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28637 No. 28637
{OOC} A word from the author: Well, let's begin writing, shall we? This one will be a little... different. It will hopefully be quite the interesting one, yet I'm not one to make promises here. Anyway, you'd best do your best to figure it out. An apology for not being very knowledgeable about post limits and such. I'll figure them and some other minor things out on the go I guess. And, off we go: {/OOC}

{13}

Both of them did it.

And he found himself in the most strangest of situations. Where, in what possible location did his actual position exist at this very moment? Surely, comparable to some object at that point right? No. It could not be compared to an object. Did he actually have a location for that matter? And, going on further, when? At what possible time could he be in here, if 'here''d be proven to be a concept worth defining at all? Unfortunately he could not. There were, of course, other things here as well. Here, you might say, an awfully vague description. Unfortunately, our observer, our character wouldn't be able to define it much further than that. Personally I could see. No, I could not see things much at all. There wasn't anything to be seen. There wasn't anything from the other, what I believe you would call "natural" senses either. No sight, no hearing, not anything of the sort was apparent to me personally. A philosopher, in an earlier age had once stated that, without these senses, a person would not be able to think, at all. Without any imput, there would be no output. Yet, stating this philosopher here would be a bit redundant. Mostly because he would not apply, nor be acceptable for this. You see, there was actually imput. As strangely as it sounds. You could call it a voice. Or perhaps not just once voice, but rather apparently two voices. It is quite a fallacy to call them voices on my part though, but it's a fallacy I will have to live with. It's not faulty on my part to have befallen the fate of witnessing something that can't be described in my language. From whoever these "messages" are from, these two are putting this into my mind. Yet not in a way of forcing it, I am not thinking it. Nor do I posess the capability to see these persons thinking it, a mere human as I am. It is a rather strange sensation to say the least. Thoughts I did not posess about actually listening in the first place to these two. It was such a strange experience, although there were a bunch of strange things occurring at that time. In any case, the point at which I did started listening was whan the two 'voices', after conversing with what seemed to be eachother, spoke in unison. Can I really call it that? Well, since the mistake has been made, I guess so. Just condone with my manner of speech in this regard. Let's just imagine we are comfortably sitting in a room. Although it's quite obvious that there's one inconsistency you'll need to be aware of. I can't discern much about these two beyond their words. I am, as more elegant persons would say, oblivious to the appearances belonging to this equipe. Well, if it were one, of course. Nothing's to say this can't be anything.
<to be continued>

>> No. 28643
[.spoiler][/spoiler]

WILL IT SPOIL?
>> No. 28644
I want to give you feedback, I really do. Unfortunately, that huge block of text is incredibly unfriendly. Downright surly, even.

Please fix your formatting if you intend to write here. Use paragraphs, put lines between speech from different characters, etc.
>> No. 28645
>>28644
Seconded, it's way too easy to get lost in there.
>> No. 28646
<after the break>
In unison they spoke, as if the voice increased in loudness. You see, I could discern the one from the other, yet I could not. As beyond the words I could not discern any kind of realistic diffrence between the voices beyond that there was voice one, and voice two. There was no emotion to be found, no age to be discerned of the speaker. The experience was quite otherworldly. But let us put ourselves beyond these pathetic little words of mine, and see what 'they' had to tell me. Since I didn't have the vaguest of a clue how to do anything but 'listen' if you could call it that. It was thus that was conveyed upon me that "thou beyest wise to have come to this opportunity. But a philosopher I designate you, when you would find that which is beyond your current grasp.". Thus my attention was suddenly portrayed upon the voices. Now they started speaking in turn, as they had done before this sudden outburst for I do not remember how long it would have been measured in seconds, minutes, hours, years, centuries? Scale is such an incomprehensible thing. Anyway, of course this was due mostly because time seemed not to exist here, or perhaps it did exist. And, like time likes to do and is as well bound to do, moved. But at what speed? Who knows. For now I will just label the voices for your convenience. Let us say that voice number one, or just number 1, 'spoke' and stated to us the following: "Discerning your correct course of action, perhaps you should view things. You see, how it was seen by men and women.". A second voice took over, to the extent that "not only that. Viewing? I think that is not nearly complete. You see, you might get the... wrong ideas like that. By all means, you should predict.". "Well yes, reason is the basis of success in the world. Reason, as long as the base of knowledge remains sound, is a dilligent way to work towards a solution.". "That is Quite so, please have your own way as always, and continue." the second voice replied in a not-so-but-still lengthy fasion. "It's not always as easy though. Sometimes reasoning, figuring something out can be an arduous process, even when having all the pieces together." "Our little gamble of reason, our little game of reason would be a little stale without a little reward, no?" the second voice replied. A game? But this does not seem anything like it, doesn't it? As if an answer would be given to my thoughts, the other voice belched out a monstrosity of a sentence. Or was it three sentences? "As for when the bounds of our newfound knowledge through viewing suddenly overlap the bounds we set for ourselves to be true through reason, through guessing, or through something described as fate, my, oh yes would we recieve our rewards. But really, when one sets a bound of reason to get a reward, who is to say it could not be as I just proposed a guess? Just making a significant amount of guesses... one could gain, thus for the guess to have power would be a rediculous proposal." Once again the second voice replied. "For the guess to have power to be rediculous. Yes, I can see this. I fathom you wish to restrain and border our freedom, our life of possibilities?". Quite surprisingly came a very, very short response from the original, the first voice. It consisted of merely a submissal, a short "yes", so to speak. Not that there was any actual speech involved, mind you. But the second voice, she replied to this. Apparently this, whatever it was, did not agree with an idea supposedly originating from it. "It is very much true, that a mere guess having power is intolerable. But in a lesser amount, I can still not accept it. They are still guesses. Might, existing without risk in a game as well-endowed as this? I refuse to participate in such trivialities. ". A curt reply was just an intermission; "Then, thy who considers thine as being in the disposition to decide, how would thy decide?", followed up by a continued rebuttal, something along the lines of this: "An actually satisfying solution? Why do we not consider punishment? For yes, why not say that those that turn out to contradict, put the responsible party, you, in triple jeopardy? That only seems fair, does it not?". The other 'voice' caught on to this idea quickly, apparently. With no emotions to tell me anything, I had little to go by after all. "We could then also say that perhaps that which has already been uttered and is uttered again is unworthy. Well, to the first degree, that is. And then of course, your responsibility, your record could be tracked as a named one by your code. Your efforts. I am sure that this could very well work quite favorably when we return to this very vantage point. I have just one more thing to say to you. Say I must, to you, that this very significant thing is just significance itself. The significance of it will equal the weight of whatever fate you predict. Why sometimes you might 'percieve' this significance all by yourself, you see. Such a significance, it has a measurement attached. A measurement, done alongside a certain scale. That scale, well let me just say to you, here, that it would be literally equal whether integral or not."

The second voice, however, was not so content to leave you behind. Another reply came. "That seemed such a simple ploy. Now you'll surely understand what's with those {} too fast. Well, notwithstanding that actually important and noteworthy matter, a veritable mistake of my associate it was to not supply you with quite the piece of information needed. You see, this reward we spoke of, or this punishment, whichever it will be, renders power to the thing predicted. The reason could very well be because this power is and comes to being because appliance comes when truth is revealed. When the latter does not come to pass, the former will most likely neither. This is all, and understanding should be present or coming for different parts of our dialogue. A farewell and bad luck.

In your mind, you imagine a loud "popping" noise as the voice vanishes from your thoughts. Interestingly, you remember the words. Even who said what. Not that this particular fact is going to be of any help. I wonder, what will come next? How can someone actually speak accolades, even in that weird state? Made me imagine them? But for what purpose? When I open a view through the perspective of this whole thing happening to me, what will I see? An awful lot of questions through my mind.

<The first voice, wait a minute, I think it is (...)> {10}
<That second voice. That can only be (...)> {9}
<The purpose for which the accolades were made, eh?>{4}
<Don't bore me with these weird contraptions. This is a dream, a facade!>{5}
<My freedom? This is going to be restrained anyhow>{1}
<(.....)>{?}

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

{OOC} Because this wasn't told you, (.) means a couple of letters. (...) is of course a word, or perhaps a name. (.....), I'd guess that's something longer no?
>> No. 28648
Feeling somewhat abandoned, I realized that my condition, it had not changed. The two others, I think they were gone with the wind. As a figure of speech, of course. But nothing was to say that one or the other could suddenly reappear. Hey, wait a second, why did I know one was a "she"? How did I... strange. Even more strange was this game that was mentioned. What exactly was the point of it? Moreso, I felt that this whole significance thing wasn't so very simple. I couldn't attach any to what I thought too. And it could perhaps be... incontinuous as well. Something that could change over time. That felt logical as well. Something that you first thought important, turns out to be the opposite. Or the opposite of that. Argh, I'm beginning to become just as bad as those two thinking like this, whatever they were! The urge to do so, I resist it. Resistance, futile, or succesful? Once again, left in the dark I am.

Well, putting those voices beyond me, the predicament I was in was still quite dumbfounding to me. This place, where and what was it? Obviously there was some purpose I was given. But exactly which purpose? I tried remembering what happened. What happened before I came here. I should've had a life, after all I posessed knowledge of things. Mostly abstract knowledge. It shouldn't surprise you what I found. A void. An emptiness. Nothing was there at all.

And then it came. Memories. Things that happened. I felt a tinge of awareness in another place beyond these too. A glow, as if something on me gave me these gifts. Gifts, was that the correct term? One should never look a gift horse in the mouth, but, an awful idea it would be to give them if these gifts were more of a curse than a gift. Whether it be a curse or a gift, there seemed to be little alternative in this world of nothingness than to experience. So, my journey began. Through the minds of others.

New York, 29th of february 1884. 6th Avenue.

A ringing sound. A hand, reaching for an object, situated on a small table covered with cloth, imported from Europe a long time ago. The old, rickety clock was as old and rickety as many different parts of this old, rickety house. A man was sleeping in his room up until now. Three pointed arrows, originating from the center of the clock's circle, pointed towards seven, ten, and three.

The man, having had a night of sleep, stretched himself. Looking at the clock, he muttered to himself something about replacing old, unreliable clockwork, and then something about replacing his own clockwork. A mistake he had made, for suddenly a larger degree of activity was measurable in the room. He went and opened one of the doors leading outside of it, tucking out one of his better suits. Although it was out of fashion for quite some time, it made him appear rather respectable. He was fond of it to say the least about it. He took it with him towards another one of the doors outside of the original bedroom. A bath, that's what he needed.

Having been thoroughly refreshed and dressed for the occasion, he took his ensemble of high hat, trench coat, and black umbrella, making sure not to stir the other inhabitants of his house. His daily quest for the news had begun. What is a businessman without a newspaper? Surely, he needed to know what happened out there in that desert. Someone had bought a patch of land he owned there. A letter he had recieved not long ago, this one company did not exclude the more insidious ways of doing business, apparently. At least he could visit the bank today and repay his loan. That 'working for Morgan' person, he sent shivers down his spine. After a search of a few seconds, he found one of the ragged boys that were always selling newspapers on every other street corner. Flipping over the pages, he was rather appalled. The world was quickly expanding, it seemed. With all the engines of iron and steam rolling everywhere, his little bit of oil didn't even make it to the news. Seemed his mysterious buyer would remain mysterious for just a little while longer.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

<This man is involved with locomotives> {1}
<I think he bought this newspaper: (...)> {0}
<He's going to move to another house soon.> {1}
<I think I know who bought that oil: (...)> {?}
<Memories, I think I know how this is related: (.....)> {1-4?}
<(.....)>{?}

