Subtle Dreams

RP LOG: Subtle Dreams:
((A #crystal-hall adventure from 2010))

Brief description:

And here is Subtle's epic RP session, much Awesome and much Heart. Enjoy!

RP LOG below:

Alytari: LATER
Alytari: Lunchtime is over, and Tegan, Van, Rachel and Dawn are departing the Hall
Van wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, following along quietly.
Richard_Grey is striding towards the hall, papers fluttering in his hand as he checks his watch hurriedly. With a frown he notes the time, only for it to burst into a hesitant smile as he see's the group leaving the hall, Rachel in particular, and starts jogging towards them.
Richard_Grey: "Rachel," He yells almost as soon as he's in range. "I've been looking for you. What do you know about sympathetic magic?"
RachelParkes 's ear swivels as she realises someone is following them, and turns to see Richard_Grey. She blinks a little in surprise, then gives him a smile and a wave, stopping to wait for him.
Van glances to the newcomer, offering a nod.
RachelParkes: "Sympathetic magic… I know the basics. Flora knows a fair bit more than I do though."
RachelParkes: "Why do you ask?"
Richard_Grey stops running as he reaches the last bit, barely breathing hard in spite of the bags under his eyes. "I have this idea, but I need to run it past someone who can tell if I'm talking rubbish or not." He smiles a little warily. "Practical magic isn't my strongpoint."
Van: "…great."
RachelParkes notices the bags. "You look like you haven't been sleeping well," she notes.
Richard_Grey spares a quick glance at Van. "Sorry." He chuckles slightly at Rachel's pronouncement. "That's what I'm blaming for taking so long to think of this."
RachelParkes: "Bad dreams, right?"
Richard_Grey carries on in the rush of 'just-figured-it-out' geek high. "Honestly though, do you think it's possible for a spell of some sort to work its way through a group of people via a sympathetic bond if they only have vaguely verbal contacts, like friendship or something?"
RachelParkes: "I don't know. Let me put Flora on the line though."
RachelParkes holds herself up just a little straighter as the change-over takes place…
RachelParkes is now known as Flora
Richard_Grey: "Thanks, it just seemed a little loose to me. I mean, the law of contaigion needs more than just a sort of verbal bond, right?"
Flora: "Even a thing as simple as friendship can be a powerful force."
Richard_Grey looks at the half-scrawled notes in his hand, cycling through them until he finds the one he's looking for. "But is it powerful enough." He mutters to himself.
Flora: "Admittedly, the bonds of friendship would be less powerful than the bonds of blood, but for the right working, it would be enough."
Flora: "The stronger that tie of friendship, the more powerful would be the effect of that working."
Flora: "Still, it should not be powerful enough on its own."
Flora: "And yet…" Flora begins to muse.
Richard_Grey also starts staring off into the distance, face expresionless.
Flora: "This line of inquiry is not an idle one, is it?" Her gaze is penetrating.
Richard_Grey sighs. "No. I was talking to my, well, magical tutor about the problems I'm having. We've gotten all the way down to sympathetic magic in an attempt to explain it. Or at least to tie me up in paper studies for long periods of time. But, since we weren't getting anywere I asked if dreams could be spread like that."
Flora: "How close are you to young Jon?"
Richard_Grey: "He laughed and asked if I thought my nightmares were caused because of it." He leans forward. "He wasn't having them, and I haven't seen many non-freshman looking like hell in the morning."
Richard_Grey looks a little confused. "Jon?"
Flora: "The boy with the codename of Subtle."
Richard_Grey: "Yeah, I knew him. We talked a bit, but we weren't close friends or anything. I don't get out much. If you hadn't noticed. What's he got to do with this, he's not hurt or anything is he?"
Flora: "Hmm. And how recently has your sleep begun to be disturbed in this way?"
Van: "And how was your dream different from ours? That's the important thing, I think."
Flora gives Van a withering look. "I was getting to that. Patience, young one."
Richard_Grey: "Since the first day I talked to you about them." He says, looking a little nervous.
Flora: ((Ack. When was that?))
Alytari: ((at least a few days, possibly most of a week))
Flora: ((And how long ago did Subtle vanish?))
Richard_Grey relaxes slightly at Van's question. "I don't know. I don't even know what yours were like."
Alytari: ((no-one has asked about this. The only info was the scene with Simon saying he had not been around in a few days, but that was before the first scene of this plot))
Flora: ((How long ago did Simon do the asking?))
Flora: "Describe the form taken by these dreams, please. I believe they may be relevant."
Alytari: ((probably close to a week now))
Richard_Grey: "All right, lets see…" He trails off for a bit, the violet ring of his eyes looking a little brighter than normal. "It starts in a forest. And the trees don't feel right, so I leave. The next thing I know, I'm on a plain, under stars I can't recognise. And that gets me. Becuase they're always the same. And I don't know them."
Flora: "Hmm. This sounds familiar, does it not, Van?"
Van shrugs.
Richard_Grey: He managesa shaky smile as he continues. "Last night was a little different. The grass started waving under my feet in a wind I couldn't feel."
Van: "It's pretty much the same, except that it doesn't seem unfamiliar at all."
Flora: "And for the record, please, Van… How long ago did /you/ begin to experience these dreams?"
Van thinks. "Maybe… I don't know. Week and a half."
Flora: "And your relationship with Subtle? How would you describe it?"
Van considers, longer this time. "…I dunno. He's an okay guy? We hung out a few times."
Richard_Grey shakes his head. "It's too tenuous. Besides, why would it link through Subtle, he's not a mage and… why don't we just ask him?" He looks at the pair. "One of you must know where his dorm is."
Flora: "He is missing."
Van fidgets, and seems to be hiding something.
Richard_Grey blinks. "Ah."
Flora gives Richard_Grey a piercing look. "And he seems to have gone missing at approximately the same time as his friends began to experience disturbing dreams."
Flora: "I suspect this is no coincidence."
Van: "Is anyone else missing?"
Richard_Grey just looks a little blank. "Oh shit."
Van: "…Yeah."
Flora: "But I have little of substance with which to support my theory. Merely circumstance."
