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Posted: Feb 26 2018, 03:10 PM
Cass groaned as she slowly pulled herself up from the wreckage of her house again. This always seemed to repeat. Her eye's already gone, her Pokemon's already gone, there's nothing left that she's supposed to lose, as far as she knows. But still, she wakes up in the crushed remains of her former home every time, regardless of where she fell asleep. It was an unfortunate run of things, but she'd learned to deal with it. In fact, she'd even made a little shelter out of it, stocking it with supplies as she went along.
No new bruises, meaning she wasn't in any fights recently. Nice. She brushed herself off, looking around what was left of Vermilion with a sigh. Time for another day in paradise, she mused to herself with a dry chuckle.
With that in mind, she almost stepped outside, jerking her foot back as something hit and stung. Fuck, acid rain again. She cursed under her breath, followed by a sigh. She was stuck here again, and supplies were running a bit low. If she rationed it out, she'd maybe have another... two days? Three if she starved herself a bit. Fun day, it was.
Funny, it wasn't the 15th last time she checked.
Hours passed in silence as she simply watched the rain, nearly falling asleep to the sound of it before a loud crash shook her to attention. Was that the tree again? Third time this week, events were repeating again. Goddamnit. On the bright side, the rain was letting up, giving way to an eternally cloudy sky. Was this what she was meant to do for the rest of her life? Watch as the world around her went to hell, without a single friend to confide in?
...She shook her head, willing away those thoughts. Despair leads to death. Survive another day, someone will find her, right?
The day never came.
Seven years passed in this rhythm. Survive to tomorrow, don't ever look back. Sometimes, things shifted. Vermilion was whole again, yet still empty. Then it all broke. Pokemon thrived in the woods, then dead corpses littered the wilting trees. Nothing was a constant, and Cass had learned to live with that. She was a bona fide survivor by this point. The last time she saw her home, she was sitting inside her little den, head hidden by her hood as she relaxed, content for the moment with a decent stock, one week's worth of supplies. A break was in order. She hummed silently to herself, playing her guitar aimlessly as she thought about her plans for tomorrow.
A loud crack sounded from outside. Not again. She swung the guitar around to her back by the strap, throwing off her hood and running to look outside her little home, making sure it wasn't a rock from the sky again. Last time that happened, she almost got herself killed. But upon looking out, her whole world felt changed.
Cass gasped, practically throwing herself back into her shelter with a wince at the impact she made. Gun, gun, where the fuck's her gun? Just in case these guys are hostile, or less than savory. A moment of panicked searching, then her eye finally caught it. There it is. Loaded, safety off, everything's good. She placed it in a holster, quickly putting it at her hip. Okay, cool. A deep breath, and she's stepping out of the shelter.
And there's a gun pointed at her face.
Well, isn't this splendid?
Posted: Feb 26 2018, 10:09 PM
You Are Saved.
The gun flared, that was for sure, though not as she might have expected from her own knowledge - nor the assailants. Instead of a bullet that would have likely killed the girl who'd been suffering in this world alone for so long, there was an orb of orange light. And suddenly, the glowing orb was two - no, four, eight? - The continued multiplying, protecting her as they wrapped around her body, embracing her and warmly holding her torso. But before any of them could get any words of, in fear, surprise, or gloating, she was suddenly wretched away.
Her body was pulled, but not into the shelter she had just left. That world, which had been crumbling and threatening her life for so long, shrank away until she could see it no longer, disappearing as her body was moved away from what she had known. Around her now, if she could get past the dizzying and somewhat nauseating sensation, was just... nothingness, stretching out around her. There was no end, no beginning, to this place she was traveling through against her will - or, perhaps for some tortured souls, she was more than willing to be rescued from that eternally suffering universe.
Then, suddenly, it was over. She was standing on ground, which glowed with a cool blue light. Water was balanced on the surface of the circular platform she was on, with a diameter of about 10 feet. Outside the platform was the same emptiness that she'd faced while being brought here, but she had full control of herself now as opposed to then, and the dizziness had faded. In it's place, a calming energy seeped into her skin, seeking to soothe her worries and prepare her for the tasks ahead. The water beneath her rippled with each movement, each calculated water pushing and rebounding off the edge of the platform.
Which Would You Prefer?
The edges of her platform would start to push up, forming shimmering blue walls. The edges shifted and changed, created flat ends that made the shape 6-sided rather than a full circle. The walls that came up were all made of a mirror-like material each with a diamond handle that could be used to pull them open. They shined, but did not reflect her in her current state as she might have expected, nor did they reflect each other. As she looked into each of the 6 mirrors, she would find herself faced with a new image, a different version of herself, looking back.
