|Home||Help Search Members Calendar Shoutbox|
|Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )||Resend Validation Email|
Posted: Oct 6 2017, 10:56 AM
Deviating from the Norm
It didn't seem like anything outside the normal for the day. Wake up, shut off the alarm, lay in bed another 30 minutes, and get ready for work. No matter what happened, how crazy the world turning, how much one's own mind raced, each day would come and pass. And with that came the need for money, especially in times of chaos. Money made the world go 'round, and despite recent tragedies, humans were creatures of tradition it seemed. And so the course of currency continued, and so work continued.
Of course, work was normal as always. A rather uneventful day of answering emails, making calls, and pushing through paperwork. The standard 8-5 grind completed without any notable causes (along with the standard grumblings and inner sarcasm that came with that) and he'd headed home as normal. Soon after, he'd been picked up by a couple friends and they'd headed downtown to play some Pokemon Go. There were always more pokemon and stops downtown, plus gyms to take over.
The weather was nothing special. Not too hot, not too cold. Well, warm for the season for the area, but otherwise just fine. The three of them walked, chatting idly as a cool breeze brushed through, rustling the grass on either side of the sidewalk. Over off to his right some distance he could see the river coursing through the city, gently pushing as it did. They were over the river, one part of their path offering a way down to the water's edge, but the trio preferring to stay above where they were as they walked.
"Oh, my 10k is hatching!" The extrovert with the dirty blonde hair called out, another of her eggs hatching. He'd always thought as the nerdiest about pokemon of the group, he'd be the one doign the most on the game. And yet, this girl who knew little to nothing about pokemon was always walking so much more than him, hatching eggs left and right while he was lucky to hatch a couple a month. "Let me see! I'm gonna be salty if you get another good one while mine hatch into freaking mantines." He hopped over next to her, despite being only 2 feet away, arcing his head in to watch.
It hatched, and out came a Chansey. "No fair!" He pulled his head back, shouting as if he was mad but smiling all the same. Even if it wasn't fair. "Nice! I needed more chansey candy." He pouted. "I still need a chansey. It's no fair that you always hatch all the good ones." The third simply watched and smiled, not as chatty as the other two of them. She spoke and got her words in as needed, and seemed to enjoy being around them, but the woman with the dark curly hair wasn't quite as loud as the other two.
They walked a bit more and lo and behold, the announcement pulled up on his phone. "Oi! My 5k is finally hatching." He stopped walking and watched, his two friends perching over either shoulder to watch as the animation played out. His expression turned incredulous, with a smile poking through. "OH COME ON! How come you guys get all the good stuff??" He moaned as the others laughed. The dark haired woman spoke up. "Yeah that sucks." He looked back and closed out the pokemon screen, not even the slightest bit interested in the Zubat's stats. He didn't walk 5k for another zubat!
"Hang on real quick, I'm heading to the bathroom." "Okay!" I'll come with you." The two young women headed off to the bathroom, and he turned his eyes back to his phone. He'd take the quick break as an opportunity to get rid of some extra pokemon, lest he run out of space while they were walking. Smoothing down his shirt and shifting the headphones resting around his neck, the redhead set to it, idly tapping away at his phone. He was keenly aware of the other people around him, but tried to pay them no mind as they wandered by about their own business.
Posted: Oct 6 2017, 04:39 PM
And just like that, with the single command of an empowering voice, the familiar world that he gazed upon vanished. His body, pulled away and into darkness, the colors and sights of downtown vanishing in seconds while he traveled into this strange, dark world. It consumed him, enveloped him, this suffocatingly bland yet seemingly endless place. The unknown force continued to guide the man through quickly, leaving little time to ponder what this was or what it meant.
Until suddenly he passed through a warm light that appeared in an instant, back first into the new golden-orange, the black circle from whence he came almost appearing to close up, getting smaller as the saffron took over everything around and snuffed out the darkness. A comforting energy trickled in, restoring his body and energy to prepare him for what lies ahead. It filled him, slow but steady, working through the muscles, nerves, bloodstream, until it was satisfied. Then it simply vanished, leaving him better than before- feeling calm, and prepared.
