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Posted: Aug 5 2018, 05:31 PM
I never know till you were gone
Warning: Pokemon Deaths
Katherine Bane woke slowly to a soft purring, and a large wet nose pressing against her cheek. One blue eye half opened, gently pushing the head of the beast away. Persian was not to be ignored though. A sharper, harsher purr followed, as the nose was back, this time accompanied by a wet tongue. A softly growled, Sian followed the moisture trail left on her cheek and with a huff of air, Katherine glared at the feline pokemon before sitting up, a smaller pokemon tumbling from its sleeping place that had its head resting on her side. Py! Phanpy! Came the confused exclamation at suddenly finding herself on the floor. Katherine smiled faintly before hugging the foot tall pokemon around the neck in amusement, glancing over to see her brother already packing up their temporary campsite.
As if feeling her eyes on him, Michael Bane, the eldest of the two twins by a mere five minutes looked up and gave his sister a vibrant smile. Katherine didn’t hesitate to return the affectionate expression to her twin, as she dusted off her jeans and headed towards him, Mornin’ Kitty. Grab yourself some of the dried berries out of the pack for breakfast, we gotta head out soon, I heard some ruckus over to the west of us, don’t want to be caught out and about. Katherine nodded, slinging her backpack high up over her shoulder even as she pulled out a small portion of the dried berries, popping one in her mouth.
Phanpy was already following her around, eager to stay close to the woman who had rescued her from a mudslide that was guaranteeing her early death when she was just a small thing. Persian soon took up her spot on the young woman’s right side, briefly brushing her large head beneath Katherine’s hand with an obviously fondness. Rhydon was hovering around Michael, keeping guard as the last of the small family gathered his things, throwing his backpack over his shoulder and soon fell in step with his sister. Katherine instinctively reached out, her left hand clasping her brother’s right as the held tight to each other.
Their family had dropped from four to two in a few short days, and both twins would give it their all to not lose each other. They’d been together since they were born, never too far away – the furthest being when they grew old enough to have to have separate rooms, and even then their beds were pushed up to the same wall, and many nights filled with conversation happening between the two in the form of morse code. The closeness had never bothered their parents either, accepting the fact the twins were far closer to being two halves of the same person, than two separate individuals.
Their parents . . . now there was a subject Kitty tried hard not to think about. Michael and she had been sent away with in the first few days of the Suffering finally hitting their town – the twins getting out as early as possible as their parents spent a few days to pack final items with the promise to meet up with in the week. Persian had been sent with Kitty, Rhydon with her brother to keep them safe until their parents rejoined (and reclaimed their pokemon). Unfortunately, their parents had never shown up – and neither twin knew why.
That had been many years ago, now though; the twins having been on their own for the last six or seven as they continued to venture forward in a far too cruel and unwelcoming world. They were constantly moving, always trying to stay one step ahead of both the next way of Chaos caused by the suffering, as well as any not so pleasant encounters – whether they be human, pokemon, or some other possible third (or fourth species) the suffering had cooked up. Their nomadic life style had left its toll though, along with the struggle to find food for themselves.
Kitty was almost unnaturally skinny, her brother just as thin; and both were dressed in fairly tattered clothing, the three additional sets of clothing in their packs fared no better, and Kitty had stopped even attempting to wear shoes two years ago when her last pair had given out. Michael had managed to trade for a pair of moccasins made out of Stantler hide the last time they had seen a friendly face. Having only been able to get a single pair off of the old man, Kitty had forced Michael to take them knowing he was the one that had to venture out the most into tricky terrain to hunt for anything for them to be able to eat.
Unfortunately it was becoming more and more difficult to find any pokemon to hunt for food. The waters were polluted to the point that there weren’t many water typing left anywhere in the region – and those that were left had become to tainted by the pollution to be consumed. This had left the land dwelling as the only options remaining, but as others were forced to try and hunt for their survival (and the pokemon seeming to disappear) prey was becoming very scarce. And with much of the plant life continuing to fail more by the year, even berries were hard to come by.
These conditions weren’t just hurting the twins though – even their pokemon were beginning to look too thin. Persian’s ribs could be seen beneath her pelt, and even Rhydon was noticeably thinner, less bulk and muscle. To make matters worse, the supply of food they had stored in their packs was dwindling again as well – and the last two times Michael had gone out to hunt, he had returned empty handed, the last time he’d been gone almost a full 16 hours before having to give up. Katherine did not want to think about what would happen in about a week when they ran out of food.
”We’ll head north, away from the voices I heard this morning, and along the way we’ll keep an eye out for any quick hunts, or berry bushes. We don’t have too much – option wise – for what we might be able to get our hands on, but we really need to be getting something, or we’ll be really hurting in a few more days.” Kitten nodded her understanding, glancing at him as she used her free hand to create a closed palm shape, her hand flat with fingers all touching. She then touched her finger tips to her temple, and Michael managed a half smile, ”Yeah, I know you know silly . . . I’m just vocalizing a plan for the day.”
Her smile turned sheepish as she followed up with her fingers curling to touch the other finger tips and creating an “O” shape before quickly shifting so her index and middle finger were scissored and her thumb parallel with the index finger in what her brother would recognize as the letter “K”. The response was quickly followed by her hand completely closing into a fist, her thumb over her fingers. She brought the shape to her chest, before making circular motions – clockwise to finish her response, OK. SORRY.
Michael laughed softly, using his own free hand to ruffle her hair playfully, ”No need to apologize Kitty Kat,” He assured, as he squeezed the hand he still held in his right, ”And don’t you start looking to worried either, I saw you counting the remaining portions of our jerky and dried fruit last night . . . we’ll be fine.” A soft hue of red suddenly swam to beneath the surface of Katherine’s cheeks, as her gaze dropped, though she nodded in agreement, ”We’ll figure something out, Kitty, I know it.”
The two continued to walk in companionable and comfortable silence for a fair period after that point, occasionally stopping to pick a berry or two when they happened to stumble across some, but still weren’t able to find too much in terms of food. The day was passing fairly quickly however when the newest sign of trouble hit. The loud shrieks in the distance had both of the twins turning to look, the pokemon around them shifting in a position to defend. Two set of human eyes, and three set of pokemon eyes all widened at the same time as they took in the scene from the east. Bird Types were flying towards them quickly, all trying to dive around each other in an attempt to escape the much more noticeable danger. A large cloud of what appeared to be sand was headed straight towards them, flattening trees in the path.
”Run!” Michael had already started to run, dragging Katherine along by their joined hands as they took off in the same direction as the bird pokemon above. Their pokemon were quick to fall into step, Rhydon a few steps slower due to his much large size – especially compared to Persian who was bolting ahead before having to stop and glance behind them as she waited for the others to catch up. Unfortunately all five knew they weren’t moving fast enough. It was barely 5 minutes before Persian glanced back only for her eyes to widen in horror as she made a leap towards her family, a white glow already starting around her. Recognizing the move, the twins dropped to the ground, Phanpy quickly taking spot to cuddle against Katherine, as Persian landed infront of them, PROTECT forming a large sphere around them. Unfortunately, not everyone was inside the dome.
Rhydon was struggling to catch up, to make it to the safety, urged on by Persian’s please, and the twins’ cries. Seeing the storm bearing down, Michael grabbed his sister, hugging her to him and burying her head so she wouldn’t have to watch, even as he refused to look away from the pokemon that had been his constant companion, ”Rhydon!” His voice was a plea, a plea for the pokemon to manage to get to them quickly. Rhydon had stopped though, his body heaving with each breath even as he flinched at the first striking of sand to hit his body. His eyes met Michaels, and he gave a final triumph roar, “DON!” Before the storm swallowed him up. Michael’s eyes welled up with tears before his head dropped to Kitty’s shoulder just as the storm met the protective barrier around the now one pokemon smaller family. Persian closed her own eyes in mourning even as the storm slammed against the white field around them, turning the view of the world to nothing but gold and brown.
The storm continued to slam and attack, lasting for far longer than any of them had thought possible, the only sound in the sphere were Kitty’s soft sobs and the wind from outside. As the wind began to die down (long after Kitty’s own sob’s had dried up), everyone slowly started to open eyes and peer around. Persian waited until there was nothing but silence before she finally, and willingly let down the PROTECT, half burying them in the collected sand, before the now smaller group managed to climb through the three feet of sand to the new ground level. Startled eyes took in the view of what had once been plains and forest – the entirety of the area resembled more a desert now, with many large and unmoving shaped where pokemon had fallen.
