5677/Then The Morning Comes (1)

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Then The Morning Comes (1)
Date of Scene: 02 February 2018
Location: Fearful Symmetry
Synopsis: Just another day in Emblem City.
Cast of Characters: 974, Count Kord, Kushiko, 513, Leyanne Mace, Wandering Dog, 774, Tomoe, Empty Tidings, 1137
Tinyplot: Return To Escher

Carna (974) has posed:
    Another day begins in Emblem city, the same way it always does. The illumination provided by the Temple of Phoebe, turning the night into a spectacle of illumination that seems to come from within the stones themselves, falls second to the blue fire that creeps up over whatever passes for a horizon. In time, that flame will continue to build and ascend in the sky, until the cobalt sun rises up along its usual arc. Right on time, as measured by a great clock and all the timers and watches and other time pieces that are synched up with it (which is all of them), at 00:00:01. From now until 23:59:59, when it falls dark again, and everyone should be at home, and Emblem City stands still for its nightly 'maintenance period', the whole day is open and free. The sky's the limit, figuratively if not literally!

    What will today bring? What new thing will people try out? What will be learned and experienced? Who will they meet? What will they accomplish? The noble souls who are the residents of Emblem City have all the time in the world to find out. Maybe even forever.

    Huge magical (or maybe holographic?) billboards come to life all over the city, springing up from projectors inset in buildings or that hover in the air, providing information on the newest games, the newest technology, the scores on the latest competitions, recommended reading at the Blue Tower, the weather in various districts and neighborhoods (which will change throughout the day as people decide what type of weather they want over their own home), and more.

    Walking up to any of them (or flying to the airborne ones, or teleporting to them, or...) of course allows for more target inquiries, maps, placing orders for things one may desire, and of course there's the same sort of projectors inside any home whose resident desires them!

    Defining features of Emblem City certainly includes many conveniences!

    Souls awaken from their rest period, ever brief and uneventful, whether it be a magic circle, a cryogenic pod, a hovering bed, or even just a mat on the floor. The appearance doesn't matter. All that matters is everyone starts the day fresh and alert and ready to start the day anew!

    What does one expect of a city of dead people, after all? Grogginess? They're not sleeping! Just... Resting. For some reason. Starting at 23:59:59 exactly.

    Every day.

Count Kord has posed:
    Aepicus hates this place.

    His soul remembered the challenges of life. How nothing would ever be handed to him, how he had to claw it from the hands of people far more diligent and powerful than him. How he never quite measured up to the skills of craftsmen and scholars and entertainers, and how conquering those very challenges to thrive despite his shortcomings brought him a fulfillment. His wealth provided a metric he could follow, a metric born of skill and luck alike, of an ethical code that kept him feeling strong of will.

    Here, everything was handed to him. He would wake up every day, and he would feel no pain or exhaustion from his flawed body. He hadn't the need to eat breakfast or sip coffee to face the day. He had no decisions to make to approach his work throughout his day. He had no horrors or fears to overcome in order to step outside. And it was awful, every second of it. He thought he would feel freedom from the shackles of his everyday struggle, but... No, it made everything worse. The contrast was agonizing. It was like a personal Hell. And so he spent every waking moment looking for a way out, a way to make it interesting.

    Of course, he never let this show in his behavior. As the dawn came, he stepped out the front door of his small, unassuming abode. He adjusted his tie, then his glasses, and he began to walk. He catalogued his environment, mentally. He counted the people, watched what they did, and engaged in casual conversations. He had a curt, calm attitude to address others with, and he had the disquieting air of a cold businessman the entire time. His habit of wearing an outfit that made him look like a modern depiction of the Devil was an active choice... he felt out of place here, in this heavenly realm, and he adorned himself accordingly. He held his ability to fly, and used shadows in order to contrast the overly bright and welcoming feeling of the world around him.

    "..." He scowled at a billboard briefly as it chimed about the reading selection in the Blue Tower. "Egh. Philosophy," he murmured.

Kushiko has posed:
It's a happy time to be alive--well--so to speak. Not so much alive in the actual /strictest/ sense, after all, but happiness tended to follow the young girl when she became active, 'awakening'. She didn't like having to rest. She liked being /up/ and she never really questioned why.

But she did especially enjoy her morning ritual as it were, even if it were wholly unnecessary--the sizzling of bacon and eggs and the smells that aught accompany the cooking of breakfast. It didn't matter if they didn't /need/ it, there was something about the taste, it was... a satisfying experience, yes it was! A little fairy flitted nearby, alighting to her shoulder. "Ah, Titania!" she beamed, the purple-haired young girl cheerful and giggling as it settled there, before the mechanoid-seeming fairy pointed. "Yes, I know. But people still like it. I like it too. It feels... nice, it feels normal." She lifts a finger, lightly patting the winged fairy's head.

"After all, we can do good both with this and with what you and I can do in Phoebe's name," she warmly says. It was nice. She didn't have... what it felt like before. The abuse. Fending for herself.

Soupi heaved a quick sigh and let a smile light her face up. She'd finish this, and pack the rest of the food as snacks for others when she headed out. Little tastes of a life prior, and once she finished up, she was soon out and about. She wore a sleek little suit that was almost dress-like in some ways. PRAYER had given her a certain power or two, even beyond the strange little technofairy that now flitted off her shoulder and spoke to none save her, now flying in a lazy circle like a halo as she left her home to start the day.

Finna (513) has posed:
Nico Zangt is a slip of a young woman with fuzzy-white fox ears and a tail, proudly wearing the scholarly robes favored by many who study at the Blue Tower!

    She comes skipping out of home and into the streets of Emblem City like a poop in a skillet, melodiously singsonging a big long cry of "BoooooooooooOOoooooooOOOOOOOOOOOooooOoooOOooOooOooooooOOOks!" to match one of the local popular songs. Carefree and strangely defiant of gravity, she bounces along via impossibly light steps, periodically stopping to twirl merrily in place and dramatically pose as if putting on a show in the local theatre!

    This ends as she finds herself coming to a halt in Aepicus's shadow.

    "Oh, do cheer up! For your sake, may doom and gloom never become contagious."