A single droplet pricked his cheek just above his cheekbone, quickly trailing down the shape of his face before falling to the ground, slipping off and around anything that might get in its way. It splashed into the ground, creating a bubble of water that immediately started spreading. A thick layer of rich blue water spread across the ground from nowhere, quickly reaching out to the furthest inches of the horizon. The cool, calming color spread into the air and sky, covering up all traces of the saffron that had greeted him in this strange place.
Choose one or two.
About 10 feet ahead of him, the water coalesced in three spots, bubbling up as the thin beams were constructed. As it worked upwards, the water's path froze into a smooth, clear ice. It continued, fanning out at the top and creating a flat surface. Atop each of the tables, different items started to crystallize. The flakes of ice slowly multiplied, tiny specs growing and binding together in different ways as they created the desired objects. Once each was complete, the inside of each looked frosted, however would oddly enough not be cold to the touch.
The leftmost held a series of tiles, strung together with corded wire. Each tile had a number on it, save for the last two tiles, which were blank. Just beside the tiles was a black marker, which could be used to write in his answers to the number puzzle on the blank tiles. The numbers and their order were:
16, 2, 15, 4,13, 7, 10, 11, 6, _, _.
The center table held plaque and a brush. The plaque was long and rectangular, with a clear margin etched to split it in two equal segments. The surface was a pale, beige color. The top half had a symbol on it, seemingly brushed with ink. The bottom was blank, the brush resting to the side. If he tried the brush to the empty space, he would find even without ink it would mark. If the symbol was replicated below, both would fade and the top half would show a new symbol. This pattern would continue, each symbol becoming a little more complicated than the previous. As well, it seemed there was a time limit on each, getting shorter each time. If the woman was not quick the symbol would reset to the start, forcing him to restart.
The last had four beams sticking up, evenly spaced from each other in a line. Set next to them was a mallet, the handle a texture ice with a solid, smooth blue end. Using the mallet, the rods could be hammered into the table, though with each blow they would get increasingly tougher. It would take a lot of effort and strength to be able to hit all four completely into the table, but there was no catch or trick to this puzzle that would keep him from getting it done and taking his time.
Complete the tasks.
Once two of the tasks was completed, or if only one task was complete and he decided he was finished, the tables and objects would revert back to water and disappear into the layer coating the floor, sending ripples across the void. Ahead, a door would appear, the crystal blue handle shining against the smooth icy surface. It didn't seem to go anywhere, but looking around there was nothing else of interest. Should he choose to enter the door, there would be a veil of water shining in the doorway, though passing through it would be easy enough.
And move forward.
Welcome to the void between universes. Ho-oh and her beasts will challenge Kaien in a variety of ways, to discover how he 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 Cheers is unsure or unwilling to complete a challenge, he need only sit down and they will progress to the next step. They will use his methods and choices to help determine what type of pokemon compliments Kaien, and his process will be considered when selecting their partner. However, Ho-oh's decision is influenced by what she believes works best in tandem with Kaien, so where the answers lead may yet surprise you!
Posted: Oct 11 2017, 09:35 AM
Facing The Unknown
It started, it rushed, it pulled, and it was over. The emptiness crowded around, clouding his vision, but that was hardly the main focus in this situation. His body moved, nerves timgling from the new and sudden sensations as he was quickly displaced from everything he knew. It zoomed out, and quickly even the darkness shot away as well, the warm orange light taking over around him.
It stopped, and he stumbled. The sudden motion had been disorienting, to say the least. The nerves on his legs tingled, but were quickly replaced by a comforting energy. Still, he folded one leg and bent the other knee, squatting his body close to the ground. One hand rested on his higher knee, the other splayed out fingers that pushed into the solid ground beneath him. His eyelids fluttered closed for a second, and he took a deep breath. The words resonated through his mind, though the feeling was rather natural in times of oddities or disaster. He was, and would remain, completely calm.
Long eyelashes opened again, revealing deep brown eyes that scanned over the world around him, blank and endless in its orange light. Before he could think much on it, a bead of water struck his cheek, his left hand raising to wipe even as it fell to the floor. There was no trail of water left behind. That was certainly another oddity. The floor beneath him bubbled with cool blue water, and he stood quickly out of reflex. So this world lacked logic, apparently. Great.