A soft cry left Persian as she spotted the mound just in front of them, the pokemon running forward and digging desperate until Rhydon was uncovered . . . and unmoving. ”Persian.” Michael spoke softly to the cat, approaching and laying his hand on her head, ”It’s too late . . . he’s g-gone.” His words faltered on the word, a slight hiccup in his otherwise calm speech that portrayed his own despair over the pokemon who had been his last connection to their father. ”We need to go Persian. The ground might still be unstable.” Persian gave one last soft nudge to Rhydon before turning and heading towards Kitty and the Phanpy she was hugging tightly.
Michael offered her his hand, in which Kitty eagerly took before the smaller group turned to walk on, all four feeling like they were leaving a large portion of their hearts behind. Unfortunately, in the current climate there was just not the proper time to mourn, and they were forced to carry on. Katherine had no way of knowing things were about to go downhill fast.
Only a few hours had passed, they had made their way out of the new desert that had been created, and had found themselves in what looked to be a very large forest with trees that towered high overhead. It was eerily quiet, not a sound being made, and all four thought the entire place seemed void of life. As they continued to travel, sun struggling to penetrate the dark roof above their heads created by the ensnaring and twisted limbs above. The leaves had taken on a dark and blackened hue, and ash was visible on the ground and occasionally floating in the air around them.
Kitty let go of Michael’s hand long enough to wrap her arms fully around his arm, half huddled into his side as her gaze swept this land feverously. There was little doubt that she was growing increasingly eager to leave the Forest when the first sound rose up behind them, a soft cry somewhere between a coo and a sigh. Kitty had frozen as Michael stopped midstep. Persian had already turned around and began to raise her hackles, growling low in her throat. Slowly the twins turned around as well, eyes wide as a few ghost types emerged from the trees.
These were no normal ghost types, their eyes seemed bloodshot, and their bodies emancipated with long claws already eagerly reaching towards the two humans. It was only when they began to speak did they recognize the species. ’Shu. Shuppet. Pet. Shu’ The twins had exchanged looks of horror at the creatures that were most certainly not resembling their species one bit. Their body color was completely off, all varying stages of grey with a touch of sickly green to even out the tones. The growth on the head had been mutated into some sort of jagged horn, and the fact they had arms and claws at all had the twins backing away in horror.
’Shu? Shuppet?’ One asked, reaching out a claw towards the small family, it’s eyes locking onto Kitty as it did so. Kitty responded immediately, lunging away as Phanpy reacted by lunging the exact opposite direction. Here was a strange (truly abnormal) pokemon lunging at her human, her protector! That was not okay! The Long Nose Pokemon lurched forward with a trumpet, ’Phan-PPPYYY!’ The cry was clearly a battle cry as it met the three ghost types head on, and with shocked and horrid eyes, the other three watched as those terrifying claws penetrated the tough hide of the Phanpy and the creature began to struggle and lose color. ’Phan! Phanpy! Pypy Phan!’ The cry was immediately used to spur Persian in action, as Phanpy continued to struggle and try to drive the ghost types back as they drew on the energy and life the pokemon had in its body.
Persian would get their family to safety. Phanpy had returned the favor Kitty had paid it when she had saved it’s life so long ago. Phanpy had no regrets. A small smile crossed the Phanpy’s face as the last strand of blonde curl disappeared from view before turning back to the creatures robbing her of her life essence and energy. With a final KNOCK BACK that had two of them distatching, the last of her energy depleted and Phanpy fell to her knees, the smile never leaving her face even as her eyes closed and her colors finished draining to a mute gray. She had saved her family.
With the help of Persian, Michael was able to keep Kitty moving, even as she struggled to return to the Phanpy who sacrificed herself for their own escape, his quiet urging for her to move forward barely seeming to penetrate her thoughts, ”Come on, Kitty Kat. She gave her all so we could get away. You saw the determination, if you go back now she’d never forgive you – or herself. We have to keep moving.” Tears were once more streaming down her face, however, leaving clean streaks against her skin from where the liquid had washed away some of the layers of dirt that had long permeated her (and her brother’s) skin.
Kitty nodded though, understanding where Michael was coming from and allowed Michael and Persian to lead the way out of the forest, trying not to think on the fact that this morning they had had five to their party – and before the day had ended it had been weedled down to three. Darkness was quickly approaching, and Kitten just prayed no new surprises would come up. In retrospect, perhaps she should have knocked on wood.
Barely 30 minutes had passed before a shout alerted them to another trouble – this time in the form of humans. All three turned to see a group approaching them from the south, weapons out, but held loose, clearly expecting just as much trouble as the twins were waiting for. ”Stay back.” Michael’s command rang out harsh and strong between the two parties, and drew the approaching group up short. ”Who are you? What do you want? Speak fast.” The twins had learned the hard way not to trust any group that approached, in fact Michael still had the scar across his bicep that spoke of that fact.
The approaching group watched them with just as cautious of an eye, weapons still held aloof in warning, a warning Persian took to word by stepping in front of the twins and putting herself in a defensive position, muscles left loose to aid her in pouncing should she need to. It had quickly become a stand still as the two groups seemed to square off before the leader of the group stepped forward, You’re trespassing in our land, and you haven’t paid toll. His words were met by the laughter of his group, even as the twins narrowed their eyes at him.
We just came to . . . collect payment for your safe travels. Hate to see ya’ll young folk get hurt. It’s a dangerous area out here. Kitty’s eyes widened in shock, even as both Michael and Persian narrowed their eyes at the others. ”Oh, and just what do you assume we’ll be paying you?” Snapped Michael. The men grinned back, Oh, it’s nothing big. See we got a fair town worth of survivors . . . . lotsa mouths you see. So how about you give us some of your food and we’ll call it a day. Immediately Kitty turned to her brother, quickly signing in a desperate cry of horror. They didn’t have enough food to lose any. Her fingers were moving at a mile a minute, the motions getting more and more jerky until Michael put both hands on her arms, holding them down, ”Hey, calm down.” He gently guided her behind him as he turned back to the crowd, allowing Kitty to peer around him to continue to watch, ”Look we hardly got enough food to survive the next week. May six days of rations is all. We can’t spare any.”
The men seemed to turn to look at each other before laughing, Six days huh? So you can give us three days worth and be okay to hunt for more. Michael narrowed his eyes again, gritting his teeth, ”With food as scarce as it is, that’d be a death sentence!” The men nonchalantly shrugged, starting to step closer, Too bad, walk our land, pay the toll. The leader repeated from where he remained standing. His men were closing in, their weapons now brandished in a way to demand payment when Michael grabbed his sister’s hand, ”Well, maybe next time.” He suggested before taking off in a spring that had his sister once more being dragged behind him.
They had barely taken a few steps before arrows and throwing knives were peppering the air around them (much to their growing horror). ”Ignore them. Run, Kitty Kat!” At her brother’s urging, Kitty ran at his side, trying not to focus on the sharp objects in the air around them, that was until a cry had her look back. ’Per? PERSIAN-SIAN!’ Glancing back the twins realized that a projectile was on the path towards them, as Michael tried to both lunge out of the way even as he tried to push Katherine clear. Persian was already moving to intersect, leaping between them and the now three projectiles, two arrows and a knife soon burying themselves deep in her side, causing her to land hard on the ground, a weak cry leaving her mouth as she pleaded with the twins to keep running, her expression desperate for their safety.
Michael took a deep, shuttering breath before nodding to the fallen pokemon, and once more pulled Kitty forward, ”Move, Kitty! We gotta move!” Kitty could barely do anything, her mind in total shock as the last of their family had been taken down. Unable to think of what else to do, Michael swept her off of her feet, and continued to run, gritting his teeth and holding his smaller twin close, ”We gotta get out of here . . . I’m sorry Kitty, I’m so sorry . . .” Kitty couldn’t respond though, her mind still focusing on what she had seen.
It was almost thirty minutes until Michael felt it was safe to put Kitty down, the young man breathing heavily as they stood atop a ridge that over looked a dark, unmoving ocean, ”Kitty . . . I’m sorry. I know it’s all going wrong . . .” He hugged her tight, briefly before setting their bags down and glancing out over the ocean, ”Let’s rest here tonight, okay. Nothing else will happen, okay? I’ll keep you safe, always.” Kitty slowly nodded, lifting her hand up to him her fingers spread out except for the middle and the ring finger which were laying flat against her palm in the short hand version of I LOVE YOU. Her twin smiled softly in response, nodding once, ”I know, sis. It’ll be okay. I promise!” No sooner had those words left his mouth that the ground beneath them began to shake and with a sudden opening of the ground, she felt her brother’s hands start to leave hers, as his large form started to diminish.