***
Current Predictions added: None, value array empty.
>> No. 28650
>In unison they spoke, as if the voice increased in loudness. You see, I could discern the one from the other, yet I could not. As beyond the words I could not discern any kind of realistic diffrence between the voices beyond that there was voice one, and voice two. There was no emotion to be found, no age to be discerned of the speaker. The experience was quite otherworldly. But let us put ourselves beyond these pathetic little words of mine, and see what 'they' had to tell me. Since I didn't have the vaguest of a clue how to do anything but 'listen' if you could call it that. It was thus that was conveyed upon me that "thou beyest wise to have come to this opportunity. But a philosopher I designate you, when you would find that which is beyond your current grasp.". Thus my attention was suddenly portrayed upon the voices. Now they started speaking in turn, as they had done before this sudden outburst for I do not remember how long it would have been measured in seconds, minutes, hours, years, centuries? Scale is such an incomprehensible thing. Anyway, of course this was due mostly because time seemed not to exist here, or perhaps it did exist. And, like time likes to do and is as well bound to do, moved. But at what speed? Who knows. For now I will just label the voices for your convenience. Let us say that voice number one, or just number 1, 'spoke' and stated to us the following: "Discerning your correct course of action, perhaps you should view things. You see, how it was seen by men and women.". A second voice took over, to the extent that "not only that. Viewing? I think that is not nearly complete. You see, you might get the... wrong ideas like that. By all means, you should predict.". "Well yes, reason is the basis of success in the world. Reason, as long as the base of knowledge remains sound, is a dilligent way to work towards a solution.". "That is Quite so, please have your own way as always, and continue." the second voice replied in a not-so-but-still lengthy fasion. "It's not always as easy though. Sometimes reasoning, figuring something out can be an arduous process, even when having all the pieces together." "Our little gamble of reason, our little game of reason would be a little stale without a little reward, no?" the second voice replied. A game? But this does not seem anything like it, doesn't it? As if an answer would be given to my thoughts, the other voice belched out a monstrosity of a sentence. Or was it three sentences? "As for when the bounds of our newfound knowledge through viewing suddenly overlap the bounds we set for ourselves to be true through reason, through guessing, or through something described as fate, my, oh yes would we recieve our rewards. But really, when one sets a bound of reason to get a reward, who is to say it could not be as I just proposed a guess? Just making a significant amount of guesses... one could gain, thus for the guess to have power would be a rediculous proposal." Once again the second voice replied. "For the guess to have power to be rediculous. Yes, I can see this. I fathom you wish to restrain and border our freedom, our life of possibilities?". Quite surprisingly came a very, very short response from the original, the first voice. It consisted of merely a submissal, a short "yes", so to speak. Not that there was any actual speech involved, mind you. But the second voice, she replied to this. Apparently this, whatever it was, did not agree with an idea supposedly originating from it. "It is very much true, that a mere guess having power is intolerable. But in a lesser amount, I can still not accept it. They are still guesses. Might, existing without risk in a game as well-endowed as this? I refuse to participate in such trivialities. ". A curt reply was just an intermission; "Then, thy who considers thine as being in the disposition to decide, how would thy decide?", followed up by a continued rebuttal, something along the lines of this: "An actually satisfying solution? Why do we not consider punishment? For yes, why not say that those that turn out to contradict, put the responsible party, you, in triple jeopardy? That only seems fair, does it not?". The other 'voice' caught on to this idea quickly, apparently. With no emotions to tell me anything, I had little to go by after all. "We could then also say that perhaps that which has already been uttered and is uttered again is unworthy. Well, to the first degree, that is. And then of course, your responsibility, your record could be tracked as a named one by your code. Your efforts. I am sure that this could very well work quite favorably when we return to this very vantage point. I have just one more thing to say to you. Say I must, to you, that this very significant thing is just significance itself. The significance of it will equal the weight of whatever fate you predict. Why sometimes you might 'percieve' this significance all by yourself, you see. Such a significance, it has a measurement attached. A measurement, done alongside a certain scale. That scale, well let me just say to you, here, that it would be literally equal whether integral or not."

I want to let you try, but you really, really need how to make text presentable. You wrote paragraphs in a single line. Not even the dialogues have their own lines!

I will read it, later maybe. Or when/if you fix the damn formatting.
>> No. 28674
File 124254094573.jpg - (43.56KB , 411x416 , 1215977408132.jpg ) [iqdb]
28674
hoooly shit that's a lotta text
>> No. 28715
The man composed himself, and took a look around where he was. New York was the place where he had traveled in his younger years, it was the place where dreams come true, he was told. Perhaps foolishly believing this, he left most of his previous life behind. Just that name that sounded distinctly out of place here, he kept for himself. The house he lived in, it was really too British. It was small too for his taste, and not really convenient. After today's conference, he would probably go visit some places that were more appealing and see if he could strike a good deal. "A businessman at heart also used his qualities for private matters, but you better do this privately." His old father used to tell him. He walked the city for another time, being alone with his thoughts, until he was interrupted with a polite "Ah, good morning, sir Woddington."

Another man, wearing a costume of similar making, had tapped him on the shoulder with a small stick. He was three quarters of a head less tall than Woddington who wasn't very tall either. He had a sort of stocky posture, and was about ten years younger than his boss. He wore a moustache, and carefully combed brown hair curled around his face. You wouldn't say he had an angel's face, but neither would a normal person call him ugly. One of his hands had a golden ring on its ring finger. Woddington wondered what the man had gotten himself into to get this item. Either way, that's rather something you would ask over a nice cup of tea while in a private room. No no no, that's not right! It should be coffee, not tea! Tea is way too British. Furthermore, a silver cord was hanging from his coat, most likely from one of those newfangled watches. Stern got a stern look from Woddington. "There's no reason to call your boss a 'sir' when he is no longer an Englishman, good sir.".

While Woddington kept calling others by this title, he did not seem to particularily like being called it himself. A rather strange phenomenon. Then again, what wasn't strange about suddenly becoming aware of the actions of a new yorker of quite some time ago. Quite some time, a proper saying here. There hasn't been many things to relate it to other than the total time count. Which could just be anything? Sir Woddington, a New York businessman, having contracts in some affairs regarding a plot of land in the West, proceeded to take the steps down into the world below the city. The city subways were a dirty place for a gentleman to be in. However, Woddington was rather convinced he could remove this image. He was hurt by it. So he took it upon himself to wander into the darker areas of the city, its subway system. And of course, use this to get to work. He looked at Stern, and remembered something. Pulling a note out of his pockets, he read it carefully again. Woddington was not a man to forget that public disclosure could rapidly ruin a good deal when other parties get involved and under- or overbid an avid businessman. No, this one case he really felt interested in. You see, Stern mentioned something about it a few weeks ago. A shady figure had come to his office, two floors below where Woddington had his installed. This figure talked about one of the new railway tracks that was to be built. Stern, being the manager of a small hotel that was just a mile away from the original track plan, had one of his old friends in the railway department of the company that built this railroad. Of course, working together, they succeeded in having the railroad travel past the hotel, and without much cost involved. Mostly, Stern's partner held that it was more cost-effective to build the railway this way. Stern himself came and, being a businessman, refused his loan to the railroad company if they did not agree with the 'expert' all the other experts seemed to disagree with. That did the trick, but of course, with this world never perfect, having the authorities know of the actual ownership of the hotel, instead of the presumed under a now unimportant fourth party, would have some consequences. You see, the authorities had an image to uphold. No doubt would it cost a figurehead here and there in the official circles for mismanaging the state's precious dollars in the eyes of the public. How wrong they were about how precious those dollars really are. Or rather, maybe it should be "Will be?". In either case, it's rather obvious that both Stern and his partner, an old friend in that company, had little intentions of being honest with society on this matter. But why was Stern letting Woddington in on this dangerous secret? Did he trust his boss even moreso than his friend?

Woddington looked around as he entered the underground part of New York. A dimly lit concrete underground structure unveiled itself before him. He stepped off the automatic stairs, still shivering a bit as his body got used to the colder temperatures below the city streets. Thinking about the city streets, Manhattan was unusually quiet today. Furthermore, this subway station baffled him even more. While there were the usual personnel there to be able to manage and rein the iron horses, there weren't any other passengers here, except for a lady, who was sitting on one of the benches attached to the wall and floor. Catching a glimpse of this lady, she was preoccupied with using some sort of object to, I think it was scribble or otherwisely manipulate something flat. Woddington wasn't particulary paying attention to it, it looked like a pencil or feather writing something on paper. He caught that she appeared rather tall from this distance, most likely taller than the stocky man he was with named Stern. She was carrying a small purse, and wore a rather complex and stylish hat, commonly seen in much earlier times most likely, from this distance he could tell that he hadn't seen such a thing in a store anywhere. And, in a slightly more modern style, or is this just something for all winters, a coat was present. He couldn't quite capture more striking features from her; the face appeared rather blurred at this distance. Furthermore, his mind was occupied with the man standing next to him. What the only other passenger was doing was not of his concern. Meddling around in other people's affairs, that only causes mischief, his late mother told him. It was most likely just another old lady travelling with the same train he went with, a rather common coincidence.

--End of Brick number 1--
>> No. 28716
-- Begin of Brick 2--

No, he had to turn his mind to his Head of the Hotel Property Affairs Department. That was Stern's official position. Stern was one of the employees he rather trusted. Stern, a fair few years younger than him, had done some underhanded things. This was rather unexpected. But how was Stern suddenly acting like this? If Woddington wanted something to be done underhandedly, his H.P.A.D. director would be the last person he would ask to do the deed. This hotel was one of his properties. It was faring rather badly though and he had signed a good deal for selling it. The intricate thing about this deal was that it would only be sold if it would have a negative balance for two years in a row. His company had a stronger hold on liquidity than his opponents so this would be a good way of pulling them into a price war. But somehow, his subordinate that was an expert on this field, who was an honest man for all Woddington knew, had made this decision that helped to bring about the opposite. Well, it was quite a circumstance. Wellington had to ask Stern something. Two things mostly. As he pointed a hand towards one of the other empty benches, they took a seat, two pairs of shiny black shoes resting on the basement floor of the subway station. One of the four shoes was off. The Englishman, pretending to be an American, pretended not to notice. His face gave him away though. Stern started the conversation again.

"So, how's it going in New York?"
"It's a bit colder here in winter."
"Got any luck with the oil thing you've been working on sir?"
"Oh, don't flatten me with sir. I haven't got the name of the buyer yet. The deal was too good to pass on though."
"By the way, did you know that this patch of land is like, across from the hotel?"
"That's an interesting new fact. Actually I didn't. You see, I had no intention of actually going there. I got most of the information regarding it from the staff. Being a bigger company means you're not as close-knit, how troublesome."
"But um, you wanted to know why I was doing this whole hotel thing right?"
"Yes, if you would please tell me. I will help you out, you pulled me in on this anyway. I kind of understand your fears that this mysterious figure you described earlier might try to blackmail. But you know, there's always a way to turn things around. What you can simply do is (...)

Woddington could not finish his sentence and whatever he was about to say is as of now unknown. A loud sound interrupted the conversation at this point. Somehow it seemed to be exactly as Woddington was about to say some interesting words. It was the sound of a train whistle. Woddington and Stern unanimously silently decided it was better to talk in the train, it seemed. A train, even a subway one, is of course much more comforting, and also more private in comparison to this cold passageway into it. As the sound of the approaching train increased in volume, the two gentlemen stood at a fair distance from the eventual border between the train and the platform. Trains these days were really dirty machines. Plus they aren't as reliable as a good cart. Well that's my opinion really, as I was watching all of this. While the train was approaching, Woddington saw something Stern didn't. The lady he saw earlier, she must have worn quite the dress underneath that cloak. There was quite an abnormal silhouette she had, with a large curve, shaped sharply from the midst of her back, which increased her width to a yard or more. He had heard that this kind of clothing was popular in France back in the day. But why wear it in a dirty subway? Not only that, the lady pulled something out of her purse. He couldn't quite see what it was, and only saw her lips move in the thundering sound the train was making at the moment. Saying something to nobody, at the very moment it can't be heard? Of course, Wellington couldn't read lips so I didn't know any more than this. What to make of it? He didn't know. He mentioned to his acquaintance that they should be boarding on the train right now. New York subways had a tendency to be quite the quickly leaving ones. Today's was probably no exception; it was late by a couple minutes already. He started thinking a bit about all the things he learned today. There must be some things he missed, some things he should know now. But actually, he didn't know more things then. He... sort of forgot things suddenly. And it went so fast! He made a hand to point the other man next to him, whoever that was to the train and his memory, well it basically blanked there to put it bluntly. The flow of information suddenly and unexpectedly grinded to a halt, to speak of it in a more poetic way. I could only guess why.

Suddenly, I find myself viewing something else. Sir Woddington, as much as he wanted to pull off American style with his entire American clothing and habits, he was still a British man, waving away the smog from his face using that fragranced handkerchief. American men wouldn't have that level of sophistication. Well at least most Americans Stern knew. Thus he stood next to Stern, pointing his hand towards the train entrance. "Go ahead and dive in first", he mentioned.

The two gentlemen took two opposite benches to be able to comfortably talk with eachother while they traveled the subway. Each one of them put their suitcases on top of a small storage area meant for these things near the ceiling. This one subway train had storage areas where you couldn't see your things once you had put them away; they were made of polished wood. They took their seats and organized their clothing to be able to sit comfortably. Both once again waited without a word falling. The subway train emitted another high screech before setting off.

Woddington tried to continue the conversation when they finally sat comfortably in the now slowly moving train. It seemed the tracks weren't at their best today. But unfortunately for our friend Stern, all Wodding got to was a "Well,", in this regard. "Hmm, I can't seem to exactly remember what I was going to say, you know.", Woddington mumbled. "My head is in such a pain when I've drank too much for my own good, don't you agree?" Woddington continued his monologue. He mentioned things about a press conference he was going to give. He also talked about some Winston person. Winston? Somehow Stern knew about this person. But could he really remember much more details now? It was a bit of a haze in his mind about this person. He had done things in the... wait, now he remembered. Winston had been quite disasterous to him back then. Foolish as he was in his younger years, this woman had set up things against him. Quite the clever girl she was. Apparently Woddington also knew this. "Not to be trusted", and more of such things he mentioned. But Stern was not willing to talk about that. His Adia, what would become of her? He knew those businesspeople just wanted to sell the Hotel. They weren't interested at all. But Woddington, he even thought up a nice scheme for saving the hotel. He could go back and marry his love. But then, Woddington said something that he didn't like much at all. He slipped up. Upon answering Stern's question, which went according to:

--End of Brick 2--
>> No. 28717
--Begin of Brick 3--

"But saving the hotel, wouldn't that rather mean not instigating a price war? And even so, the others are holding out so long you'd think they're being funded."

