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 Aphasia [mission]

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PostSubject: Aphasia [mission]   Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:19 am

ONE WEEK PRIOR
BLACK WOODS, HANCOCK COUNTY, MAINE


Theo burst through the trees, pelting through the mists, kicking and swiping and clawing at the branches and brambles that clung and tugged at his clothes like reaching hands. I just have to find the road... If he just found any kind of sign of where he was, he could reorient himself. Stop a moment, collect his breath. This was just supposed to be another simple scouting, some weird goings-ons in some podunk New England town... "Fuck..." he hissed through his teeth, whirling around, leaves kicking up around his feet. This was not what he signed up for. Mud slicked up his legs to his waist where he'd slogged through the forest. He'd been running all night, but no matter how much he pushed himself, the woods never grew any less thick, any less dark. "Where is the road...?!"

The trees rustled, words whispering through the golden leaves.

Theo, Theodore...

He started sprinting again, on the verge of sheer feral panic.

They were on his tail. Someone. Something. He couldn't even tell.

Run, Theo, Theo...

The mists closed in around him, swallowing up the trees. He tripped. Of course he tripped. A root snagged on his foot and he went sprawling across the dirt, rolling to a violent stop at the base of a crooked old elm, as the wind whistled through the leaves. His hand fumbled for the dagger at his belt, fighting the holster that kept it locked in place, but it wouldn't budge...

Theo, Theo, THEO...

It slithered toward him.





SEPTEMBER 5, 2037
CATHERINESVILLE, HANCOCK COUNTY, MAINE


They rolled in a little past one in the afternoon, but it was still miserable outside by the time their ride kicked them out by the roadside just outside of town. Miserable. Gray. There hadn't been any hint of sunshine since they'd hopped off at Bar Harbor to link up with their transport. Jane squinted one-eyed through the fog toward a white sign spotted with rust. From here, she could barely make out the dated, faded lettering to confirm they were where they were supposed to be.

Welcome to Catherinesville!

Well, actually it said:

We_c_me to Cat_erin_s_lle!
BEWARE: COYOTE COUNTRY


But she wasn't one to split hairs.

She breathed in that sweet air, crisp as an apple, like winter come three months early. Yeah. Home sweet home. Jane shifted the strap of her bag off her shoulder, wondering if this was the kind of place where she'd get strange looks for slinging a bow across her back. Something told her that wouldn't be the case. "Charmed?" she asked, starting forward with an uneven gait. Even without her old man cane, walking was getting easier. She shot a glance over her shoulder, toward her motley group of traveling companions, a couple guys, a couple girls. No one she knew all that well. "Don't dawdle. Stragglers get gobbled up by the coyotes. Or was it vampires?" Witches. Monsters. Something like that. If she was being honest, she hadn't paid attention to what the mission itself was about, just the location.

Catherinesville, Maine.

She'd thought she'd remembered that name from somewhere.

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PostSubject: Re: Aphasia [mission]   Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:31 am

Evelyn wasn't even in the mood to take a selfie. She kicked her bag on the ground and into the mud. It was so humid she feared her makeup was no longer impecably intact. The girl patted the jacket pocket where she kept her phone and cigarettes, trying to find comfort in having those things with her. That was if she even had service and if her lighter didn't break.

"So... we are here for?" she tilted her head, approaching the girl she believed was the leader of the group. An odd girl, but this was an odd enough town. They were a bunch of kids, standing out like black text on white paper. The Autumn twirled a lock of her hair on her index finger, shivering in the breeze. It wasn't going to be long 'til it started pouring, judging by the gray clouds covering the sky. The ragdoll fetched her luggage and followed Jane through the street. Mortifyingly empty except for the occasional drunk old man.

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PostSubject: Re: Aphasia [mission]   Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:41 am

The braid that Vivian had spent an eternity on prior to their departure probably looked like it had been sucked up by a vacuum and spit right back out due to the humidity, but she didn't really mind at this point. Reaching up to absently fiddle with several frizzy strands of hair that escaped her braid, she found her attention drifting back and forth between the group of strangers she had traveled with and the town they were currently traveling through.

