avria and espeon 1x1

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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by Avria on Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:55 pm

Peanut put his phone down with a little start. "O-oh! Right, about that text." He really did need to speak to Lavender privately -- Anise was alright, he supposed, since she heard everything he had said anyway. But he didn't exactly trust Cuvier. The junior was looking at their conversation with interest.

"Actually, could we speak privately for a moment? It has to do with what I told you two days ago," he explained.
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by espeon on Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:02 pm

I — um, I suppose that’s fine, yeah,” said Lavender, a confused expression on her face. She shrugged as she walked past Anise towards the classroom entrance. Once she and Peanut found a secluded area of the hallway, she asked him, “So, what happened two days ago? That’s when we met, isn’t that right?
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by Avria on Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:24 pm

Peanut nodded. "I was just wondering a little bit about what you said, before we left." He paused a little bit, choosing his next words carefully. He didn't want to tip her off to anything, either.

"What did you mean by the class period had revealed a lot about me?" Now that the question was out in the open, Peanut winced. It sounded a lot more innocent than he thought it would. I could have probably asked this back there, he thought mournfully. Even if she did know something, it wasn't like she would blurt it out in front of everyone... would she?

Peanut laughed nervously. "Sorry if I seem like I'm overreacting. It's just that..." he hesitated as he tried to come up with an acceptable lie.

"It's a little hard being the new student here at Hyperion, when everyone's known each other for so long. You seem like you have lots of friends, though, and I was just wondering about your question -- why you would assume that my life was particularly interesting?"

He hoped that was enough to throw off any suspicion. Maybe I am being paranoid. But Lavender was at the sports club meeting, too, and Hazel did let slip to Sabella that I had an injury.

Of course, there was no record of the injury. You couldn't exactly walk into a hospital, bleeding out from a bullet wound, and expect them not to ask answers. The operation had been done in secret. Everyone's lips had been sealed with the Mob's money, and influence.

If they talk, they might put two and two together, he thought, his brow furrowing. I can't let that happen.
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by espeon on Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:02 pm

Oh, it’s about that…” Lavender trailed off, recalling what motivated her to say that in the first place. “Did I hit a sore spot with that? I didn’t mean for it to be weird. I just generally have good intuitions about people. Quite logical intuitions, though.” She smiled. “For example, you were hot and bothered when you had to go help your cousin, so you’re very loyal. And the way you talk is evasive, like you’re self-conscious about something. That's all...


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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by Avria on Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:46 pm

Peanut nearly laughed aloud in relief. Oh, if that's it, then...?

"No, you didn't hit a sore point. It's interesting that you can tell so much based on so little, though. It's a useful skill to have," he continued, changing the subject quickly. "Well, we should go back to class now." Peanut held out the door for Lavender. "Sorry if I made it sound like a big deal. I was just curious."

------------------------------------------------------------

ooc: time skip? idk

"One more time," Willow ordered, drumming her fingers impatiently on the table. "You need to get this perfect, Tam." Willow hadn't exactly been sure what Tam had done -- only that it had been bad. Bad enough for him to yell, apparently. And it had to be at the interviewer, she thought resignedly. It could have been anyone else. Although... I wonder what Verano did, too. Apparently, whatever he had done had also touched a sore point with Tam.

"We've been through this five times already, Wills," Tam groaned, flopping onto the table. Papers went flying everywhere.

"Yes, and none of those times was it perfect," Willow retorted. "I'll repeat what I said yesterday -- you do not want to mess with these people. They could potentially ruin your future."

Tam made a face, but complied with what she had said. Willow sat there, nursing a cup of tea, writing down some notes every now and again on a pad of paper she kept by her side. She had heard of Verano before, but she had no idea what his personality was like. After all, she thought, the tea suddenly turning sour in her mouth, I was tipsy when I met him.

Finally, when Willow was satisfied, she set her tea cup down. She closed her pen with a decisive click on top of her notepad. "That should do it," she sighed. Normally, she would've liked more time to prepare, and more freedom with the questions she asked. But Tam had been stubborn, and refused to answer any questions that alluded to the nature of his and Verano's disagreement.

"Don't you feel better?" she prodded. "Now, you're prepared!"

Tam grumbled a little bit, but smiled wearily at her. "I guess... I feel a little better? I mean, this kind of feels like cheating, doesn't it?" he remarked casually. "But, still, thanks. For helping me."

Willow froze mid-sip. Cheating...? The thought struck too close to home with what she had been thinking yesterday. Willow had trouble picking up on normal societal cues, sometimes -- she knew what she was supposed to do, but oftentimes, she would fail to recognize sarcasm or a joke. I have my parents to thank for that, she thought sourly. Willow had been rather isolated as a child, and while she certainly wasn't neglected, she hadn't exactly had her affections reciprocated either.

"You're welcome," she said numbly. It's not cheating, is it? It's just... being prepared. Thinking ahead. You're not being manipulative, you're planning for the future.

But as she watched Tam leave for his date meeting (ooc: I'm sorry I couldn't resist), Willow got the sense that she was simply lying to herself. She sat there for a while, which was very unusual for her. Willow didn't like to waste a single second of the day. Her tea was getting cold, and people were giving her odd stares.

She couldn't bring herself to leave.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tam inhaled deeply as he entered the cafe, the doorbell tinkling slightly as he walked in. The cafe looked the same as ever. Patrons chatted and laughed at the bar, while the coffee machine grinded beans, whirring loudly as it did so.

