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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 spaces are 0, A is 1, B is 2, and so forth, find my letters.
9 0 12 6 5 5 0 3 5 18 19 21 4 5 0 25 2 0 8 5 1 5 20 3 19 18
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 you 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.
Posted: Oct 27 2017, 10:19 PM
Up For The Challenge
Pushing through the water, the sensation of the water simply rolling over his skin and clothes was... well, best put, surreal. It was an interesting feeling, which immediately turned his mind towards the properties of such a liquid that it would function in such a way, since he knew his skin and clothes certainly weren't the causes of water being repelled from simply soaking in. But as he turned to investigate further, he found the door was gone.
He pursed his lips. What a shame. Still, his attention was quickly taken by the sparks of electricity running amok in this strange world he was in. It sparked and lit up the looming emptiness all around him, and his mind sought to soak in every last detail of the ever-changing environment. Of course he knew he wouldn't retain any level of information that would be satisfactory to what he'd like to be able to recall, but that didn't mean he wasn't about to try.
The voice spoke again, though there was no body around. He looked, just to be safe, but he could tell this voice was telepathic. Another oddity he'd need to analyze at a later date. Perhaps he'd simply just snapped. It didn't seem like it, but then again, since when did anyone who was legitimately insane have any sort of clarity into their condition anyway? To him, it was true insanity when the one in question was commiting insane acts and justifying each one without remorse or emotional control.
His stance widened, feet pushing into a more controlled position, as the ground began to shook. It started to rise in front of him, creating a sort of incline. Though given the gradual effect and the fact that it stopped soon enough, he felt comfortably classifying it as a safe change. Well, safe was relative in many situations, but he wasn't afraid to say the least. And didn't feel any need to worry. There was no point dwelling on what had happened or what could happen. No, he chose to focus on the now, on the details of this strange place that surrounded him.
He jumped as the lightning struck, though only on the first strike. The next three he stood still, watching, waiting. It finished, the tables being left in the place of the electricity, causing him to quirk his eyebrow. Even for a couple minutes after the path was finished building, he simply remained frozen in place, observing and studying. He needed... to process this. It was all so illogical, it was hard for him to predict what would come next based on facts. And how he hated when things broke facts and logic.
The voice spoke to him as the challenges being made were completed, giving him clear instruction that he only needs to complete those he wished to. But where was the fun in that? It seemed like a challenge to complete them all, even if it hadn't been issued as such. He chose to accept the subtle challenge and be sure to complete each and every task that was set out before him. As the corner of his lip tugged up, he unfroze and started to walk forward towards the first table.
He noted the inkwell and pen.Classy. He nodded subconsciously in approval as his eyes glanced over the parchment, quickly scanning the words. A puzzle? He did enjoy puzzles. Analyzing the instructions and the puzzle itself, he picked up the pen and quickly dipped it into the inkwell. Carefully, he started writing out the letters and assigning them to the numbers, based off the instructions with A and B. Once they were all assigned, he set to translating the numbers in the puzzle to letters, so he would have an idea what he was unscrambling.
With the letters established, he started unscrambling the easiest of the words, leaving those that didn't stick out immediately blank. I feel blank by blank and there are still stairs to walk. Wait, not stairs. There was an l, and not two s's. Trails, or Trials. And the blanks... The seconds screamed out as Teachers after a few scribbles, and then the first came out as recused. I feel recused by teachers? No, that can't be it... can it? Recused referred to legal situations were one was withdrawn from performing legal duties, normally due to conflict of interest.
Other words... Well, for teachers it could be cheaters. Recused could be a number of possibilities. Rescued, Secured, Reduces. He ruled out reduces immediately. Probably rescued or secured then. In which case, teachers was likely the option that best suited the phrase. Since it's walk, trails is likely the option as well. I feel rescued by teachers and there are still trails to walk. He still felt unsure about rescued versus secured. But he couldn't just move on without answering at all. He took a few minutes, considering the options, before writing the sentence on the page.
I feel secured by teachers and there are still trails to walk.
With that finished, he started diagonally towards the next table. Up the... jagged path. Or, was jagged the right word? He mused over the words that could be used to describe the shape of the path as he walked, none of the words in his mind seeming quite right. Zig Zag? Kinda. Angled? No, the would insinuate a single angle rather than a series. Pointed? See previous. He cut off the train of thought as he approached the next task looking over the objects atop the surface of the table.
First he looked at the items. The instructions weren't nearly as interesting to look at, and he could just read them before he did anything. First, he looked over at the darker half-sphere, as the feelings rushed into him. It brought back emotions from being around friends, social grace and all that. It was a bit warm, mixed with the anxiety he always had in social situations. Then the hardship and taint dragged in, making it so much worse. He didn't enjoy fighting for things much.