"Seems... nice enough." Vivian finally decided with a good-natured smile, a slight shiver working its way through her body as she inhaled another breath of chilly air. She hated cold and dreary weather like this. Feeling her skin prickle slightly beneath her clothes, she picked up her pace and hurried after Jane and Evelyn, partially curious to just why they were here as well.

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PostSubject: Re: Aphasia [mission]   Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:02 pm

Readjusting the bag he had slung over his shoulder, Gage let out a sigh and watched as the air from his breathe drift away. This was quite the cliche scene, cloudy and foggy weather that was casted over an odd town. Maybe one day a mission would be somewhere with actual sunlight. He thought as he followed closely behind the three girls. What an odd group they must have looked like. Clearly sticking out like a sore thumb. Didn't matter anyways. The town didn't look all that alive to care. Catherinesville huh? Definitely not somewhere he would visit again.

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PostSubject: Re: Aphasia [mission]   Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:20 pm

Maine, huh?

Well... There wasn't much for Harvey to say. The only word to pop into his head was 'boring'. Behind the thick musk and fog that covered the town, he could see just how simple their destination looked. It was your average village. Small, quaint houses dotted across the empty streets, with the occasional privately owned shops breaking apart the residential buildings. "Seems pretty plain to me," his voice cut through bluntly. His tone only grew softer after a few quiet chuckles escaped his lips.

Harvey's violet eyes travelled down to look at the girls in front of him. They were all rather cute. As he approached to smirk rather arrogantly at one of them, a familiar obnoxious pink hair stuck out amongst the three. "Since when are twelve-year-olds allowed on missions?" the Winter inquired, eyes narrow. Hands shoved into his windbreaker, he slipped past Evelyn, settling to walk beside a rather light-haired girl.

At a glance, he wouldn't have noticed her. Yet the more he stared, the more clear his memory became. "Haven't I seen you before?" There was a hint of playfulness behind his question.

It was almost too obvious he wasn't here to catch ghosts or kill monsters. Though, he wasn't against destroying something.

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PostSubject: Re: Aphasia [mission]   Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:55 pm

Fearghas felt almost at home.  The clouds, the nip in the air, the constant state of humidity-all it needed was a consistent mist.  He was glad to have left his expensive tartan at home in place of a nice and rather cheap flannel he bought from a thrift shop in Rosebury, everything around seemed ready to mess up his clothes.  Not to mention his last mission hadn't gone nearly to plan and blood on expensive clothing was almost as hard to clean out as it was to stitch up the holes.  Another preparation from the disaster of last mission hung on his hip, something that would make him look out of place no matter which town he found himself in.  In a ring sat a battle axe, ornate Celtic knots running up the length of the handle and a dramatic interpretation of a phoenix, mouth agape, centered on the body.  This may have seemed like extra precaution, but even being somewhat immortal, every time he did get hurt, it still fucking hurt.  The prompt light show wouldn't help morale either.

That didn't phase him though, his feet kept him moving forward, he was only a step behind the the lead girl and he offered a hearty chuckle at her little joke, putting his hands on his hips as he walked, his deep brown eyes now meeting the back of her head, speaking up in his distinctive Irish twang "Yeah?  This reminds me of the Old Country...Only it isn't vampires that'd getya...jest the Catholics."  He'd heartily laugh at his own joke, barely paying much attention to the kid he marked for a player from the moment he walked by him.  It was something about the way he walked, the way his 'wandering eye" seemed to fall on the better parts of the girls when their back was turned.  It brought him back to a time he'd rather forget, as he knew, it takes one to know one.  He just hoped his careless act wouldn't get them all into serious trouble, he wasn't sure how many times he had to die to get REALLY sick of it to do something about it, but he was walking the line.