If this could be called a world. He wasn't one to dream much, and this was certainly surreal, but it was too real. This wasn't a lucid dream, of that he was sure. As things began to change, to expand, to cover, he would remain ready, studying, waiting, watching. He'd observe, trying to take in every detail to determine the nature and purpose of this strange place and more so, his presence here. He was not one to dwell on the why's and worries of the situation. Instead, his mind pushed forward, and towards whatever laid beyond. That subtle fear of the unknown pricked, but the excitement of something new, of something adventurous and unexplored was the main controller of his mind.
The cool air, the slight chill that greeted him now was... welcome. In times of deep concentration and potentially threatening situations (whether direct or abstract threats), he tended to get too warm. It was tougher to focus when beads of sweat were pooling in his hair and on his forehead. The environment was perfect for helping him to focus more on the situation at hand, and the water that created tables before his eyes. While unrealistic to anything he'd ever known, it was certainly intriguing to watch.
Three tables, each with a clean, clear icy finish. The way the water moved and the froze once complete likely factored into the rather smooth looking surface that each seemed to have. The objects, forming together from flakes of ice, had a more particle bound appearance, the flakes creating an interesting texture on the inside. It was quite beautiful, he had to admit, but knew focusing on what they are would be the proper course of action. Whatever powers reigned over this place were clearly expecting him to play along. And hey, he was willing enough.
He moved to the center first, wanting to get the best angle to see all three. Idly a hand passed over the edge of the table, feeling the smooth texture, which was somewhat as expected. He noted that there was no bite to the ice, no freezing that would cause damage to his begrudgingly delicate skin if exposed too long. Whatever kinds of challenges these were, they weren't designed to harm him, clearly. Masking the damaging temperature that came with ice was clear indication of that.
A brush, ink, and plaque, with a symbol showing on top of the pad. Based on the items, he would have guessed it was either a matching type of challenge, to draw the symbol successfully, or some other more hidden puzzle. But given the unknown charater and lack of other materials to discern a question or other information to reveal what to do, he deduced it was likely the former. But it wouldn't do to complete on of the three before actually looking at all three.
His gaze turned to the left, looking over the next table of his choice. Wire pulled and held together a series of tiles, ordered well with a couple blanks from what he could tell. He read that they had numbers aside from the last two, which indicated that he'd need to figure out what should be on those two tiles if they weren't blank. The marker sitting next to it confirmed the thought, though he couldn't actually be sure until he investigated further. For now, though, he'd check out the last of the challenges before him.
Four beams stuck out of the table, though the base of each in the table indicated they weren't stuck in place. Either they could be pulled out, or pushed in. His eyes noted the mallet sitting with them, and figured it was likely the latter. Hammer the poles into the table. Seemed simple enough, but he doubted it would actually be simple. Otherwise, what would be the point behind it. The instructions had been complete one, or two. Idly wondering what would happen if he completed all three, he at the very least ruled out the beam challenge.
The symbol matching would likely be the easier of the other two, so he took steps through the water towards the leftmost table. The subtle splashes of his shoes sent ripples across his peripheral vision, but his mind stayed focused on the puzzle at hand. He grinned a bit, always up for a good challenge. He stepped up to the table, both hands gripping the sides of the top as he leaned into his straight arms and over the numbers that glared back at him. His expression remained neutral as he studied the numbers to define what needed to happen here.
16, 2, 15, 4, 13, 7, 10, 11, 6, and then the two blanks. Yes, clearly a puzzle, where he needed to define which numbers came next in the pattern. In a direct row, they didn't have a pattern, but it was easy to spot that every other number was more related than the ones directly next to them. So, it split to 16, 15, 13, 10, and 6, and 2, 4, 7, and 11. 16 droped 1 to 15, 2 to 13, 3 to 10, and 4 to 6. 2 rose 2 to 4, 3 to 7, and 4 to 11. Yes, it was simple enough. With a fluid motion he took his hands off the table and picked up the marker, uncapping it and moving to the first tile to write in 16, by adding 5 to 11. In the second space he wrote in 1, by subtracting 5 from 6. Satisfied, he recapped the marker and placed it down, moving over to the plaque once more.