    Nico vault-flips straight over the tall man, coming to land a solid ten feet further down the sidewalk on her path to the Blue Tower. "Now, just how is that next chapter going to go..." The girl strolls along as if the whole world were one big serendipitous mishmash of happenstance, gaze glazed over towards the sky, tapping her right index finger against her cheek... "Must finish that book. Once I see what everyone else is up toooooDoctor Doctor (talk)oooooDoctor Doctor (talk)!"

    Oh dear god, it's a happy-go-lucky scholar with a penchant for storytelling and drama, and she's coming this way! ... or GOING that way...

Leyanne Mace has posed:
Paird, on the other hand, is quite happy with this place. Upon 'waking', she makes herself a brew, dresses, and then makes her way towards Coeus' workshop. She's got a spring in her step, because today is launch day. Between them they've rebuilt the flying machine more times than they can count, ever chasing the record of the fastest person in Ember.

Continuing the very thing which killed her, of course. Chasing the next big innovation in going fast, only to use it flying around the streets and generally irritating everyone else when it's inevitably pushed too far and smashed into something, or someone. Still, it keeps her busy...

She nods to Nico and Aepicus.

"Morning!" she says cheerfully to the two of them.

Wandering Dog has posed:
Balences' routine started the same way every day. He woke up, got dressed, and had breakfast with his family, talking about what they'd with their day and how they slept. His son was growing up so big, just like him, and it made Balences excited. Before he'd come to Emblem City, he was pretty sure he never had a family. But actually having one, not being alone, that was something amazing. Finishing breakfast and downing the rest of his orange juice, the man grabbed his bag and his mask off of the mantlepiece, and out the door. His wife simply shouted to 'grab some eggs' as he left.

There would be a show today. Balences headed down the road towards the billboard, moving to put in a query. "Alright, let's see..." Before he can send out a reminder for show times, however, Balences turns to watch the foxgirl suddenly leap out and surprise a man, laughing as she twirls. "Hahah! Someone's in a cheerful mood! Good morning! She's right, you know, mister. Mornings like this need to be embraced!" A wave to Paird. "Morning to you!"

Putting his hand into his bag, Balences pulls out several flyers, moving to hand them out to Nico, Paird, and Aepicus. They're advertisements for a 'hero show', called 'The Adventures of the Masked Dragon', who seems to be a masked hero who fights monsters. "If you have kids or just enjoy a good show, come on by this afternoon. Tell your friends!"

Dorian Pavus (774) has posed:
    Routine. Blessed routine. One might even call it 'sacred'.

Gil VI had been living -- well, UNliving actually -- for such, for a very long time. It wasn't exciting. But it didn't have to be. He knew what was in store for him each moment of every day. It filled the moments of the day, gave him something to think about.

    Best of all, it kept him from thinking about That One Thing. Regrets were of no use here. No conflict, no warring, no struggle -- what use were regrets? And yet it wouldn't leave him be. Filling every waking moment with SOMETHING kept him from having to dwell on it.

    And yet even he had to stop working sometime. Not for tiredness or need of sleep. But even the systems that had been built around them -- systems he helped build and maintain -- needed to maintenance. Pity, really.

    He was always up as soon as he could manage, working as soon as he could start. Every day, the gears started turning (figuratively speaking) at exactly the same time. Exactly the same routine every morning. Get up. Dress and groom. Go to work. The dark suit was a familiar feeling, the hairstyle and mustache groomed exactly the same way every day. Boring? Maybe for some. For him it was routine. And routine is sacred.

    He tended to favor a silk ascot pinned with a large silver brooch in place of a tie. It was usually the only spot of color in his typical suit. And it made him look distinguished, he thought. And given that he rarely cracked a smile, he needed something going for him in the looks department. Then again, that didn't really matter here, either. Did anything?

    Thoughts like that are shaken away as he starts out the door, parcel tucked under one arm. He isn't exactly a beacon of doom and gloom, that's for certain. But he's definitely one of the more serious, quiet sorts. One could tell his emotions more in his eyes than with facial expressions. He will end up passing the same billboard, pausing to look at it. And to note the advertisement of another show. There seems to be a crowd here. Not that he minds.

    "Good morning," he offers politely and civily to those assembled here. He has a few things to look at -- the billboard gives information, right? He needs to find out a few things; complaints and requests, maintenance requests, tweaking of functions, et cetera.

Tomoe has posed:
Jeci Tsu had had an interesting life for a nobody, but that was long over and honestly she didn't need to be forced to not talk about being dead. Jeci didn't miss the living world too much and kept to a few habits she still enjoyed a few little vices like coffee and something small to eat it was for the enjoyment of it but she hadn't found. She then showered, dressed and made ready to head out. Sure she didn't need to but hey? It was something to do that was her choice, still she she would get into trouble here, as she often did Jeci. To day she lingered a bit cleaning up a few things in her small home.

She did feel like something with missing but never figured it out every day, though it was likely those in power would keep an eye on her as she she had a habit of getting into trouble in life, which carried over to her in /death/.

Not that she talked about it. She was a short woman who unlike what most of her people who live near her thought? Had not alerterd her appernac she had short cropped red hair and to earth she would be rather hard to pin down ethnicly but her skin was on the palish side with bright icy blue eyes.

She's flying herself but not to o high and she pauses for a moment laughing a bit as she moves to buzz Nico.

"Morning miss Fox Books!" She looked Aepicous for a moment as she makes the call to come in for a landing.

"Hey so all heading out today?" She's not yet spooted Soupi thugh the local ball of super sunshine...

Empty Tidings has posed:
Eve Ren awakens every morning, heart pounding, wondering who she is.

It usually takes a few moments for her to collect herself. Here, in Emblem City, she reminds herself each and every day: you are Eve Ren. You are no one else. There is no job, no target, no objective. You are...


She looks in a mirror, and her heart stops racing. She breathes, slowly, deeply; clean, cool air in, warm, relieved breath out. She takes in her home, lonely by the standards of many of those who live in paradise, and she smiles to herself. It's hers. No one else's. Her brother is...

She frowns, then, just like she does every morning. He isn't here. That's good, too.