Wodding replied in a lengthy manner, as usual. But stern, being the closely watching man, found something suspicious. He hadn't thought of it earlier but... he had been deceived. Woddington had cleverly hidden and never answered his questions truly, always changing the subject or stopping talking because something happened and then conveniently forgetting. He'd done it for half an hour now, even during the monologue.

"You would think that yes. But of course, the price war is just a minor thing when it comes to a Hotel. We mostly get our customers through personal contacts. But if they were to place rats in our Hotel, say next week's Wendesday when that meeting's going to be held, you know which one, by secretly putting them into the food supplies meant for the ball, you know that bakery's an acquisition of one of the other hotel companies, what would happen?"

At first it sounded like a garble of words, spoken so fast. Stern was sure that the English would not condone with such a saying. Too long, too many commas were in there. But, disregarding that rather trifle matter in comparison to the main matter, that was just too much of a detailed description for Woddington. First he didn't even know about the parcel of land's location, and now this? He's hiding something, but what? Stern didn't get a chance for a rebuttal though, for the train suddenly changed direction rather forcibly. The two suddenly found themselves on the floor instead of in the seats. Lucky they had put the luggage on the other side, causing it not to fall on top of them. That would have been quite the painful experience. After crawling back on top of their seats, Stern decided it would be best to not mention his suspicions. If Woddington was going to backstab him by disclosing his thing about the hotel, at least it would be closed by the authorities. He would still be able to take the train to the location and keep his promise to Adia. That's all that mattered. He kept a pause for a while, and then he felt a slight tug on his coat. Woddington had fallen asleep so it couldn't have been him. It wasn't near any pockets, so it wasn't a thief either. He looked behind him, but saw nothing.

He suddenly heard footsteps. Quite rapid ones. Turning his head around (Stern preferred sitting in the direction the train was going, while Woddington did not care), he noticed the woman he was looking at earlier on the platform. Stern had a clearer view of the woman, and his description matched that of Woddington, with the addition that her age appeared to be on the higher side of the human age spectrum, he would have guessed somewhere around the fifty-five. She did apparently need both her hands to move herself through the train while running, holding her left hand on top of her hat as if to keep it from falling off, while pulling what looked like a white/yellow flower patterned cloth up to avoid falling over her dress. He could see she was wearing shoes, and not the heels he expected. But the shoes were kind of oddly shaped. Well, I guess some people have the disadvantage of having wide forefeet. Actually, I'm no exception myself. I have to have my shoes handmade all the time. Wait, where did that memory of me suddenly come from? Where did it suddenly slip through? Anyhow, Stern's thoughts are so much more interesting. What was he doing again, oh yes. He was looking at this lady. A lady in distress, and what a one in distress this was. She shouted towards him that the train should be stopped. Before Stern could even ask why, the train shook on the rails. The woman was still running towards him at that point of time. So that's what was happening. The train was derailing! He yelled back, she should pull the emergency brake. She, now within normal volume range, told him something about electricity and it coming from the rear car. "I can't, it's not functioning, the system's without power without the rear car!" The rear car was gone? Now the situation was getting quite out of hand. Being rather scared the man tried to get out of his chair, to help or perhaps to take over the lady's task like a real gentleman would do. Like the person snoring on the other side would do. Well if he didn't fall asleep that is. Some people can sleep through everything. Stern, being not the terribly handy person, was stuck with his coat in the chair, and promptly made a fool of himself by falling into the pathway.

How weird, he had just sat down. The woman, now being close to him, jumped over him. He averted his eyes, even an American knew when to not look at a respectable person. She then left out a scream, and he heard something slide. After that, he was promptly hit by a suitcase, which fell on the floor, spreading its contents in a small area, and some kind of stick falling from the ceiling. The footsteps grinded to a halt, started, and stopped again. She had turned around and looked at him.

"Oh, I'm terribly, terribly sorry. I seem to have accidentally bumped into your suitcase. Would you excuse me and clean up the mess? Don't mind the fishing pole; I think that was already there, it isn't mine."
"Wait, this is Mr. Woddington's suitcase, I think. It isn't mine."
"Ara? Oh, you mean the man over there." the as of yet unknown woman responded. That's one stop-word Stern had not known of until now for sure. And, speaking about the man, he looked at Woddington.
Incredibly, Woddington was still sound asleep.
"I'll come back and help you with your wound when I've spoken to the driver"

The last words echoed in the train as she ran for the other side of the train. Wait, did her dress move around when she ran? Argh. Stern could not even see very well. Ow, that hurt really badly. First the suitcase, but the second blow really did it. Fishing rods can be nasty buggers, especially this one, it had hooks with smaller hooks attached to them. What were they called again? Stern wasn't the fishing spe/cia/list* at all. Well, at least it was over his arm and not his face. Considering that the train was still going at full speed, he left the hook in and braced himself for some more pain. While in this condition, his eye suddenly fell upon the contents of that suitcase. Letters! And... contracts? A lot of paperwork. And, a set of rather muffled, worn, and partly torn papers with a very intriguing description up at the front. The instruction to burn the papers. What did they contain? Stern could not hold his intrigue. He read them. The man sitting in front of him actually planned to blow up a public railway! He didn't want that railway to be laid over his hotel at all. There was oil in the ground. He was so vague about that selling land part he had told Stern about in his monologue just because he was actually angry. Well, anger was just about the emotion to describe Stern at that particular moment. In his pain and in his anger that he would both never see his Adia again, and that he was not betrayed once, but twice, maybe thrice by his very own boss, he took the knife he saw laying close to him,

-- End of Brick 3--


{OOC}
*Can someone please tell me why this forum automatically bans users for one hour when they use the word "s-p-e--c-i-a--l-i---s-t"?

Because uhm.. it makes no sense to me. Really you should remove this kind of limiation. The error message made no sense to me until I discovered that this word contains a 'forbidden link', because apparently text also counts as links. Heh, not that plain text links to anything. As I mentioned, it's quite a bother, censoring a perfectly normal word so harshly. Poor experts (for lack of a better term).

Seriously.
{/OOC}
>> No. 28719
--Begin of the last piece--
and slit Woddington's throat.

Following this, the train started braking. However, it was too late. With brakes failing, the train started crashing. Most likely, the woman was just as much of a train fanatic Woddington was. A train crash is a violent event. It happens fast. I’m not really aware of what happened to the personnel on the train, but there’s quite the probability that some or all are deceased by this violence. Our two passengers are lucky. Also, there was still a passageway from the first class carriage to the locomotive.

And he stared blankly at the knife. It was full of blood. The red liquid flowed from the man's neck in ample amounts. It stained his clothes, it stained the seats. It also stained Stern's suit. He just did it. He just committed a very, very atrocious deed. Even though the man he killed was even more atrocious, this was still bad. His anger, gone. This was bad. Very bad. Stern had no way of getting out. If anyone only knew about what happened here, he would be sued. Most likely. Unless he could hang something over their head but that would make him just as bad as the man he tried to kill. No, the only thing he had ever done underhanded should remain the only thing. He looked again at the knife. He dropped it out of his hand. He couldn't think straight with that weapon in his hands. The weapon he just used to kill someone. Just the mere thought of that was enough to cause his hands to clench together and his face to feel like it had just turned blue. Blue, you say? Ara, that isn't enough, it should be violet. No, Stern! This is not the time to be joking about the woman's weird way of replying to him. Speaking about the woman,

Stark unmistakably heard now familiar footsteps.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

<The Coat, that happened because of (.....)>{6.1}
<I can tell what some of that suitcase should be about: (.....)>{2.5}
<This woman, it's actually (...)>{2.6}
<>
<The train went around a corner to the left.>{0}
<(.....)>{?}

Yeah, I know. You can't bear reading a huge story with the name Woddington in it on every 10th page. Be glad I saved you from that here!
>> No. 28720
Can't read shit Captain.
>> No. 28726
Talk about your text walls...

Still, it's interesting so far. Work on giving readers room to breathe and this will be quite good, I think.
>> No. 28727
Look.

Look at the other stories.

Do you see how they do that?

Do that too.
>> No. 28734
I find this wall among walls to be very intimidating.
I'll consider reading this after I work up my courage... via beverage.
>> No. 28826
As the footsteps of the woman grew closer with each passing moment, even I started to fear what was to come. Those stark footsteps, it was as if I experienced the situation myself. I wouldn’t know what to say at all. That Stern, what would happen to him that day? Suddenly, I became aware of time, for the second time in this experience. This time, was earlier. I did not see it until later in the conversation, as there was a complicated machine telling the time to those who could understand its meaning of doing so, but I am not among those people at all. Yet still, someone or something instilled a timestamp into this memory. A shared memory it seemed to be, as he experienced things seen by three persons.

29th of february 1880, France.
Scarlet Devil Mansion.

"By no means will we continue the experimentation F276 tomorrow, Miss Librarian. Of far greater importance is the suppressing need for this place to very much get a new coat done on several of the shelves I see here. I wouldn't quite like the veritable thought of someone I very much use to be the victim of an avalanche, or is that not quite so?".
The Vampire, in her crimson attire, was sitting on one of the many chairs in the library section of the mansion. Specifically, a carefully selected well-adorned chair. At the other side of a table, supplied with the usual adornments, as well as tea brought in by Patchouli's assistant, the latter had installed herself on another such chair. Patchouli, that must be my name. Ah, so this were Patchouli’s memories, I thought. Well, a fitting pair they formed indeed. As to be expected from a trained mind, the answer to the sentence, with its inner meaning quite hidden from plain hearing, came only after a few seconds. Still, the moment of silence was quite enough for the Lady to stare at her acquaintance. Seeping in thoughts of fear and of failure to keep what she had been instilling as 'her' rooms in the perfect state the rest of the mansion was kept in. So this must be what Remilia, the mistress, the bat… whatever that person should be called was thinking at that moment. After everything in that house, I don’t really know what she is. Wait, is that one of my own thoughts? It seems these too have some value in the mix. Surely without subtle manipulations like this the fake instillation would crumble faster than one could say it existed in the first place. After all, wouldn't it be a small matter for the extensive mansion staff and service to also include the library in their upkeep? Interestingly enough, these subtle manipulations did their task very well today, the Scarlet Devil thought. Her librarian wouldn't dare go against the notions that the rooms weren't perfectly in order for their magical experiment. It was rather fiddly as well so that may have helped the situation. Guiding her hand slowly across the charm around her neck, the experience of a second inside one of the many magical spaces that have been created to perfect the mansion as the 'ultimate Dungeon' left an impression on her. It was surely true that she had to press on now to select the correct path. Eyes seeing into infinitely more versions of a quantity already one real power above what apparently lower beings could naturally understand grasped and selected the one route that would leave the best impression on what would be her acquaintance tomorrow. The situation would be quite different and seem to be the opposite to the other person though. Her thought of laughing was quickly suppressed by her awareness of the situation she was in now. Quickly causing one of her bats to break a vase which she had bought, or rather obtained a week ago in the human village as a gift, or perhaps rather more as a bribe, situated three floors above her current position, on purpose was what she did next. It was near one of Sakuya Izayoi's detectors, indirectly hitting a maid was all that was needed to ensure that the old bat’s head maid would, even with the magics in place, have her attention averted and the following words uttered by Remilia only heard by those that were to have to concern them, and those two persons only. Before Patchouli Knowledge spoke her words of wisdom, a little word of caution that the walls had ears did the rest. And so she did. With even larger eyes, the words came through, as carefully selected as her own;
"I truly apologize for the current situation. It does not need telling that it is my desire to complete our experiment. But indeed it seems that, waxing most of the wood in these chambers is of higher importance. So shall it be done for several library wings, (...)".
She went on explaining her intricate plan on how to wax a section of the library. Quite interesting from a mathematical viewpoint it was. It seemed she had managed to beat her previous time by 7.1%, if all went according to plan. Though, from the viewpoint of the old bat, the results weren't as dramatic. A much milder improvement was to be expected. Still, the effort put in it was commendable. Commendable to a normal person, that is. From her viewpoint in this case, the opposite had to be done, obviously. Some sharp words would truly state exactly the emotion she wanted to confer, so as to underline the regret in the other person. "As much as this explanation is mathematically interesting, I do not consider it appropriate in this conversation. You may have cost us more resources than saved. As for the matter of the waxing, the library would be weakly defended between the late hour of ten and the early hour of three tomorrow night. We would have to disable part of the devices, correct?"
"Undeniably, my lady Scarlet, undeniably", was the response. Such a response was quire unexpected. She seemed to have truly shocked her librarian. For her to use the same long word twice in a single sentence was a rare occasion. This must be the first occasion in a long time indeed. Thus, another reply was necessary before she could finally instruct what she wanted to.
And thus: "It is not considered to be exactly intelligent for she who calls herself the possessor of a large quantity of knowledge to actively conjure only a smidgeon of the opposite image by ways of using the same word in a sentence twice with such a short intermission between both words. Notwithstanding this, I shall provide the expected assistance as the Head of the Mansion. You may hold me personally accountable for the seal I shall place on the entrance to these sections. As for a replacement task for the waxing that would not be physically well for you and will be done by your own assistant, miss Koakuma, there still is the translation of the runic tablet my little sister had inscribed two weeks ago. It wouldn't be wise to ignore a Vampire's words, even if unreadable, right?"