He broke his focus and looked to the other, the peace flowing in a soothing him. It was much better feeling like things were easy, like there was no conflict. It hinted towards a life he always seemed to be fighting to get too, one where he didn't have to struggle so much just to survive. There was a pang of loneliness, but that didn't bother him. He enjoyed, thrived even, when he was alone. A true introvert at heart, being by himself wasn't a problem so the preference in this choice was clear. As he read the instructions, he quickly inserted the white half into the table and turned to move on.
The next table was approached, and he appraised the items here. The beautiful golden candelabra stood brightly above the rest, the candles around it waiting to be put in. There were three slots on the holder, and six candles. He quickly scanned over the instructions,and moved to inspecting the candles. He soon realized each on had a different word on it, which made sense, given that he was being told to pick the 3 most important traits. He'd need to read all of them before making decisions.
Or, so his original plan was. The first he picked up read intelligence, and he placed in on the center holder without hesitation. It was doubtful any of the others would measure up to the importance he places in intelligence and knowledge. It's like, the basis of everything he does, to gain more intelligence and knowledge in life. He read through the others, considering the options. Kindness, Courage, Empathy, Willpower, Generosity. Kindness was... good to have, but without Empathy, understanding when people need that kindness, it was aimless, he set kindness to the side. Generosity followed soon after. Gifting others in need was great, when you could afford it, but there were more important things in life.
So that left 3 traits, and 2 slots. Courage was important, being ready and able to take on the challenges faced in life. The courage to overcome your inner demons as well as external threats to your being, rather than backing down. To him, it felt essential. Willpower was a little more abstract, but it was important to be able to control yourself when tempted. Though, was it really more important than the others? Empathy was important, because everything in life seemed to be based on your reputation. You can't really go anywhere if you don't have good relationships, so being sensitive to others feelings and pain was important. It was more personal to him then anything else, but that was the purpose, right?
He placed Courage and Empathy in the remaining slots to the left and right, respectively. Satisfied, he turned and headed towards the final challenge in this strange place. The glowing chair resonated in the distance, claiming his attention for the moment, but he quickly pulled himself back. He should focus on one thing at a time, and avoid getting ahead of himself. He didn't want to get carried away thinking about things he wasn't even faced with solving yet.
Another piece of parchment, with ink and a pen. Another puzzle? He was momentarily excited at the possibility, but then started reading the page. His expression dropped a bit when he realized it was a riddle. Oi, he wasn't good at riddles. He was difficult at relating abstract elements to the specific key word someone wants him to guess. Well, that was less than ideal, but no matter his preference against it, he certainly wasn't one to turn down a challenge.
I do not quite exist. So, something not physical. Stepping beneath sun, moon, and star. All were hanging in the sky above the earth, in space. Sun and Stars creates light, which allows them to be seen, while the moon reflects the light of the sun. Still, all were sources of light generally, the moonlight in night giving some semblance of visibility. But light likely wasn't the answer. Shadow crossed his mind, but he found it hard to believe shadow would be related to stars. Thoughts? It's named, is always with you, but is simply an abstract processing of information within ones mind. That could potentially be the answer, but he was hung up on the comment about it not existing.
Space? It doesn't exist technically, has a name, and is related to sun, moon, and stars. No, space doesn't move, or go with you in any phrasing. He mulled over the options more, thinking of other words and ruling them out as he did so. Several minutes later, he returned to the sun, moon, and stars. He still couldn't think of anything relevant, aside from the light they portrayed. But again, the moon reflects, not gives, so light was out. Shadows followed one, and were created due to light. He didn't like it, but after spending way too long waiting and thinking, his eyebrows furrowing was starting to cause a headache. So he massaged his temples and wrote 'Shadow' on the page.
And with that, he could turn his attention completely to the chair, standing gloriously above them all. It looked regal and cushy and he was excited to test it out. He practically hopped on his feet as he moved up, pivoting and carefully descending into the chair. Crossing one leg, he grinned and looked out over the 4 tables with the challenges he'd completed. He felt oddly powerful, and chuckled at the feeling. Like he was some ruler or great villain. Oh, he just needed a cat across his lap to really feel like a villain.
The bolts made his body flinched, as the tables were taken away into the lightning that had brought them. "Some warning next time?" He grumbled to no one in particular, but shocked enough that he didn't care. Then, the platform in a bolt shape all started to return to the ground, until it was flat with everything else. A door appeared, with a smooth silver handle.He sighed and lingered in the seat a few moments longer, realizing he was supposed to move forward. Then he stood up and crossed to the door, opening it and walking through to whatever else this place had in store.
Posted: Oct 31 2017, 03:15 PM
As again Kaien passed through the next door, a flame flared to life in the air in front of him, descending to the ground and lighting up the floor. It hesitated for a second, and then spread rapidly, taking over the entire area under and around him. Though as the flames licked upon his shoes, he'd find they weren't burning - instead, there was just a comforting, consistent warmth.