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PostSubject: Re: Aphasia [mission]   Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:19 pm

Witches, ghouls, goblins, vampires.. Collin wouldn't have missed this trip for the world.

He didn't have to see his surroundings to know what they were like. He could feel the grey, desolate nature of the landscape. The autumn chill in the air seemed to seep through every tiny crevice of his clothing and sink into his bones, whispering of mysterious happenings.

The newly-sorted Winter knew the potential perils of this mission. He had no experience in hand-to-hand combat, was still fairly new to Beata Academy, and was completely and utterly sightless in a foreign landscape. He - and everyone else he'd been traveling with, he expected - had no real idea what was in store for them, putting aside their briefing beforehand. It was probably a dumb idea for somebody like Collin to volunteer for something of this nature, but the academy staff's insistent opinion against his participation had only fueled his interest in being a part of it. Growing up on the wild east coast of Canada, raised on tales of sea monsters and the spirits of sunken ships from the second world war, the prospect of encountering something just as wicked had finalized his decision to go along.

Besides, he had Sesi - his seeing-eye dog, for all intents and purposes - padding obediently next to him as he wandered off of the road and onto the grass. Nothing natural or supernatural could spook her - she was half a beast herself, honestly. He could feel a tension on her shoulders as he ran his fingers across the arc of her furry back, but it wasn't a frightened tension. It was more of a readiness.. Eagerness, almost.

"Lovely country," he murmured whilst pushing his glasses up, the spirit of a grin touching his features.
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PostSubject: Re: Aphasia [mission]   Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:15 pm

Plain was right. This place was a no-life town, even without the horror movie atmosphere that clung to every corner of every building like thick gray perfume. "Well, keep your eyes peeled," she said with a glance back at Fearghas. "We got a few of those hanging around these parts too." Right on cue, she could make out a rusted iron cross poking out from the mists, crowning an aging white chapel at the far end of the road.

Now what?

That was the real question, wasn't it?

They'd been dropped off without any directions besides "figure shit out." So much for that. They'd be here days chasing small town ghost stories. Jane led the motley group down the road, just stopping to wave down an old man reading what looked like a two week old print of the Bangor Daily News. "Yoohoo! Know where we'd find any witches?"

The old man glowered quietly at them over the top of his paper, and went right back to reading, muttering something indistinguishable under his breath.

She ran her fingers through her hair, sighing. "Well. I'm out of ideas. Anyone got that map?" Someone had pressed it into her hands before they'd set out of Fargo, and she'd glanced over it maybe a whole two or three seconds before she'd tossed it back over to someone else. They passed by the church, where some parishioner was planting flowers along the crooked black gate. "Our Lady of Sorrows" was delicately carved into an old wooden sign hanging near the entrance.

"No witches here," they croaked, not taking their eyes up off their petunias and marigolds. "No vampires. No werewolves. No monsters 'cept ol' Polka. Lots o' strange people blowin' in, though... Lots o' strangers... Junkies outta Cherryfield, most like. Them and bored high school kids causin' trouble."

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PostSubject: Re: Aphasia [mission]   Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:03 am

Evelyn scoffed as Harvey drifted past her, not paying any mind to his comment. She arched an eyebrow as he stopped next to Vivian. She didn't look quite that old herself. The girl returned her attention to the uneven ground, slippery mud and rocks everywhere didn't make for the best combination. It was miserable, and she didn't want to be here. Her bad for not "reading the label", as her mother would put it.

"I don't think any of those people would give you any answers. We should probably go to anywhere we are sleeping at." the Autumn poked Jane's shoulder, looking at the flowerbeds and the gray looking flowers. Everything in this town seemed straight out of an old, black and white movie. She didn't even believe there was something as comfortable as a hotel. This didn't seem like the ideal vacation spot for a handful of reasons.