--End of Brick 1--
>> No. 28827
-- Begin of Brick II--

Patchouli's thoughts did the rest. In her mind, the translation of runic tablets written by Flandre was a next to impossible task for anyone unintelligent. Most of it apparently conveyed no meaning. Quite an amusing conclusion to think up there, the Scarlet figure on the other end of the table thought. Also quite a good idea to put ‘that thing’ in this table here just for today, having access to her mind for just today might be the thing that's needed for a high success chance of what's to come. And those thoughts went on quite interestingly, namely: Still, that must be only apparently, for if she just searched deep enough a meaning would eventually float above the sea of nothingness. Even though they contained the scratches and markings of someone beyond reason, it still obviously had to be an important task. That happenstance and the fact that she got a new spell out of just this task left her with more excitement than a feeling of having been punished. What was her Lady doing?
"Um *cough*, my Lady, Miss Scarlet? I must confer my thanks for such help, truly, I do not..." Patchouli started talking again after a brief pause. She was then promptly interrupted by a
"Yes, I understand. If I may be excused, this conversation will come to an end now. I shall leave before I make up my mind about not being fiendish enough towards those youkai that cannot keep their places in order by themselves". Leaving the room with a dumbfounded genius in it, the vampire could not help but smile. Some habits were there to stay forever, it seemed.

The view of the lady then faded from my view. My view remained confined to the room, filled with strange devices I could not grasp. There were bookcases all along the walls of the room, which had a pentagonal shape. Three doors led out of the room, one at a different altitude than the two others, preceded by a few steps upwards. Looking upwards, I could see two or three archways above me, paths from different parts of this place. Everything was adorned with frills and all sorts of extra material attached to walls, ceilings. Carpet covered the floor, in interesting patterns. Differently coloured lines ran across the carpet in different directions. A tube, roughly thirty centimetres in diameter, was embedded in the floor at an angle of approximately eight degrees upwards, stopping at a small platform, covered with a dome. These chutes could efficiently transport books over larger distances when it was known where they had been requested and who requested them. She had used the system herself a while earlier, and the hydraulic thing worked perfectly. Several candle stands and a chandelier gave a warm but subtle light. A light not enough for a human being to read by without getting a serious headache, but Patchouli could care less about that. First of all she already had a serious headache, and secondly, she wouldn’t even get one if she didn’t have one. And this sound she now heard wasn’t actually helping much. As much as the library’s system of elevation chutes and lanes of travel was separated from the rest of the mansion, as well as the presence of many gates set up for quick travel, there were still a few rare occasions, maybe once per several months, where someone besides herself used the library’s system. It was a fairly quiet device; you could probably not hear it in the bustle of an average town at all, nor would you hear it during a conversation. However, in this library, where breathing would be very audible against the complete silence in the background, this device made a noticeable sound for the late librarian. Most of the things the device was used for regarded movement of heavier and larger (parts of) objects, things that weren’t exactly safe to gate through a limited protected gate. She could rather understand why at least some degree of gate protection was necessary. Fairies, having an inquisitive nature, wouldn’t be able to resist experimenting with devices, and she would rather not think of the consequences of such things. It could hamper their progress. She pulled a small right hand glove from her pocket, upon which a small stone was set. The stone was almost completely filled with a liquid, and a small iron wire went from the stone to the tip of the pointer finger. She took off her upper glove from her own right hand, leaving the lower glove in place and swapped it to the different one. She pushed a few buttons on the right-handed glove with her left hand, mumbling about why she had made a right-handed one when she was right-handed, having to operate it with her left hand. Though pointing was a bit more precise, that was true. Only one attempt was necessary to point towards the correct book. She pulled one of the few cushions that were lying on the floor, from the floor, and held it below the book’s location, at the exact same height as the table was at. Patchouli had a bit of trouble doing so as the cushion was slightly heavier than an ordinary one. A small ‘click’ could be heard by a good listener, no more audible than the sound of a feather rustling in the wind. The book itself, a thick leather-bound object, sealed with one of the Mansion’s devices to not open normally, fell out of the bookcase. When it fell onto the cushion, the strap automatically unlatched itself. The book had a time-lock on it, meaning that it could only be opened if it were struck twice, first on a location where a book would normally rest against the back wall of whatever is storing it, and then on the front cover. Two small straps of lead were attached to the front cover so that it would fall in the correct direction. If the two hits were the correct amount of time apart, give or take a few milliseconds, the book would open. As the book fell on to the cushion, Patchouli herself had to do a bit of work to prevent tripping and falling on the face. After the ordeal, she could open the tome. Any sort of books dealing with magic with the darkness element in it was sealed in this way, sometimes in more ways too. That was to prevent them from being read by anyone which was unaware of the fact that the unprepared could have their own mind shrouded in darkness, suffering from amnesia if they read one of these. Patchouli had to know something. One of Koakuma’s servants had a case of amnesia. Given that it was the youngest and newest acquisition, it might have… reverted to its natural behaviour and playfulness. It would be more appropriate to play with the little sister instead of being here but… before it could, it needed to know and learn about many psychological techniques and things. Quite the clever one it was too, so this might’ve just been what she opened then. Patchouli scraped some of the dust off using a small metal stick she carried with her at the time and took it towards a second table in the room on one of those glass containers. Sealing it, she took another stick from her pocket. This one was charred. After mumbling some words and moving the small stick, about the size of a pencil, in a gentle manner, yet very fast across the glass, a black image was imprinted upon it. The smoke made her cough a few times and she went on to close the things she had opened and to clean up her things. It was better if no servant interrupted her during this task, as they shouldn’t take a look inside the still open tome. Just as she had used one of the ladders in the floor to put the book back and rewind the spring behind it, however, a servant appeared.

--End of Brick II--
>> No. 28828
--Begin of Brick III--

She carried what looked like a hand-written letter. Patchouli waved the servant away, after making a succinct and sharp announcement.
“Hand the letter. Do have servants take cutlery to the kitchens faster. You may leave, I will abstain from forcing consequences, for now. I understand being nervous and a general lack of verbosity in the presence of a certain person.”
Apparently, this Patchouli knew how to deal with the servants, as a blush appeared on the female face of the servant that attended her. She quickly scurried off with the pieces of cutlery, removing herself from the sight of her masters. With a sigh, Patchouli focused on entirely other matters, the task at hand. The letter. It was neatly packed in paper originating from Western Europe, as was the parchment that she found inside. The perfume reeked familiar. This was mostly because it was actually familiar. Seeing the Scarlet seal on the letter made her wonder. Why would the Lady want to let her know that whatever she was about to read was written by her, and thus conceived before the conversation and thus could not have been influenced by it? Surely you couldn't write a letter like this one in three minutes without some kind of time manipulation. And the latter would be absurd to use for a thing like this, she thought on. Her thoughts were anything but correct, as would later come to surface. She opened the letter and read:

---"Patchouli Knowledge, the Unmoving Library, is hereby instructed to immediately open the safe S62, and place the content of this envelope, excluding this paper, inside the book, as well as a note bearing the text I had told the subject person two hours and 23 minutes before receiving this letter. She is then to close the safe and set it to combination 9182-7364-5. In addition to this, I will recommend making the E-wing of the library the main workplace for the day, as there are prepared meals situated there as well as any other liquids you may desire. This paper is to be burnt, and the ashes situated in a spread fashion, locked with a time seal.

The eternally young Scarlet Moon, miss Remilia Scarlet."---


With a smile she folded the paper, mumbled some words while she grabbed an item from one of the many furnishings in the room, continued her mutterings and cast her spell. The paper turned into ash neatly, while remaining cold. No smell remained. She gave the small sack of ashes to Koakuma, sealed with the seal described, and had her put it in the new Compost that had arrived in the last storage tank. The girl she gave it to appeared young, just like herself. Two pairs of bat-like wings were attached to her head and back, hidden from sight by her clothing. She wore a matching black and white set, of fine quality. Of course, Koakuma was to double as one of the more prominent figures within the house. Koakuma, also being used to weird requests due to her mistress' magical nature would promptly do her task. Doing those tasks would prepare her well for the level of capability required from her and many other servants when the final test was complete. Thinking about the research and the final test, it wasn’t told to her what it was. Of course, there are many kinds of tests where it is important that one does not know the complete details, so it seemed second nature. No outsiders were involved in a manner where they had influence so it seemed to be fine, all going according to the plans. It had to. Now, as for Patchouli's thoughts about the rest of the letter... The request did not make much sense to her immediately. It was often like that. The lady's gift made much of her actions hard to understand. It would turn out well in the end though. Safe S62 contained a book with a particularly dangerous curse on it she had written while having a nightmare. Remilia had expressed some interest in it, but that was a long time ago. The tome had been put in the safe because it was dangerous to have it out on a shelf. Just what had Remilia said at that time, then? It would be hard for someone else to remember. Not for Patchouli though, as the words formed in her mind:

"If, by any chance, a person with a surname other than Knowledge and first name other than Patchouli would complete an understanding of the book this note is in, and understood what has to be gathered for success, then this person is to use this spell book to transfer the meanings meant by the spell to the persons of choice. Because this is impressive, powerful magic, use may cause a teleport intermezziona magica (I.Ma7) to a place where one must agree, one must give in, and one must deal with beings not of this world to receive the desired, impressive incantations. I personally state here that it is then that he or she must never falter, and keep spirit and agree, whatever is said or seen."

Combined with the combination change to a new combination, this left Patchouli to wonder. The safe was far away from the E-wing, and it was also far away from any places that were to be waxed tomorrow night by Koakuma and her helpers. A bat flapped her wings above her. Strangely, she had noticed that the amount of bats going in to the library was just a very slight bit higher than the ones going out. Doing calculations just left her with senseless numbers though. There was little to support the complete refusal of a theory of random movement of these bats, and also little to support the refusal of any other theory there was to it. Besides, she had much more important things on her mind right now. She had to order a bunch of fairies around to move parts of her stuff to the E-wing. Perhaps that was her punishment. Still, it was too mild in her opinion, not much like the Lady at all. Perhaps it was to signal she had to close her eyes beyond the second a bit this evening. She could feel the mansion's outer perimeter defences being stronger than usual so perhaps it was in fact a time where she had to do such a thing and concentrate more on the translation.

"It is by all means fine, my lady, if they passed the examinations and tests, why, even if they haven't. That might result in some scolding which might be just the intention." She glanced the other way. "I will instruct them on the tasks of the fairies they replaced." The head maid's answer was, like always straight and to the point. Perhaps it wasn't quite a noble answer fit for a young lady; it was still a most useful one. It seemed that she had no intentions of inquiring the why and what of the replacement of four of her servants. Most probable was that her thoughts included a potentially embarrassing situation to her master. Why, of course it would definitely not be desirable to seem to pressure her Lady with these questions when the answer had to do something with her sister. It would very much make her seem intrusive to seem to have to get such an answer loose. After all, the little sister wasn't known for her stability, so the chances of her having played a bit with those four were pretty much there. Sakuya Izayoi was standing alongside one of the many staircases in the mansion, while her mistress was sitting on a chair above this staircase, hands folded. Some more sounds were to be heard from above: "Do I have any other brilliant suggestions coming in for my way of clothing for the morning supper?"

--End of Brick III--
>> No. 28829
--Begin of Brick IV--

Sakuya, who knew that, any person's supper, is a Vampire's dinner, so that she had to prepare the equivalent of three brilliant dinners every day, took a few seconds to respond. Her end conclusion was, that due to the particular rather green colour for this dinner, the opposite colour in the three-way diagram would suit well. But maybe there was a better suiting colour. The Western year was nearing its end, so perhaps it would go even better with white, the two colours that made up most of the Northern and the Vertically aloof forests of the region. So there she responded with “Shall it be white, my lady?”.
And the immediate response was "And thus it shall be the exact opposite,"
You could never understand the way some people thought. She herself mumbled to herself "black."
"That is glaringly obvious, don't you think? You do not have the right to say such things that are graspable from deduction or simple induction. It might be that you're suggesting that you're filling up my time. I'd rather feel bad if that was the case. I'm quite wearing the colour I shall be longing to meet. Indeed, I might finish it up with green ribbons, if you were referring to the relation between white and green with that comment. Perhaps it might just be the food that is green. Green it would be on other times when I'd do this too, you know."
It seemed Sakuya had briefly forgotten about the other one’s hearing ability. At that moment Sakuya felt the audacity to not pass up this opportunity for interruption, while the thought from the other side was that <She'd better not.>.
"Ahm, are you by any chance going out for a moment, my lady... mistress Remilia?"
A slight pause could be heard between those final words.
"Is there something wrong with you today, Sakuya? You're never that slow at grasping my intentions. You should perhaps get a little correction too.” At that time, the Vampire felt something too, yet of a different nature. She took out one of her watches, the one she was carrying at that time, and from one of the pockets situated in various places on her clothing set she was wearing, and, meanwhile, asked a little riddle. Her maid was reasonably good in these affairs.
"The signs on that which go ever forward, had a beginning. What was their destination?". The description being obviously vague, it was also quite showing this was a riddle of the rather easy sort. The answer was to be found in simple things, was the first thought the head maid of the Scarlet mansion thought. That which goes ever forward must be Time itself. A sign on time could also be something indicating what time it was, in other words her watch. So she was merely asking, in what year was her watch made? "That destination, my Lady, was 6 July, 1832". "A true English game cannot be won by more victories than your opponent has. Therefore, I strongly ask you to try to find out your purpose on the third trial. It will be to be found out on the Second that which is revealed by the First is in place." Sakuya wondered about the incorrect grammar in the second part. It was surely intentional. “Second”, and “First” seemed out of place. The vampire had disappeared in one of the ways only they could really do. Apparently first calling servants to take her to her clothing quarters, and subsequently muttering a complaint and ordering them off while hopping on one of the devices she had made for quick transportation in the mansion without being seen doing that. It was only to be used by a fair few inside the mansion, apparently. It was intriguing how she kept up the ruse of a childish master, apparently interested in magical arts she learned from some old youkai wizard residing in the library, while actually being the one pulling most of the strings. Now finding out which string she wanted her to pull, that was going to be quite the task. Just like preparing another meal for the person that was now changing, as well as many others.