Her routine isn't much of one. She bathes, dresses, and plucks fruit out of one bowl and a flower out of the other on her way out. By the time she's hit the street, she's eaten the fruit and found a good place to put the flower -- in her hair, usually, and usually it's a little extra contrast to the bright scarlet locks. She runs, then. She likes to feel the wind in her face and the streets disappearing beneath her as she crosses shining bridges from island to island.

"The Masked Dragon, huh?" She's slowed down by the time she reaches that particular board and that particular group. "I haven't heard any of his adventures in a while." She adjusts her glasses with her right hand, a false finger touched to them. Eve smiles a little. "What's the fiendish foe this time?"

Asterios (1137) has posed:
Large, whose name adequately describes approximately everything about him, wakes promptly at the exact time he has awoken for just about as long as anyone can remember. Morning routine executed as ever it has been, the behemoth of a man immediately got down to the work of the day.

Even in a city of the dead, there was need for architects.

Enormous, sinuous limbs barely contained within a neat assortment of denim and flannel make their way down he thoroughfare. The massive figure balanced on those appropriately gigantic legs casts a shadow far larger than he or anyone at all honestly should be capable of. The reason is abundantly obvious for anyone who cares to glance up.

As he has done every day, the giant has brought his own materials to work for the day.

Only a fraction of that involves the rolls of blueprints tucked neatly under an arm, the previous night obviously spent hard at work at marking them up, making sure every single measurement was just /right./ The rest consists of a pile of lumber and stone secured atop his broad shoulders.

"Mmn?" The big man pauses at the assemblage of peers. Good morning, everyone. It's another clear sky today."

Carna (974) has posed:
    The Selenes are out in force. Is it Selenes or Selene when referring to more than one? TECHNICALLY THE LATTER but NOBODY CARES ABOUT UNDERWORLD GRAMMAR so many people, especially English speakers, just tack on an s regardless. The Selenes don't appear to be compelled to correct them. Regardless of their appearance, they all have little touches to make it clear they are artificial. No matter how masterfully-sculpted, how human-looking, there's always something that stands out. Pupils of a solid reflective material, for example. A mechanical seam along their jawline, almost like a puppet. Robotic joints. A synthetic, echoing voice. Openly exposed internal machinery.

    They are everywhre, performing labor, acting as 'family' to those who do not have other souls to serve the role, or friends, or lovers, or rivals for those who want some sort of competition to give their afterlives meaning. They're placeholders. Stand-ins.

    All there to make an undying existence easier, and fill the time until the day when those whose requests for reincarnation have gone through the system. There's supposedly a long wait, or so it is said, though so far there's only been... What? A few days? A few weeks? A month at most? It can't be that much time that has passed. Not yet. Some may have only submitted their ticket this very day.

    Though it is odd, then, that it can sometimes seem as though it was submitted long ago. But it's the afterlife! It's hard to keep track of what day it is when every day is so similar, and yet has the potential to be so different!

    As people leave their homes and start milling out into the streets, or taking to the skies, or simply blinking out of existence to get to their destination all that much faster, or taking long strolls along the bridges, looking down into the deep foggy mists far below, beneath even the many layers of island-cities and island-towns hanging over nothing, the noise levels increases gradually.

    Selenes come to life performing their roles, providing automatic greetings, pre-recorded lines of dialogue, comforting familiarity and normality. 'Selling' their free wares, superfluous currency minted with crowns and hearts on each side to be used simply to give the Dead something to spend. Utterly valueless. A placebo for the wealth-minded. Of course, it also gives those souls who labor to produce wares and wish to be rewarded monetarily something in return, and both other souls and Selenes accomodate them. Just as valuelessly, beyond any emotional importance.

    Yes, everything is nice and peaceful. New expansions to Emblem City are always needed as more souls arrive, or people want new structures. And of course, in such an expansive place, there are things that require adjustment. Not everything can be handled during nightly maintenance. It only lasts a second after all!

    So craftsmen and manual workers who want to create, to build, to repair and control, have plenty to do each day.

    In fact, it looks like one of the flying billboards is displaying... Static? How odd. It shouldn't do that. For a moment it almost looks like there's a man's face in the static. Something that will surely be attended to soon. In the meanwhile, nearby Selenes crowd in front of it and start up a loud conversation, blocking view of it.

Count Kord has posed:
    Aepicus is accosted by the happiness of that scholarly fox girl. He doesn't seem to react beyond a turn of his head, watching her land as if he anticipated exactly where that'd happen. He was never easy to startle, and the way his brows lifted suggested, perhaps, that it didn't bother him as much as it would someone else.

    "Mmh," he replies to her cheer with his usual apathy, and turns his head to regard something being held out toward him. His hand, with mechanical precision, retrieves the flyer that Balences, and lifts his other hand to wave to Paird. He feigns a smile -- it never seems genuine coming from him -- and regards the flyer with more interest than anything else. When it's another soul organizing something, it always felt more... 'correct.' But then he lifted his head and scouted around, ignoring other input. This behavior comes from an oddity he spots that immediately robs him of focus on anything but this.

    Aepicus approaches the billboard and tries to get a closer look to it, flying off the ground with a small push of his feet. He approaches and halts before it, and even reaches out to try to touch its surface. Its odd appearance was a crack in the veneer of this place, an oddity in an otherwise perfect afterlife.

Kushiko has posed:
Familiar faces in all the familiar places causes the young girl to beam just so. Violet hair is ruffled slightly by the wind, sometimes by the mechafairy who leaves little trails of light behind her as she sometimes simply sets herself on the girl's head.

"Hello Gil! Glad to see you! I made muffins today!" They're actually blueberry muffins, freshly made and still a bit warm, just right for that taste as she reaches into the case she had brought along with her. She hadn't seen some of the others, like Balence, or Jeci. She'll spot them eventually, no doubt. Though, once she's had a chance to impart the joy of freshly baked goods to Gil, she spots someone who is in desire need of good cheer.

Try not to imagine someone laser locking onto their target: +_+

"Ooh, excuse me Mr. Gil, someone's needing a little pick me up!" she offers as a reason for her sudden reason for her abrupt change in attention, the fairy Titania on her head practically bolting over to where the man was walking, buzzing around his head once as a kind of preamble to the young girl making her way over--faster? Than it should be--but she was there to begin with. Or not. It's a weird thing, like that static and the Selenes all abuzz. Or Selene.