He studied the symbol and picked up the brush, idly looking for the ink to go with it. There was none. He glanced back at the marker for a second, but quickly ruled it out. Surely in a place where one could literally build whatever they desired they wouldn't have left out components to complete the task at hand. With confidence he glazed the brush over the empty surface, carefully using the reference to draw the character. It changed, and he studied it for a moment before continuing.
When it reverted back to the first, it clicked. So that was the challenge. He smirked, the realization of a speed challenge sinking in rather quickly. He carved the symbol with the brush, and moved much more quickly as the next appeared. More appeared, and his quick strokes carried him a few through. But as the speed increased, his focus on precision did not. With one failed pushing him back to start, he took a deep breath, and started again, focusing more on making sure they symbols were neat, or at least legible, without sacrificing speed.
Third try was the charm, and the challenge was completed. He knew, because as his hand moved to mark the plaque again, he froze as the top appeared blank, no more to complete. Then, the brush and everything else that had been made out of ice suddenly thawed and splashed neatly to the floor, melding into the surface with only ripples to show anything had been there before, the little waves pushing out and reflecting off each other.
The delicately carved door appeared ahead, and he took one final look around to make sure he wasn't missing anything. Satisfied with the thought that he'd completed the tasks as instructed, he moved towards the door, passing a hand over the texture of the door first. Then he opened and looked on. He saw his face in the reflection, his body surrounding in that blue glow all around. Suddenly wishing he'd shaven earlier due to the scruff looking back at him, he shrugged and stepped through, curious as to what would come next.
Posted: Oct 11 2017, 04:53 PM
It spoke as he moved thoughtfuflly through the door, water spreading over his form, but leaving no trace of moisture on his person as he passed through. As he stepped into the new world, the darkness around him illuminated by minute sparks of electricity, lighting the air and decorating the floor beneath him. At the same time, the ground started to light up with pulsing electricity. Power from this new presence and flowed through Kaien, the lightning bouncing around proving to be helpful and energizing to him rather than threatening.
A new voice spoke up, matching the rhythms of the energy around him. The ground shook before rising - a platform rising under him. It rose a few feet from the rest of the level floor, showing it's shape. It took the image of a fake lightning bolt, Kaien positioned at it's point. It zigzagged, creating four points where the bolts changed direction before ending. At each of these corners, lightning struck, leaving behind a table each. They glowed with a dim light, keeping to the yellow tones that colored his vision.
The first table held a piece of paper, inkwell, and pen. Otherwise, the table was plain, it's surface seemingly shaped too largely for the objects it held. But, nothing else appeared. On the paper read instructions to complete the puzzle below. There were numbers arranged in a specific order, and they took up multiple lines. Under this, the words read:
Where A is 26, B is 25, and so forth, find my letters.
The next table he encountered would have 2 half spheres, one white and one black. Carved into the middle of the table was a groove, matching the shape of the objects sitting atop it. Above the hole on the table, the words glowed, instructing him to choose one and put it into place. Upon inspection, the bright white would channel a feeling of peace and purity. It was devoid of conflict, but also gave a feeling of loneliness as well. The black would oppose that, giving a feeling of friendship and social grace, but with it came the inevitability of taint and hardship.
On the third table rested a golden three-pronged candelabra. Lying in front of it were 6 white candles, each with a different word written on them in strange orange writing. It was unlike any sort of marking he'd ever seen, however he was able to read and understand each clearly. The six words were: Empathy, Willpower, Generosity, Courage, Intelligence, and Kindness. Beneath them, the table instructed him to pick the three most important traits.
The last table mirrored the first, holding parchment, ink, and a pen. However this one read instructions to answer a riddle, which was the following:
Though I have a name for me, I do not quite exist.
What am I?
Complete all, some, or none.
At the wide end of the bolt, a shining golden chair appeared. It was elegant, intricate designs tracing every inch of the large chair. It's seat was fluffed with a cushion. It faced him as he walked up towards it, enticing him to take a seat and relax after having passed the last table.
Sit once finished.
Once sat in it, he would be looking down the bolt, seeing all the tables he completed or left unfinished as he waited for whatever would be next. After a few moments, the tables blasted back into lightning, shooting up into the sky. Slowly, the platform lowered to the ground, until it was even with the rest of the void again. Then, a door appeared ahead, the silver handle ready to open the doorway.
Cross through the door.