It's an unpleasant noise, though, he mused. It's like white noise. Why am I thinking about this now, anyway? Tam scanned the cafe quickly for Verano, but it seemed like the senior hadn't arrived yet. Not that it was a surprise -- Tam had arrived a little early, after all.

He went up to the bar and ordered whatever the special today was -- he liked trying everything new. His nerves were shot, but the bitterness of the coffee helped calm him down. Relax, Tam, he told himself. Although this might've been easier if Willow hadn't practiced so much. I felt more nervous after her 'preparations.' He laughed nervously, wondering if sticking to their plan was the right thing to do.

I don't know how she does it. Planning everything out... doesn't it seem kind of boring? he asked himself, toying with his coffee as he did so. Life should be surprising. Although, maybe if I had prepared a little more, I wouldn't be in this situation right now.
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by espeon on Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:33 pm

Hey there, Willow,” said Niege, entering the dining hall with Cress at her side. In addition to the people already aware of Willow’s nearly catatonic state, others now began to stare at the Sports Club’s members, some in fear, some in fascination, some others in dislike. But the club members had gotten acquainted to such reactions, blocking them out with ease.

Cress peered down at Willow’s tea, touching the side of the cup and asking, “This is cold. Are you going to drink it?

Cress, don’t drink her tea,” said Niege, narrowing her eyes.

I don't want to! I wanted to grab her attention, that’s all…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After Tam had agreed to a time to meet, Lavender, in addition to ensuring that he looked more well-groomed than usual, proposed that Verano wear a concealed wire just in case anything went wrong in the café with the sophomore. As protective as ever, she reminded him that Hyperion didn’t perform extensive screenings on students during admission that would help avoid incidents like assault or murder — though of course, the administration promptly swept those under the rug. He, however, was willing to take the chance despite her warnings, optimistic that he would feel better afterwards.

If he makes you pay for the coffee, just run,” she said half-jokingly, giving him a hug before he ran off for the meeting.

For September, it was an awfully chilly day, though the campus, in contrast, kept itself warm with its liveliness. The fallen leaves were caressed and lifted by the zephyrs like bursts of fire; the susurrus of the stream by the running trail teased passersby squirrels and tour groups; the students were out and about the campus on this typical day, their backs weighed down by laptops, papers, and the future of their nation. Verano ran into several familiar faces on the way to the café, though he hoped none of them would stop him and make him late for this meeting. But at the back of his mind, he wondered why he cared so much about making amends with this sophomore at all. I’ll be graduating soon… what does it matter what he thinks? he thought. If I had thought rationally… aren’t I being selfish by saying I don’t already have all I need? He shook his head free of those thoughts, hoping it didn’t ruin whatever Lavender had done with his hair.

And then, after spotting Tam in the window, he entered the café.


Last edited by espeon on Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:17 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by Avria on Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:15 am

Willow jerked to attention as Niege and Cress addressed her. "Oh, it's you two," she noted. Willow frowned slightly, and winced as she shifted positions. I'm not used to sitting in one place for so long. What was I thinking about just now? she thought absentmindedly. She remembered what role she had played for Niege.

"Haha. Yeah, I guess I was just lost in thought or something," she let herself trail off. "I'll clear this away," she replied, faintly embarrassed. She shuffled her papers and the teacup, noticing the time on her phone as she did so. How did I zone out for twenty minutes? she asked herself, genuinely baffled. Ugh. People were probably staring at me.

She sighed to herself. I don't want to deal with this right now. Acting may come easy, but it still takes a lot of energy to be someone I'm not.

"How have you two been?" Willow rolled each word over in her mind before responding, pasting a smile onto her face as she did so. It was even harder talking to members of the sports club -- she had put on the "nice, poised girl" persona for them, but she still needed to be careful with what she said. She hadn't been accepted into the club yet, and even then, she still would need to watch her step. I can never let my guard down, can I? she thought, slightly dismayed.

Willow hissed softly in annoyance as she shifted her foot to make room for the others. It had fallen asleep in the twenty minutes, and it would take a little bit for her to regain feeling. Otherwise, she could easily feign an appointment or something and get out. She noticed Cress and Niege staring at her.

"Sorry," she apologized. "My foot's fallen asleep. Did you need something?"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tam was alerted by the tinkling of the doorbell, once again. His eyes widened slightly in alarm as he saw Verano walk in. Why is he dressed so nicely? he thought, confused. He looked down at his own clothes. He had worn his hoodie, of course, and a pair of jeans. He doesn't... he doesn't think this is a date, does he? Tam quashed the thought as soon as it came up. Be serious, he ordered himself. Stay focused.

"Hello," he greeted the senior as he walked in. He supposed he should make some small talk first. Maybe to alleviate some of this awkward tension. "What kind of coffee do you like? They have everything here. I'll get the bill, of course," he added quickly.

"So. I suppose -- scratch that, I definitely owe you an apology." Tam groaned inwardly as he realized that he was already going off-script. Well, he paused. I'll still use some of the elements of the apology I wrote. Willow did seem to approve of those. But, other than that, I guess I'll see where the conversation takes me.

"Thanks for coming out here today. You didn't have to meet me, but you did. Even after what I said."

Tam was sweating bullets, though he tried not to show it. The urge to stick his hands into his pockets was there, although Willow had all but screeched at him not to, every time he tried.

"Body language like that shows that you're nervous or unsure," she warned. "Keep your hands where he can see them. Preferably around your coffee. Act natural. And for goodness's sake, stop tapping your foot!"

Tam nearly snorted into his coffee as he remembered. Willow was normally quite soft-spoken -- very dry, in fact. She only ever raised her voice to emphasize a point.