The flames ahead of him started to flicker more intensely, growing larger into a small wall. It stood there, a few feet tall, before starting to move out away from him. As it pushed away, it started to create things in its path, which was odd for the fire to do. Its destructive capabilities were betrayed as a number of things were appearing before his eyes. As they started to take shape, it seemed that there were three different paths, all moving in the same direction with unique mini environments.
The first path, to his right, was a deep, dark thicket of bushes, trees, and other flora. As he looked, the many hues of green decorating the path, he'd feel a foreboding and dark feeling, almost as if it was warding him away, promising some sort of danger or potential pain. It would call to certain souls, looking for the crevices in which to find and soak in the darkness, especially when compared with the other paths. If he chose this path, he'd find the feeling passing as he stepped into the tall grass.
The middle path was a long, smooth pool of water. The depths showed darker blues, as if it could swallow him whole. As he looking over the reflective water, showing the paths around it, he'd be filled with a numbing sensation. Like he wasn't feeling anything at all, an escape from his thoughts or pain. It would be a simple swim across, though the unending depths would require a strong swimmer to stay afloat. Once he entered the water, he'd find the numbness fading away.
The final path was simpler and more wholly visible than the other two. On his left it was a more orange, crackling fire with a black stone path in the middle. Unlike most of the flames covering the strange world around him, these threatened to burn a consume him. The heat could be felt from his current position. It filled him with a slight sense of fear, as the towering flames grew higher around the surely hot path. Though if he braved this path, while the heat would be uncomfortable, he'd find he wouldn't be burned.
Then complete another task.
Once he'd made his way across one of the paths, there would be a table waiting for him, with a few things. As he got closer and noticed the reflections, he'd see that they were three mirrors. Sitting above them was a small bottled liquid and a note, stating he should pour the vial on the mirror with his greatest desire. One showed himself, carrying a baby with a toddler pulling at his leg. The top read "Family". The next showed sharing meaningful, loving gazes with a handsome man before leaning in for a kiss, reading "Love". The last showed himself sitting next to a gentle fire, legs covered in a blanket with a book. It read "Peace".
There was also a ruby colored door up ahead, sparkling from the unstable light of the flames around it. The golden handle called to him, as if asking to be opened. If he tried the intricate handle, decorated with small textures that showed a masterful use of work in the make, he'd find that the door was oddly easy to swing open, despite the weight. It's pure gem-like appearance promised great weight, but was not reflected as the door was opened. The frame was lined in water, so he wouldn't know what he was passing into until he stepped through.
And cross through the door.
Posted: May 9 2018, 03:30 PM
Much to be expected from the previous door he'd passed through, the change in environment - if it could really even be called such - was just as immediate and off as before. This time water was replaced with... fire? Given the terms and surreality of this place, he suppressed the bit of panic that sparked from literal fire. After all, he was quick to realize there was no pain from it. Though the flames were warm, not hot but warm, they posed no threat as they licked at his clothes. While he wasn't exactly comfortable standing in this fake fire, he tried not to dwell on it.
After all, that certainly wasn't the most interesting or pertinent thing to see at the moment. At least, not the flames beneath him. Up ahead a wall of fire rages and increased, creating a tall wall. It should have been intimidating, really, but it wasn't as though anything else in this realm had hurt him. If there was some sort of being in charge of all this, clearly it had the means to decimate him at a moments notice, or was simply only able to process illusions. Either way, if it was desired that he be harmed and within its power, he would have been harmed by now.
So instead he watched with evern increasing curiosity, silently noting the energy pushing into his body to influence him. He wasn't a fan of anything trying to influence his emotions, but that was hardly the most pressing matter. The wall started to recede - or push out, depending on how you looked at it - and left behind more natural looking scenes. They were three, and all completely separate. Were they... paths? It seemed like an odd place to put them, but clearly there was some purpose to what was going on. Even if the purpose was to toy with him, it was still something.
And even if that was the case, his studious mind wasn't about to complain about experiencing something so new and unimaginable. The impossible was being created here, and he was being left to not only witness, but to partake. While he couldn't exactly sit back and study everything, just being around in and going through these strange choices and puzzles was enough for him. Though he couldn't help but wonder where this was leading. Would he be returned to that life which he was accustomed too? Was there even a clear end to this, or was it simply a never-ending path of oddities? He shrugged and focused on the paths. Only one way to find out.
To his right was filled with lucious plant life. In initial gaze, he'd be drawn to it - but then the sinking feeling of darkness, of potential danger would start to set in. He moved on - Kaien wouldn't rule anything out until he viewed each of the options presented to him, however there was certainly not a lot of positive pulling him to want to go down that path. He didn't mind a little darkness - but he wasn't the type to simply walk into potential danger in an unknown area where he wouldn't be able to move or run freely. Not exactly an ideal choice.