Richard_Grey still isn't looking at anyone… "Once all the other alternatives have been eliminated, the one that's left, no matter how improbably, must be the truth." He quotes badly from memory.
Richard_Grey: "So, anyone got an alternate explanation?"
Flora: "Occam's Razor? An apt choice of words." She shook her head. "At present, I have no alternate explanations."
Flora: "Perhaps it is a coincidence… But there are too many pieces which, when combined, seem to point to this as the only likelihood."
Flora: "Still, there are other explanations which cannot yet be eliminated."
Flora: "However, I am having trouble thinking of explanations which fit the facts we have."
Richard_Grey nods. "Same here."
Van: "Then get more facts. And for that we need the school."
Flora: "I concur wholeheartedly. Come, gentlemen. I believe your tardiness will be forgiven under the circumstances."
Richard_Grey snaps his fingers. "Maybe we can try to disprove it. If it is a sympathetic magic, an attempt to trace him magically might fly between his position and everyone who's affected by it."
Flora looks sharply at Van.
Richard_Grey: "At least, I think that's how the law of contaigion would be applied."
Flora looks back at Richard_Grey. "Tegan Wissa tried just that a short time previously."
Flora: "And her crystal flitted without apparent rhyme or reason between several locations on her map."
Van: "What criterea was she using to scry?" he asks suddenly.
Van: "Should try looking for something associated with him, maybe, instead of for him. SOmething that might not be warded." He sees their looks. "…what? I pay attention in class!"
Richard_Grey is looking pained. "That would work, except that I don't know of any tracking spells for inanimate objects that don't use their owners trace. And if it is a sympathetic magic, we'll get bounceback again, and if it isn't, it'll be stuck in the warded circle with him."
Flora chuckles at Van's defensiveness. "That is an excellent idea." Her smile fades. "Come, gentlemen. I believe that we should seek the advice of the mystic arts department with all possible haste."
Richard_Grey: "That's a damned good idea."
Richard_Grey smiles warily. "Especially since I have no idea what I'm talking about, and if it's sympathetic magic, I want to be behind the biggest sets of wards I can find."
Flora: "A reasonable feeling, under the circumstances."
Richard_Grey: "Yeah.. It's not like I have any skills that could help find him, or deal with a working this big."
Flora: "Do not sell yourself short. You may yet learn you have skills useful in this situation."
Tegan_Wissa teleports in nearby, she's wearing shorts, her special shoes, a 'fallout boy' t-shirt and a hoodie, she looks mopey, her cell phone is held in her tail….
Van follows along. "If the school agrees, they can always open up his dorm room and get all the traces they need. Hell, they can bring in bloodhounds."
Wageslave|RLWorks is now known as Wageslave
Tegan_Wissa walks up to the group "Hey guys? sup?"
Flora: "Tegan Wissa! Just the person!"
Richard_Grey looks at Flora with a sad smile. "It's not skill that's the problem." He jumps as Tegan ports in.
Flora: "Mister Grey has led us to some interesting conclusions regarding your earlier failure to locate young Subtle."
Van resists the urge to pat the sad little sphynx on the head.
Richard_Grey chuckles. "Mister Grey… Sounds a lot more proffesional than I am."
Tegan_Wissa tilts her head, then bows, "Flora, it is nice to meet you again."
Van: "…and more than you look," he chuckles.
Flora gives Van and Richard a flat look.
Tegan_Wissa: "So what's gives? Why can't I..ow! okay Emu! Why can't we find Jon?"
Flora: "At first, I stated that these disturbing dreams appear to have begun at approximately the same time as Jon disappeared."
Tegan_Wissa nods
Flora pauses briefly. "After I stated this, we concluded that although the facts support little else, we are still unable to eliminate any number of other, less-fantastic possibilities."
Flora: "Then Mister Grey came up with the idea that, in the absence of evidence to prove any possibility, we should try to disprove them instead."
Flora: "He reasoned that if sympathetic magic was being used on Subtle to affect those close to him - a slightly-flimsy premise, we know - then a locator spell would indicate the locations of everyone affected by that magic."
Tegan_Wissa closes her eyes…she opens then, she gives the trio a far away look…
Tegan_Wissa is now known as Emu
Richard_Grey winces. "Yeah. And if you've got a better explenation, I'd love to hear it."
Flora notes the change. "Greetings, Emu," she says.
Emu: "Jon is between worlds….he stands at the gate…he is becoming more and less who he was….."
Emu: "Hello young Flora."
Flora sighs. "Riddles again."
Richard_Grey stands back from this as he tries to take in the changes.
Emu chuckles "Life is a riddle, it ends when you solve it."
Richard_Grey looks at Emu with a grin. "And if your life should end a few times before the solution?"
Emu: "You need to work on your technique."
Flora: "I am sure riddles amuse you, Emu, but a child's life may be at stake."
Van snorts, "Not much of a riddle. He's probably growing horns or a tail or something. People DO that around here," he points out.
Flora: "And the sanity of many more may be likewise."
Van: * Jeann passes by them on a cross path.
Flora sees Jeann, and her jaw drops open.
Richard_Grey: "And nobody invokes a gate without reason…" He trails, off, blinking as he watches the figure on the path before snapping back to the conversation.
Emu: "That is why you must work quickly. Jon is in between and in more you pause to ponder, the greater the risk. Save Jon, save yourselves."
Emu is now known as Tegan_Wissa
Tegan_Wissa gasps…
Flora snaps out of it. She runs up to Jeann. As she gets closer, she realises this is not Jon, despite the superficial similarity. "Excuse me, miss," she says.
Tegan_Wissa: "Huh…Jon…he's woah…always a head trip when she lets go of the wheel…" *She wipes her forehead with a paw*
Richard_Grey looks worriedly at Tegan. "You okay?"
Tegan_Wissa: "Sorry, Emu's very powerful for my little body…she tends to overwhelm me…I remeber now.."
Jeann half turns toward the kitsune, blinking. She really does have an uncanny resemblance to Subtle, the biggest difference being her uniform. "Oh, hello," she says, "Can I… help you?"
Jeann even has a vaguely similar accent.