"But... yeah. I figured it would be better to apologize in person, y'know? I truly apologize for my outburst." Tam locked eyes with Verano, and looked away in shame. "That's not nothing that usually happens. At all, in fact," he continued. "The topic was unexpected, and I... I made a mistake. A lapse in judgement. I'm not begging for your forgiveness. I didn't even come here expecting it. But, I felt so guilty, so awful about yesterday -- even if you don't forgive me, I still need to make amends."
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by espeon on Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:16 pm

I’m good,” said Cress coolly. “I can’t speak for this rascal though.

Niege stuck her tongue out at Cress. To Willow, she said, “I’m doing well. But why do we have to need something to be here? Is there anything wrong with us joining you at this table for an early dinner? You should eat with us too!” She didn’t wait for an answer, however, setting her leather backpack down in a chair and then dashing off to get food. Cress lingered by the table a bit longer; while Niege initially wanted to surprise Willow with Sabella’s later arrival after her fencing practice, he didn’t see the appeal in that.

By the way, we have someone else joining us soon,” he said. “If that’s fine with you, that is.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hyperion Academy, despite its prestige, was, like any other corner of the world, not devoid of its own internal stereotypes. Most of them stemmed from the school’s own administration; they spoke with so little humanity that you’d think they were comparing fresh produce. From the start, they refered to students as types of “recruits,” terminology that the students also adopted themselves to intensify the divisions already among them. There were the three most prominent groups: sports, STEM, and humanities. Notwithstanding the Sports Club’s efforts, sentiments that the sports recruits were simply aggressive jocks hadn't fully been quelled. On the other hand, the STEM and humanities recruits better exemplified Hyperion’s notion of the elite young scholar, and they could be distinguished by nuances of countenance and behavior. The admissions committee prided itself on never making mistakes, and that motto applied to its pigeon-holing methods.

Whether he liked it or not, Verano was just like any of the other STEM recruits — observant, humble, yet inscrutable — coupled with intense overwork, it was a successful recipe for intimidating the rest of the student body. Not to mention, the taste of coffee evoked memories of those sleepless nights studying that only sustained the pernicious competition between students. I want my friends to fail, everyone would tell themselves. Because someone has to fail, and it won’t be me. You would never admit failure to anyone you wouldn't trust with your life. As such, Verano thought this sophomore was a strange case; he couldn't have made it here without that mentality.

Once Tam had finished delivering his apology, the senior drew the sophomore’s attention out from his depths of guilt. “I agree that this personal approach is effective, but you know, you left your impression on us. And like you, I showed a side of me that’s typically left unseen. We can agree that we have differing viewpoints,” he began. Stirring the coffee in front of him, he gave Tam an arch smile. “And that's fine. We could have left it there. You must have realized that as well. You can imagine I was surprised that you reached out to me.Everyone's always afraid to, he thought. And this boy looks rather nervous too...?

Why? If you're expecting me to reject you, then why?
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by Avria on Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:03 pm

Under normal circumstances, Willow would've loved to build up her image in the eyes of her peers. I can't risk it now, she decided.
She was feeling rather... off. The thought of having to keep up this facade for any longer made her feel slightly sick. "I'm planning on leaving soon, anyway. I'll eat something later," she lied. "I was just finishing up a project, with a friend."

Even though Willow's foot had not entirely woken up yet, she gathered her papers, not caring how roughly she stuffed them into her backpack. Wincing as she stood up, Willow forced one foot in front of the other so that it seemed natural, and assumed a walking pace. Her eyes widened as she saw Sabella walk in, and go for the table she had just been sitting at. That was -- that was the friend Cress had mentioned? Her eyes met Sabella's, and Willow jerked her head in greeting, trying to walk as fast she could past the other girl.

Why am I even surprised? she thought bitterly. I shouldn't be surprised by this. I saw her at the meeting, I knew she was in the club. Hopefully she doesn't tell them anything...

She sighed, and walked as quickly to her car as she could. I'll just go home and finish my work, she thought, suddenly weary. And then I'll think about what happened. Today. I'll come up with a plan. It'll all be fine. If I have to manipulate everyone around me to make it work, it'll be fine. It'll all be worth it.

----------------------------------------------------------------

The senior's question didn't exactly come as a surprise to Tam. Willow covered that one, too, he thought. She's very thorough, isn't she? Surprisingly, the thought wasn't a pleasant one. He knew that Willow liked to plan things out -- she often chastised him for deciding "to go with life's flow." Yet, until now, he hadn't realized the extent to which she did.

Does she do this often? he thought, disturbed. Does she anticipate entire days? Weeks? He would consider that later, he decided. For now, he needed to answer Verano's question.

"I still need to at least try and make amends," he repeated. It wasn't the answer Willow had coached him on, but using one felt... weird. Like she was putting her words in his mouth. For now, he just wanted to tell Verano how he saw it -- and hopefully not freak out on him again. "You should always try, at least. The experience wasn't exactly pleasant for me, either. I don't like yelling at people -- but then again, who does?" Tam sipped his coffee, pausing for a moment as a group of people walked past their table, laughing loudly amongst themselves.

"Even if we never see each other again, I want to make sure I don't make the same mistake with others. But my priority with this meeting was to apologize to you." Tam laughed shakily. "I don't know. Your question -- just now -- reminded me of something else. It was that story about a man who threw sea stars that washed up on the beach back into the ocean -- even though he knew they would just wash up again, sooner or later. Have you heard that story before?"
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by espeon on Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:19 pm

I… see,” Cress said, frowning as he watched Willow scamper away from the table and out of the dining hall. Niege had already assembled her dinner plate — well, her first one. Already beginning to chow down on her food, she said to Cress, “Did the weeping Willow run off already? That’s a shame.

