I don't really see this as that bad a discovery. Like Hekah is a conceptual mess of loosely aligned concepts and almost arbitrary rules, but when you really get down to it, I feel like that makes Hekah not too different from a human after all, if that makes sense.
>>2083783>Very region specific. One orphanage and it's inhabitants.I meant more youkai as a region-specific term
>>2083795All youkai means is 'strange apparition' in the most basic sense of the word. The differences between daimon, youkai, monster, and tutelary deity are almost negligible.