Flora: "Are you by any chance related to a Jon McCallum?"
Jeann blinks. "You're like the third person who asked me that, eh? I don't think I've met him though." She fluffs out her short hair.
Flora: "There is a reason for that… You see, you look almost exactly like him."
Flora: "Were it not for your gender, I would believe that you were he."
Van crosses his arms. Clears his throat, whispering slightly.
Flora turns to Van, cocking her head expectantly.
Richard_Grey asks Tegan quietly. "Remember what?"
Van whispers, softly enough for someone with fennec ears to hear, "Not everyone grows horns or tails, though… some change in other ways…"
Tegan_Wissa: "What Emu said..Jon's between worlds…I wonder what that means?"
Jeann snorts. "That's crazy, eh?"
Flora whispers something back to Van
Jeann rocks from foot to foot, smoothing her skirt. She doesn't look nervous so much as… energetetic, as if not liking standing still.
Tegan_Wissa shakes her head "Who's that with Rachel?"
Richard_Grey looks slyly at Tegan. "Serious magic. Of the scary, run and hope it doesn't find you type. That, or Emu's wrong about whatever it is. Err, I have no idea. Looks really familiar though."
Van leans over,lips almost brushing the fox's ears.
Jeann eyes them.
Jeann looks like subtle could probably pass for her if he wore a skirt.
Richard_Grey looks to the side. "But she mentioned a gate…"
Flora continues whispering to Van.
Van leans over Flora, wrapping his arms loosely around her from behind as he looks over Jean. "Are you lilliputian too?"
Tegan_Wissa: "A gate could mean many things, a…status between worlds..or a transition… like changing in to some thing…?"
Flora looks at Jeann. "Forgive my companions… We have a riddle to solve… And you, dear lady, seem to be a related riddle."
Richard_Grey follows through with. "But it's a construct. Something made, something built. So it probably has a physical construct or something to anchor it?"
Tegan_Wissa beckons Rechard to Jeann and the others "It could be a metaphor, think transition..or a state of being."
Flora: "You may be overthinking this. It could also mean he is on the brink of death, and this young lady, though an interesting enigma by herself, is unrelated."
Tegan_Wissa: "Flora, you may be right."
Jeann looks between them as if they are clearly crazy. "This is… some american thing, eh?" She tilts her head. "I have class, doncha know."
Tegan_Wissa: "You just look like someone we love very much. Thank you for your time."
Van reddens slightly, quietly reminds her of the photo album.
Van frowns, nodding as he squeezes her lightly, then lets go. "Hey, uh, what's your name?" He gives the mystery girl a smile.
Jeann looks him up. Then down. Back up. "I'd give you more'n that if you didn't have the fox on you," she grins. "I'm Jeann," she adds, holding out her hand to Rachel as if to say 'just kidding'.
Flora takes the hand and shakes it. "Pleased to meet you. I am Flora. And my host is named Rachel."
Tegan_Wissa waves "Tegan Wissa."
Richard_Grey shrugs apologetically as he snaps back to reality. "Richard."
Flora: "We must take our leave of you now, Jeann. There is a matter of some urgency to which we must attend. We may wish to speak to you again, however. May I ask where you live?"
Van clears his throat. "Van." He waves. "Hey, if anyone ELSE asks about Jon, let us know, okay? Hey Rach, give her your number?"
Jeann tells her her cottage and room number, which her author hasn't decided upon yet. "I, sure, you betcha," she says, shrugging.
Flora exchanges numbers with Jeann. "My heartfelt thanks," she says. "Now we must be off. Adieu." She walks off, obviously expecting her companions to follow
Tegan_Wissa walks with Flora "So…Flora…thank you…for ..ya know…"
Richard_Grey throws a quick, apologetic look at Jeann and quickly falls in behind Flora.
Jeann heads off to class…
Van follows along, looking bemused and puzzled.
Tegan_Wissa looks at Flora "So anymore ideas on what's up with Jon?"
Flora: "Nothing specific, I am afraid."
Van: "So, what do we do now?"
Flora: "We return to our original plan. We enlist the assistance of the mystic arts department."
Van nods. "Well, we're not getting any less late to class, so we'd better go do that before they start asking… questions. Like, not useful ones."
Tegan_Wissa: "Well then, lets head then!"
Richard_Grey smiles grimly. "It's not like I'm missing anything important. It's almost tempting to see if there are any methods for detecting gates in the library."
Flora: "There will be time for that later."
Van: "Once we make sure that the right people are involved."
Tegan_Wissa: "If we tell Mrs. Grimes, half the facuilty will use their pwoers to find Jon."
Richard_Grey: "Good."
Flora: "I concur."
Tegan_Wissa: "To the mystic arts department. May the detention we get for being tardy be light."
Richard_Grey adds a cheeky. "Or non-existant." to the end.
Van snorts. And nudges the kitsune along lightly.
Flora: "Quite."

Alytari: The Mystic Arts Department
Flora: "So, that is the situation," Flora finishes the explanation. "It is clear this problem is beyond our remit, thus we ask for the facility's assistance."
Van nods, taking his hands off of Flora's shoulders.
Richard_Grey looks a little nervous at the member of staffs probing look, hoping his being there isn't damaging their pitch too much.
Alytari: *the group finds itself in Mrs Grimes office, being eyed by her cat while she listens patiently to explainations.*
Alleycat: *A knock is heard at the door.*
Alytari: *Glancing to the group for a moment of quiet, Mrs Grimes calls for the guest to come in*
Alleycat enters nervously. "I'm not late am I?" She asks. The circles under her eyes are even deeper than before. She is dressed in a freshly pressed school uniform.
Tegan_Wissa looks at Mrs. Grimes, despite being an avatar with a spirt over 5,000 years old, Tegan shakes "Mrs….Grimes…we're concerned…Jon..ah…Subtle..we can't find him, no one can. I tried scrying like my brother showed me and I can't seem to find him."
Alytari: *Mrs Grimes smiles, glancing to some papers on her desk* Oh no, Alice… you're just in time.
Alleycat: "Yeah. He's a good friend, and I'm worried. And these dreams aren't helping. Earth Mother said everyone's talking to you about it?"