What the maid went to do next I do not know. Instead, I was pulled into yet another situation.

I looked into a notebook through the eyes of someone. This notebook was an agenda. The pages were scribbled with notes, and the man holding the agenda looked at one of them. As he looked at the notes, he wondered about a peculiar patient he had a while back. The old man had died in the hospital in Paris, where he worked, but the doctor, P. Domestique, couldn’t really forget the man’s stories about the French farmlands surrounding the great city. He would often cite passages that appeared to be from older books. Books mostly surpassing his lifetime. They floated in his head.

“The cranky but comfortable carriage turned down a long lane, in the direction of the eastern plains. Compared to the two-master, the sturdy but sickness-inducing seaworthy vessel, the ride down the then poorly maintained roads of Europe could be called comfortable, according to the travelers’ thoughts. As the carriage stopped when the first signs of the sun had arrived on the hilly French horizon, before what looked like an old farm, This supposed old farm was a two-story building. It stood alone in the cold, dark night, against the previously described as pretty much gloomy landscape. The farm had been fairly affected by the sands of time, signs of age and eventual collapse had started to show on the exterior of the building. Cracks had appeared in the outer walls, fairly large cracks compared to the ones found elsewhere in the surrounding area. The farm had a fine, but poorly maintained garden attached to it, and the typical local weapon emblem could be found on the closed shutters, the steel gate leading to the farmhouse, and the fences surrounding the property. Whoever had lived here in ages past must have been quite the wealthy person. However, at the time the coach had arrived at the building, it was devoid of any signs of life having been held there for apparently at least the last five to ten years. The strange thing was that today, there were clearly signs of life. A careful and sensitive observer could notice sparse light, that escaped from just a couple of the slits between the shutters, which did not close well due to the structure itself having been tilted and bent by the effects of time. In the half-dark of the ending night, a slight breeze gave the whole a bit of a ghastly look to it, especially with the overgrown fields surrounding the building. No wonder the villagers steered clear away from this place whenever they could. It wasn't quite the nicest place to be.”

--End of Brick IV--
>> No. 28830
--Begin of Brick V--

The old man could describe buildings in such a way that they were given life. Such precious memories were the things that made Pierre tick, which made him learn English, and receive his proof of being a doctor in his own right. Giving him the right to treat patients in the clinic where his father once did the same. Although Pierre, growing older himself, didn’t really have to think of the man who had such fond memories as befit of the description ‘old’. He himself was feeling the effect of the sands of time. But thinking further about it, that old man had once said that, on the night of the next eclipse, he should open the gift the man had given him, for saving him from pain. Pierre himself had always obeyed the wishes of his patients when they were reasonable and anything but insane. He had found no hardships and indeed befriended many people saving lives of the sick. The clinic had a reputation, and even if the patients had no money, would survive though charity alone. Being a simple man, Pierre himself had no ambition of using his profession for gaining money alone; he enjoyed the contacts it gave him. But this old man, the one who could tell tales, Pierre had committed a sin about. He knew that the man was going through the last days of his life. And one of these days, the man had told Pierre a story about pain. About how terrible it can be and how lonely it can make a person. Physical pain could be tough, but mental pain, that could be a thousand times worse. Seeing the man suffer so much, he had asked him a question. The question what the man would like to do. The old man, having lost his relatives in life, had no intention of living further, and told Pierre so earnestly. And Pierre had given the man his last wish, and gotten this present from him. Now he remembered. He was to “wait 365 days’’ before opening it. It was a container of sorts, a metal box, and came with a key. Not just a key, a very weird looking one at that. As the man opened the container, he read a note.

Now I do not really understand the medicinal notation and language used in the note, but our good doctor did, of course. Apparently, a terrible disease was made by a person. It was airborne, and a sample was sealed inside this thing. The 365 days were there to make sure he did not die himself. The old man had gotten it from someone else but was too afraid to think of opening it. He was a doctor himself, Pierre recalled. He took a look around the room. Sparse daylight penetrated the windows on the cold January day in Paris. January, 1883. It was a fairly simple room in one of the apartments down this street. The house had most of the modern comforts and even a maid for housekeeping. The doctor had sent his maid away the previous day though. She was not to return.

The doctor took the rusted old key and planted it inside the lock. With a brief application of force, the small box yielded to the metal object. There was… a description, and the seal. Dr. Domestique read the description present inside the package. Being an old man’s will, he thought it wise to respect the old teachings of the Greeks and hold his silence about anything he was told. Even in this letter, as the words were as if from the man’s mouth himself. The parchment was very brittle and he had to be quite careful not to damage or tear the small thing apart when he folded it out on his table. Putting on his reading glasses, he read the letter. The handwriting was quite a beautiful one. French must be a very artistic language when in the hands of a capable writer. Our friend, having read the instructions, had to spend a few more minutes figuring out what they were meant, as the cryptic language was still quite hard to understand. The seal had the shape of one of those eastern yin-yang symbols. The doctor put it inside his briefcase, took his coat and some food with him, and left his house. Then, he took a coach to his destination. It was in one of the docks along the river Seine, that he was to go. He went into the building, a small café. After giving his introduction card to the bartender, the latter nodded. A person was waiting for him. The doctor did not like the uneasy atmosphere of the place. However, nothing of note happened in the bar, an old wooden building that smelled of rotten fish and cheap wine. Our doctor himself very well knew why. One of the many lives he had saved was the one of the local cook here. His bouillabaisse was quite well known, even for such a run-down place as this.

Some old things, what Pierre believed to have been curtains in a distant past, hung from the ceiling in front of some of the windows. One window was broken, with a wooden lat attached to it to prevent the cold air from disturbing the small place too much. One of the attendees showed him the way to a small hallway. Coming from his good sense of direction, the Doctor heard himself think, “That’s strange”. The pathway was now under the street that went along the section of river, with the café being between the road and the water, situated on the wooden dock frame. This old tunnel appeared much older than the rest of the building. On both sides, candles lit a straight walkway. The floor seemed to be… carpet. The doctor turned his head and looked behind him. There was no one following him anymore. Since he wasn’t followed, he might as well have taken a few seconds to look around, and he did. The carpet on the floor was tinted in three colours, purple, indigo, and… orange? The patterns were very reminiscent of rainbows, there was just something missing. It seemed that the makers had forgotten the other colours of the rainbow, there was no hint of blue, green, yellow, nor any sight of hues of red. The pathway curved one, two, three times. It went up, and down. Soon even the doctor had forgotten his sense of direction, bit by bit. The candles were lit dimmer as he went on further, and then suddenly, he was in a room. The room had other doors leading out of it, currently closed. And, standing in front of him, was a tall figure. The doctor looked at her, and offered her a hand.
“Je me suis laissé dire que je viens içi pour…”
He interrupted his own quick French for a second when the other person just stared at him. Trying something else might be a better way of meeting this person, he thought. Having dealt with psychologically unstable personalities before, he started off simple.
“Comment ça va mademoiselle?”

--End of Brick V--
>> No. 28831
--Begin of Brick VI--

"Oh, j'ai désolée. S'il vous plaît, ne s'avile pas pour moi, ce n'est pas nécessaire."
"Mais... Français, Je trouve que l'Anglais, qui n'est pas tout à fait ma langue naturelle, c'est supérieure en cette conversation."
She talked a fair bit slower than he did. She did pick quite a good selection of words though so she was quite likely intelligent. Considering her foreign appearance, she probably had to deal with many more languages. Considering that he spoke English quite well, the Doctor took it upon himself to take her offer. Besides, she was being very polite to what could be a stranger barging in on her domain. Maybe the whole thing was a prank, who knows? On the other hand, the old man was very serious in his life, so it could not really be 'that', could it? Pierre responded, with a bit of an accent, which was fairly unsurprising because he had been speaking French for the larger part of his life;
"Yes, I can speak English if you would like. It's awful if you have to adapt to each and every language. Having one language for the entire world, ah, what a wonderful dream!"
As our Doctor presumed, the woman on the other side of the table let out a sigh of relief and pointed him to sit down on the other side. It was some sort of desk. She crossed her gloved hands and let them fade from the view of the other person by tucking them inside her sleeves. Apparently she waited for him to start the conversation.
"Well, I'm called Pierre Domestique around here, and most of my friends say Dr. P. But to break from the normal way, could you tell me... what your native language is then?"
The other person responded in a more quiet voice.
"I suppose it cannot hurt to say that it is Japanese."
"Well, I came here because of this note here."
The doctor rummaged in his suitcase and took out the seal. Seeing that it appeared so oriental, perhaps this person who the deceased doctor was referring to would know more about it. He handed her the seal, and then he noticed. Her appearance, it was almost otherworldly.

-----------------------------------------------------------

<This Japanese woman, it's actually (...)>{1.9+}
<The reason why Remilia did this is (.....)>{?}
<The reason why Patchouli did it like this is (.....)>{?}
<(.....)>{?}
<6 July 1832, this date is Important, because (.....) / It's a Red Herring>{?}

***

No predictions added, no standings to report.

***

No concrete predictions fulfilled.

{OOC}
Yes, I'm not that good at French, so pardon the absence of many accents that should be there and more such things.
Even Longer Wall has Ended.
{/OOC}
>> No. 28835
<This Japanese woman, it's actually Konpaku Youmu>{2}
<The reason why Remilia did this is to keep Flandre entertained>{7.3}
<The reason why Patchouli did it like this is Shanghai told her to>{4}
<6 July 1832, this date is Important, because Cirno was born>{9}
>> No. 28839
Assuming that the initial {13} is our maximum bet....

<This Japanese woman, it's actually Yukari Yakumo> {7}

Quite certain of this. The purple, indigo, orange motif (with an explicit paucity in red) and the gloved hands are telling.

<The reason why Remilia did this is to gauge how amenable Yukari is to summoning by using a patsy> {3}

Late 19th to early 20th Century, Remilia has not yet made the move to Gensokyo, but she does seem to be planning something big.

<The reason why Patchouli did it like this is because of her pride as a librarian and a scholar; it would simply not do to leave such dangerous things about for posterity, unlabeled and without instruction> {3}

Patchouli is a completist. She would not store something without inventorying it first. Even a recluse like her has her pride as an academic and as a librarian, and while she will aid Remilia in almost any manner possible, she knows that what Remilia involves herself in might be nefarious enough to for her to disclaim malice on her own part.

<6 July 1832, it's a Red Herring because Remilia just likes fucking with Sakuya> {0}

Not very sure, but if it means something, it's probably not much. Remilia's dialogue suggests she is well aware of Sakuya's intelligence and capabilities, so she wouldn't have anything to gain by withholding important information. Unless of course she does not fully trust her loyalty, and is either dropping things like this to keep her off-guard or simply keep a prized servant interested.

The formatting has been getting better, and it now reads like Eternal Darkness, though the lack of sympathetic characterizations, a compelling protagonist (who is narrating?), or any suggestion as to what we might be trying to effect by voting, makes it hard to be enthusiastic for.

The only things I can get out of it is that Remilia has some kind of excessively complicated plan in the works, likely the one which will involve transportation to Gensokyo, and minor characters who are incidental to this plan keep running into Yukari, who may or may not be an adverse party.

I think I understand a little of who the game: We've been told to 'Perceive' and 'Predict' apparently for the amusement of the two voices in the beginning.

To deter guessing, every option has a cost attached to it, in braces '{}'. Fixed bets are fixed, while {?} bets are to be written in.

If no bet is placed, no Prediction made, we simply move on.

As to 'rewards' or 'punishments' it is not very clear, except that the magnitude of the correct or mistaken prediction (given by the number in the brace) will affect how things actually turn out in a positive and negative manner, respectively.
>> No. 28842
Look, I tried to read this. But it's hard, seriously. You could take that text block and knock somebody out with it.
The writing in overall seems kind of interesting, but making the text more presentable will definitely help.