It didn't matter! Probably. But she was beaming up at the taller man. "You look like you could use a muffin. At least something to take that frown off your face, Mr. Aepicus." Soupi smiled a cheerful little smile, proffering up another one of those sweetly smelling muffins as she had Gil not moments ago. Totally not inadvertently trying to distract him from this wonderful life.

Leyanne Mace has posed:
Paird looks over at the Selene nearby, blinking. Red dust on the face of one of them stirrs the faintest ghost of a memory, a briefly quizzical look crossing her face before she forgets it, distracted by Large's approach. "It is!" She agrees. "Perfect flying weather. If this holds by the time Coeus wakes up we should be airborne by lunchtime." She grins, cheerfully. She's about to say more when she spots the crowd of Selene around the screen.

"Look at that." She says. "One of the screens is on the blink. It's got the Selene all in a tizzy, it's like they can't decide what to do about it."

She watches the Selene street theatre - and what she can see of the screen - while slowly being drawn towards the smell of blueberry muffins, unconsciously.

Tomoe has posed:
Jeci Tsu has not even bothered to submit her ticket yet she was happy she could do what she did in life and more she had powers and wasn't useless here. Why would she want to go back, someday she will but for now she was content at least for herself to explore and learn. She looks to Aepicus for a moment as he seems to be looking at something? She watches static for a moment staring.

"The Selene are all bothered here just ... what's going on here?"

She does eye the muffins from Soupi, who has muffins. She would be interested in going to get them and she moves to her going

"Do you have muffins but ... just /what/ is that?"

She looks back to the thing that the resident grumpy pants is looking at.

Finna (513) has posed:
"Ba~len~ces!~" Nico sing-songs out the man's name with the same carefree manner of a bird chirping at dawn! Giving NO thought to Aepicus ignoring her. Even his dourness can't suppress how quickly her tail's wag-wag-wagging up a storm.

    She aims a happy little wave for Jeci, eartips wiggling once at the nickname... but her attention's focused largely on Balences.

    "Always in a good mood! Especially for a show!" With a blur of motion she ZIP-SNATCHES up an offered flyer and holds it up close to her face, growing giggly with anticipation.

    Just like that, Nico raises a hand and starts striking heroic poses straight out of some kind of cheap sentai production, flyer still clutched in her hand!

    "Oooooh... have to see the new one. Oogh, do I have enough time to get in my studies firs--"

    The distant billboard flickering catches her eye. of course EVERYTHING seems to get this girl's full attention immediately. "Huh?"

    Brows furrow quizzically and she hades her eyes with a hand and leans closer as if to get a better look at the distant display...

Asterios (1137) has posed:
What is with the afterlife and being so full of people who are all too chipper? Though it is somewhat hard to complain about being where they are; after all, everything is being provided for while they wait for the bureaucracy to spin its wheels. Though one can't help but wonder if something is perhaps... missing.

Large blinks as the Selene begin to crowd around that... malfunctioning screen? Hm. That's not supposed to happen. Malfunctions should all be taken care of during the overnight maintenance, shouldn't they? Fortunately, Large is... very Large. He has a perfect vantage point from which to peer inquisitively over the heads of the assembled dolls and into the haze of static dancing across the screen.

How odd.

Dorian Pavus (774) has posed:
    Gil has a small smile for Soupi and the muffins. He will indeed take the offered muffin. "Thank you," he offers in return. The mention of someone in need of cheer gets... oddly, a thoughtful look. A satisfied look, as though one is seeing the fruition of something that one has worked at for a long time. "Of course. Please do your best."

    Of course this malfunctioning board will get Gil's attention immediately. That's not supposed to happen. Those billboards are needed, and not just for the obvious purposes. He casts a glance in the direction of the workshop. This will probably get logged, and he can look at the information later. For now... repair. He turns his attention back to the assembled crowd of souls. "Please pardon me. Do have a wonderful day, won't you?" He bows politely, and then heads over to the static'd billboard.

    He'll just ignore that man's face. Surely that was a trick of the light. Or it was trying to show a spokesman for a product before it went to static. That's all.

    The Selenes should let him past -- he works on these devices regularly, after all. And there's probably a maintenance hatch to get to the inner workings somewhere. There's a frown on his face, one that's only partly of concentration. Diagnostic equipment... he should have that with him. Plug into the billboard's systems, run diagnostic -- Gil is eager to get this up and running.

    He notes Aepicus getting near the malfunctioning billboard, and fights down a flash of panic. However, he pastes a smile on his face. This one looks particularly plastic, since Gil isn't generally one to smile often. "Nothing to worry about," he assures the other man. "Just a flicker of a frozen image, that's all. It will be fixed in no time. Please don't touch, you may experience a shock when it comes back online."

    He offers that same look to Paird. "Not to worry," he assures her as well. "It'll be fixed momentarily. Terribly sorry for the disruption."

    He turns his attention back to the diagnostic equipment. Hopefully he's right, and this will be repaired soon...

Wandering Dog has posed:
"That's a shame, Eve Ren. Well, this one'll be good! It's THE MASKED DRAGON versus...the WINGED BRICKTIGER!" Balences makes a dramatic pose at Eve Ren, and then poses alongside Nico, grinning at her in recognition, as she starts making them. Large gets a wave. "Hey, big guy. What are you working on today?" As he and others show up, the show flyers are handed out to them, as the screen goes on the fritz.

Balences looks up at the billboard, sighs, and then suddenly calls out to Aepicus as he heads out to fly to it. "Hey, wait! They're probably trying to repair that, you might not want to get too close!" The performer moves to try and catch up with him, stopping near the Selenes as he does so. They're not supposed to poke the hornets nest...but, he could atleast ask politely, right? "Did something happen over here, Selenes? This is a pretty big crowd!"

Empty Tidings has posed:
Eve's smile gets brighter. She takes a flyer, looking it over and then tucking it into a practically invisible pocket on her jacket. "Well, I'll have to make some time to see it! Is..."