Tegan_Wissa cringes, her brother did not get along with Grimes…
Alytari: *For her part, Mrs Grimes is surprisingly calm and gently spoken at the moment. Listening to Tegan and Alice's words, she turns her attention to the group, pausing in case anyone else wishes to speak.*
Van clams up.
Flora has little more to add, and remains quiet
Alleycat: "Last night I started to hear screaming in the dream." Alley said quietly. "It's really bad."
Richard_Grey looks a little askew at Alleycat's words but stays silent regardless.
Tegan_Wissa: "These dreams…there is a shadow…a /presence/that's evil…"
Alytari: "This is Jon McCallum, quiet young english boy living in Twain cottage?" *Mrs Grimes' expression is very controlled, hints of conflict and worry slipping past a mask of professionalism*
Alleycat nods.
Flora: "That is correct, ma'am."
Alytari: *Mrs Grimes is silent for a long moment, wrapped up in thought as she pets her cat*
Tegan_Wissa: "We can't find him, call or text him." *she shudders*
Alytari: *The cat looks pointely at Mrs Grimes and she nods in reply, murmering a thought under her breath.* "I think this may be for the best. Come with me." *She heads toward the door out of the office and the lifts nearby*
Alleycat follows after the rest of the group
Richard_Grey trails behind them.
Flora finds herself somewhat suspicious, for reasons she cannot explain… She checks Rachel's holdouts carefully…
Alytari: *once the group have all boarded the worn-looking elevator, Mrs Grimes taps in the code on the panel and it begins to quickly descend*
Flora remains worried, and on high alert
Alleycat leans against the elevator wall and rubs her eyes tiredly
Richard_Grey 's nerves have not been helped by a security coded elevator and he fidgets uneasily.
Van slips an arm around Rachel, or her body at least, holding his other hand out to Alley.
Alleycat_ doesn't notice the hand.
Alytari: *The elevator shudders to a halt and opens into a well-lit stretch of the tunnels. Mrs Grimes wastes no time in starting walking*
Alleycat_ starts up from a light doze and follows after a moment
Richard_Grey tags hastily behind her, never having been to this section of the tunnels before.
Alytari: "come along, we have a walk ahead of us…"
Flora follows Mrs Grimes. She's still suspicious.
Van doesn't voice his own concerns, but Flora can see his outward demeanor work overtime to not look like it.
Alytari: *Mrs Grimes leads the small group of students through the tunnels. Signs for the library, and kane and schuster halls indicating they are headed west under the heart of the academy. Not far past an entrance to the medical centre, Mrs Grimes suddenly turns right into a closed and disused tunnel section, the lights flaring as the group approaches*
Tegan_Wissa tags along…biting her lip
Richard_Grey eyes the flickering lights. "Urh, where are we going, exactly?"
Tegan_Wissa hugs Richard
Alleycat_ continues to follow, yawning a little. The last energy drink was too long ago
Richard_Grey 's eyes go wide as the unexpected hug almost knocks him flying.
Tegan_Wissa gets some makeup from her fanny pack, she ports over to alley "Here honey, put this eyeliner on, it's like a can of redbull."
Alytari: "it will be easier to show than tell…" *Mrs Grimes keeps walking through a bare-walled, weaving tunnel, the lights winking out again a dozen feet behind the group. As they turn another corner, the glow of lights and faint high-pitched while of high-capacitance electricity become noticable up ahead*
Flora checks Rachel's holdouts again
Tegan_Wissa: after Tegan does Alley's eyes, in her energy scene makeup, she 'ports back to Richard, holding his hand nervously
Alleycat_: "How?" Alley looks blankly at her.
Alleycat_ perks up a bit … even if the make-up feels weird on her face
Richard_Grey 's eyes are darting all over the place. His mind frantically trying to cope with wierd corridors, tiredness, flickering lights, and a girl holding his hand who wasn't there a moment ago.
Richard_Grey: In short, he looks like a rabbit in the headlights.
Alytari: *Ahead the tunnel broadens out with blank doors dotting the walls on both sides. Two men in labcoats are intently studying a data readout screen while an occasional staccatto click joins the high-pitched whine in the air*
Tegan_Wissa looks at Alley "I'll show you how I made mine."
Alleycat_ , now that she's more awake, is starting to get more concerned about where they're going, and what they can see now.
Alleycat_: 'Does it have to be in the form of makeup?" She whispers back
Tegan_Wissa starts to tear up "oh Jon!" she lets go of Richard …
Alytari: (the clicking sounds like )
Richard_Grey pinches himself and, when that doesn't work, starts massaging his temples.
Flora has a very bad feeling about this… As before, she remains quiet.
Alleycat_ 's ears twitch from the clicking sound
Alytari: *One of the two men looks up and approaches Mrs Grimes, tired-eyed and ragged.* What's are you bringing these students here for, El… Mrs Grimes? This is a restricted area.
Tegan_Wissa waves her hands in the air, trying to see beyond the man…
Flora looks over at Tegan, nods once to herself, and tries to do likewise.
Tegan_Wissa looks at a door next to the computers "What is that mist?"
Richard_Grey remains oblivious to the slip, but is still feeling really, really, surreal as he backs away from the walls and tries to make sense of everything.
Alleycat_: "What's up with all this?" Alley looks around, worried and edgy.
Alytari: *Beyond the man, his colleague is still examining, recording and making adjustments to the display unit/control device. A tangle of wires emerge from the device, some trailing to two large coils of silver that seem to be the source of the high-pitched whine in the air and sit a dozen feet beyond, others into the wall beside an ominously secure door.*
Alytari: *Grimes walks the man a short distance away from the group, arguing that "they have every right to be here, they need to see this…" while the man repeats his protest before fore finally shrugging and walking back to the readout with his companion. The two stare at the displays as if enthralled by the ever-changing graphs and figures rippling over it.*
Flora: "Ahh, Mrs Grimes… What are we seeing?" Flora finally voices the question that they were all afraid to ask.
Alytari: *Before Mrs Grimes can speak, the second man pipes up, looking almost childishly proud of the facts he presents.* "High capacitance barrier shielding, mainlined from central power with double redundant hybrid reciprocal capacitors"
Alleycat_ is totally lost at the explanation.