The cliff, unknown to them, had been largely unstable, and the extra weight combined by the sudden dropping of their bags had caused a slight fracture beneath Michael’s feet. And as the fracture grew, small flecks of stone and earth began to descend into the cavern below. The cliff was more the roof of a large cave that the ocean water had eroded away and taken over. And as the ground shook and a hole opened beneath Michael, the young man was falling into the darkness below.
Kitty’s eyes opened wide as she fell to her knees, arms out reached to try to grab her brother, the two barely managing to lock wrists. Her eyes were wide with fear as she tried to ground herself against her brother’s larger size, but Michael could already feel the give of his sister, her hand lowering faintly into the depth as well, ”Kitty . . . .. Kitty let go. I’ll be okay. It’s a short drop I think . . . . Kitty, don’t do this, let go. Please.” Kitty stubbornly shook her head, using her other hand to help steady and support the first, both of her hands wrapped around his wrist desperately. ”Kitty . . . . Kitty Kat . . . let go. Please. Let go.” Michael’s hand reached up, grabbing her free wrist and gently pulling it off as she stared at him in pleading horror. His other hand was slowly wiggling itself free. ”I love you, Kitty Kat.” He told her before freeing his hand and free falling into the darkness.
Kitty’s hands gripped the edge, nearly falling in from the sudden lack of his weight, her eyes widening, before a scream tore through her, “MICHAEL!” The first word she’d spoken in over 15 years, screamed at the top of her lungs even as she heard the splash . . . and nothing else. Sitting back on her knees, Kitty buried her face in her hands, tears falling freely, as his name repeatedly fell from her lips, “Michael, Michael, Michael, Michael.” And endless looping plea for him to be brought back to her side, her entire world crumbling at that point. “Michael, please . . . Michael . . . .” She was curled up in a tight ball, shaking faintly as she hid her face, trying to hide from the world she suddenly found herself in all alone, a gaping hole in front of her, and the missing presence to her left, “Please . . . .
Posted: Aug 7 2018, 02:27 PM
You Are Saved.
The voice resonated in her mind, powerful and calm. There was a warmth that came with it, a comforting warmth that spread around her body as it found her, finding her presence alone among the suffering world. If she chose to look up from her hands, she might see the orange orbs of light floating around through her tears. They were multiplying and slowly swirling around her, closing in as they attempted to embrace her. Within moments, her chest was covered in the warm saffron light, gaining a sturdy hold of her body. They kept spreading as well, gaining a larger grip on her body.
And then it pulled. Her body was pulled back, the world and cliff shrinking away. The colors and senses of the world minimized on the horizon until they became simply nothing more. She was moving, or perhaps the world was moving around her. There was a dizziness and strange sensation as her mind and body tried to catch up with the surreal feelings as she was transported through this unknown place between worlds. Soon enough, it would be over, and her senses could return to her. The flat ground beneath her was filled with the same saffron light that brought her here, with slight variation in the hues as it stretched out all around her.
The air was still, with an odd empty feeling. And yet, when she breathed, she would find no trouble filling her lungs. There was no sky, nor clouds, only the same orange hues that coated everything. Until a single drop of blue fell. It dripped into the ground in front of her, and the world shifted. The oranges flipped and transitioned into blue, a myriad of hues changing until it was all the same cool color. The air felt a bit more brisk, but as a new calming sensation rushed through her, she'd find that the drop in temperature was becoming more comfortable.
Up ahead of where she was, whether standing or still on the ground, the woman would see a mist rising from the floor. The air almost seemed to bubble up in two spots, as if the floor was made of water. The bubbles rose up as controlled streams of water pushed them higher, until each of the bubbles popped. Continuing up a couple feet to a proper height for her stature, the pillars of water started to flatten. They fanned out to create two identical surfaces, like two round tables. All of the water froze into a smooth ice, cold but not freezing her skin at the touch. For the moment, there was nothing on either table, until the calm, serene voice spoke again, the sound echoing in her head.
Choose Those You Prefer.
Then, a single item would appear on each of the tables. They were similarly colored, but otherwise different in make. On the left, there was a small, spherical item. It had an almost grainy texture to it from sight, but would feel a bit smoother than it looked. If she put pressure on it, she'd find that it was like a putty, able to shift and change as she willed it. Inscribed in the table was the word 'Adaptability' in golden letters. On the other table, he would find a cube in the same dulled mint color. This object was hard and unbreakable, and would not shift not matter how she tried. The word on the table read 'Stability'. Each table had a hole in the center which she could press the object of her choice into.
Once one of the objects was chosen, both would disappear. The letters would start to move and change into new words, as new objects appear. On the left, a small pointed hat would appear, brightly colored with yellow and pink stripes. It had loose bits of paper neatly attached to the top in an interesting design. The word read 'Extroverted'. It's opposite was a small book. It had smooth leather binding, but the pages inside had no text to read. The word beneath it read 'Introverted'. Just as before, there was a slot in the center of each table where she could place the item of her choice.
And again, the objects would disappear as new choices appeared. This process would continue through the next three choices, until the fifth and final choice was made. Her next options were between a small, soft cube with the word 'Agreeable' and a dense pyramid-shaped object over the word 'Self-Focused'. As those two disappeared, they would be replaced with two smooth and flexible objects. One was in the shape of the 3-D heart symbol, reading 'Emotion-Led' beneath it. The other was pinkish in the shape of a fake brain, reading 'Goal-Directed' on the table below it.
Her final choice was between two mirrors that, at first sight, looked identical. They had the same design and silver handles, leading up to identically sized mirrors inside the grip. But as she peered into the mirrors, she would see something quite different in the image reflected back at her. In the right, the mirror would she her face at it's most ideal. At an image that she would find most pleasing to appear as, while still being her. The accompanying word was 'Prideful'. The opposite showed her face under great scrutiny. Each flaw, each bump, each marking showed clearly in the image. It was impossible not to see anything that she considered to be a fault. On the table the letters spelled 'Self-Critical'.
The Door Awaits.
Once she made all the choices presented to her, the tables would vanish in a puff of smoke. It was scentless and white, fading into a cool mist that laid out a few inches above the ground. Up ahead of her, about 20 feet or so, a door would start to shimmer into existence. It was like an illusion until it was suddenly there, the grandiose door standing tall. It was a deep blue, similar to the sapphire gemstone if she could remember such a thing. Silver details were inlaid into the face and frame, leading to the handle made completely of silver. She would find that the door was much lighter than it would have seemed. Casing the frame inside the door was a thin layer of reflective water, showing her and the blank world behind her. However it would not present her passage, only blocking sight of what was to come next.
As Do More Tasks.
Welcome to the void between universes. Ho-oh and her beasts will challenge Kitty in a variety of ways, to discover how she faces and overcomes the obstacles they lay. The three legendary beasts will take turns creating puzzles or riddles to solve. Each will have a variety of answers to choose from, but don't fret - there are no right or wrong answers. If Kitty is unsure or unwilling to complete a challenge, she need only sit down and they will progress to the next step. They will use her methods and choices to help determine what type of pokemon compliments Kitty, and her process will be considered when selecting her partner. However, Ho-oh's decision is influenced by what she believes works best in tandem with Kitty, so where the answers lead may yet surprise you!
Posted: Aug 7 2018, 06:37 PM
you just don't know what's on
The pain felt like nothing she had ever experience before, a cycle of grief and despair that seemed to grow with each thought that passed her mind, each name that rang through her being, Mother, Father, Rhydon, Phanpy, Persian, all names making the pain grow as she realized just all of what she had lost, who she had lost, how alone she was now. But none of those names, those emotions equaled the amount of despair as she thought about the last person to leave her, to make her feel truly alone, the person who was always supposed to be at her side, who always had been. She shook as her voice repeated his name out loud, “Michael, Michael, Michael,” desperately hoping if she chanted enough he would emerge with a laugh, saying he was okay and nothing would split them apart again, “Michael, Michael, Michael.” Each time the two syllables repeated however, it was akin to another stab through her already busted heart. He still wasn’t there, he wasn’t there . . . He’s not here! Her body shook with each tear, her voice hoarse now from a mixture of disuse and screaming her brother’s name.
And just like that her world seemed to shut down, her body going rigid at another voice in her mind, powerful and calm and invading. The invading didn’t seem to last long as a response to the sudden voice, as a warmth soon began to penetrate her being, wrapping her body around her as if engulfing her a hug. For a moment she could almost imagine arms wrapping around her, as if Michael was back and embracing her. She didn’t dare open her eyes to find out it was all her imagination though, and as such never noticed the orange orbs that fell with her tears, multiplying and expanding and enveloping her cradled body, her hands hiding her face as tears streaked down her cheeks and from between her fingers. The warmth was calming though, and the sobs slowly died down in strength, until all that was left was just the silent tears trailing across her skin.