The screen suddenly arrests her attention. Her smile fades away, turning to a little frown. She definitely caught the glimpse of someone's face. Is someone messing with the system? "You would think that there wouldn't be malfunctions like that in a place like this," Eve says to no one in particular. She drifts a couple steps after Aepicus before she stops, realizing the Selene contingent aren't going to take that lightly.

So, instead, she turns to the biggest person around -- that'd be Large, of course -- and climbs him like a tree. She's getting up to shoulder level and using him as a vantage point to see what happens next. "Don't mind me," she says, her voice perfectly polite.

Asterios (1137) has posed:
It's okay, Large is very Large and can lift approximately damn near anything. One woman won't keel him over so easy. "Don't worry," the big man says cheerfully as he's so rudely clambered all over. "I'm fine. Just be careful. Lots of stuff up there."


"Mmn, just the usual," Large answers to the playful performer. "You know how it is. Always things to put up. I think today is a school?"

Or was it a fire department?


Hm. Well, whatever.

Carna (974) has posed:
    As people start closing in, other souls also remain in the areas as on-lookers. It's so unusual that it draws everyone's attention, it seems. Even those who wish people would just move along and not get them involved. The Selenes respond to those trying to push through by closing their ranks tighter and turning with glassy, emotionless eyes and fixed expressions to face them.

    "Everything is fine, Resident. How are you today?" one answers the inquiry of what's going on. It's not even acknowledging the display.

    As Aepicus tries to float in, closer and closer, moments from touching it, even as Gil is allowed through almost... Grudgingly, right as the warning about an electric shock is called out and there's an almost-tangible energy that seems to hum from the projection...

    A Selene driving a long line of containers attached to a hover vehicle of some sort passes right in front of him, nearly 'running him over' in mid-air as it forces its way between the businessman and the display. "Please clear the way. Important cargo, coming through." the automaton announces cheerily and synthetically, a line of what must be several dozens cargo containers drifting along behind it.

    Weird that it had to drive through right here. Probably a complete and total coincidence.

    It's a busy place, after all. Have to detour sometimes so as not to get in the way of people's business.

    Likewise, Large's view, momentarily of a vague, shadowy silhouette, or maybe just the random pattern of pixels that happened to trick the eyes momentarily, it obscured in the same fashion. And the tighter ranks prevent those trying to sneak through from getting any closer. They seem a bit less friendly as they either toss out brief lines like, "That sounds like a very interesting show, Mister Masked Dragon. I will attend the spectacle!" and "Your muffins look consumable. Do you accept Currency?" and "The Workshop just reported a new upgrade is available for Aerial Travel Vehicle. It is worth checking out!" and similar very topical and personally-relevant bits of dialogue.

    As Gil starts checking out the projector rod, he may find that it appears someone has pried open a panel. Or perhaps it came off accidentally... Somehow. Either way, some wires are a little bit out of place, and this is delicate equipment, so moving them back to where they should be is probably perfectly sufficient.

    No issue here.

    Eve's position, and that of any who fly, or do acrobatic leaps through the air, or what not, and probably Large as well, is such that they may be able to make out a figure in a hood sneaking across a rooftop nearby, moving quickly but stealthily, trying to escape. Were they responsible for this... Sabotage!?

Empty Tidings has posed:
"I will be, don't worry! Thank you!" Eve sounds friendly and chipper while she's avoiding getting incidentally bludgeoned by construction materials.

She stays up there for maybe a minute as she watches it all go down. Things start to get hectic. Still frowning, Eve starts to descend -- and then spots something in the distance, moving quickly away from the scene of the... is it even a crime? Is crime a thing? Eve can think of an island where being a sneaky thief is sort of the way you deal with things; it's the local theme.

She slithers back down, patting Large on the leg. "Thanks again," she says, the redhead flashing him a quick smile, and then backing away from the group. She waves, calling, "I'll definitely be there for the show," and then turning and running off away from the Selene blockade and increasing interference.

After the runner, of course. Nobody runs away for no reason. It turns out that she was light on her feet in life, and didn't forget that when she died, even if she can't quite... remember...

Eve squeezes her eyes shut for a second, then opens them, vaults a hot dog in a hurry, and starts ascending a building via fire escape. She's going up after them.

Leyanne Mace has posed:
Paird shrugs a little at then looks up at Eve "So did you see anything interesting? You have-" She asks, before cutting off as Eve makes a break for it, catching a glimpse of the hooded figure. She looks at Large,

"Did you... never mind." With that she runs for the workshop. Throwing open the doors, she hauls the tarpaulins off the flying machine, cranking it into life and staring to prime the launch mechanisms. Perhaps she can get up there and help somehow...

Tomoe has posed:
Everything is fine? What next is everything under control? Tsu does not know but she seems curious it's just how she is does it seem that someone might be in trouble here. The Selens seem to be trying to clean up the mess of whatever this is then the cargo is coming and she seems to be /very/ interested in what's going on she won't get in the way she tries to not get distracted by the robots? Well that's what she thinks the Selene are. Robots of some sort but Jeci? Is maybe too curious for her own good? Has her trying to figure out just what's going on here? The Masked Dragon does also get her attention but the Selene are piling in.

She'll try to get a better vantage as she can fly, so up she goes to try and get a flying view of what's going, this will totally get her into trouble and does she care? Hell no.

"Up up and away!"

Count Kord has posed:
    Aepicus slips backward so he doesn't get hit by an actual train by the Selene responsible for that. He doesn't stick so close to the sign after that, and spends a moment fixing his glasses and his hair, and then his coat... "Watch where you're going," he complains, despite knowing they were doing that to keep him away from the oddity.

    While his eyes focus on what Gil is doing back there, as little as he can see of the guy past the strange robots. His head turns when he notices some movement, and watches Eve take off after a figure. He sniffs and breathes a sigh, and flits off through the air.

    Titania gets swatted at, as if the fairy was just an insect buzzing around his head. He isn't trying to hit her -- the Selene will immediately deal with him if he does that -- and more just being dismissive. He decides to follow after Eve in her pursuit, but his pace keeps him well behind the both of them.

Dorian Pavus (774) has posed:
    The reluctance of the Selenes isn't even registered; the billboard needs fixing. It MUST be fixed! Though as he finds out what the problem is, Gil breathes a sigh of relief. The damage is minor, and easily repaired.