Tegan_Wissa: "I'm sorry Mister, in plain english for me please?"
Flora takes a deep breath. She's not looking forward to the answer to this question. "Subtle is on the other side of those doors… correct?"
Alytari: *He sighs and looks to his colleague who scarely looks up from the console to shrug and mutter something about 'wizards…' At Flora's question, he nods before looking to Ally and Tegan.* "forcefield reinforcement."
Alleycat_: "What's wrong with him?" Alley asks, now /very/ worried.
Tegan_Wissa: "That's what emu means! The gate! He's between life and death…he between two states!"
Alytari: *the men look to each other for a moment before turning back to their console as Mrs Grimes speaks up.* "Perhaps… we do not exactly know…
Flora: "I had feared that such was her meaning."
Richard_Grey says very quietly. "You don't need a forcefield for someone dieing."
Alleycat_: "/What's going on!?/" Alley demands
Alytari‘: *She nods and steps over to the door and opens it. The whine of caged electricity rises, and beyond the door is a room. Empty aside from a single bed on which Subtle is lying, still as death aside from his eyes twitching in deep REM sleep. The floor about the bed is marked with a circle of symbols and arcane script. A warding, to keep something in*
Richard_Grey stops the moment he sees the circle, closing his eyes and lowering his head.
Flora is frozen as she gazes at the sight… Her face is an expression of shock.
Flora: Even though she’d tried to prepare herself, she remains unprepared for the vision.
Alleycat_: "That's to keep something in, what's being kept in?" Alley is working into a panic.
Alytari‘: "his power" *One of the men speaks up, barely able to tear himself away from the readouts.* "it’s… I don't know, this's nothing like what the testing records say. He's burning up, burning out, and there's nothing we can do to stop it…"
Alleycat_: "Oh, god." Alley whispers, tears forming in her eyes.
Richard_Grey shudders slightly.
Flora: "…Nothing can be done?" Flora's voice is very quiet.
Richard_Grey: Almost reluctantly, he turns to face the wall beside him, staring at him intently as he takes a couple of subconcious steps back.
Richard_Grey: staring at it*
Alytari‘: *the man shakes his head* "we can’t even get near him… it's like… the power just…" *words fail him*
Tegan_Wissa falls to her knees "oh JON!"
Richard_Grey turns to gape at Grimes, only to stop as something flickers in the corner of his vision. His eyes snap to Tegans feet. "Tell me… Tell me someone else can see that."
Alleycat_ falls next to Tegan, hugging her, tears now dripping from her eyes.
Tegan_Wissa: "It's Subtle! The darkness is coming from inside of him! It's coming at us! Subtle is the gate! The GATE IS JON!" *she shrieks!*
Flora is managing to remain a little more composed, though Rachel's grief can be seen in her tears. At Tegan's outburst however, she turns to Tegan with a shocked expression
Tegan_Wissa: "Look at him! Can't you see the dark mist, the darkness, it's come for us!"
Alleycat_: "Why? Why do people have to die around me?" Alley sobs.
Richard_Grey chuckles darkly in response to Tegan's breakdown. "It's a little to late for that, I think."
Tegan_Wissa: "Why…Jon…why!" *She breaks down in sobbing*
Flora sees something from the corner of her vision… and her eyes widen as she turns to it. "Oh, dear gods… She's right!" She is so rattled, she doesn't even notice her use of language has slipped.
Tegan_Wissa chants, her paws gesuture, she chants in a language few have utter since the fall of the last pharoh…
Alleycat_ is just sobbing brokenly.
Flora is shaking as the blackness brushes at her. She looks at Tegan, nods, and attempts to reinforce the spell she is trying to cast.
Tegan_Wissa finishes her protection spell, she apears to faint
Alytari‘: *Grimes’ expression is hollow and thoughtful, but the second scientist speaks up* "He came into the medical centre a week ago… there was a problem and he passed out and things began to happen around him. His power seems to break things, and defies control. It has eaten through 3 warding circles so far, and even drawing power from the academy's main generators… it's slowly overcoming
Alytari‘: *them…
Flora catches Tegan as she falls, and tries to figure out the best way to reinforce the spell.
Tegan_Wissa is now known as Emu
Emu opens her eyes "I will guard this one. No matter the cost. My host and I will protect his place. Even if it means our destruction."
Richard_Grey slides down against the wall muttering "Not now, not now, not now…" to himself in a mantra.
Flora: "I cannot let you do that alone, Emu," Flora tries to make her voice firm, but cannot keep the shakiness out. "Rachel and I are in agreement. Something must be done."
Emu: "He is the one sobbing, he is between world…I must guide him! Or I will lose him. I stand at the threshold…." *the rest becomes a low chant…*
Alleycat_: Through her sobs, Alley holds out her hand. "Take what you need."
Richard_Grey shudders and slides onto his side, gasping as he stares at the group of girls.
Emu turns to Flora "Young one, join with me." *she turns to Alley* "Thank you. May Ra give his blessing upon thee." *she gets up, her tail touches Flora, her paw touches Alley*
Alleycat_: *Alley feels her small reserve of Essence drain out, and she pushes more, including what meager things she can draw from around her.*
Flora closes her eyes and tries to concentrate… But the dreams are impinging on her consciousness, as they are Rachel’s… She struggles to concentrate on giving her well over to Emu…
Emu falls
Richard_Grey: "Fuck." He mutters quietly, tears building at the sides of his eyes as he watches them join. The temptation to join them is so great, but he holds on, barely keeping his own essence from the working. "Fuck. Bring back the wierd languages and nightmares."
Richard_Grey: He mutters quietly.
Emu: Tegan, using her own power reserves, sends to Richard "It's cold..I'm alone…please…link with us…save US!"
Flora catches Emu once again, but her own strength seems to be failing… "No! I must…" She falls too.
Alleycat_ collapsed quickly, completely drained, Flora and Emu are her only links back 'home'
Richard_Grey trembles as a spark of Essence crosses out towards Emu, fragments of the crafting unraveling as the tainted power joins it. "I can't." He mutters softly.