I just said we’d have someone else joining us,” he told her, taking one of her fries. “So bizarre… was she like this during the interview?

Niege shook her head. “No, she performed very well — no one’s honest in the interview, so disregarding that, that girl’s got a natural way with words.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yes, I’ve heard it,” Verano said, his gaze distracted by the upsurge in movement now at the back of the café. He suddenly discerned his fellow senior classmates ordering at the counter. Shit, that was them just now? he thought, lowering his head so they wouldn’t see him with this relative nonperson.

It’s a moral story, isn’t it? That one’s purpose is to do something, no matter how insignificant,” he continued, however. “Is that another one of the philosophies you live your life by?
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by Avria on Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:37 am

Tam laughed out loud in surprise. "Holy macaroni, you make me sound like some religious fanatic -- or something." He sighed again, once the shock had worn off. "I guess that's fair though. We don't know each other very well. But no, not exactly. It's not my philosophy, it's just part of my personality, I guess. Or something like that, anyway," Tam finished, uncertain of where he was going with it.

To say I veered off script would be a bit of an understatement, he thought, full of chagrin. If Willow could see me now. I hope she can't. He frowned as he saw Verano suddenly look into the back of the cafe. "Is there something wrong?" he asked.
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by espeon on Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:52 am

Even though Tam’s explanations sounded more like excuses than anything, excuses that could get him in trouble at Hyperion, Verano flashed him an artificially sunny smile. After all, it wasn’t his duty nor was it within his capabilities to somehow save the sophomore from whatever was coming to him.

I see,” he finally said. “No, no — I just thought… I recognized someone. There’s nothing wrong at all.” He briefly saw the numerous message notifications that had appeared on his phone during this meeting and bit his lip. “I — I suppose I appreciate your gesture.” His voice was as stiff as it was at the start of yesterday’s interview. “Is there anything more you wanted to discuss?
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by Avria on Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:42 am

"No, not really," Tam looked away for a second, and began playing with his coffee again. He frowned, realizing that the senior was probably about to leave. Time to go for broke, I guess...

"I think we kind of got off-topic," he confessed. "Sorry for saying more after I said we didn't have anything more to discuss, but... the point is, I was in the wrong. I probably did sound like a religious fanatic" -- Tam couldn't bring himself to meet the senior's eyes -- "when I was lashing out at you. I didn't care about your beliefs at all, and defended my own with far too much vitriol. So, just... before you leave. I was probably explaining my own morals just now -- getting off track. Again. But I don't want you leaving thinking about what I believe. I'd prefer it if you left knowing that I am sorry for my actions."
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by espeon on Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:09 pm

(ooc: this is probably surprisingly not a record for time between posts. a m a z i n g and im sorry haha)

Verano was taken aback by the sophomore’s risky yet impassioned denouement. Every aspect of it, from his submissive behavior to his rather honest-sounding regret, he realized, was something he hadn’t seen much of during his time at Hyperion, especially not between people so different in status. To lay it all out on the line like this, to leave yourself vulnerable, he thought, should be a fool’s move. But he's making pretty good use of it... Strangely enough, it made him think of his first official encounter with Aster three years ago. At the back of his mind, he wondered if surprise had just gotten the best of him, or maybe if his words really made it hard to keep his soul under lock and key as he usually did around others. Either way he was compelled to give Tam a satisfied smile.

You are sorry for your actions,” he said, repeating the sophomore’s words. “I understand. I accept your apology.” He stood up, ready to make his leave. “By the way, this is a small campus — I imagine we’ll see each other again at some point.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Can you believe that? Vera's late," said Niege, looking up at the clock as she unpacked her belongings. "That's surprising. We're usually always waiting for Aster, but he's unfortunately here..."
Lavender shot the sophomore a defensive glare to silence her. "It's fine. I'm sure he's got a good reason to be late to this. Besides, there are enough of us to begin the discussion." Then, raising her voice for others to hear, she said, "If anyone wasn't aware, Aster already cherry-picked the candidates he thinks we should consider in the second round. Before we share that list with you, does anyone have any strong feelings either way about any candidate?"
The club members began with a respectful conversation about some of the candidate. Their statements in favor of or in opposition of any individual were reasonable and founded — nothing was a serious point of contention.
"I wanted to ask about Hazel... or, I mean, Ms. Senreta," Sabella suddenly said. "Was there no recording for her?"
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by Avria on Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:54 am

ooc:

you: "wow this is probably the longest time we're ever going to go between posting haha sorry"
me: "hold my apple juice"

(why yes I have been waiting a week to use that joke)

bic:

Willow watched impassively as two flies, leftovers from summer, crashed into her lampshade and died. Good, she thought sourly. They've been distracting me from work for the past ten minutes.

In truth, she knew that the flies hadn't been really been distracting her -- she could have switched rooms easily, after all. Willow glanced at the stack of papers in front of her wearily. None of this is due tomorrow. I'll work on it later.

For now, she wanted to find out how Tam's conversation with Verano had gone.


> Is your conversation with Verano over yet? What was the conclusion?

She hoped that he wasn't interrupting them in the middle of their discussion. Tam be so rude as to respond to a text message in the middle of their talk. I suppose that answers the first question I sent him, she reflected. But, it's a polite way to start a conversation, and set the context.

A couple minutes later, Tam had responded.