The relaxation the warmth engulfed her with wasn’t to last for long; however as suddenly she felt herself pulled. Eyes snapped open, hands falling back she watched her body being lifted up, the world below shrinking and falling away. She stared in horrified fascination as the world seemed to minimize, senses disappearing into a void, colors dulling before melding into a sheet of black that was only overtaken by the orange glow she was only just now realizing surrounded her curled up form. A dizziness seemed to grow with in her, as memories began to flash in her head of her life, from the suffering, and from before. Each memory played out before being stricken from her mind like a final show of what her life had been until just one memory seemed to remain, and it was a memory she reared to cling to.
Michael. The tears were falling again, a sob escaping her lips as she stared at the memory scene in front of her, the two holding hands and spinning in circles in a field of flowers. Even as she watched the sounds in the memory disappeared, the flowers faded into grays until she couldn’t tell you what color they had been to begin with. The background began to shrink in until all that remained was her brother’s smiling face, the sound of his laughter, and those bright blue eyes of his. And then, like popping the stopper out of the bathtub, the memory was ripped away and dragged down the drain, back to the world below and like that world – gone from her thoughts and her vision.
Her mind seemed to now focus on this new place, her body moving supported only by twinkly orange lights as she floated casually through the air. Time seemed to stand still for her, her mind an emptiness, and the sensations around her new and foreign – strange even. Slowly a ground began to take shape beneath her, mirror the orange of the lights holding her, but various hues fighting for dominance in the scape. She was slowly lowered to the ground, her body still folded into close to a ball as she sat on the ground, looking around in confusion. Where was she? WHERE AM I She tried to speak only to realize she hadn’t said a word, though her hands had seemed to move on their own without her being aware. She tried again this time, repeating the words in her head before forcing them out of her mouth, “Where am I?” She heard her voice echoing back from the void she was in.
Slowly more of the world seem to form in front of her, her body filling with the odd empty feeling of the world around her as she looked around with quiet confusion. Blue fell from the sky, a blue that she felt like she should remember. A memory was triggered from where her mind had tried to bury it to protect it – a flash of her brother’s smile, and then like before the image was gone and she was left wondering once again why she felt like she should recognize that hue of blue. She didn’t have to ponder long before the world suddenly flipped on her, the blue flowing into oranges, and transitioning with blue until everything was reflecting the cool tone. The air grew more brisk, dropping in temperate. A sense of calm worked through her, helping her to grow with ease at the new temperature until it was comfortable, relaxing and she found herself not worried about the fact she didn’t know where she was, who she was, or why she was here. She felt peace.
With those words, she had once more realized she didn’t know who she was, and was about to question the voice on how she was supposed to find herself, preparing to even through in a sharp remark about how she knew where she was. But the retort died on her lips as instead she focused on the mist suddenly swirling up from the ground, the air bubbling in two spots, the floor seeming to turn to water there. Once the transition seemed complete, the water lifted up in controlled streams, bubbles popping as the water rose to a few feet until reaching a height that seemed tailored with her in mind. The pillars of water flattened, hardening and freezing into smooth ice as she approached, the table tops cold beneath her skin, but not painfully so. The tables were empty, but the young woman felt that she wouldn’t have to wait long to discover what they were meant to hold.
Just as she had assumed, objects seemed to appear on the tables – one a piece, while writing etched itself in after. She focused on the writing first, hoping to get a clue as to what she was meant to do. Adaptability? She hummed silently, a finger touching the sphere on the marked table, watching the putty-consistency item mold with her touch. And Stability, this item didn’t mold, it didn’t give at all – all hard, unbreakable. She glanced between the two wondering how she was supposed to know which was her, before focusing on the words it had spoken. They had instructed her to choose what she preferred, not what I am. Understandable if they knew I wouldn’t know what I am. With that she stared for a moment at the items for a while longer before picking up the sphere, “I think I’d prefer being adaptable, thank you.” She placed the sphere in the hole she had noticed, hoping she was doing it right, even as she unswervingly chose who she truly had been.
The next instant, the items disappeared and for a moment she worried she had chosen wrong, only for new items to appear. This time the words were harder for her to focus on, Extrovert or Introvert? Well doesn’t everyone want to be an extrovert, having friend, doing things, going out and seeing people, all that . . . . attention, her hand grabbed the book, wide eyed at the horror of being the center of attention and slammed introvert hard into the whole, once more sticking to who she had been before, unaware that she still was such a person. Again the items disappeared, new ones appearing, and once again her decision making followed the same thoughts, of who she wanted to be, and mirroring who she had been with the choices of the soft cube of agreeable, and the 3-D heart of Emotionally Lead.
And then came what was likely to be the hardest question she had come across so far. Two mirrors, one on each table and seemed to be the exact same. Beneath one was the word Prideful. The other Self-Critical. She hesitated before picking up the Self-Critical one first, and getting the first good look at herself. She was surprised to see the mass of curly hair, long and unkept. The dirt that was smudged against her skin spoke of hard times recently as well. All the little flaws seemed to be ignored as she instead focused on what she must really look like. Picking up the other mirror she looked into that one as well, and suddenly saw herself completely different. Eyelashes dark, her eyes lined with black. Hair straightened, and seeming to be variously lengths that appeared to have been done on purpose. Her lips were darker in color, her cheeks and face off too, and as she grabbed a strand of her hair, she realized that it was curly and unkept like the first image had shown, and suddenly she understood, “I don’t want to be harsh on myself, but I’d rather be real about myself than vain and seeing what I want to see.” With that she selected the Self-Critical mirror and watched it disappear as well.
Blue and Silver colors came to life, and as a handle formed, the young woman reached it and opened it, to be met with a reflective layer of water that gave her the first real glimpse of herself. Tattered clothes, wild hair, she looked like she had been through hell. She was tiny as well, shorter than she had thought she should be. And around her neck was a flash of color, causing her to read the word around her neck, “Kitty? Is . . . is that supposed to be, my name?” For a moment a voice appeared on the wind, masculine ‘Come on, Kitty Kat. Let’s go!’ It was familiar, but unplaceable, and when she tried to think back on the voice itself and not the words, she couldn’t remember it. Just the confirmation of the name. Kitty, she was Kitty.
She then smiled at her reflection, suddenly feeling a little braver as she wiped the remaining tears away, the areas now cleaner than other sections of her face. She glanced around for a moment before speaking softly to herself as the voice echoed in her head
Posted: Aug 9 2018, 10:30 AM
As she walked through the veil of water, it would break into pieces. Small, clear beads of water rolled off her skin and clothes, repelling from her rather than absorbing. They were pushed as she moved through, and seemed to levitate with ease. Floating away from her slowly as they followed the path given to them. They would continue idly moving away from her until they eventually evaporated, small beads minimizing as the water was absorbed into the empty air around it until it couldn't be seen anymore. And as she looked on this new world, she'd find a new vision awaiting her.
The emptiness was filling much of the world around her, a blank white expanse stretching out further than the eye could see. Endlessly, for all she knew. But below her feet and stretching out ahead was something much more noticeable. A yellow path, solid and hard with a wide walkway shot forward, turning at a few angles. It looked like an artificial lightning bolt, if she could recall such a simple. As if to accentuate the symbol for lightning, there was electricity clear on the path. Sparks of yellow light lit and ignited into little, harmless shocks, leading her forward and towards the tables laid out ahead of her, sitting in the center of each sharp turn of the path. Each table was a soft burnt gold color, with smooth, rounded edges curving into a single support.
Complete All, Some, Or None.
A new energy was alight in her, one much less calm than before. It was enthusiastic and encouraging, speaking to a sense of excitement and enjoyment towards the tasks ahead. It could not create these emotions if they were absent, but it could certainly heighten the feelings if they were already there. It sought to keep her energized and ready to take on anything that she might want to. Or, if she preferred, to simply walk by the tasks she didn't feel she wanted to complete and simply move on to the end and the next phase of this strange place.
The first table ahead of her had a soft mallet resting on it, a smooth wooden handle sticking out from its center. Indented into the table were 9 deep, dark holes, but the bottom of the thin table didn't see to have the same holes. Just below them, were three buttons, blue, purple, and red. The blue read "Easy", the purple "Intermediate", and the red "Extreme". If she bopped one with the mallet, little orbs would rise and fall out of the holes, at different speeds based on the option she chose. For easy, there would be 50 orbs over 60 seconds. For intermediate, she'd have 100 orbs over 60 seconds. For extreme, there would be 200 orbs over 60 seconds, popping out so quickly it would be hard to hit many of them. She could retry if she wanted, or complete other difficulties as she wished.