Richard_Grey slumps, unconcious, to the floor.

@Alytari‘: *four souls find themselves standing in the desolate void of their dreams. Yet this time it is different. Jagged peaks of bleached alabaster bone jut up into the black sky while hollow-eyed stars stare down on the four lost beneath them.*
@Alytari`: *four points of light take on form, shining in the darkness like true stars in the shape of the woul*
Alleycat_ looks around, cold and weak. She stumbles over to Rachel. "Rachel? Tegan?
Tegan_Wissa: "I’m here. What the hell is this?"
RachelParkes: "Flora? Where are you Flora? Why can't I hear you, Flora?" Rachel is shivering, hands on her head.
Tegan_Wissa: "Emu is gone from m-m—me….I'm sooo empty…"
Shattered_Spirit is lying on the floor, shivering slightly. All that can been seen of the strange creature is that it apears to be human, and wounded. Exact details like race or sex seem to flitter in and out like memories.
Alleycat_: *Alleycat looks like a normal brown haired girl … but a hazy image of a blue cat covers her features.
Tegan_Wissa crawls over to the figure "What are you…oh gods! It's ….in pain!"
Alleycat_: "I feel weird … " Alley shivers as she forces herself over to Tegan and the pained figure." How can we help?"
RachelParkes: "What… Can… What do… Oh god…" Rachel is still shivering.
Tegan_Wissa looks down she has hands…and normal feet, she starts to sob…"Why!"
Shattered_Spirit flickers out of the way as the pair approach, half leaping, half teleporting into a stance that looks like a wounded animal, violet eyes staring out at the pair. "I… I know you?" It asks in a female voice laced with male bass.
Tegan_Wissa looks "Maybe you do.. you are part of Jon aint ya…"
RachelParkes: "…What… But… Richard…" Rachel is still shaking.
Alleycat_: "Engh…" Alley raises her hands to her ears, startled when she touches the side of her head and finds normal human ears. "I'm normal? A … normal girl and cat?" She looks confused at the shimmering blue wrapped around her.
Shattered_Spirit stares at Tegan for a second. "I've never… never been called Jon." It's eyes snap to Rachel. "Richard." It tastes the name on its tongue. "It it is… familiar. But it's not mine."
Alleycat_: "What's this place? Aren't we all friends?"
Tegan_Wissa: "THis…this is the theater of the mind….or an inbetween place…"
Alleycat_: "mind? why a girl." Alley whispers to herself
Shattered_Spirit stares out at the plane. "What is my name? This isn't death. I know death."
Tegan_Wissa: "Who are you? What have you done with our passangers?"
RachelParkes: "It… It's not him…"
RachelParkes: "I… I don't know how… I just… Know…"
Shattered_Spirit snarls at Tegan. "I don't know."
Alleycat_: "Can we get back? Wait … what are those light things?" Alley points to the 'stars'
Shattered_Spirit: "I don't know who I am." It seems to deviate slightly, eyes are the only thing remaining constant about its form. "There's so many, but none of them are me."
Tegan_Wissa: "Maybe she's what subtle was trying to ward against…"
RachelParkes looks up. "I don't know… And I can't ask Flora…"
Tegan_Wissa: "We're cut off…oh gods…hands…I have hands!" *she gets up and takes a few steps on her feet "I can wiggle my toes..I…" guilt brings her back into focus
Alleycat_ concentrates and uses her lessons to 'sense' what she can about Shattered_spirit …
@Alytari‘: *high above pale lighting arcs across the peaks, turning brilliant crimson with each strike*
Alleycat_ cannot sense anything other than the suffering of Shattered
Alleycat_: *her concentration destroyed by the lightning
Tegan_Wissa: "Her pain…her’s thick…"
Tegan_Wissa: "Richard, where is richard?"
@Alytari‘: *with the lightning comes the sussurus of rain, yet the not a drop falls or breath of wind touches the four and echoing behind it are the sound of tears.*
Alleycat_: "There’s something bad …" Alley says slowly. "Something is after him/her/it." She tells the rest of the group, pointing at Shattered
Alleycat_: "It's /bad/."
Shattered_Spirit blinks for a second, Richards features overlaying over it's form for a fraction of a moment as Tegan says the name.
RachelParkes hugs herself, still shivering. "Cold… So cold…"
Tegan_Wissa: "That spirit IS Richard…but where is Jon? and how the hell do we get out of here?"
@Alytari‘: *the sussurus of rain fades, yet the echoes of sobbing lingers, the sound rippling across the jagged expanse*
Alleycat_ tries to pinpoint the sound of the sobbing. The blue cat image sinks in temporarily, her ears getting slightly pointy.
Tegan_Wissa sits in the louts position, she takes a second, human hands and feet fell ’strange' she rmemebrs Jon and focuses…
Shattered_Spirit starts to edge warily around the others and approaches the lights in an attempt to examine them.
Tegan_Wissa shakes her head…she just starts at her hands and feet…
@Alytari‘: *the sound is flowing down, slow and languid like a rain-fattened river from the jagged peaks, while all about bears echoes of Jon*
Alleycat_: "It’s there … maybe?" Alley points to the mountains. She relaxes and the cat image pulls back out to hover over her skin.
Shattered_Spirit reaches an orb fragments of mystical talent and legends spilling in the its mind as it searches for a way out of this place.
Tegan_Wissa: "We need to pool our efforts…Rachel! Alley! If you want to get out of this take my hands!"
RachelParkes doesn't seem to hear. She remains on her knees, hunched over, hugging herself and whimpering.
Tegan_Wissa turns to the spirit "You! You who are a piece of Richard! Link with us! The gate! We must close the gate!"
Tegan_Wissa gets up, she puts her hands on Rachel
Alleycat_ walks over to Rachel and touches her to get her attention. The cat image flows away from the other person, seeming to not want to contact her.
Tegan_Wissa: "Would FLora want you to sit there? Huh? What about Mycron! WHAT ABOUT JON! It's time to get up Rache!"
Alleycat_: "Rachel, we need you." Alley says softly.