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PostSubject: Re: Aphasia [mission]   Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:48 pm

Hardly paying any mind to what was transpiring around her, the snippy little exchange between Harvey and Evelyn flew right over Vivian's head as she continued to look at the dreary little town that surrounded their group. Plain was a good word to describe this place. Continuing to lightly pull her fingers through her hair and mindlessly walking after Jane, she was slightly surprised once someone started talking to her. Turning her head to look up at Harvey, the girl's lips quirked slightly as she observed his face with wide eyes. 

"I think so?" Vivian finally offered with another smile and a slight shrug, "Although I can't say I know your name." She definitely had run into him at some point, although she couldn't really exactly remember when or where. At Jane's mention of a map, she simply gave a brief shake of her head before continuing to walk after Evelyn and Jane, her eyes continuing to dart around the colorless town with minimal interest as they finally came upon some people. "These people are weird." Vivian stated simply after Evelyn spoke, unable to really say anything else after listening to the person speak.

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PostSubject: Re: Aphasia [mission]   Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:48 pm

"Well, no one mentioned anything about werewolves or vampires." he said glaring at the townspeople. They didn't budge from planting their flowers. Stubborn folk. It was a bit odd to him that they mentioned those monsters. Had they received questions about them as well? Or were they hiding something? Gage shrugged it off, Throwing his hands behind his head. Now what? Where do they begin?

"That's a fair point. Where will we stay at?"

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PostSubject: Re: Aphasia [mission]   Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:05 pm

She tapped at her chin. Nobody had mentioned anything about vampires or werewolves... But their little monster hunting party already sounded fed up with the whole "investigation" part of their mission, and she was in the same boat. Jane kept walking without asking anymore questions, just mumbling under her breath. "What the hell is a Polka?"

"You think a rundown place like this has a motel?" Beata would foot any bill they threw at them, but that wasn't exactly the problem. They passed through your usual small town ghost story locales—next stop from the church was the cemetery, Pocowabanaki Elementary, a street called historic downtown Catherinesville that didn't look any different from the rest of Catherinesville, yadda yadda yadda. No inn or rest stop, as far as she saw. A real just-passing-through kind of place. If the whole town didn't feel like it was only ten blocks, they might have been walking around in circles.

At the end of their road, there was just a stretch of gray highway and a dark wall of trees, a dirt road veering off into the Black Woods. Now Leaving Catherinesville. She reached around her back to pluck idly at her bowstring, sighing.

"I think they expect us to camp." Expect. That was the key word. "And we could do that. Or we could hike around a bit, double back in a few hours, and check out this Cherryfield place instead." They'd lost their map, but she remembered the name, and she'd rather kill a few days there than spend that time tracking Bigfoot. And hey, they'd signed up for this, but they never promised success. If they asked, they'd just shrug and say they didn't find anything.

It was only half a lie, and there was no telling if they'd actually dig anything up anyways if they tried. They'd been in Catherinesville for a grand half an hour at most, and that was more than enough to tell this place wasn't exactly generating excitement. The school would forget about it, the world would forget about it, and no one would care about any strange circumstances in Catherinesville again the moment they left.

That wasn't responsible of them as representatives of their school and blah blah blah, but maybe Cherryfield had a club. That was all she was saying.

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PostSubject: Re: Aphasia [mission]   Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:37 am

"C-camp?! Are you fucking serious?" the Autumn sprang up as if she stepped on a Lego brick barefoot, eyes boring into Jane's anxioulsy. She wasn't expecting a luxury vacation, but this was low. Hugging her shoulders furiously, the girl walked faster to keep up with the group, her white trainers already stained with multiple shades of yellow and brown, feeling moody. She lit a cigarette, inhaling a needed breath and letting the smoke filter out her nostrils in curling wisps. Finding herself with the course feeling in her lungs to focus on, Evelyn let her mind wander, dragging her feet through the dirty-pattered road.

"I think we should probably dump our bags somewhere. Somewhere we know nobody's gonna loot them for valuable stuff too." the teenager advised gloomily, finish her cigarette and throwing in on the ground with a flick of her wrist. The sings of rain were more and more omnious, and she dreaded getting caught in the rain with her white jacket.

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