>*Can someone please tell me why this forum automatically bans users for one hour when they use the word "s-p-e--c-i-a--l-i---s-t"?
It's actually the "cia-lis". It's better just to try and find way around it, Holy hasn't gotten around to fixing it, and most likely won't any time soon.
>> No. 28851
{OOC}Hmm.. it seems that there is a need for a Re:Re, because the game isn't really understood. I don't want everyone going in the wrong direction about what you're even supposed to do as that makes you feel rather at a loss. You can be 'too' cryptic. I'll envelop it in spoiler tags for the ones that rather like the standard hardmode. You have been warned, these are the rules to the game.
28839
You are partly wrong and partly right about your assumptions on this game. To not leave everyone in the dark I'll just tell it in somewhat easier words than the first post.

First of all, yes, it is correct that you are thinking alongside the 'I'-person. This person sees all these things and tries to make sense of it. You're supposed to think ahead and make guesses, hence Predictions. Sometimes, when the story's harder to understand there's also perception involved, yes.


It should be fairly logical that:
To join the game, you need a name.
It's the way it works. It's an induvidual game as well as a team game. The game is to make these predictions. By the way, anonymous predictions are treated as void, anonymous reasoning is treated as done but of course cannot be evaluated.


Now about the magnitude, it isn't your 'bet'. The actual magnitude is how much the questions weigh towards the story. If a number is given, that's a 'guess' the I-person already made for you of the magnitude. These aren't 100% accurate at all, but they can help you, of course. When {?} is given, the magnitude is unknown as of yet.


The magnitude determines how much 'points' a question is worth. Now when a prediction turns out to be 'correct' according to the story, you gain that much points, like an induvidual score. And when you make a prediction that's already either answered or given (by someone else), you lose that many points because you're trying to cheat. But when a prediction is incorrect... well you lose three times the amount of points. Of course, there's a meaning to the things you do, but it isn't revealed to you, that's just part of the game. It's your job to figure out what those points are for...


Oh yeah, of course, if you make a prediction that's been done in a spoiler tag, you just don't lose/gain.(-inf.).

***

No predictions made (See nonblack paragraph).
>> No. 28852
>But when a prediction is incorrect... well you lose three times the amount of points. Of course, there's a meaning to the things you do, but it isn't revealed to you, that's just part of the game. It's your job to figure out what those points are for...

A triple penalty when the magnitude might be arbitrarily high? That's a fool's game. Only the most conservative of predictions will be made. After one or two rounds of play one could expect to be in a worse position than any entering new player, and even if they answer perfectly, their gains over a new player would be paltry in comparison to the losses they may take in the next round.

>It's an induvidual game as well as a team game.

Where does the team element come into play? No voter will ever vote in concurrence with another voter because they're punished for it:
>And when you make a prediction that's already either answered or given (by someone else), you lose that many points because you're trying to cheat.

Anon will play, since you've obviously gone to great effort and the writing is good, but his enthusiasm for the game aspect (rather than the story) is low.

<This Japanese woman, it's actually Yukari Yakumo> {1.9+}
>> No. 28975
Chapter II.

As she had taken off her coat, which was hanging on a chair that was partially faded from view, the Doctor saw a woman, clothed in long robes. She wore a pair of shoes much unlike what he had seen before, but he couldn't get a very clear view because of the grandeur and coverage of the rest of the clothing. Maybe it was a woman of faith? Although he mostly saw black from these types. Members of the church had different clothing styles for different religious orders though. In any case, the Doctor wasn't interested at all in religion. However, what he did to the old man was, of course, completely unacceptable to any member of the Catholic Church and it would probably want to have him killed or imprisoned in some way for it. There was but a problem with this theory when applied to this situation however, mainly the fact that he was alone with her in this room. Of all things, the Church would not put a delinquent man alone in a chamber with a woman. That would just be a reward in their eyes. One much unsophisticated reward that something or someone evil and uncivilized, like a demon, would grant rather than the Catholic Church, but still a reward. She was most likely not a member of the church, but what was she? Her hair was rather short and had a golden colour more perfect than the most beautiful German blonde. She wore a stylish hat, adorned with frills just like most of the ends of her clothing, two cords with some kind of adornment attached to either tip. You could probably fit an average dictionary under that hat, and put a pair of ice cream cones on it, however, they would have to be positioned upside down. The white dress had bands of the purest indigo as a second colour to liven up her appearance. It all looked quite exquisite and elegant in the dimly lit chamber underground in some forgotten place, who knows what purpose it served. At least the Doctor hoped to get some form of clarity over this very purpose with his visit to her realm. She looked at him with piercing eyes, this type of eyes that could instantly see through his person, through what he was and had been in the past, or perhaps even through what he would become in the future. That thought sounded weird to me too at first, but it was actually quite a simple ploy. Why, if this female were to decide his future, then the thought would be true, in a way. Collective knowledge of the intellectual proceedings, the thoughts and experiences locked, ever forming new possibilities and combinations in the cranium of a single person by that person, but as per the definition you probably suspected from the first words someone else in conjunction with the first person, was it really possible? It has never been proven in any scientific cases involving human beings as test subjects Pierre knew about, that was one thing he acknowledged for certain. Up until now, her appearance, although very soothing, young and beautiful, hasn't been as if she came from somewhere else. But the most important thing was yet to come. Her visual organs matched the colour of her hair, a deep golden hue. Golden eyes are a very rare sight and they could be a sign of various illnesses. However, the person before the Doctor appeared quite in order, perhaps even more than that. By his estimates, she appeared to be somewhere in her twenties. However, the way she looked at him like that meant that her actual age could very well be somewhere above that number. And that dress, you could probably hide a set of chairs under that. Looking at the other side of the table, which did not happen to possess the quality of being very tall, or rather the ‘property’, tall tables were a thing the Doctor preferred over their lower counterparts, but that is not reason enough to call something a quality, forgive my interruption, so he could actually see that she was just sitting down, he saw, instead of a classic chair like he had for his own comforts, some sort of fluffy footstool. As she sat down and turned her head a little, she asked him a very technical question first. Of course, our Pierre who had a good capability of mind could answer this. He successfully discerned that the disease she was talking about was the Black Death, also known as the plague in different kinds of the world. I couldn't really understand what the various terms were about, but it was followed by a more peculiar and easy to understand question.
"Let us say a patient were to be someone you love. His or her life... you scientifically found out that it were to end sooner rather than later. You do not have the power to save this person, yet you do have the power to tend to him or her, prolonging his life and pain. Only pain is what you can make your patient feel. And when you ask this patient, if helping no more would help more, they would agree with your consensus. Would you yourself agree with your own?"

This left Domestique to think for a while. If this woman was truly a person of faith, then he had no other option but to plead either silence or denial. However, the way she looked at him, with those piercing eyes, he could not really deny what he had done only a year ago. Burnt in his memory, such things aren't to be denied. He should be proud of what he did, and, after a few seconds of silence, he acknowledged the question of the other person. But that left a question of his own; "Why do you know so much about me?"

Her answer was rather surprising to him. "Well, I was the one that sinned by hiding your sin, good man. The reason why his death was never seen as strange was because it all appeared so very natural. You did the best you could and his disease took its toll at the end."

That left Pierre thinking. So she was the one that caused nobody to worry about it. It seemed so awfully easy to hide it that it seemed very likely to be close to, or not equal to the truth. Suspecting her of all people of things evil would not be a very smart choice in the current situation. It was time for another question on his side either way. Having this position now he would be folly not to try to exploit it. "But why would you call me here then Miss.” Pierre paused; he did not even know her name yet! How silly of him to have not asked. Then again, he did not have the opportunity yet, so he had to think of something. Unfortunately, he could not manage to do this in time as his voice finished his question with a rather uncivilized “um?”

--End of Brick I--
>> No. 28976
--Begin of Brick II--

"Why follow my call with your actions then?”
It was a short but apt response. However, the words were just an illusion. Any curious person would be enthralled by something as mysterious as that old man, and especially by something as mysterious as that box. Before he even got to the box itself, he had solved riddles and curio; he had to walk around the streets of Paris like a lost lamb to find out how to actually even get to the place where he could pop this here key into the box. But it was rather obvious that her reasons weren't the first or second thing he could ask her about. Swinging the conversation around was a smarter tactic. Our doctor thought about following up his examination with a question about who he should call her, in other words, what her name was. But even this wouldn't really do in this situation. Nor would he be wise to talk small talk in this situation. Rather, making a guess, a gamble in a weird fashion, was something this chaotic person would expect of him. So he asked if she wanted him to "solve the mysteries surrounding the seal that locks the diabolical disease away." Another long answer followed his question;
"Supposedly, you have proven yourself to be the brilliant man I sought, Dr. Domestique. I will give you the two other answers you are likely to want to know, and then make my request. Can I have your word that you will answer this request as if it were from the man you saved?"

This time, it was the turn of the Doctor to nod in acknowledgement of the other's statement. She did not spend any more time playing with him and went on to the matter at hand, seeming rather eager to explain her own situation to him, and why his assistance was needed. He had been approached earlier with offers from strangers, some sort of by-product of his own glory in the medical world. But of course, such deals rarely were without repercussions, and rarer still was the deal that actually was a sensible offer. Yet even though there had been sensible representatives in this category, he had not taken those, or any others for that matter yet. He had not worked for one other yet, and he had the vague feeling that this was the kind of thing this person too would ask of him. Yet at this particular time, perhaps due to the circumstances of it all, his intrigue had been piqued. He would be more inclined to accept than at any other time. You could say his new acquaintance had picked the time and place very well indeed.
"You see, a doctor of your capability, it would be a waste of opportunity. I request from you to find out about this 'disease'. We know of your groundbreaking works on many areas both in and outside of your field. We have taken a liking on your capabilities of... discovering things. You are what we call an 'investigator', by your own right. Now do not get me wrong, you do need some further instruction..."

While the person on the other side of the table was calmly and slowly spreading out this blanket of words over the good Doctor, he noticed something being in the hands of the person talking to him. He was handed this object, the book seemed to contain several thousands of pages, most of them about obscure phenomena. However, the book itself was written objectively, from what he glanced as he first opened it in front of the other person. Quickly, he closed it again, thinking it to be a rude thing to start reading in front of someone who just 'confessed' to be his saviour. He put the book on the table and thought for a short while, but was able to make an apt response to her. She most likely had already included all necessary information in that book. Reading that would be his first priority. "So you want me, for the good of all, to find out about this disease. I'm guessing my work would be well rewarded, and that you have some form of communication back."

"There is a list of addresses in the book. it is on the inside of the back cover, in paper. However, we believe there's people against us, and we have discovered something that appears to be their doing behind that door, we had them 'dug out' as it were. "She pointed towards the door opposite to where she came in from.". So you must learn the addresses. You can have from me a signature pen for your convenience and the safety of our operations. Every week, we merely ask to send and seal us a letter containing details of anything strange you might find, and of course, write it with that pen. You can expect assistance in the same manner. Writing other things with that pen would empty it so we, maybe rather in a state of conceit, deem it probable that you rather would not. If you should feel uncertain that some other is going to attempt to fool us by taking over your role, do not hesitate. Feed on this instrument. " As she was saying the later lines she held out a small pen in front of him. The person across him nodded after her little bit of information. That pen sure did not look very edible to him. But apparently whatever secrets he protected were worth quite a bit. "Why, there must be another way of destroying it that does not cost me my life..."