    Tools are retrieved, small things that can move the displaced wires back into their proper places. And probably also protect him from shock; it's likely a good bit of the small maintenance of this sort is done without taking the billboards offline. That would be a lot of mess and hassle for something tiny. And the billboards have to function with as much uptime as possible.

    More confident now, Gil begins to move the wires back into place, carefully fastening them back where they're supposed to be, and then re-fastening the cover in place. "There. That should do it," he announces. It's just as much to reassure himself as to assure anyone listening. And he runs through the diagnostic again, to make certain that there's no more issues with the billboard.

    The thought of sabotage doesn't even enter his mind. No one could want to break this idyllic world. And he doesn't see the retreating figure. "Just some loose wires," he announces. He steps away from the now-closed panel to check the status of the billboard. Is it working now?

    It's only then that he notices that people are starting to head off in a specific direction. He frowns, the expression a mere frisson of confusion across his stoic features. Might there be something there? He's grateful for the distraction, but... it seems odd. So he leaves the ground as well, with a thought, and starts in that direction as well.

Wandering Dog has posed:
While the various people saying they'll attend to his show is great, Balences is more distracted by everyone running off. Eve's heading somewhere, Aepicus is flying after him, the others are moving too...they're not supposed to investigate this sort of stuff. Just allow the Selenes to handle it, that's always been how it is. Though...

Though if something's going on, Balences can't resist. He always wanted a life of action, a life of heroics. And if everyone, some of whom he considers good neighbors, is running off? He can't just leave them behind. If the Selenes ask, he'll say he was worried about them. It's not a lie, after all. Clutching his mask tight in hand, Balences sighs, and makes the decision, running down the street in Eve's direction.

He's not superhuman, or anything special, but something inside him feels he can't just ignore this. A drive for something tells Balences he can't just wait here and pretend everything's normal. "Hey, wait up! Running like this isn't safe!" He'll cut through alleys and streets, trying not to lose Eve's trail, watching her as she ascends the buildings. Aepicus, being in the air, is a good thing to eye to keep track of the chase.

Kushiko has posed:
"I do! I made plenty of them!" Soupi beams when it comes to the questions about her delicious blueberry muffins she had made! She has the container for them being held thanks to a shoulder strap, and she can reach in the side, or open a lid for them to be plucked free from. And of course, a handy little side-satchel type thing to accept Currency as is wanted.

That said, her attention, at least for the most part is seemingly on Aepicus. Her eyes may flit at times to what others are saying, the curiousness with things not working as they should. That said, being thoroughly ignored is enough to get her furtively looking towards both the people who've gathered near her, and some of the others--she hands out and acquires lovely Currency for her sale of muffins at least while Titania makes some weirdly /pulsing/ noise at Aepicus for being all dismissive.

Coupled with others starting to move towards that... /something/ that was up there, she /almost/ frowns. Almost. It's more of a stepford smiler moment as she realizes that people won't be contented. The fact is, that somene might actually be doing something of an ill will wins over the gregarious young girl.

And then she disappears.

She reappears again, a slight pulse from having gone somehow invisible and either shifted or phased up to a rooftop. The sudden change, still smiling, the fairy Titania rejoining her--but now no longer the size of a fairy--but the size of a humanoid in normal, her wings still outstretched around her as she arrives and changes size. Looking to Soupi for direction. "Yes, let's see what's going on. Everyone else is curious, perhaps we can do some good as Phoebe would!" she proudly says towards her robotic companion. Still, she and Titania would have to follow the others, the girl blinking across to catch up, the fairy shrinking back down in pursuit for the purposes of speed.

Finna (513) has posed:
At first, Nico Zangt wasn't going to bother with the matter of the Billboard. But the strange pile of Selene that cover it and the cargo truck from nowhere bring a naughty little look of bubbling curiosity to her face.

    Just as she's readying to leap all the way over yonder and check it out though (those pointy ears of hers are more than enough to pick up the discussion!) half the people start chasing off in another direction?!

    "Hyah?! Don't leave me behind!" And on principle alone she takes a flying leap up onto the buildings to chase along with the others!

Carna (974) has posed:
    Around the same time that many people take off after the fleeing figure, others run after those who are giving chase of someone they didn't personally see, driven by some... Impulse. Some desire to do something they know they PROBABLY shouldn't be doing, but are doing anyway... However they explain it to themselves, they all just take off like a horde of lemmings, chasing what might be unpleasant consequences for them with all their fervor.

    The figure leaps from one rooftop to the next, even the ones that are far apart. It clearly possesses superhuman agility and strength, though that is scarcely odd here. Nothing to raise an eyebrow at. Even the fact that it is moving from roof to roof in such a manner isn't totally odd. There's people who enjoy parkour after all!

    The Selenes by the billboard to not interfere, remaining until Gil finishes his repairs, and then suddenly dispersing. The crowd that had gathered, some of them floating up to see what's going on with the chase as well, think better of it when the ubiquitous doll-people begin moving out into the crowd, in closer range to snag an arm and lead them back on their errands, or to engage them in conversation, or ask if they need help with something.

    Whether by flight, by leaping, by teleportation, or by a potential incoming flying machine, if they are pursuers, curious people just seeing what's up, those fulfilling some long-held wish, or souls just... Going after it for reasons they can not fully articulate... The figure stops when it notices them coming, seeming to hesitate, looking this way and that, as if uncertain whether to continue running or not. If they aren't doing anything wrong, they should wait and see what all these people coming at them is about, right?

    But then Selenes coming pouring up over the sides of the building, leaping from street level or other bridges with their own superhuman abilities. Some of them are down on all fours, their joints reversing in some manner that they can run along on hands and feet like four-limbed spiders. They all converge on the figure in the hoodie. Selenes don't do this kind of thing unless the person in question has done something wrong.

    "Please stay where you are." "Running is dangerous here." "Your temperament requires soothing." and other phrases are uttered in a chorus of synthetic voices that overlap each other. Right as they are about to leap upon and restrain the hoodie-wearing figure, it leaps high, high, HIGH and lands on another island. Not an impossible feat. Not necessarily uncommon.