The middle was much simpler. A deep pool of water greeted him, and he stared into the depths thoughtfully. Though, his thoughts weren't lasting quite as much as he would have liked. Water was comfortable, calming in most circumstances. However there was certainly something different here, which he immediately credited to the supernatural emotions being pressed into his consciousness, much as had happened with inspecting the forest path. But this was... numbing, rather than threatening or dark. While others might fear a sense of dull numbing that indicated a lack of emotion, he welcomed the idea. An escape, a loss of sensation from pain and anything else.
He looked away so that it couldn't envelope him. There was still another choice. It wouldn't do to get lost now and miss out on evaluating an option. A black stone path laid out through a bed of deeper, hotter fire. He was able to feel the heat from here. The pang of fear pushed in, despite his logic fighting that there was no reason for it. Again, if they wanted to hurt him, they would have. This option seeming fearful was likely the idea being posed. He didn't much care for the idea of being burned anyhow, so he was able to rule it and the forest out once and for all.
With that, he took a deep breath and closed his eyes, taking a couple steps towards the pool. He was preparing himself, mostly mentally. There was always a chance entering the water could amplify the effect, or have a different effect entirely. If there was one thing to pull from previous choices, it was that he couldn't logically predict the next move. Which meant he simply needed to be prepared. Something could also be lurking beneath the dark depths of the water, but he needed to focus simply on getting to the other side. And though he was confident in his swimming abilities, swimming in clothes was already a disadvantage.
Opening his eyes for a moment to approach the edge carefully, he kept them open so that he could back up and prepare. The fastest way to enter and get across was a shallow dive. He hadn't done one in a long time, but it wasn't exactly rocket science. Getting a running start, he leaped forward, arms meeting at extended palms as he threw his body forward carefully. Meeting with the water, there was a bit of a smack on his body. Not a perfect dive, but a good start still. His body propelled and he pushed on, the numbness fading away once he started swimming to the other side. Well, that was a relief.
It wasn't long before he'd reached the other side, the distance and depth not posing a problem to him. He was well versed in swimming in deep water for extended periods of time. The ocean was much more threatening than this artificial pool, so he hadn't been worried. He found that, oddly enough, he wasn't wet as he exited the water. Whether that was a product of the fire or the overall molecular construction of the water itself remained to be seen, but he resisted the urge to stay behind and study it further. He was a little giddy to see what was next anyway.
There was a table up ahead, a bottle resting on a stand a bit above the other flat objects. A few steps forward and he was able to discern the handheld mirrors resting on the table. Despite their uniform appearance, he was confident there was more to them than meets the eye. He chose to look at the bottle first, lifting it and the note. After reading, he turned an eye to one of the mirrors to confirm his suspicions. It seemed they were created in such a way as to reflect different scenes. What he wouldn't give to be able to do such things.
He set the bottle and note down to focus on the options. The first he picked up showed and image of him, which was interesting. He was to pick which he desired most. This showed him holding a baby- Immediately, he set the mirror back down, not bothering to study it even further. The man did not in any way, shape, or form desire kids, or a family. No, his goals and interests were not cohesive with such a life. The next he picked up showed him in an embrace with a man - Oh, love was this one then. He couldn't lie and say it wasn't a more appealing visage, but he didn't spend too long on it. Just as before, he wanted to view all his choices before making a decision.
He picked up the third, finding himself reading a book, cozy under a blanket in front of a fire. It was quaint and peaceful. Honestly, the scene wasn't far off from some of the nights he already spent in his life - and those were some of the best he had. His eyes glanced between that and the one showing love, but in the end he knew there wasn't a huge contest. Love was nice, and desirable, but the peace of books and time alone was stable, sure. He could always rely on finding comfort when he was alone. Throwing someone else, no matter how good of a match romantically or otherwise, threw in unpredictable factors. He unstoppered the bottle, and carefully poured the contents on the mirror representing 'Peace'.
With that choice made, he focused on the path forward. The grandiose ruby door stood tall and strong in front of him, much as its predecessors had. He admired it for a moment, before pulling on the handle to continue. The water greeted him once more, blocking the view of what was to come. Regardless, he pushed through, prepared to face whatever came next. He was faced with a new staircase, pushing up into a warm saffron light. He climbed the stairs, curious to see what lay waiting at the top.
[OOC: Whoops this is suuuper old but uh, here it is 8,D Also, Ho'oh's room always starts with the staircase, so even though it wasn't mentioned, I just... inserted it to make it easier on you to copy a Ho-oh question post lolol. Let me know if I should change anything ~ @Jani]