--End of Brick II--
>> No. 28977
--Begin of Brick III--

"Well, you could always activate its self-destruction mechanism by pressing the button twice, then turning the top half of the pen by approximately 540 degrees or in more mathematical terms three-pi radians expressed in polar coordinates, which will then be promptly followed by a third click when executed correctly in a timely fashion, let us say, within the time-span that a diagonal pendulum of length twenty-seven metres, nine-thousand five-hundred and eighty five millimetres plus or minus fifteen millimetres would take to travel a full cycle, fifteen seconds if you must know. The main question is whether or not this kind of information is of much use. You see, I could very well argue about whether or not that would be very useful at all. You'd probably have cost yourself your life if you have to do such a thing." The person in front of him made that gesture again, tilting her head just a tiny bit and smiling. Did she calculate that out of thin air? Out of one of the pockets in her clothing, she pulled a fragile small watch, or at least he thought it was, considering the way she was staring at it. It sure didn't look like a normal watch with its square shape and little frills attached to it. But unmistakably the one sitting in front of him learned the time from it as he learned from her remark.
"Ara? So late, I went on too long... I apologize for the inconvenience, but I must really leave to care for someone. You, as a doctor, should understand the meaning of this."
After a bow, she took her coat, put it back on, and left the room via one of the three other doors. Having a curious nature, the doctor also left the room using one of the three other doors. He wondered, what would “Ara” mean? It did not seem to belong to his language; he left a mental note to see if he could find a Japanese dictionary at the local library and have some assistance figuring out what exactly that word meant. From what little he had heard of the languages of the far East, they seemed to use a form of symbols, Kaiji, Kujo, Kanako, Katanakono… or something to express themselves literarily. They were quite a bit different from the standard Roman letters and Arabic numerals the Western world is so accustomed to, in such a way that it would be almost impossible for an individual to translate a phrase or saying without either assistance of someone acquainted with the language, or diligent study for a prolonged time. And let’s face it; the Doctor did not have such time. First, he tried making up his mind what to do, the first thought being heading out in the same direction from whence he once came in. However, he used a different one, the door opposite to the one that was used by Ran a moment ago. There, he merely found another hallway. Walking through that hallway, he noticed the temperature dropping slightly. It must be because of his underground location that it was so chilly in there. After taking his good time walking, he noticed that the carpets no longer covered the floor. Instead, the floor was now made of solid rock bed. The ceilings were too. Instead of being a nice, rectangular shape, the hallway itself slowly showed more and more deformations as the man walked on. A spider web was attached to one of the walls here and there. Soon, he was walking among stalagmites and stalactites, and the only light permeating the darkness came from a candle he had picked off the wall. What an odd place for a cave, right below Paris. However, the cave seemed a bit unnatural, for the shape was still vaguely rectangular, as if it had been carved out and forgotten, having been changed by nature. He could notice the odd insect crawling through a crack in the wall. Small crevices could be seen in the darkness. Most of the occupants of this cave seemed to be of the class of insects or rodents. There must be bats too, as he could vaguely make out something that smelled a bit like bat guano. But only a slight bit, as if the last bat that had been here had vanished and left his or her home deserted ages ago. The insects themselves, he could not very much discern what type of thing they were. Food for spiders mostly, as a web could be seen here and there along the wall. Of course, due to the location underground, little foliage would permeate this cave, more so because of the city built on top. Very little square photosynthesis surface for plants to absorb much needed oxygen. Perhaps there was a source of chemosynthesis, but, like always, such organisms just seem to flourish in much smaller quantities and scales. It was a more deserted than lush environment to say the least. Pierre wandered around a bit, worried if he may develop a case of claustrophobia from this experience. The whole area had a rather ghastly feel to it, as if it were unnatural to the very greatest extent, unnatural to the extent that there seemed to be little purpose of human hands creating such a place. What would the purpose of an underground location be, especially under such a great city? Transportation? No, there were no evidences or traces of any tracks or other signs of regular travel. Furthermore, the ceiling would be too low, and the construction too brittle to support any normal sort of carriage travelling through such a disheartening place. Perhaps it could be some sort of a wine cellar. But why would a wine cellar consist of merely passageways so far? Surely the air here is perfect for preserving the finest Bordeaux, so why would one waste such valuable space? Thinking further about the weird ways of the underground merely left him with no answers. More questions would simply come up. The purpose of this location, he couldst not lay his finger on it until it bore its secrets to the air he breathed in front of his nose. Smelling was never his speciality though; he mostly preferred the eyes and touch to do the brunt of the work during his operations in the clinic. Looking around, he tried other ways of finding things, and procured a small pair of tweezers from one of his pockets. He took a few samples of some substance he saw on the wall. It being not very clear in consistency of what it could possibly be, the doctor figuring it was a type of mould or moss. Chemistry not being the best thing he is at, it was still something he knew and had learned quite well. This kind of thing could be studied under a microscope to look for cells and identify what class of species it belonged to, the catalogues and encyclopaedias were all present in his extensive book collections at the laboratory. Yet there was something he noticed when he walked further on. Taking a small duster into his other hand, while using his first to screw the samples in their bottles and put those in his pocket, he dusted off the floor of the location.

--End of Brick III--
>> No. 28978
--Begin of Brick IV--

Some sort of stone tablet depicted a helix, something spiralling inward, reducing the length of a supposed arm between the tip and centre gradually. He was sure that if he took this kind of thing to that miss Ran, she would become quite excited. But judging by the light layer of dust and the fact that he had great ease at uncovering it, she must already know it to be here. Was it really of little value, or was it missing something. The Doctor got an idea. He had one of those little balls in one of his pockets he used to play with as a child. Putting it on the helix, Pierre observed it as it rolled across the stone very slowly, but with increasing velocity and a slight acceleration decrease, round and round in perfect circles. The stone itself was wobbly, but not much seemed to happen. However, the ball was made out of metal, and… it seemed to react with the stone. It merely gave off some damp, leaving the doctor to take a step back and observe from a distance. The ball sunk away into the stone, clicking it together. Lifting up the piece of stone, Pierre saw a small old container. It seemed best to observe it later on. If he was not mistaken, the woman had told him something about this place being built by her “adversary”, so whoever that was left a clue here. This whole ordeal led him to the conclusion that it was highly unlikely that this location was natural. It almost certainly seemed manmade, without further doubt to his mind. Walking onwards into the hallway, having put the stone back into the original position, carefully having attached some new dust on top of it, he heard some faint noises in the distance. Well, I would not have gone onwards in this situation, but, you know, Doctors and all…

His superstition about a manmade cave came true when he suddenly tripped over something on the ground. Perhaps the thing he just tripped over was a small rock, which seemed like the most obvious thing to stumble upon in this dark and forgotten place. He fell, and instead of landing, kept on falling as there was a sudden sharp decline in height. His movement was suddenly stopped by hitting a brick wall, there were the staircase split in two directions, one going back up, another one going down in a spiralling pattern. This part of the 'dungeon' that was constructed for who knows what purpose looked like it was carved by different hands. Instead of smooth walls, the walls here were made out of bricks of stone. At first, the doctor tried ascending the flight of stairs, but could not go far. Shards of rock covered the stairs and it was not long until he found himself to have to crawl amongst pieces of shattered stone and other results from what seemed like a cave-in above him. Feeling rather distraught about the whole happening, he decided it could be dangerous to head on in the first place, and in the second place, he was very unlikely to discover anything interesting in this direction. And after trying the other direction, the stairs downwards, all he found was water, apparently this part was flooded, there being a surface of water where the stairs went on downwards, hidden from view by the natural colour of the liquid and the fact that the light of the torch was not of a very great quality. Pierre did not feel like swimming in such a place, it was first of all cold, and, if he got trapped it could take him a while to get out of this place if at all. It would be very unwise to risk hypothermia or worse, who knows what could be in that water. And beyond that, what would the barman think if he came there soaking wet, asking for a towel? It was a day with a gloomy sky, yes, but it was a dry day nonetheless. A dry, cold day it was today. He would probably get a blanket, but he would probably not get away without an explanation what was in there. Leaving the same people running after the person that saved him from them would just be wrong. At first, the Doctor thought about trying the other door that led from the room where he had met this Ran. But it did not really seem like much of a plan after this waste of time. Well, that was rather negative from the doctor, he did find that box. Then again, finding a box isn’t all that special. Maybe he expected something more dramatic? Maybe there’s something under the water? Well, I’ll never know through him at least.

In any case, it seemed imprudent to step on their private affairs after this talk with that lady. He should see if he could find out some more about this box he had just found. Besides, if he were not mistaken, he was now hired by another person. He had been an independent person for most of his life so this was quite a new experience. Nonetheless, it would be very unrealistic for him to experiment with the patience and conscience of his employer. That is why he turned back, closing the other door behind him. They obviously had their own secrecy, being so paranoid about whatever thing that encroached upon society. Most likely this disease did. But before he could find out anything more about the origins of this thing, he should investigate it in his laboratory. Before heading back into the rooms and later on the open sky, he dusted off his clothes, which were covered in a thin layer of grey matter that originated from the cave, in a section of the cave that did not include layers of carpet. Returning to the room he once sat in a comfortable chair in, the man noticed that both the chair and desk were now removed, as was there no trace or tale-telling sign of a rather comfy fluffy stool. The now empty room no longer had the warm ambience it had just a few minutes ago. Now, it seemed cold, as if life had deserted and abandoned the room. A dead silence hung over the place and it smelled dreary and old, a place where many an unwary traveller had smelled and found his doom. No, no, thinking like that is a bad idea, Doctor, I thought to myself. And apart from that, English poetry definitely is not applicable for this Frenchmen to run for the title of his greatest strength at all. The doctor thought so too, and searched his own clothes for a distraction from the scene. Astoundingly he actually found one, a small note sealed in a letter he had unsealed in his fumbling in his pockets. It merely contained some small instruction, something he had actually rather expected to find. The only mystery was the when and how the appearance of this note came to be. The contents were hardly surprising if not for a small thing.

--End of Brick IV--
>> No. 28979
--Begin of Brick V--

"While we gave you instructions how to authenticate something as coming from you in our meeting discussing the Seal and Disease, Dr. Domestique, to verify that something came from me, just compare the seal to the one you've just broken. It reflects only pure violet.

YY"

As the doctor read the last sentence, the words on the note vanished. He took his own pen from his other pocket, and found a section of hard wall in the room. He penned his own note over where once his instruction was. For heaven's sake, he was growing just as paranoid as his instructor. Talking about his instructor, why would her initials be Y.Y. if she revealed her name to be Ran? Were those really two Y’s? They were so close together, it could also be some kind of company logo. Those things have been sprouting up recently more and more, they have been proven very successful for commerce, yet they somehow… reduce the value of things a bit. As an upper class citizen you would best be left without such things as brand names inside a residence, it would be a sign of being a grumpy man not unlike old Ebenezer Scrooge. A sign of a Scrooge, if I may say so myself, wouldst be a befitting description of a wealthy person condoning such things in their residence if they have the very opportunity of not doing so, even without doing hypocritical things. But anyway, for a person to know about his encounter they must have been acquainted with his new employer. With a firm stride, the man went for the exit. He was going to have to ask his laboratory assistant to buy him a good German light filter apparatus straight away.

1879, Central France.

A man, who had been called Sean by a coach driver only a minute ago had arrived in a coach in a small village earlier yesterday. He had not even asked the name of the place, it all seemed so very insignificant. He was no man to dawdle around learning names of places and all sorts of those things as he travelled the world. Being a designer, he built bridges. The task he was given this time was a very interesting one. He was asked to design a grand, stone bridge. The really peculiar thing was that the specifications were so very unusual. For example, it was asked that the bridge would be symmetrical in such a way that he would only need to design half of the bridge. But he was the only one from the group that had enough experience as well as enough courage to try such a task. Contrary to any normal task, he did not have to dabble in affairs such as the recruitment of other men to build the actual bridge. The only thing that was required of this man were the designs. He had left Orleans by train, but most of his journey to the very heart of France was by coach. The task, at first hand, seemed simple. However, his master had warned him beforehand via letter, just like the rest of the assignment, it would be the task of his life. Why the methods and materials of bygone ages, he could only guess. Steel was much more durable…

As for the precise location of the bridge, Sean had even no idea. But, he had nearly complete data of all the surroundings, so he only needed to meet his client to discuss matters. He had been told in the letter that it was a ‘gift’. A ‘gift’? One thing our engineer rather did not like to understand was the premise of a bridge as a gift to somebody. That must be one of the weirdest gifts in the world. Aristocracy must’ve been the cause of such things, most likely.

Sean was now sitting comfortably in a coach, although the way in which an amount of space was reserved for a passenger could have been more lenient in the vehicle, having his luggage up on the top as well as in the coach. Perhaps they should have given him less stuff to take with him; it was by no means very handy to keep all of this with you. He was wearing one of his master’s best suits, one fitting for an average Baron no less. Why, it consisted of five different clothing layers, and had the usual frills and adornments so adored by the higher society. To him it merely seemed quite impractical. Indeed, he had to practice in moving about before he headed out on his journey, just to prevent embarrassment in public. Lucky for him, the region where he was going was one of the less populated regions in France. In addition they gave him some weapons, who knows why? He identified the weapons when he got them before the journey immediately, knives, pistol, silver bullets... As for any possible reason why someone would want to take such things on a journey in such combinations, he found one. Just yesterday, in one of the old muffled books downstairs in the inn where he stayed he read a little story about wolves attacking people in the mountains in southern France. He could not really believe such werewolf stories to be as true as the Bible by himself and without any backing from other sources, which would be a bit of a stretch. But, it seemed like the most plausible reason for the weird combination of arms he was supplied with. Apart from that, there was some heavy drawing equipment in the various bags and cases inside the coach itself. He carried what he now almost believed was his usual trinket, a shape of a cross hung around his neck, hidden by his clothes when not inside such cramped quarters as this coach. Why the people of that village wanted him to so badly wear it he did not know at all. It had been slowing down slowly for a while now, and he pulled the curtains that covered a window. He saw the outskirts of a forest, the road being nothing more than a jagged path in the mountainous area. Central Massif, but he could not care less where exactly within the Central Massif. Noticing groups of flies in the air, he quickly pulled the curtain back. Getting stung by insects and appearing with a red face, which would make for a rather poor performance on his introduction to the client. Besides, his allergy to too many forms of insect bites made him rather susceptible to more adverse effects than a normal person would endure. Why oh why did he take a job of travelling with that allergy? I do not know why, and Sean did not seem to think much along those lines. What he was thinking I do not know. He does seem rather out of place here.