The next held a long keyboard, though the base was missing the piano keys that were required to play the instrument. Laid out on the table in front of it were the piano keys, though they were not normal for the object. Though similar in width, each of the keys were a different length, not by much but still noticeable. The slots in the keyboard were carved and ready for the keys to be inserted, and she'd find she could put the white and black keys in their slots respectively, in any order of length. Be it longest to shortest, shortest to longest, or some other order, she was free to decide how they would be pressed into the object to make it complete.
As she continued, she'd see a third table along the path. This one held a small chest in the center of the table. It had a key lock in the center of the seal, preventing the chest from being opened. It was made of a smooth oaken wood, somewhat thin in make and hollow. If she shook it, she'd hear that there was something within. Resting on either side of the chest were not keys, but other objects she could use to try and open it. On the left was a deep crimson colored hammer, the metal head on the wooden handle ready to puncture the chest forcefully if she tried. On the right she would find a few thin metal tools. They were for lock-picking, if she knew of such a thing, and could be used to prod the inside of the lock to trigger it and pop it open. If she got the chest open, she would find a small medallion, made of gold and in the shape of a star. It was attached to a thin but durable coil of cloth, which could be draped around her neck if desired.
The fourth and final table along the path before the end held a more simple choice as opposed to a task to complete. There was a single-holder candelabra made of a deep golden color in the center of the table, though there was no candle in it. Resting flat in front of it were two candles, one made of a brilliant yellow wax and the other a more cool lavender. They rested on top of a scroll, whose black characters were strange. But if she looked at them, she would find herself understanding the words they wrote on the page.
Of these two only one can be lit. Place that which reflects yourself onto the mount, and it shall light. The yellow represents a nature to charge into new things, always finding new opportunities and running headfirst to experience the world. The purple represents a nature to be patient and thoughtful, analyzing one's choices and selecting a path more planned and suited, even if it requires passing up other chances.
True to the words on the page, once she secured one of the candles into the candelabra, the wick would flicker as a flame grew on the top. Once that was complete, or if she decided to skip it, she would see only a tall, grandiose chair waiting at the end of the path. It faced back at the tables and path she crossed to get here, allowing her to look back at where she'd come from. The cushion on the seat was plush and thick, and the chair stood tall and proud.
Sit Once Finished.
Once she sat in the seat, a new door would appear. This was made of a brilliant golden gemstone, with warmer orange-gold tones decorating the details and handle of this work. It was smoothly and expertly crafted, if someone had handmade such a thing. As she opened the door, she would find herself faced with the same image as before. The veil of water coating the frame extended to block the doorway, reflecting her image and the chair behind her in its vision. But just as before, it would not prevent her passing, and she was free to proceed as she saw fit.
Posted: Aug 9 2018, 11:50 AM
oh, come, take my hand
There was an oddness settling into the young woman's mind, a sort of sense of acceptance but . . . . emptiness. Her emotions were still there, leading her towards, but there was what felt like a void in her mind, of thoughts and memories she should be able to reflect on that weren't there. It was definitely sending her a touch of kilter as she tried to place this waterfall doorway in her memories, searching for any kind of recollection, any kind of 'ah-ha' moment that could fill her in to what it was. She had been told to go through, and so with a deep breath she steeled herself for that.
She wasn't able to think long on this void of her memories, though, as her attention was drawn away from the oddity and the realization she really was missing something within herself was back burner-ed in her mind. Instead she focused on what she was now seeing, the water shattering into small beads, and levitating around her. She stared in awe, her hands lifting up to bat at the beads, watching them roll over and off her skin, and back into the air - floating away from her slowly as it dawned on her once more that she was supposed to be moving forward. A final bat at the beads had them floating away once more the young woman following them into the new world created around her. Her attention was still firmly on those beads as the seemed to evaporate into the air, and finally she could focus on the new world.
There was an emptiness here, a blank white slate that gave her a slightly unnerved feeling as she stared out it. She was more than thankful to finally see a spot of color beneath her, a vibrant yellow that zigzagged across the ground, sparks jumping of from it in a vibrant display of yellow light - and power. They seemed to charge the air with each little jump and arch, each sprinkling of sparks across the path. With each sharp jump of electricity and subsequent following shower of sparks, Kitty felt the empty feeling that had first noticeably filled this land to be replaced with another. She took her first cautious step onto the road, ready to leap back should a sharp shock fry her. Instead the shocks only seemed to embrace her, tingling against her skin in a not unpleasant way, and a smile lit her face in amusement as she slowly sank to a squat, her fingers dancing and playing with the small bouts of electricity and static, unaware that her hair was starting to lift from the effect of the static the electricity was building in her. A gentle nudge of sparks creating a more distinct tingly sensation had her rising again as the sparks and shocks directed her down - never painful, but definitely guiding - along the path. A soft giggle built up in her through, her fingers seeming to wiggle slightly in an unconscious display of sign language that would have been equivalent of sign language version: applauding, not that she was aware of what the movements meant, instead writing it off as excitement caused from the sparks and the delight they filled her with.
She followed the path, noticing she was heading towards something - tables, it would appear, and instantly she was curious for what new puzzles would await her, as she approached, the voice returned,
She practically sprinted to the first table as she looked it over, her small hand curling around the smooth handle of a mallet as she looked over the 0 holes, peering below to see they didn't go all the way through. She looked around the table for any clue to this first puzzle, but only appeared to find three different buttons. Easy, Intermediate and Extreme? She read silently, her eyes reflecting the curiosity that took over her thoughts as she tried to see what this was. Her hand hesitated as she ran over the buttons, wondering which she should pick, Best start with easy, I don't know what this is, and I'd hate to jump in over my head from a lack of awareness. Still seeming to bounce on her toes, the little mallet booped the blue button and suddenly the game began, orbs popping up and she stared in surprise. A few had already sank back down before a connection was made. Mallet, Orbs. Oh! Hit them And just like that the little blonde was smacking at orbs as quickly as she could.
The first game ended, and immediately she had hit the blue button again, this time more ready for what was to happen, and instantly got into the game, hitting the orbs as often as she could. She completely likely seven rounds of the first level before trying intermediate and finding it was a lot more fun and much more high energy - once more feeding the excitement that hummed through her blood, the very sparks below her feet encouraging her to try her hardest. She probably spent her time playing close to twenty five or thirty rounds that time before she tried her hand at extreme. Her mallet was likely only hitting every one out of ten orbs that showed up, but vibrant laughter was leaving the delighted girl as she played the game for as long as she could, slapping and hitting and hitting some more. It wasn't until she began to feel a level of exhaust at playing the game continuously for close to an hour and a half - perhaps even two that she decided to see what the next obstacle was - leaving the game with the knowledge she still hadn't defeated that extreme level - though now she was only missing every three in ten orbs, not every 9 in ten.
Still giggling, but breathing a little hard from the energy she had given to the game, she headed towards the next table. Stopping in front of what appeared to be a large keyboard. Tilting her head curiously, she realized it was empty when she spotted keys laying out. She hesitated for a moment, having no memory of what this was, but figuring she would have to put it together. She glanced between the item and it's missing components before shrugging and beginning to put it together, the white keys going from shortest to longest, while the black keys were just the opposite, from longest to shortest. The giggles were back from the obnoxiousness of what the piano now looked like, but she decided she was fairly fond of the way it look and nodded at a job well finished.
The non-high demand of that puzzle had also allowed her to regain her breath slightly, and she eagerly headed to the next table, skipping along the yellow road as she reached a small chest on the next table. She glanced towards, a hand coasting over smooth oak, before she grabbed at the lock and tried to tug it off. It held strong, and curiosity had her shaking the box to hear something jingling about inside. Glancing around she could see two items, a hammer, and some items that appeared to be long, thin and metal. She was unsure of what the items could be used for, but grabbed them first, bending and testing their worth curiously. She placed them against the edge of the lid to the chest, and used the hammer to try and wedge them in - albeit rather awkwardly so. They stuck out at odd angles and different intervals - but with no memory of what lock picking was - and definitely no knowledge of how to do it, she had assumed the two items needed to work together. There was a noticeably small gap between the lid and main part of the box now and she was eager to try and see how to force the gap bigger and open it. Looking around she saw no more of the tools, but the hammer was still in her hand. Her eyes took on the now straining lock and immediately began to try and pound against it to break it open. Crunching could be heard repeatedly bashed against the metal, hesitating as she noticed it began to warp.