    But nothing about this situation is 'usual'. The Selenes usually seize someone before they even know what's happening. Coeus is said to be watching all the time. Someone like this, if they actually did something wrong, would have been stopped the moment they did it, not after they had done their damage and started to flee.

    Nothing about this is 'usual'. At all.

    As the figure lands on a distant rooftop, it then drops down off the edge into the space between two buildings, apparently trying to slip away, while back at the point they leapt from, Selenes try to sort themselves out after colliding with and piling on top of each other, missing their target.

    This has gone from mild curiousity to something much more.

    At the same time, there is a sudden proliferation of vehicles moving through the air, trying to make flying and line-of-sight teleportation and even super jumoing as much of an obstacle as possible. No, wait, why would they be doing that on purpose? Unless... Well, the obvious answer is they want to keep everyone away from this person, whomever they are. Perhaps with good reason? What if they're... Dangerous!?

    It's still possible to fly, to run, to leap, to teleportation. But it requires a dedicated effort to get around and through, to keep up what is definitely now a chase scene!

Count Kord has posed:
    Here it is. A challenge.

    But there are too many people involved. Aepicus notes everyone that seemed to chase after the figure in the hoodie. He looks at those that picked up on the commotion, and the way the Selene seemed to surge toward the mystery stranger the moment their attention was drawn to them... but not before. The red-haired man comes in for a landing after he takes in who they are, and deems a chase too much of a risk to participate in himself. Not with so many people likely to get piled on by the Selenes.

    "Later," he resolves to himself, making a mental note to speak to each bold individual once all this quiets down. If they find anything of note, they may be willing to help.

    For now, he redirects his attention to the Blue Tower, landing on the road and just walking in that direction.

Empty Tidings has posed:
Eve waves back over her shoulder. "It's fine! I'm --" She weaves around a couple out on a stroll, having to twist around and jog backwards for a couple seconds. She waves again, the filigree on her artificial hand glinting in the morning sunlight. "It'll be fine! Don't worry!" She tries to smile reassuringly. It doesn't really help.

She's up on the building, now. She follows the figure, taking off like a shot. The red-haired woman darts across the roof and takes the leap off of it, legs flailing seemingly wildly. She hits the far roof and drops into an obviously-practiced forward roll, coming to her feet smoothly and without losing hardly any momentum. There's a feeling of the thrill of the chase, for her; it comes from her living days, where this sort of thing usually followed an operation going wrong.

It makes her feel alive. Here, now... that's rare. She holds that tightly. The joy of it lights up her face.

Then, the Selenes rise up, swarming the rooftop. They come at the fleeing figure en masse, trying to hold it. Eve Ren pours on the speed, rushing right at the group of them as she sees the figure shift, about to move...

The figure leaps. Selenes get tossed off like ragdolls. Without thinking, Eve leaps into the air. She plants her feet against the first of the Selenes and pushes downward, propelling herself to greater heights. She rockets upwards, grasping a second in mid-flight that tries to say something to her. Her artificial hand glints in the sunlight, glovelike skin creaking, and she rotates the both of them in the air before slingshotting herself after her quarry -- and slamming into a passing car. She hits the door and digs her fingers in, body rotating and feet swinging up to its rooftop as she peels the frame up incidentally. She jumps again, climbing up the next, and again, higher and higher, just as fast --

Eve scrambles up onto the island the figure landed on. She follows it from roof to roof, skidding to a halt only when she gets inside earshot. "Why are you running?!" she demands, more irritated by the interference than the actual act. She feels a bit sore, now... but she feels good.

The filligree silouette of Phoebe on the back of her hand seems to smile. It's probably an optical illusion.

Kushiko has posed:
"Hmm..." Soupi was momentarily pensive. On the one hand, she felt like she should let the Selene deal with this, as she could go down back and talk with people, maybe about food. But on the other hand, she could set a good example here. From what Titania had told her, in her mind, there was a reason this one was being pursued.

She exhaled slightly, and then closed her eyes--vanishing again. Titania swept forward, keeping a fairy's eye view. The smaller figure still found it harder to actually progress through, but her size might help Soupi guide her short ranged little phased teleports. It might help, and she focuses a little on her 'blinks' around and through, doing her best not to actually interfere with the Selene.

On the other hand... there was something that gnawed at her, drove her to see who this person in the hoodie was, and maybe she might be able to impede their progress enough for the Selene to help! After all, that Eve person--she thinks she recognizes her from around? At some point, she seems to just pop out of midair--and that's when the fairy Titania quickly changes size, to catch her and continue her flight.

"Please tell us, yes! We're only here to help!" she cheerfully calls out after the hoodie'd person.

Tomoe has posed:
Something doesn't feel right to Jeci about this. this isn't fair someone is clearly being dog piled this won't do. She has made up her mind to try and go after this. She's going to get into trouble and she's going to have to focus here to keep in the air and not hit anything she's too curious for her own good and honestly they are seriously dogpiling that person it ain't right to her so Jeci presses on with all the skill she can muster.

Much like some of the others she'll call out to the runner if she gets close enough.

"Hey what's going on it's not fair of them to dog pile you like that! Do you need any help?!"

Dorian Pavus (774) has posed:
    Between them and the hooded figure now, there are Selenes here. Gil... he has always sought the soothing. It keeps his mind off of things in the past that he could not change... things he would rather not speak of, things about his life amongst the living that he has told no one here. The desire to forget anything like this happened, it's there. It would be easy. Let go. Surrender. Be led away for the soothing of his temperament, and then go on about his time here. It's none of his business, is it?

    Something inside his heart stirs, something alien and yet... familar. A voice not his own, scoffing at this stance of inaction. And something else stirs in his mind -- a memory that is still alien but... closer somehow. That word -- 'inaction'. It rubs a sore spot in his heart long ago forgotten. And as he looks out over the Selenes, and the sudden uptick of air traffic for unknown reasons, that memory from his time among the living aches.