Straight ahead, she'd see herself in clothes that were not necessarily unflattering, but clearly not created for design. They were practical, and could be used for a multitude of purposes. She'd see a couple scenes occur before her - She was working with animals, grooming the head of a sheep as a fresh bucket of milk sat to the side. She was working with a machine, pressing fabric to prepare it for use in larger products. She was working with wood, a variety of carving tools and machines at her disposal. Three words appeared at the top of the mirror: Practical - Mechanical - Realistic.
The next over, going clockwise, was a completely different scene. Her clothes were well-knit and comfortable, with a long white coat draped around her. She was happily standing at a blackboard, scratching chalk along the surface to solve complex problems and equations. She was in a lab, weighing a couple vials of different liquids in her hands as a bunsen burner sat heating a third, which was suspended above the flame safely. She was holding a clipboard and paper, scratching notes as a pyroar roamed around an enclosed environment. The words appeared: Precise - Scientific - Intellectual.
The third held her in an outfit that stood out much more than the others. The design was much more complex and beautiful, this one showing much more time and effort put in to both the choose and the make of the ensemble. She was an actress, center stage and delivering flawless lines to an adoring audience. She was an artist, a palette of paint in one hand, and her other holding a paintbrush to a canvas, painting a beautiful image. She was a musician, gracefully pulling a bow back and forth across a violin, playing the beautiful melody from the pages in front of her. The words appeared: Expressive - Original - Independent.
Continuing in the circle of mirror-faced doors, the next in line would show her in a more conservative outfit. Nice enough to be well chosen, but not so showy so as to draw attention to herself. In the first image, she was standing in front of a chalkboard, writing figures on the board while a series of children sitting in desks watched her every stroke. She was walking into a smaller room, with light tones and a white bed in a cream frame with locked wheels. The person in the bed was dressed in an odd garment, and she tended to an open wound. She was sitting in a comfortable chair in a cozy room with a clipboard, a person across from her pouring their feelings out as she listened. The words appeared: Helpful - Friendly - Trustworthy.
Fifth in line the mirror reflected a version of her dressed in more formal, business like clothes. They were clearly very expensive, but made for work dealings and presentation rather than the spotlight. She was standing on a stage at a podium, speaking to a large audience collected in front of her. She was standing in a marketplace, holding the latest technological advancement in pokeballs and advertising to passerbys. She was in a conference room, standing in front of a displayed slide deck as formal men and women were collected and watching her bright and attractive presentation. The words appeared: Energetic - Ambitious - Sociable.
The final mirror showed her in clothes that were best described as orderly. Nothing about the stood out in particular, but there was not a crease to be found. The patterns were present, but just so to create a soft, unnoticed image. She was in an office filing space, organizing a series of files and putting them inside a drawer in a careful, perfect order. She was sitting at a wide desk, papers in one hand and the other plugging numbers into a calculator furiously, writing down numbers here and there. She was working on a process line, stamping products as they came down the same way, simply helping to operate the machine in mass development. The words appeared: Orderly - Systematic - Habitual.
Make Another Choice.
Once she opened the doorway she chose to enter, a wide tunnel would be waiting, though it was not very long. At the end was a more open room, with a table in the center waiting for her. There were no other doors here, and she would find once she crossed through the first she would not have the option of turning back, as the wall filled in where the door should have been. The table was made of smoothly carved ice, brilliant in design and not painfully cold to the touch. A few items rested on the surface of this new table for her to look at.
The first was an intricately designed hand mirror, of which her own face was reflected. As she would likely know, it was meant for reflecting on yourself to study your own appearance. Next to it, in the center of the table, was a set of binoculars. Unlike the previous, these were made for enhancing one's vision in order to watch and study others, and visages in real life. The final object of the trio was a painting, which served neither purpose. It was instead something that had been crafted to look at itself, rather than being used to look at something or someone else than the object itself.
Once her choice was made, she would be provided a way out of this room. A shimmering door would appear across the other side of the table against the wall. It was a tall, grand door made of a brilliantly carved sapphire gemstone. Along the frame and etched into the design was silver, to compliment the deep color. The handle shined and called to her to open the door, and once she did, she'd find it to be much lighter than expected. Inside the frame was a veil of water, reflecting her and the room behind her. But she would find herself able to easily pass through to whatever lie in wait next.
Much More To Complete.
Welcome to the void between universes. Ho-oh and her beasts will challenge Cass 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 Cass 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 Cass, 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 Cass, so where the answers lead may yet surprise you!