She stopped at this point, afraid that if she continued the lock might be too damage TO open, and instead tried to find a different way in, almost certain that the task was to somehow get it open. She didn't want to break the pretty box though! Finally, she removed a few of the metal rods and jammed them into the lock before using the mallet to try to hammer them in awkwardly. The action took a long time as the rods kept slipping and having to be shoved back in, some rods seeming to fall at odd angles. Awkwardly holding one in place as she tried to shove the other, she felt the first shift and slip again, the second one pressing down suddenly and a click was heard as the lock fell free, causing Kitty to drop the metal rods and lock in surprise, "What? But? How?" She stared at the lock and rods in confused surprise at having accidentally managed to unlock the chest, but also choosing to not look a gift horse in the mouth. The hammer that she had briefly put down (so she could have both hands to stuff the rods inside before she hammered them in) still remained on the table, and she was definitely relieved she hadn't had to break the box.
Finally she remembered why she had been trying to open the lock int he first place and quickly threw the lid back, glancing in to see a small golden medallion, shaped as a star with a durable strip of cloth. Curiously she pulled it free before deciding to carry it with her, perhaps the voice wanted it? And that was why she was sent to retrieve this, "Uhm, excuse me voice-person but is this yours?" She asked awkwardly, not really expecting an answer as she awkwardly did a loop and through to hook it around one of the belt loops on her pants before continuing on down the road - noticing a final table with a chair just beyond it.
As she reached the final table she realized this was not like the others, instead seeing an object made of a deep gold and two small cylinder objects in front of it. Glancing at the bright yellow one, followed by the cool lavender she glanced at them both before gently rolling them to the side to peer at the odd scroll with strange black characters on it. As she lifted the scroll up to read, however, she realized it had a message on it, and eagerly she glanced at it to see what it read. Her gaze quickly traveled from side to side as she read quickly, One of two. Reflect most. Yellow - charge in, running headfirst. Lavender - patient and thoughtful, Analyzing. planning even if missing chances. She stared at the candles hesitantly unsure of which to pick. Sitting down she placed the golden item to one side, and had a candle in each hand. "What a difficult question." She mused quietly. She lifted the yellow up briefly, "I'll admit I don't just jump into things, even in all of this I've been careful to think things threw before doing stuff . . ." As she brought the lavender in front of her gaze, she voiced another concern, "But I don't know if I'd be the sort to analyze for planning and most suited roads. You wait to long being super critical, it's not just other chances you're passing up. You could very easily miss something important if you're too thoughtful." She placed both candles in her lap as she continued to think out loud, "Besides, there is also a matter of occasion, some times you might not have the luxury to think things through - like a life or death. If someone was in trouble, I'd likely jump in to try to help, but at the same time, if the situation at hand was risky - and could result in a life or death situation, thinking up a plan would be the wisest of choices. Oh, why can't there be like a mix of the two options . . . ."
It was at this point that the young woman suddenly smiled, this place appeared to have no rules, and even now she wasn't sure if you were supposed to follow things to a letter. Everything seemed to be made to give you the most ability TO choose how you wanted to respond, and she was far too stubborn to not finish all the quests in front of her. Taking both candles in one hand, and the item they were meant to fit in in the other, she then headed back to the last table and grabbed the metal bits and hammer, sitting back down next to a spawn point of the sparks. Using the metal piece she jabbed it in specific parts of the candles, about 3/4s up from the base of the lavender, and in the same spot in the yellow.
Using the hammer she used it to spear the rod into both candles, repeating the process until there were holes all around that particular point in the candle, allowing for a quick and easy break. She then held her hand over the sparks, once more feeling the tingling sensation - and more importantly the lower level heat that seemed to come with these mild forms of electricity, "I'm sorry if I'm breaking the rules, but I just couldn't choose one candle," She spoke as she pulled the top of the yellow bit from the other candle and let it get warmed by the sparks before awkwardly shoving it onto the larger end of the lavender candle, struggling to mold it nicely and then setting it up so it could cool the tiny bit back down and return to it's harder state, even if it was no longer as pretty, "I'm far more lavender than yellow, but I don't analyze like the lavender would require. I'm patient, thoughtful even and will plan the best route, but I'm also going to jump feet first if a route suddenly sings to me. I'll follow my gut when it speaks up, even if I don't give myself the time to really think out how to follow it. I'm a bit of both. Patient and thoughtful, but ready to jump all in at a spur of a moment if the occasion calls for it!" And she jammed that now Frankenstein candle into the holder, not even bothering to see if it lit and would be accepted as an answer. She placed the candle holder on the third table with out much of another thought as she made her way to the chair.
Posted: Aug 10 2018, 10:23 AM
Keep It Up.
The veil of water worked just as before, breaking into floating beads of water after she walked into it. And once she entered the doorway, she'd feel the electrifying energy fading away. The orbs of water were free to move and be batted at once again as the woman desired, moving as they were touched and rolling along her skin and clothes once more. This time however, she would have even less time to interact with the beads. It would come to be understandable, as the temperature in the room was rising. She could certainly feel the heat rising in this new place, though it wasn't terribly hot or uncomfortable for her.
This next room was likely a bit more alarming than the others, unless she believed wholly that this void was not aiming to hurt her. The ground was laid out with a deep red, flames flickering and covering the ground as far as the eye could see. Even under her feet the fire was flickering up, though with it came a new variety of energy once more to preface the new voice that would guide her as the others had. This was more of a deep a fulfilling energy, a passionate drive flowing through her and igniting any desires or passions she had hidden within, trying to utilize them to assist her in moving forward and continuing with her tasks. And she wouldn't be left waiting to wonder what those might be.
Follow Your Heart.
The flames started to flicker more quickly, the red hues shining as it moved around, fire growing up and out. Those immediately around her remained calm, neutral, as if promising not to move or cause harm in any way. Up ahead though, as the fire continued to move and push back, two paths started to form in their trails, looking much different than anything else she'd experienced up to this point. While everything else had been rather polished and unrealistic, the surreal collection of colors and make building the space around her, these built out into things that had a much more natural look and feel to them.
Branching off to the right was a rather flat, steady dirt path that cut through the rather beautiful scenery. It was filled with luscious green grasses that were decorated with vibrant flowers. As the path progressed further, the flowers would become more and more common around. There wasn't much excitement or activity to be had, but it was a rather relaxing looking place to stroll through. To the left there was a much more filled path, though a bit less orderly than the other. It still held rather healthy and aesthetic scenery, but provided a bit more to interact with. Hills were rising up, growing taller as they pushed on while grass coated them healthily, trees dotting the scene here and there as they stretched towards the sky. There was a pond up along the way, though she wouldn't see it from afar unless she climbed a hill to get an idea of the landscape ahead. There were also some rocks and gravel here and there, providing a bit of a difference in something to interact with, though it was artfully placed in manner and kept consistent with the area, rather than looking like it was randomly scattered.
If the meadow was crossed, she would eventually be brought to an edge where a thin forest awaited her. She would find the same through the hills, needing to cross up and over in order to get to the pond, which lied on the edge of the treeline. The trees were plentiful, but spaced so as not to mask what was ahead much, instead providing a rather clear image of where she could go. The oddity was that she wouldn't smell the fresh scents of nature, the air still seeming as unnoticeable as ever despite the realistic looking scenery around her. And looking into the trees, it was clear that there were a couple different parts of the forest she could go through to continue.
Straight ahead seemed the most typical and normal of her choices forward. In addition, it also seemed to be the easiest. There were no real obstacles, unless one considered the bushes and other flora dotted here and there to get around as such. It was certainly full of natural life and pleasant to look at, and would provide the most direct route through the forest to get to whatever was next. The branches on the trees were too high up to assist in climbing, and there weren't any creatures here to observe and interact with. Still, if she was up for a pleasant forest stroll, this was certainly the way to go.
Off to the left was something much more interesting. The trees almost seemed to merge at the base with the assistance of thick foliage to block the way. But there was a wooden and twine woven ladder hanging from the tree, which would allow her to climb her way up. And it was pretty easy to see that there was a walkway near the top. If she chose to climb up the ladder, she would find the constructed path wove around the trees, allowing help with getting around and moving forward through the treetops. But it wouldn't be easy to get through. There were gaps in them, and each tree wasn't directly connected. She'd have to leap, climbs through branches, or fine ways to swing across in order to make it through. At the end of the path, another ladder would be waiting to help her down, but should would need to pass through at least a dozen trees to get there.
The final path available to her at the moment was something that was perhaps a little less obvious in the way forward. It very suddenly switched into a dense thicket of tall, full bushes. They stretched up almost as tall as the trees went, making it near impossible to get over them. And there certainly wasn't a way around them without taking one of the other paths. The start had a space, showing the trimmed bushes were shaped in a quite specific way. If she was familiar with the concept, she might recognize it as the start of a maze, branching off into either direction from the wall. And inside would prove to be just that. The paths twined and crossed, attempting to confuse her unless she developed a system to check where she'd been before and find the way to the other side. It wasn't terribly long, and if needed she would always be able to find her way back to the entrance, as if she had some innate sense about it when she tried.