    The word strikes his heart like a solid punch. He speaks it, on little more than a puff of breath, as if speaking it would get the word out of his heart. "...Inaction." It does nothing but leave a foul taste in his mouth. Hearing it with his own ears makes it all the more real, and it settles over his heart like a weight. Soothing. Inaction. Impulses war in his heart, along with something along the sides of his consciousness, something just out of sight. Something that is familiar but that he can't quite place. Something outside this all. For a moment, he can almost recall...

    ...And then it's gone, leaving behind the lingering memory of the memory of cheap alcohol and scathing wit. And no small amount of disapproval.

    By the time he's back to himself, Aepicus is moving away. Gil looks again. That's a lot of attention up there, between them and the hooded figure. It wouldn't leave much time to talk to the hooded figure. And he wants to know if this has anything to do with the billboard malfunction. But it would be damn near impossible with all this attention. Besides that, Gil himself doesn't want to end up getting detained.

    Ultimately he comes up with the same idea as Aepicus -- the trail is too hot, he needs to wait until it cools off. So he gives that plastic smile again, this time aimed at the Selenes. "Just wanting to tell the stranger to be more careful," he offers. "I do have a great deal of work to get to." The Selenes aren't stupid, he knows, but hopefully that will placate them for now, by mentioning the thing that has been the focus of his unlife here -- his tireless work.

    Like Aepicus, he redirects his flight back down, landing upon the ground lightly. He straightens his lapels, then the hem of his jacket, then the cuffs of his sleeves, possibly displaced by the unplanned flight. There will be time to find out when things aren't quite so intense. There are surely less drastic ways of getting in contact with the hooded figure. Ways that don't include them being detained. Gil is bright, he'll figure out a way to make contact.

Wandering Dog has posed:
As they get closer and the person stops, Balences finally gets a look at what they're chasing. A person in a hoodie? Part of him wants to assist in questioning the guy, but...but he can't. He might have a heart of adventure, but Balences has a family to think about.

So Balences won't. He considers, briefly, wrapping the mask around his eyes and having the Masked Dragon do it instead, but they'd know it's him. So instead, he shouts to the group ahead, especially as he sees the Selenes coming. They have to be being watched. If Balences gets a chance to get close to anyone, like Eve Ren, he'll try to shout out to them. "Turn back. This isn't worth getting in trouble for!" No, he might have a heart for adventure...but he's not a real hero. He's just an entertainer.

Balences turns back, heading through the streets and moving through them towards his destination - the grocery store. If he drops out now, everything will be fine, right?

Finna (513) has posed:
Seeing the Selenes acting so focused and agitated is enough to get Nico a bit agitated herself. She skids to a halt on the rooftops as the going gets a bit sticky... because she has a lot of things she wants to do today! And plowing through a bunch of obstacles to tail people who're running away and will be caught by the Selenes anyways if there's any trouble...

    She's curious, but expects the books she was supposed to pore over today for inspiration for her next writing project will be more interesting.

    As will that show!

    Or so she'd think , but moments after turning around the NOISE of what's happening far away treaches her ears and she turns to ook...

    And promptly bares her teeth in a wide, gawky grimace. "What?!"

Carna (974) has posed:
    The figure pauses when people start approaching and calling out to them. They don't appear to be trying to flee THESE pursuers. They stop in the alleyway, the space between two buildings. The sound of Selenes in the streets searching but for some reason not finding despite their eyes and ears being everywhere, gradually closing in, echoes around. Some souls are also becoming involved as well. Those that help maintain order, using their own superhuman powers and senses to join the hunt.

    Even if they dont know why.

    "If I stay here, I can't help you." the figure answers simply, their voice masked through technology, magic, or maybe a throat modification. It sounds deep, warped, distorted. Definitely deeper than their young-adult height would indicate. The baggy hoodie and equally baggy pants give no indication of male or female wearer. "I'll have to try again."

    The stranger looks towards Jeci, and then Soupi for several seconds. The latter sees only non-reflective black inside the hood... A mask maybe? And something else.

    Then the mysterious figure takes several steps backwards and falls through one of the shadows like it's a hole in reality. That same shadow grows lighter afterwards, not as deeply black.

    That's quite an unusual power. Or... What? What else could it have been? Someone escaping the Selenes is unheard of. It doesn't happen.

    That person just did.

    And as they start filling the alleyway, crawling on the walls like robotic spider-people sniffing for a scent, it may become finally prudent enough an idea to withdraw to start heeding it.

    But it's highly doubtful there's any chance that these people who dared to chase someone down just for running, someone who is clearly in trouble with the authorities, will simply let the matter slide, even if they have to discuss it... Privately.

Empty Tidings has posed:
"Damn," sighs Eve. "Wannabe heroes." She gets a sudden pang of irritation at the thought of citizen supers showing up to join the commotion. Something about it seems... just... /annoying/, to her. She must've had to deal with them before. All those different lives, different identities, just sort of... blend together.

The vanishing act, though, /that's/ new. Eve looks on in alarm when they're gone, and looks this way and that, trying to figure out where the hell they went. 'Nowhere' seems to be the answer. "But..." She lapses into silence for a couple seconds, then shakes her head sharply. "We should go."

She bolts. She's going to ditch as fast as possible, getting down to ground level and blending in with the crowds. Hopefully, she can make some sense of what she saw, or... maybe she'll get lucky and it'll never come up again. That's the sort of thing that ruins your stay in paradise.

That's the sort of thing that got you killed.

Kushiko has posed:
"What in the--?" She blinks, several times over where she's being carried with ease by Titania; carried because she needed to recoup her energy. It wasn't so much what the figure said, but what they looked like.

She wondered if they saw the same thing she did. She tilted her head a little bit, and the growing presence of the Selenes was enough to make her realize it was time to let them do what they needed to do. "Let's get out of here, then..." she murmurs softly. With that utterance, Titania, Queen of the Fae (and mechafairy, in this case!!) turns almost immediately, a second wispy wrap moving to secure a bit as the fairy's wings shift and move and send her off away from the alley, to the Blue Tower once more. She'll drop off at some point, the fairy shrinking down to rejoin her once she goes to ground from her odd little 'blink' ability of hers.

As much as she might be inclined to frown, she doesn't. No... maybe? She needed to maybe talk with the others here. This was weird, sure, but ... no. She needed to keep a positive side showing.

Even when she herself didn't have one.