> yeah
> it went well, ig

Willow bit back her irritation. He was so vague with his answers sometime! It would help greatly if she knew the context of their conversation -- there was only so much she could prepare Tam for if she didn't even know what they had argued over, after all.


> I would like some more details, please.
> Were my tips helpful? Did you follow the plan?

> not exactly
> but i think it worked out for the better?


> Would you mind filling me in on what occurred?

> going off a plan seemed kind of weird
> so i kind of just did things my way
> but it all worked out
> tbh i think if i used the plan thing's would've gone worse


> Oh, really? How so?

Willow felt intrigued. She waited in anticipation for Tam's response. I still don't know too much about these seniors, she frowned, biting her lip. I thought it would be best to look smart, be prepared for the apology. Similar to the interview -- sound earnest, yet eloquent. I can't imagine Verano -- or anyone, really -- being put off by sounding earnest, so... perhaps he is the type of person to cut things to the chase. It's highly possible that he doesn't like long, fancy rhetoric.

Tam's next messages confirmed her thoughts.

Once again, Willow was struck by the moral dubiousness of what she had just done. But I was helping Tam out, she defended herself. If he and Verano clash again, this new knowledge will be useful in deciding which path to take. I am a good friend. Willow repeated the last phrase again. I am a good friend.

The thought didn't comfort her.
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by espeon on Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:20 pm

ooc: champagne

Lotus bobbed her head up from behind the mountain of packaged snacks scattered on her desk. Though the other members were worried on her behalf about her enormous appetite, they were at least reassured that, like them, her prerogative as a high-ranking student essentially limited her to feasting on the highest quality foods. To Sabella, she said, “I should have left a note about it in the Drive folder, but you’re right. There was no recording for her.

But I saw a typed version of her answers, so what’s up with that?” said the short-haired girl.

Yeah, did the recorder malfunction?” Niege asked. “I checked them all the night before… pretty meticulously, for that matter.

No, that’s not it,” Lotus said, casting an uncertain glance over at her co-interviewer Cress. After a few seconds of silence, he began to explain what had happened in the interview, as objective and forthright as ever. They were still in the middle of the process — maybe it was surprising, but he had too much respect for the club’s traditions and honor to even inject a hint of unprofessionalism into the conversation. While he spoke, among murmurs of understanding, he noticed the slight grin on Aster’s face. He knew — surely Aster knew that he saw it was a grin of pride. What for though?

There's no time to waste. We've heard or seen every candidate’s answers,” Lavender said. Even though Verano already told her his thoughts on the candidates, she still had hoped he would be here. Biting her lip, she fought back an urge to call him — right now, he probably wasn't looking for the intensity she exuded. He didn't ever really look for it. “So let's start," she announced.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ooc: skip

Let me propose an idea of intrigue, the great, antithetical dichotomy that first manifests in the young years of studentship: a day is an eternity, yet each year is but an instant. If you took the time to track a day, each moment would present itself as one of the infinite possible states of the universe. Pardon me, our universe. Each minute detail would be personal in significance and need its own page, chart, or table to explain. No matter what exactly occurred, you might remark how long the day has been. And perhaps you wouldn't even have put your pen to paper by the time the year has passed, and it seems that those three hundred-plus days darted past in the blink of an eye. You wonder how things turned out the way they have, and you ponder how people have changed the way they have. Regardless, you shrug it off, seeing as you’re generally satisfied.

What, then, is a week?

Exactly seven days had passed since the Sports Club's annual officer interviews. “Why do I have to edit and send it? I’m not the webmaster,” said Lotus, arms splayed out over her desk in despair. “I didn’t even write the e-mail.

With the hand not occupied by a fruit smoothie, Aster patted her on the back reassuringly. “Because you know how to spice it up with colorful text, fun fonts, and cute animal gifs. You’ll win them over.” With a less casual tone, he continued, “It's a necessary measure, as we’re releasing these results later than estimated and other clubs already released theirs.
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by Avria on Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:21 pm

Brrzt. Tam's phone vibrated in his fingers, causing him to drop it onto his panini. "Damn," he swore, jumping slightly. "Sorry," he cast an apologetic glance at Willow, knowing her distaste for swear words. "I forgot to turn off vibrate -- oh no," he stopped short as he saw the notification. "Nonononono -- ow!" Tam grabbed his phone, burning his fingertips slightly on his still-hot panini.

"What's the matter?" Willow asked impatiently, passing him a couple napkins.

Tam laughed, slightly hysterically. "They just sent out the email. The sports club. For who got into the second round." I've been stressing about this for the past week, he groaned. Wondering why they hadn't sent it out yet. All the other clubs -- most of them -- already have. He had been bracing himself for the bad news all week, and now, the email had caught him off guard.

Beside him, Willow silently dug her own phone out of her bag. She scanned the contents of the email quickly, noting the cutesy animals and colorful text with disdain. I thought that they would have proceeded in more of a professional manner. Willow located her name on the list of applicants that would advance to the second round. The sight pleased her, though it wasn't really a surprise. Though I have been avoiding any interaction with members of the sports club since last week's incident. I suppose I shall have to act a certain way around them once more, if I am to be joining this club. Her thoughts curdled in distaste.

"I'm too afraid to look," Tam sat with his phone in front of him, email already open. He had turned away from it, and had his head buried in his hands. "Willow, you do it."

"You got in," she said, bored. Willow speared a slice of cucumber with her fork, idly dragging it around in some ranch. She wasn't really hungry, anyway.