No matter which of the paths she took, the end would be the same once more. On the other side, the warm flames greeted her, waiting until she stepped out. The forest turned back to fire, and the wall shifted and swirled to move in front of her. It rushed and moved as it started to create two new paths, these ones a bit more unnatural that the last, even if the materials themselves were real in sight and feel. The sides of both were lined in a thin but durable metal wall, extending up about 10 feet before flattening out into a harsh ceiling. The way through each were very different though, as was normal for these paths.
The path to the right was stuffed with a bunch of chestnut brown dummies. They were bulky figures of some sort of sponge like material beneath the brown cloth, attached to the rod sticking out of the ground. But there was a small metal spring at the base, which allowed them some flexibility. They couldn't be picked up and moved, and were much too tightly packed to be walked through normally, but could be shoved out of the way. It extended back a good 100 feet or so, which meant she would be in for quite the endurance challenge to shove her way through to get to the other side. It would be easy enough in concept, but they would prove to be somewhat heavy and certainly not overly willing to get out of her way.
The opposite choice was filled with a bunch of sponge-like white balls bouncing around. They were all moving very fast, though the way they squished and pressed each time they hit a surface indicated they would not be dangerous to be hit by. However, she would find that one of them hitting her would cause it to stick, and trigger an odd reaction. All of the balls would gather on her and carry her back to the start, before releasing and scattering back to their seemingly random movements. In truth, they were each operating on a pattern, that would help to discern a way through. That wasn't all, however. The path, similar in length to the other, had conveyors belts stripped all across the ground. They were segmented, pushing and pulling in all four directions. It would take a bit of cunning and quick reflexes to get through, or a planned path. But she would find that there were certainly a few ways to do it, if she was willing and patient enough to put in the effort.
Once the final path was chosen and crossed, unless she gave up and caused them both to disappear, she would find another door to mark the end of these challenges. This one stood great and red, the ruby gemstone glimmering as the light from the flames beneath it reflected off it. There was a warm golden tone inlaid into the fine decor of the surface and the handle, very similar in design to the others. However when she opened the door, she would find quite a different image. Instead of the veil, there was a staircase. It was made of a deep orange brick color, ascended upwards. From the top emanated a saffron light, the same light that brought her here. It beckoned to her, trying to draw her in and encourage her to ascend to join it.
And Face Judgment.
Posted: Aug 10 2018, 02:57 PM
heart don't fail me now
Still the heat was warm and high, but not uncomfortable and as she stared at the fire it began to dawn on her that nothing so far had been threatening, in any stretch of the imagination, and she had to believe this to be the same. Taking a step forward, fire rose around her, flickering and licking at her skin, but instead of burning it filled her with a different kind of warmth, lighting a passion that put a vibrant beat to her step. She closed her eyes briefly, taking a deep breath as she allowed herself to embrace the feel, the warmth given to her as she smiled vibrantly. Opening her eyes after a moment, she took a step forward, followed by another, her eyes dancing as if lit by the very flames that surrounded her, alive with wonder and excitement, passion and desires, and nothing was grander than this moment and her desire and passion to prove herself. She suddenly could not wait for what lay ahead in this adventure she was on.
The flames danced faster, flickering in shimmering red hues, growing and flaring up and out and encouraging her forward with their motions (even as the flames around her seemed to remain calmer, neutral, safe. She smiled as she moved, following the flames and heading forward with a certain energy that continued to be fed by the flames and heat in the air, watching as the path began to split up ahead. Spurred by the obvious sign of the next task, she took off at a run to reach it sooner,
The two paths appeared slightly different, the first to the left a beautiful meadow with flowers, while the right appeared to have a much more wild appearance with a lot more excitement and activity to be had. She stared at the two, biting her lip difficulty to choose between the two. One seeming so simple and a relaxing walk, the other would be more exciting and full of adventure. She bounced on her heels, shifting her weight between one side to the other, before she finally turned towards the flowers, "I think I could use a bit more of a relaxing path for a bit. I've been doing a lot of more wild and fun stuff lately anyways. Might as well mix it up a bit, no?" She asked the voice conversationally, not expecting an answer as she started down it, smiling at the green grass, the flowers that grew, the . . . boringness of it. She made it maybe ten minutes before she spun around, retreating back up the path and took the more adventuress route, "Changed my mind!" She yelled as she went, eagerly taking down the route that was far more wild, eyes glistening as she headed through the hills, her fingers occasionally tugging at leaves and branches as she passed by and under them.
The path seemed wild, and for that she was excited as she danced around some rocks, constantly moving and see what was up next. Her eyes lit up at the pond, raising towards the edge to walk in the shallows for as long as she could, kicking up the water, her laugh echoing over the way as she moved eagerly, a never ending smile in face. She jumped from one interactive bit of land to the next, constantly playing and just naturally having as much fun as she could in this next level of puzzles and adventures. She giggled as she came to the end, her eyes lighting up as she noticed a new set of paths ahead of her.
She had reached a forest with what appeared to be a few different choices to get through it. One way seemed to be fairly clear, a direct route, but once again it appeared boring, just a stroll. The next route had a bit more of a thrill to her, appearing to have a ladder that headed up, but not sure what it was at the top, though she was eagerly curious about that route. She glanced around to see if there was any other options. Glancing around she noticed what appeared to be a crack, and headed to investigate it, soon ending up in a bit of a maze, not that she was aware of that until she had explored it a touch, and spent a good forty five minutes looking for the entrance again. Emerging she had her decision made, she headed towards the ladder.
She eagerly climbed up it, headed towards the top as she climbed hand over hand along the wooden twine ladder, refusing to look down incase she discovered a fear of heights. Reaching the top, her eyes lit up with what she could see - a walkway through the tree tops! She was practically jumping for joy at the new adventure, and once more Kitty was headed off at a run, curls dancing behind her as she took forward to see where she was at, headed forward with an exuberance that was fed by the emotional high the fire and warmth this place and fed and coaxed into being. She made her way, eagerly upstaging every obstacle with her own counter. If her memories had returned she'd have felt like she had embodied the spirit of Tarzan or his Jane with in her to get through it!
As it was she was eagerly making her way, jumping over the gaps, using vines to swing to the next landing, and using the branches around her just as often as she was using the walkway, her laughter and shrieks of voice seeming to come alive in the trees, helping to map the path of adventure she was taking, a never ending adventure through the trees, and death defying leaps that she always seemed to make sure she had some sort of secondary plan in case her original plan had her missing a branch, or landing wrong, but working as hard as she can to move forward, and have fun at the same time. There was no doubt, it was the fun that led her forward. Swinging one last time to the final platform, her hands wrapped tightly around a vine, she stuck the landing with a playful bow to the tree in front of her, before heading down the ladder to the floor, "That was fun!" She squealed excitedly once both feet were once again on the ground.
She headed towards the final path, the flames licked up the forest, turning once more to fire, as the flames in front of her greeted her warmly, a laughter fed by her long lasting emotional high had her fingers dancing through the flickering flames in a returned greeting, continuing to walk the path to the next branching, the two paths split by 10 feet tall metal walls, and not nearly as pretty and natural looking as before. She stopped in front of them, looking from one way towards another with a bright, curious expression as she took in the two obstacles, one filled with dummies, the second having tons of small bouncing around. Which definitely looked more fun to her.
Cross Through, She nodded happily as she started on that one, eyes wide as she made her way in, trying to bounce around with out any issues. Two minutes in, she was hit by a ball, laughing as she expected it to dance away. Instead it attached, and it's friends came to visit too! She frowned as they carried her to the beginning again, "Ahh, that's no fair!" And back in she went. Again. and Again. and Again. Getting a little closer, and closer as she began to see patterns and tricks, and where to step and when to duck and went to jump or step to the right or do a backflip and land on her face - well that got her carried back again. But almost to the finish line she sighed and looked up, "Okay I'm taking a brief break, I'll try the other one before getting through this one!" She shouted to the sky, as she headed to the dummies and tried to shove some to the side, noticing their give and with a heavy huff began to push through, going low and spending more time awkwardly slithering around the bases than truly pushing through with her smaller stature and tiny build. Getting to the end of that one, she huffed and began to work her way back to the beginning again, already trying to think of a way through the other path, "Okay, so this one is awkward and I more slithered around the bottoms awkwardly than solve it, so time to try the balls again!" She stated eagerly.