As the trees were taller than thrice a man’s height in this part of the world, there wasn’t very much to see around you but forest, and the occasional cliff or small stream the path met. -bonk- Most streams did not really even had a bridge on this path, it simply went through them, as if travellers were expected to not use the road during times of rain- or heavy snowfall. Sean doubted that the road would even be useful in the winter at all, honestly. -bonk-. Where exactly the road was leading… he was told that this coach driver would take him as close as possible to his destination by the person who was travelling with him. Another one student, he thought that was one Faraday person or something along those lines. -bonk- Most likely this person was just family of the famous Faraday, and not much more beyond that. He had told him that he was supposed to be going back towards Orleans, there were tasks waiting for the man. Well, that left Sean alone with the driver. He didn’t really trust that man. And what was all that infernal noise being made outside all about anyway? It rather disturbed the quiet background he was enjoying.

--End of Brick V--
>> No. 28980
--Begin of Brick VI--

Being rather annoyed by the noises that were audible outside the coach, Sean pulled the curtain again. The window was open like it was the last time, and he pulled his head out to watch. The coach had just so very gradually slowed down our passenger did not notice it actually stopping, nor that the driver had thrown the three heaviest luggage containers that used to be on top of the carriage on the ground. They were now at a fork in the road, a slightly larger road leading into the forest, with another road seemingly following a river somewhere in the distance off to the other direction, the one they would go if they followed this very road. He told the driver that they were still headed for this client and he should bring him there, but the driver rather refused. No further could they go, the sun was setting.

“Excuséz-moi, mais… continuér dans la nuit? Non.”

The driver appeared rather weak and afraid of something. Yet our engineer did not poke his opinion into this matter, he rather complained about his luggage being thrown off the carriage. The driver just excused himself, and said he was going onwards to the nearest village, along the current road. If Sean was to meet the client, he would have to walk.

Sean would not accept this. He took the door outside of the carriage, opened it, went out and did not even close it. He grabbed one of his bags that were lying on the grass along the road. He was glad no bags had fallen down a cliff or worse. At least there was some clearing and space here. He looked over his shoulder when he suddenly heard the familiar clack of a whip. The man was just going to abandon him here in the middle of nowhere because of his own fears!

“Sacrebleu!”

He gave up on calling more insults at the driver apart from his signature one, the one he was always teased with after shouting it a little bit ‘too’ loud in the open in public once in his lifetime, as that driver was suddenly very fast at getting away from him, most likely because of a lot less weight being in the carriage. That coach would probably need a new suspension when it got to the next village. Well, there were little options left but walking. He had definitely not expected something like this to happen. What good was superstition in this world? And these three things, at least one of them had wheels on it so he could stack the two others on top and pull with a rope he carried around, but even then, they were heavy. This road was of a better quality than the last one, but by no means could you easily pull that kind of luggage over it without grid locking the wheels with little stones and dirt every few metres. He was maybe going at a rate of not even one kilometre per hour, equivalent to about two-thirds of a mile an hour. Such a rate just wouldn’t do. However, going back would leave him walking for hours too, as the village was at least ten or twenty times the distance he now covered each hour. As he slowly walked on for some ten or twenty minutes, he heard a ruffle on the ground. A figure riding a horse approached him. It looked at him from afar, and turned around. He yelled at it but it merely waived a hand, he could not see much more at this distance. Another twenty minutes passed by. This time there was more noise as a carriage approached. The sun had now nearly set and you could not quite see who exactly was driving this coach. The driver seemed to be a woman, but hid her face.

“Sean ‘Sacrebleu’ Claire? Your presence is expected, your client, who is my mistress, was just informed of your arrival. She is quite… anxious to meet her gift.”

29th February, 1884. The location is the Underground Subway, in a derailed train supposedly somewhere below the streets of New York.

In the New York Subway, a terrible accident had happened. Due to either mechanical failure, human incompetence, or the machinations of a force beyond comprehension, the force of God, a train had derailed and caused havoc upon the few passengers that were on board, the personnel of the train, the train itself, the tracks, and the surrounding tunnel. Several carriages had slammed the wall and some more had blocked the railway that headed in the very other direction, leaving a perilous obstacle for any approaching trains in both the other direction, and any oncoming trains in the direction the original train was heading. The train had derailed in a corner, or perhaps a brake was stuck and the train cut in two pieces, suddenly having the front piece slam forward at great speed. Whichever story was true, there was one fact very clear, there existed a gap or boundary of distance between the front and back parts of the train, where the front of the train had advanced a considerable distance beyond what the back had achieved. Inside the train, there was little light except from a few oil lamps that had miraculously survived the ordeal. The wreck was in a state of severe disarray, with many of the contents of the train strewn about by the chaos that had happened. Safety regulations had very likely saved the lives of the passengers, as only one passenger had supposedly died yet. Yet this was not to be blamed on the accident, nor on the person that caused the accident if there was any. After all, a butterfly argument would not work in any situation very well. The cause of the tragedy that was breaking the boundary of life and death was sitting inside the train.

--End of Brick VI--
>> No. 28981
--Begin of Brick VII--

Stern was sitting there, bloody knife held in his hand, stiff as a bone. The footsteps he heard earlier had sped up from a stroll to a quick run, and the time it took for the person to arrive to his location did not leave him with any options after he had chosen to blankly stare at the facts of the act he had just committed. This time, the woman had taken off her coat, leaving Stern to see her long dress. She wore a pair of shoes much unlike what he had seen before, but he couldn't get a very clear view because of the grandeur and coverage of the rest of the clothing. Maybe it was a woman of faith? (...)

That sounds strangely familiar to me. Someone looking almost exactly like that Ran Yakumo from the previous encounter the French Doctor had approached Stern. She wore a distinctly different dress this time, however, the style in which it was done, the colour patterns, they were very similar. She looked at the man with those very same deep eyes, yet there was no emotion on her face. Stern, in the amazement at such a thing, snapped out of his confused state and spoke with her. There was no point in denial. There was no point in anything, and he had to say it even if he wrapped a huge story along with his deed. No, he was not going to deceive himself or anyone else this time. There was no point in it and it would only hurt him in the end.

"Hello there young lady, people call me Stern. I think I just killed someone."

Fortunately for our economist, that sent Ran (I will call her this now, she looks just so much alike...) a bit off guard by this very short and blunt introduction, or so it seemed. Perhaps she was put off by the fact that he remained so calm and collected. Wait, why was she so calm and collected in the first place? She lifted a brow. She looked at Stern sternly, and replied to what must have been the most unusual start of a conversation ever to have graced the New York subways, for as long as they have existed. Which, by the way, does not happen to be that long of a time nowadays.

"Not yet, the wound is not deep enough to cause immediate loss of blood for the brain, so he is still in a great sense of agony and pain. I fear it will soon be true though. I think he still has to say something to you, and listen carefully. The words of a dying man, they are worth their weight in gold. We must hurry if we hope to learn any more from this man."

Now it was Stern's turn to be thrown off guard. That comment, it just totally clashed with the whole situation, he was so convinced of what he had done! He more or less expected a ghastly scream to come from such a comely young lady. Yet, somehow, it turned out to be anything but such a normal thing to expect. Her reaction could more or less be described cold in an age where the Romantic views of life were the most prominent and aristocratic ways of living, the very essence of being, the thing people would strive for to accomplish. A sign of civilization, if you must, it would be to scream in such a ghastly situation as a young lady.

But the young lady was not the thing that should be considered the most important in the subway train. The train was in a very distraught condition, multiple carriages having been torn apart by the force of the collisions between the iron wheels of the metal monster and the wooden bars of the tracks. Wood lay splintered in the tunnel. If Stern was not mistaken, a man was holding a lantern far down at the tail end of the metal creature that travelled the city’s underground locations. Trains coming from behind would be warned by the light of the lantern, and their drivers could stop in a timely fashion should any come. After all, it would just make matters worse for any survivors. Most likely, another man was also alive and sent walking towards the nearest station. That one was probably behind them; Stern had not seen any person pass since the crash of the train. The sound of grinding wheels, screeches of metal against metal, sparks that could be seen from the windows. Then there was a sudden shock as his own carriage derailed as a result of a chain reaction, after which he felt objects falling on top of him and beside him, these objects being the very fishing hook and suitcase that had stained him badly. Who knows what it was doing there. It was all so fresh in his memory. A memory that was still being added to this very day, the day of the terrible train crash. He was sitting here, in a train carriage. It was different from a normal subway carriage as they appeared in Europe, he noticed. Instead of the normal rather bland design, this carriage appeared more fit for Europe’s luxury train cars. He had heard of youths that would use their artistic taste to change public things to suit their own opinions and desires. It seemed the opposite had rather been done. To spite their parents, they mimicked their own grandparents,, or at least that’s what it appeared like. The whole scene had been rather devastated by the crash, but, now was really the time where he could see what was so nice about this train. It had some oil lamps here and there, most of them were smashed by the crash. It was a wonder a fire had not broken out yet. Polished wooden doors, covered with curtains like the windows. High-backed comfortable seats, forms of arches were recognizable. You could see some paper flutter about in the wind of the tunnel that had permeated some of the smashed windows. Shards of glass were spread across the floor, leaving many curtains in disarray with the draperies torn. Why would a New York subway have such flimsy things as curtains and oil lamps on board? For sure, they looked wonderful, yet so impractical for a large city such as this. But… what was really strange was the track layout too. It was like a normal train was run through a tunnel underground. Yet… there was no company who had made it. There was no advertising. There was… nothing at all about it, because actually, Stern figured, Woddington knew that he was one of the people that caused no subways to have ever been built. Yet he took Stern down one. Stern realized now what was the first part of the reason why Woddington’s death was not only unnecessary but left him with the duty to explore a secret. Why was there a train underground, when it had never been built?

--End of Brick VII--
>> No. 28982
--Begin of Brick VIII--

The dying words of Woddington, spoke with the chilling grasping voice of a man at near death. Stumbling to make the correct movements with his mouth, all power behind the vocals gone. A mere whisper, lost in the wind beyond the immediate vicinity of the source of it all. Words that would stay with anyone who witnessed them for the rest of their lives, provided they did not suffer acute memory loss, an Alzheimer, or the like.

"That... was... not... my..."

As he was about to finish the sentence, he fumbled on the last word. Ran, who had been fumbling with her handbag, took out a small handkerchief, pure white cloth set with, if Stern was not mistaken, the finest golden embroidery. She must be of wealthy circles to carry around such equipment. Then again, the rest of her unusual attire expressed this as well. Providing her utmost attention to Woddington, the man who had devoted his life to a company dealing in various affairs but specializing in all sorts of accommodations surrounding Railways, this was the Age of Steam after all, who had been a great contributor to many of the great bridges spanning the various rivers of the land beyond to the West, died saying simple words. Words so simple, yet who had such a deep impact on Stern. Taking care of the man was Ran, who, after having cleaned a section of his skin, injected something through a syringe. "Pain relieving medicine" she mumbled. There were many accounts of things like those. The simplest of pain remedies would be aspirin. He doubted what she used there was aspirin though. Stern did not know much about medicine. Seemingly this other person knew much more so he let her care. Maybe she could still save him? No, she said so herself, he was doomed. Thinking about it, that what Stern just thought had a pretty good double meaning for me. I wonder if that was him, or Woddington. Maybe it was both of them. The lady in white and indigo resumed her talking: "Please tell me the last word. Give me your knowledge and I will grant you your rest.” That seemingly did the trick as Woddington spilled the last bean he was ever going to spill by his own mouth, for eternity.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

(finish)<That... was... not... my...(...)>{3.5}
<(.....)>{?}

{OOC}
I know, that was a terribly evil cliffhanger. Have at you!
Yeah, this is the last brick... longest post yet for me I guess. /detest post limit.
{/OOC}
***

So... well it rather is Ran Yakumo, thus this leaves all scores at 0. (The Score can't go below 0, as there's nothing preventing nameswitches.). (Magnitude turns out to be; 2.2).

Also, 'predicting' that the New York subway should not exist by 1883/1884 does not gain you points anymore. Someone is manipulating...

Predictions total tally, True 0, False 9 (A single penalty for a partially true answer).
>> No. 28991
<(....mission)>

Hot damn, this is like more like reading a official book than anything else.
Must be careful not to get lost...
>> No. 29039
<That... was... not... my...suitcase>{3.5}
<Stern's business partner involved in the hotel was Remilia or one of her agents>{?}

Stern stabbed him because Woddington had plans to blow up a rail bridge that Stern's investment had relied on in his suitcase.

This wasn't of course his suitcase. Rather a woman in strangely-sized shoes and a dress that moves on its own (implying a tail) who says 'ara' has one open up and apparently hit her as the train goes out of control. Though by her acrobatic ability and the presence of a fishing rod, it could really be Chen who did this part.

Woddington of course would never do something like this. His attentional issues are as the result of a failing mind as the narrator implied, not in trying to blackmail Stern, whose criminal mentality saw danger where there was none. In fact Woddington from the start was a morally upstanding man, and very prideful about the rail system:

>The city subways were a dirty place for a gentleman to be in. However, Woddington was rather convinced he could remove this image. He was hurt by it. So he took it upon himself to wander into the darker areas of the city, its subway system. And of course, use this to get to work.

>No, she said so herself, he was doomed. Thinking about it, that what Stern just thought had a pretty good double meaning for me.

This implies that Stern is doomed too, for he has borne witness to that which could not be history. Maybe not here, or today, but the reason being that he has apparently involved himself this Cold War between Yukari and Remilia.