"What? Really?" Tam shot up as if someone had lit a firecracker under his chair. He scanned the list for his own name, and whooped in excitement when he saw it. "Sorry," he apologized to several other people who had been startled by his outburst. "Wow, I didn't -- cool! We both got in! High five me!" he raised one palm to Willow, and resisted the urge to laugh when she scowled.

"No thank you. But," she added grudgingly, "Congratulations."

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Peanut was alone in the robotics lab when he got the email. "So now, I'm a general body member," he mused, fidgeting with a piece of wire. He had sent in his application a week ago, although he wasn't too concerned about joining. The robotics club is more my speed, anyway, he thought wryly. Though, I wonder... if they're only now sending the results out -- I wonder if Hazel got in?

He felt a twinge of sadness as he thought about Hazel -- a week later, and she still wouldn't speak to him. In fact, he rarely saw her speak at all, to anyone. When he asked her how the interview went, Hazel had just smiled slightly and said that it went well. Well,
if she's happy, I guess that's fine. Maybe she's got other friends. She probably doesn't need me anymore, anyway.


He decided to send her a quick text and ask about the results.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"I still don't understand why you want to transfer to the ASL class," Hazel's Spanish teacher asked, puzzled. Hazel had approached him after class, which was a surprise. As far as he had noticed, she simply entered, took notes, and left as fast as possible. "You know, it's okay if you're too shy to speak," he said softly. The girl's reluctance to speak and penchant for stuttering had certainly affected her grades in the class, but it wasn't so bad that it would ruin her GPA.

"Your grades are alright," he continued. "Could be better, but this is a tough class. All you really need to work on is your voice. Enunciate, and try not to stutter."

He felt slightly bemused as the mousy girl in front of him shook her head, and handed him a slip of paper. The teacher squinted at the slip, trying to make out the words. "Oh. I see. Well, if that's really what you want," he sighed, handing the paper back to her. "I'll make the necessary arrangements. Just file an application at the front office and you'll be fine."

Hazel smiled gratefully at the teacher as she left. In most of her classes, not speaking hadn't really been a problem. It made group work a little hard, but she managed. Spanish, though, was a different story. Speaking was a vital part of the class -- it wouldn't be enough to just learn how to read, write, or listen in the language.

She pulled out her phone as she got a notification from her email. Oh! The sports club! Excited, Hazel stopped in her tracks and scrolled down the list of names until she found hers. Yes! she inwardly crowed. It felt as though a weight she didn't even know existed had dropped off her back. She had been a nervous wreck the day after the interview -- after all, what she had done was extremely unorthodox. But, as the day progressed, Hazel felt a little better about everything. Not speaking had helped too.

I guess, if I'm transferring to ASL... I guess I really am serious about this. Hazel frowned slightly as she considered her decision. She knew that not speaking made her feel better -- Hazel despised her stutter. However, it did make it a lot harder to communicate with others. Her thoughts were distracted as a second chime came from her phone. This time, it was a text from Peanut.

Hazel bit her lip. She didn't know how to respond to him. On one hand, talking with Peanut should've been as easy as talking to her parents. She'd known them for her entire life, and she didn't stutter when she talked to them. But ever since last week, she had begun to freeze up around Peanut as well, like he was a stranger. After another moment's hesitation, Hazel typed out a quick response to Peanut, telling him that she had gotten into the second round of interviews. I can't avoid him forever. I'm not even sure why I'm avoiding him, to be honest.
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by espeon on Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:46 pm

ooc: skip again, i’m not writing a fourth-wall-breaking monologue this time around

There wasn’t a single soul in the Sports Club’s typical meeting room. The meeting rooms were empty too. As were the ballroom, office, and game room, although those were often uninhabited. It was apt in the circumstances, however, given that it was time for the second and final tribulation for the candidates in this year’s officer selection process. Today was intended for the candidates, not the current club members, but that's not to say it was a celebration; it was still intended to filter out those with qualifications from those without. Confident that they had no clue as to the true nature of this purported interview, Aster entered the room that the e-mail had shepherded the candidates into. Another of Lavender’s fine design choices, black metal walls restricted the candidates and the lack of light gloomed the stagnant air.

Welcome to the second round, and congrats on making it this far,” he said, happy to be brightening up the room. Observing the baffled looks that greeted him, he said, “I’m sure some of you have questions. You must be thinking, this is just another interview, right? Why were you all called here? Is this a mistake?” For dramatic effect, he paused and let out a chuckle.

We don’t make mistakes.

He crossed his arms and carried on, reverting to his cheerful demeanor, though it had a tinge of — what was that? Guilt? “You’ll all participate in this second test at the same time. Who knows what could happen with so many people? But one thing is clear. It's happening in the simulation.” What looked like a garage door whirred as it opened behind the crowd, revealing rows of maroon-colored seats. Meanwhile, it seemed the door opening triggered the projection of a computer screen onto one of the walls. Aster gestured for the candidates to get situated, or rather, locked in. In the neighboring control room, Niege turned on a randomizing application. The names and photos of the students, matched pairwise, appeared on the screen. Aster lowered his head. They should know what these pairs mean. I won't explain, he thought. Randomization makes it a crapshoot anyway.


Last edited by espeon on Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:07 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by Avria on Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:54 pm

Whoever designed this room sure had an eye for detail, Tam thought dryly as he surveyed his barren surroundings. Just add a coffin or two, and bam -- real estate for vampires. Tam had been surprised as he received what he thought was his interview time -- and discovered that Willow had the exact same one.

"What do you think they're doing?" he had asked her, hoping she knew something he didn't. This was often the case.