And again, she was working as hard as she could, to get through, using each attempt to give her a bit more knowledge to figuring it out. In total she likely took close to four or five hour before finally making it through and with a celebratory shriek she clapped in excitement as she smiled eagerly as she headed forward towards the new door that appeared, eyes wide as she threw it open with an eager smile of excitement. The smile startled off her face at a surprising scene: a delightful view of stairs. She reached behind her for a comforting contact of skin on skin only to pause in surprise at again, nothing, Why do I keep doing that? She frowned nervously before instead clenching her firsts and dropping them to her side, And Face Judgment. She wrinkled her nose, "That sounds scary . . . But, okay, I guess." And she headed down with a forced determined look on her features. She could do this, Be strong, Kitty! You got this!
Posted: Aug 10 2018, 08:02 PM
The light trickled down the stairs, shining over the woman with a warmth. It was a strong, intense power, welcoming her and helping pull her up. It was an intense and strong power, but it sought to comfort. The energy flowed into her body, searching and seeking out any exhaustion or pain. It would work to cure any discomfort that was caused from her completing the previous challenges, empowering her as she ascended the stairs. At the top she was greeted with a visage much like how it had started. The myriad of orange hues decorated the space as it stretched infinitely,
Just a little further.
Straight ahead, a podium appeared, with a slot open in the middle of it. It was impossible to tell where it may lead, and there was no way to open up the podium. Laying upon it's surface were two tablets. On the first was written 'One for all'. The second, 'All for one' Inscribed above the slot were instructions to choose one, and enter it into the hole. As soon as a tablet was placed within, the podium would vanish, the objects and words the contained with it.
Make your choices.
Another appeared up ahead, looking identical to the first. The same slot, same height, same instructions. This time there were three tablets. The first was 'Defense', the second 'Strength', and the third 'Speed'. Once a tablet was entered, it would vanish just as the first had, taking away any trace of anything having been there.
As that one faded, a third took it's place similarly. The smooth, polished surface held three tablets for her to choose from. The first read 'Intelligence', the second 'Cunning', and the third 'Bravery'. Once the tablet was inserted into the slot it would disappear just as the others, to leave room for the next.
The fourth podium would appear in a similar manner. However, the number of choices would fall back down to two this time around. The options presented were 'People' and 'Adventure'.
A final podium appeared, and the process repeated yet again. The two tablets here were inscribed with 'Direct' and 'Abstract'. Once this podium was completed and disappeared, there would not be another in it's place. The last choice made, Kitty would find herself being left to her own devices for a couple long minutes. The excitable woman might find the silence and lack of challenges a bit boring comparatively to the previous parts of this void. But the air, the entire space around her was still aside from her, some unknown power lingering above, unseen but present all the same.
They define who you are.
If you would like to have Kitty start in a specific place [One of the four settlements - Ashfield, Crater, Oasis, or Forest Beach] PM me to let me know. Otherwise, I will randomize where she starts! @Dyzzie
Posted: Aug 10 2018, 08:49 PM
i will be just fine 'cause
As Kitty walked down the stairs, she noticed lights flowing down at the same time, enveloping her in both warmth and shining over her and welcoming her. A voice soon followed, strong and powerful, comforting and intense,
As she continued down the warmth continued to stretch and as it did so any of her aches and soreness began to feel fade, all the discomfort from the previous challenges leaving her body and feeling fresh and brand new. She stretched slightly, rolling her shoulders before beginning to jump down a few stairs at a time, to reach the bottom faster, giggling as she did so,
But that was okay, because Kitty wasn't the type to give up.
As soon as she touched the bottom again, she paused, grabbed the other tablet from where it had landed and shoved that into the slot now so both technically went in, even if only the first counted, "Unfair decisions," She pouted again, before heading towards the next podium. Instinctively she felt a desire to slam her forehead against this podium as well. "These are such difficult decisions." She didn't take as long on this one, grabbing the speed and putting it into the slot before hesitating, "The least you could have done was let me choose the order of importance at least!" She stated, as everything disappeared.
Still she had moved onto the next, this time grabbing all three. "Intelligence . . . . Cunning . . . . Bravery." She glanced around before Once more trying to shove both the Intelligence and Cunning in at once, "They're even like the exact same thing! Intelligence and Cunning goes hand in hand!" Finally she did shove the Intelligence in before trying to get the cunning in as quick as she could after before finally moving on to the next one. Thankfully this one was a lot easier to answer, grabbing the adventure and shoved it inside happily, "Thank you for an easy one!" She chimed, much happier this time before heading towards the last podium.
This time it was again another hard one, Direct, or abstract. What an abstract question! She mused quietly before glancing from one to another. "Direct or abstract in what ways? Like approaches? Thought patterns? Well, I guess one way or another I'm more or less abstract. Or maybe it's just my mind that is abstract, right?" Se had to admit that she was fairly abstract in the method in which she had solved before pushing the abstract in, "Okay! All done, what next!?" Kitty asked eagerly, once more bright and cheerful now that the hard questions were done, looking around for the next thing, only to find . . . well, nothing. Glancing around slowly, she pouted delicate at seeing nothing. She sat down and glancing around briefly she began to pound a random tune on the ground - but not very well done, alas she is most definitely not a musician to be, but it was a good day to pass the time at least, while she waited to find out what was next.
Posted: Aug 10 2018, 10:37 PM
The moments seemed to drag on as the time passed, without actually passing. But she wouldn't be left to sit long before there were a few changes. The powers from the last few rooms, the presences lingering above, would join in with the current one. As each pushed into the space unseen, she'd see an aurora of colored light to match. First red, then yellow, and finally blue. As they were all not in the same place, the three colors of light bounced and turned and weaved around each other in a cacophony of activity. Something different to look at, but only for a few moments.
Suddenly she was pulled once more, the colors shrinking away and disappearing as the world had before. The warmth enveloping her chest pulled and guided her through the emptiness once more. It was more intense this time, her body having to fight more to keep up with the odd sensations. She'd feel a sense of vertigo as it swarmed her senses, filling her vision and muting others. Her body wouldn't feel uncomfortable otherwise, but it certainly wasn't a comfortable experience. As quickly as it started though, it was over, and there was solid ground beneath her once more.
Slowly, she'd be able to pull her mind together and refocus on her surroundings. Her other senses would come back before sight as her eyes and brain fought to catch up with the shift through the unknown. She'd be able to feel the ground, much different than before. Instead of the oddly flat and hard ground, there was dirt and grass. It was fresh and pretty dry, as heat beat down on her exposed skin. Unlike before, it was a natural heat from the sun, something she might recognize as a feeling, even if she couldn't place it. The fresh air from the life all around her was wafting through the air, the sound of birds chirping in the distance faint.
As her sight came back, she'd be able to confirm what her other scents were detecting. She was on the ground, the spot where she'd been put being a bit more barren than the rest. But it was a clearly amidst a forest, trees and other flora all around her. Up ahead, there was a worn path from somewhat frequent travel that she would be able to make out. The sun was beating down high in the sky, without a cloud in sight among the blue above. If she followed the path, off to the right she would end up finding the silhouette of a building in the distance, the sign of the village nearby even if there seemed to not be people or pokemon around at the moment.
Aside from one creature who was making its way up the path. It was somewhat hard to see walking, small movements with a rather tiny body making its way. The plants somewhat blocked sight of it until it got closer, but if she stood she'd likely be able to get a better look sooner. It was a mouse like pokemon, a rounded body covered mostly in orange fur. It had darker orange cheeks with antennae-like whiskers branching off beneath two teardrop shaped ears. Its stomach was a cream color, and it had a long, thin black tail sticking up as it ran over in her direction. As she saw it, she would feel a pang of familiarity. But with the last of her memories slipping away, she might not be able to place why.
Throughout the challenges, the beasts collect much information for Ho-oh. Once they presented their findings, she selected the final questions for Kitty, based off the types that matched most to her. Through her answers and decisions, Ho-oh has chosen that a Electric/Fairy type with high Speed and HP is a logical match for Kitty. After using this, and many other factors, she has chosen the pokemon and pushed Kitty through the portal outside Forest Beach Village, where her new partner awaits. @Dyzzie
Kitty has obtained an Dedenne!
Choose a gender
Choose an egg move
Choose an ability
Choose a name
[ This topic has ended, but you may resume the adventure in Forest Beach Village. From now on, the Dedenne is yours and is under your creative control. The die roll for the chance to have a Pokedex resulted in an 44, so Kitty does not start with a Pokedex. Send me a PM when you've made the necessary decisions regarding your new Pokemon. Good luck and have fun! ]