Tegan_Wissa yells in the air "I AM NOT AFRIAD! YOU! WHAT EVER YOU ARE! I-no…..WE WILL CLOSE THIS GATE!"
RachelParkes: "Fl… Flora… Clarissa…" Rachel continues to shake, but she scrunches her eyes up and her paws clench into fists. "No…" she whispers. "No!"
Tegan_Wissa looks at Rachel "We need you…Jon needs you…this is what it's all 'bout! Either we go big or we don't go home! FIGHT IT RACHE!"
Shattered_Spirit: The shout grabs the spirits attention, and the words gate and Tegans face filter through its concious enough for it to flicker back to them, it's features becomming a subtly wrong version of masculine.
Alleycat_: I survived DWTCK for a month! You won't break me or take anyone else away from me!" Alley yells, boldened by Tegan's declaration
Tegan_Wissa breathes, she willges her fingers and toes, "One last time…you may tempt me….but you will not have me!" *she shaken, but stands her ground*
RachelParkes curls into a ball, still shaking… But it seems to be different now. "Jon!" she cries. "Van! CLARISSA! Please, give me strength!"
Tegan_Wissa falls to the ground, sobbing "WHY? I was a dancer…I just wanted to solve my problems…why did dad have to die?!? Why did mom get sick….why am I a freak?!?"
@Alytari‘: *the darkness ripples and the jagged peaks slowly fall away beyond the infinite horizon. All about rise gargantuan statues, worn by ages beyond number the ground is littered with fallen stone parts that would shadow entire houses. In the shadows of a hand the size of Poe cottage, a ripple in the shadows is sobbing*
RachelParkes takes Alley’s arm with an iron grip and hauls herself to her feet.
Alleycat_: "No … not freaks. Beautiful! We catgirls are beautiful!" Alley insists to Tegan.
RachelParkes: "Not freaks… /special/! We can defeat this… We WILL defeat this!" Rachel's tremulous voice belies her true feelings, however.
Alleycat_: "YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!" Alley tells her. "In fact, I like being a catgirl! It's fun! I like me now! I … have … a … GIRLFRIEND!"
Tegan_Wissa sobbs "I had a life…I had a life and magic….no…you will not lie to me! I will not be temped!"
Tegan_Wissa: "I know their secrets! I don't care! I WANT JON BACK! I'll give up my hands and fingers! YOU WILL NOT HAVE HIM!"
Alleycat_: *the blue image of the cat flinches away from Alley for a moment, shivering in and out
Shattered_Spirit watches Tegans collapse with a frown recognising it as some form of dark magic. It smiles. It only knows one response for dark magic. A glowing rune sparks at the end of its fingertips, unraveling almost before it's begun and it stars at the mountains. "You are young." It pronounces softly.
Tegan_Wissa loses her hands and feet as paws replace them, her tail fades in and out
RachelParkes: "I have stared death in the face and I have triumphed with the help of my friends! I lost everything I ever was, and I still endure! I will not let this be my end!" Rachel's voice is a little firmer now, but it's apparent she's still frightened.
Alleycat_ takes another deep breath and tries again. "I was a slave, and twisted by a choice … but I embrace that choice now! I will take this new life and make it mine!"
RachelParkes grasps Tegan's arm and tries to haul her to her feet.
Tegan_Wissa: "We're scared…it knows that. But it's scared too that's why it's got subtle, that's why it's fucking with us…all of us." *she turns to the spirit* "WE CAN close this gate, WE must CLOSE this gate."
@Alytari‘: *the sobbing seems to pause, shuddering little breaths echoing in the vastness of the statue forest* who… who’s there…
Alleycat_: *the blue image of the cat flinches again and sinks into Alley's skin. Her body shifts and changes, her hair turning the normal blue, tail growing and ears shifting to the top of her head.
RachelParkes: "I'm still not sure what you mean," Rachel's voice remains shaky. "But I agree. We have to do this! Failure is not an option!" She turns her face to the sky. "JON! Hold on!" she screams. "We're coming to help you!"
Alleycat_: *She smiles, mouth showing kitty fangs.
Alleycat_: "I'm back!" She says, looking much stronger than before.
Tegan_Wissa: "Tegan Wissa, I call you out spirit, I call you! You may not pass this gate until you answer me!" *her hands and feet transform into paws, her tial bursts from her rear*
Tegan_Wissa: "Jon! Reach for us! We love you!"
Alleycat_: "You are a friend, good friend, that cares for us, and we care for you!" Alley calls out.
Alleycat_: "Come back to us!"
@Alytari‘: *the ripple in the darkness does not move* who.. who’s there… why.. why're you here… *it stifles a sob*
Tegan_Wissa: "Rachel, Alley…spirit…we must call him together."
RachelParkes nods to each of her friends in turn. "On 3?"
Alleycat_ nods firmly. "3"
Tegan_Wissa: "One.."
RachelParkes: "Two…"
Alleycat_: "Three!"
Shattered_Spirit 's spell ripples out in a giant wave of complicated runework and spells. The image of room, a fortress, bursts into being for a second. The runes taking centre place in their defences before the shadow around the spirit reaches out with the domain. It shatters. The landscape around turning into a hidoues characiture of loss and ruins.
Tegan_Wissa screams!
RachelParkes takes in a deep breath and shouts at her greatest volume "JON!"
Alleycat_: "Jon!" Alley yells at the same time
Tegan_Wissa takes in a deep breath "JOOOOONNNNNNN!"
Tegan_Wissa tries a different tac…"Jon! It's not real! You're safe WAKE UP DAMMIT!"
Shattered_Spirit stares out over the ruins. "No…" It breathes into the dark. "This. Is. Not. Real."
RachelParkes: "JON! We love you! Come back to us! Come back to reality!"
Alleycat_: "Jon! Let's watch anime together!" Alley yells.
Tegan_Wissa: "This place! IT"S A LIE!!! JON WAKE UP!"
@Alytari‘: *the rippls is starting to take on a shape, a shadowy echo of Subtle but incomplete… He stares at the four uncomprehending.* J.. Jawn… who’s jawn… who're you… o.o
Tegan_Wissa: "Keep at it…"Jon…Subtle…WE LOVE YOU! COME BACK TO US!"