Willow shrugged slightly, and looked deep in thought. "I am afraid I cannot give you a definitive answer," she replied. Which was Willow-speak for "I don't know." However, he doubted that she didn't at least have an idea. Whatever. He didn't press the issue, not that she would have responded anyway.

Tam was only half-listening as the president of the club -- Aster Genovese -- delivered his speech.

“We don’t make mistakes.”

Although he tried to always remain optimistic, even Tam wasn't completely ignorant of the atmosphere of competition at Hyperion. The system was cutthroat, ruthless -- in fact, Tam doubted that he would've survived his freshman year here if it hadn't been for Willow. The President's words echoed what Tam had heard his first day here. Wow though, he does sound cool when he says that, Tam reflected, a small flare of envy rising up. It's easy to see why he's the president.

He started slightly in surprise as the garage door opened, revealing another section of the dreary room. Even the chairs look like they've been painted with blood, he laughed softly, earning himself a look from Willow.

"Take this more seriously, would you?" she snapped quietly. Tam winked at her, and she looked away, scowling.

He watched in interest as the list of potential recruits were randomized. It looks like I'm... paired up with someone called 'Hazel.' She had short brown, messy hair, and wore a slight expression of dismay. She looks like a sixth grader, or something!

Tam turned his thoughts to more pressing matters. What was the purpose of these pairings? Was it a group test? He scanned the rest of the list, noting with alarm that Willow wasn't paired with anyone. But -- but why? he thought, bewildered. And what are these pairings for, anyway?

Almost as if she could read his thoughts, Willow replied quietly. "I believe we're going to be entering a simulation."

Tam frowned slightly, rocking back on his heels. He knew about the simulation, of course, and how every year, Hyperion pitted clubs -- students -- against each other in an arena. I just didn't think this would be the second test...

"But what does it mean? And why aren't you paired?" he whispered to Willow.

Willow shrugged slightly. "I am not completely certain what the function of these pairings are. If I had to guess, these pairings could be who we have to fight. Or they could be our teammates."

Tam sighed. What did he expect? Maybe, we'll be paired up in teams and we'll have to fight simulated people, he thought hopefully, his heart sinking. No, they would fight each other, of course -- that was what the school did. So Willow either fights no one, or has to take on everyone alone, he mused. That's... risky. And we don't know until it starts. He cast a worried glance at her, surprised that she seemed to be... smiling?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hazel watched the randomizer nervously. She had been surprised when she entered the room -- both by its decor and by the number of people inside. We're not doing a group interview, are we? she wondered nervously. The president had made a small speech, and Hazel stiffened as she saw the maroon-colored chairs and the screen.

This looks like the setup of a simulation, she thought, fidgeting nervously. I didn't think... they would do this. This early. Her spirits sunk further as a randomizer came up, pairing the recruits with each other. What are these? Who is Tam Porir? Baffled, she scanned the room and spotted him talking quietly to the girl next to him.

I don't... are these people we're going to have to fight? She knew in the school simulations, the clubs had to all fight each other. I'm not very good at fighting... Hazel preferred to run away from confrontations. She was far too short to ever beat someone in a fistfight. Though, I guess even anyone can use a gun, she thought gloomily. I assume we're going to be getting real weapons in this simulation. It would be... barbaric if we had to fight using our bare fists.

Hazel sighed as she dug her notepad out and scribbled out a message to 'Tam.' She still wasn't sure if he would be an ally, or an enemy. I should really ask, although... I guess we'll know once we're in the simulation. If we're all in a huge group, it'll mean we're allies. If we only see each other, we'll be fighting.

The congregation of students had already started to split up, looking for their partners. The boy she was paired with, Tam, hadn't moved yet. He seemed to be scanning the crowd for someone -- probably me, Hazel thought. She darted towards the boy -- his eyes lit up in recognition when he saw her.

"Oh! You must be Hazel," he said kindly, offering her a handshake and a smile.

Hazel shuffled back and forth on one foot nervously, unsure of how to respond. Her chest felt tight again, and she knew that she wouldn't be able to exactly respond -- in words, at least. Hazel shook his hand numbly, waving the other one slightly. She gave him the sheet of paper, waiting anxiously as he read it.

"Huh. I see. Well, that's fine," Tam replied, rocking back on his heels. "It's nice to meet you, Hazel."

"Tam," the girl next to him hissed, nudging his arm with her elbow. "She could be your enemy, you know. We don't know yet."

Tam laughed in response. "It's fine, Wills. Even if she is who I'll be fighting, she seems nice enough. Never hurts to be polite," he said lightly.

"Well, I guess we'll see once we enter the simulator," Tam shrugged. The rest of the students had started to move towards the chairs, ready to enter the simulation. "Good luck."

Hazel blinked, slightly in shock. Whenever she 'spoke' with someone nowadays, they always seemed eager to end the conversation as quickly as possible. He's nice, she reflected. I hope I don't have to fight him. She picked out one of the chairs on the aisle and settled in, adjusting for her height. I guess it's time for the second round to begin.
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by espeon on Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:29 am

As the students got strapped and buckled into the chairs, Aster stood with poise atop the apparent center stage of the shadowy chamber. A single white light illuminated the paleness of his face. With a glance at his phone, he saw a message notification from Niege — the simulation was ready. To the candidates, he left them some final words of encouragement. “No matter what happens, please realize that the clubs you join are far less important than who you are. On behalf of the club, we wish you the best of luck today.” He scanned the room, striving to impart his sincerity through his blue gaze.