RachelParkes: "You are! Come back to your friends Jon! Come back to us!"
Alleycat_: "Jon! It's Alleycat! We're friends! We met in the Crystal Hall!" Alley yelled at him.
Alleycat_: "Remember the tunafish pie incident?"
Tegan_Wissa: "Deny it! I release you subtle! You may pass the gate! Come to us Subtle! Come Jon! We love you!"
Shattered_Spirit looks at the echo, Richards features overlaying it completely as he says. "I know you." before flickering back to featureless and staring across the ruins. "And yet I don't even know myself."
Tegan_Wissa looks at the others, even the Shattered Spirit "Focus on your love for him…yeah..clap your hands if you believe…this time it's for keeps! Jon! We love you!" *she clamps her paws together*
@Alytari‘: "m.. ne? … friends?" *the shade blinks in disbelief* why’d you want me… *it peers up at the statues, broken yet hints of a whateley uniform here and there show through the erosion* …I'm no-one…
Alleycat_ claps her hands together rapidly
RachelParkes claps her paws together. "Fight it, Jon!"
Tegan_Wissa looks at the Spirit "But do you love Jon like a brother? That's what matters now! The gate MUST be guarded!"
Alleycat_: "You're Jon Andrew McCallum!" Alley shouts, remembering his full name. "We're friends! We want you back!"
RachelParkes: "The thing tells you you are friendless! IT'S A LIE! Accept the truth, Jon! Come back to us!"
Tegan_Wissa: "YOU WHO ARE LYING TO JON ANDREW MCCALLUM! I CAST YOU OUT! YOU ARE UNWORTHY! YOU SHALL NOT PASS THE GATE!" *She channels her power* "Everyone, give Jon your love and deny the liar!"
RachelParkes: "You don't want to make us cry, do you Jon? Cast out the beast! Return to us!"
Alleycat_: "I love you Jon" Alley yells out, adding in her head 'like a brother'
RachelParkes: "Come to us, brother!"
Tegan_Wissa: "jon…We love you, you are our friend…"
@Alytari‘: *the shadow ripples, taking on more form.* T.. teegan? Rachel? … Alice? …
RachelParkes: "Fight it, Jon! You can beat this! You WILL beat this! We believe in you!"
Alleycat_: "You take my friend from me and I’ll make you pay! I can set a devil of awesome power against you!"
Tegan_Wissa: "IT's me Tegan! Come to us! We love you Jon!"
Tegan_Wissa: "You are unworthy to keep Jon! Let him join his friends, stay away from him!"
Shattered_Spirit smiles slightly as it stares at the phantom. "Love?" It asks, somewhat bewildered. A frown strikes across its features as recognition occurs. "You have hurt one of mine." It says directly to the darkness.
@Alytari‘: "unworthy?" *the voice is an echo of Jon’s* "of course he is unworthy… do you not see what she is saying, Jon… she despises you. she does.
Tegan_Wissa: "LIAR! YOU ARE NOT JON!"
RachelParkes: "SILENCE BEAST! See, Jon? It is afraid! It knows the truth! It knows you can beat it! Don't let it convince you otherwise!"
Shattered_Spirit: The air around the spirit grows darker as its fragments act in unison. "I am not dead yet." It snarls, facing off against the darkness with malice in its eyes as it attacks whatever way it can.
Tegan_Wissa: "I call you out! right here! I invoke the right of gatekeeper! If you want to keep Jon, you must answer my riddle!"
@Alytari‘: "that.. that’s what they said…" *he starts to sob again, curling up into a ball of darkness*
RachelParkes: "No Jon! Don't give in to the lie!"
Tegan_Wissa: "JON we love you!"
RachelParkes: "We love you and want you back! Don't let it tell you otherwise!"
Alleycat_: "I love you I love you I love you!
Alleycat_: "Don't leave us alone!
Tegan_Wissa: "I love you Jon!"
Tegan_Wissa: "I invoke the right of the gatekeeper! Answer us, that which has the soul of JON ANDREW MCCALLUM ! /who are you?/ Answer or face our wrath!"
Tegan_Wissa turns to the others "Invoke the challange! Make it give up Jon! Make it face us!"
@Alytari‘: *the darkness ripples, voice echoing and warped almost beyond coherence* "gatekeeper…"
Alleycat_: "Answer us, that which has the soul of Jon Andrew McCallym! /who are you?/ In the right of the gatekeeper, answer or face our wrath!" Alley yells
Tegan_Wissa: "We are the gatekeepers! We demand an answer!"
RachelParkes: "Answer us!"
Shattered_Spirit pauses in it’s futile assualt and flickers to behind Tegan. "In this matter, you have my blade and my… curse." It says in an even, formal tone.
Tegan_Wissa: "You refuse to answer! You are not worthy to keep him!"
RachelParkes: "Come back to us Jon! It can only hold you if you let it!"
@Alytari‘: *the voice chuckles, darkness taking a shape for but a moment before flowing like water once more* you are unworthy of that answer… but take this broken toy… it no longer amuses us…
Alleycat_: "We /want/ you back! We /want/ you!"
Tegan_Wissa: "Jon! It can’t hold you anymore!"
RachelParkes: "Fight it Jon! Fight it and come back to us!"
@Alytari‘: *the darkness falls away like a cast-off mask into the all-encompassing void* "t.. teegan? I.. I’m sorry…."
Tegan_Wissa: "Shhh…just come to us Jon!"
Alleycat_: "/Please/" Alley beggs
RachelParkes: "All is forgiven Jon, just come back to us!"
@Alytari`: *the stars watch from on-high as the rippling shadow coallesces into the half-image of Jon, form boiling away into smoke along the edges, and collapses into the group*
Tegan_Wissa runs to Jon "JON!"
Alleycat_ does the same.
RachelParkes is there too. "Jon!" she cries happily.
Shattered_Spirit follows behind Tegan, looking like either a bodygaurd or an adviser, depending on when you looked.
@Alytari`: *the darkness falls upon all 5 souls, the void falling away into nothingness. As their eyes open once more, breath fills their lungs and life has returns to them*

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