While the students descended into the simulation realm, Niege’s voice echoed in their ears like a sweetly-ringing bell. “Welcome to the simulation, trademarked property of Hyperion Academy,” she began. “Today the arena is a small cityscape. Note the artificial lake and park at the western side of the arena. The temperature is 60 degrees Fahrenheit, not that it matters. Hopefully you got to know your partner earlier.” She moved her head away from the microphone and giggled, looking over at the other club members in the control room.

What’s so funny?” said Sabella.

You receive a bonus if you kill them when your health reaches a certain level,” she whispered. Returning to the microphone, she said, “There are various weapons in the arena, including guns. There are also other pieces of equipment you may find useful.
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by Avria on Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:17 am

Willow took a moment to marvel at the seamless transition from the real world into the simulation. They didn't spare any expense, did they? she thought, admiring her surroundings. Everything looks so real. Of course, in real life she wouldn't be killing anyone. Neither would I see a small profile above each person, she reflected. She could see everyone's health bars, and their name. To her surprise, everyone started off with different amounts of health.

It seems like our avatars are based on our stats in the real world, she noted. The highest health she saw was 100 -- maybe that's the cap? -- while the lowest was 87. Willow had a 98 herself. There's still room for improvement.

She was startled by the sudden voice in her ear -- and by the looks of it, everyone else could hear, too. Willow recognized the voice as Niege's. She quickly took note of the temperature, and the other details that were given. Suddenly, a ten minute timer appeared on the sky above them.

Niege informed them all that they had a ten minute grace period to explore their surroundings, during which there would be no killing, or fighting. Willow smiled slightly as she began jogging away from the other groups. Normally, not having a partner would be a disadvantage -- but Willow didn't care. As always, she preferred working alone. Tam is too much of a pacifist to ever inflict any sort of damage, she thought dismissively. Although this is a simulation. Maybe that'll change things.

She headed west, towards the park and lake Niege had pointed out earlier. Along the way, she kept an eye out for any useful equipment. This reminds me of those silly games Tam likes to play, she thought, faintly amused. Levels. Gold. Health. Equipment.

Willow spotted something silver flashing in a bush, and pulled it out, disappointed to see that it was only a knife. A gun would be much more useful. But a well-placed knife could also kill. Hopefully, I'll find a gun soon.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tam thanked his lucky stars that today, he had not dressed up for the interview. It seemed that your clothes passed over too, in the simulation. I wouldn't have been able to breath in that ridiculous thing, let alone run, he thought, relieved. He looked over at the rest of the recruits. This simulation is so life-like, he shuddered slightly. I can't believe we'll have to hurt each other.

He looked beside him, and noticed that Hazel was shivering. "Are you okay?" he asked, concerned. "It's okay. Let's come up with a plan. We have a ten minute period -- let's just hide somewhere for now, and then we can think of what to do."

Hazel nodded, reaching for her pad of paper -- and felt the blood drain from her face. She didn't have her paper, or her pencil.

She was going to have to talk. "T-t-t-t-t," she stuttered, and flushed in embarrassment. What's wrong with you? she yelled inwardly. Hazel tried again, only to have the words die on her tongue completely. She motioned frantically with her hands to Tam, who seemed to notice the problem.

"Hey. It's fine," Tam replied nervously. "Um. Oh, dear. This does make things a little harder, but it'll work out, okay? You don't have to speak, if you don't want to. For now, let's just find somewhere to hide, and maybe some 'equipment' that girl mentioned."

Hazel nodded gratefully, and pointed discreetly towards a small grove in the corner. Tam looked up at the sky. Nine minutes left. He nodded at her, and they both ran towards the grove.

"Wow, your Health is higher than mine," he stared for a second, stunned. 95 to his 93. "Hah. I wasn't really expecting this, if you can't tell. I need to get my stamina up. Been slackin' since summer break." Of course, that wasn't entirely true -- Tam still played badminton over break, but he hadn't exactly kept up with his training program. The serious competitions start in fall.

His friendly banter seemed to calm Hazel down somewhat, as she no longer looked like she was going to bolt at any moment. "Look on the bright side," he continued. "We're not fighting each other, are we? Looks like it's teams after all." Once again, Tam bit back his concern for Willow -- without a partner, she would be at a disadvantage.

"So... are you any good with weapons?" he asked casually, stiffening when Hazel nodded and pointed a finger-gun at him. "Ohhkay. You know how to fire a gun. That's good," Tam tried to keep his tone upbeat. "Maybe we can find one around here somewhere."

Tam scratched his head nervously. The idea of firing a gun at someone sickened him, no matter how hard he tried to convince himself that it didn't matter -- that they were only simulations. It's hard when everything feels so real.

"Do you like fighting?" he asked quietly, and felt nearly dizzy with relief when Hazel shook her head vehemently. "Okay. That's good, I guess. Yeah, I'm not really one for fighting either." He let out a shaky laugh. "Huh. Maybe we can just last out everyone," he continued hopefully. "I don't know. You're pretty small, you'd fit in a lot of hiding places. Only fight when we need to, y'know?"

Once again, Hazel agreed with him, nodding thoughtfully. Suddenly, she pointed towards the trees above them. "Hide -- hide in the trees?" Tam asked. "That's not a bad idea. Just gotta be careful not to rustle any leaves. Although, we should find some weapons first," he sighed. This'll be fun.

"Come on, let's look around."

They found two knives and a gun when a loud boom reverberated throughout the arena, and the second round officially began.
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by espeon on Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:07 am

For the time being, Niege turned off the microphone and focused on monitoring the candidates from the various display screens plastered around the control room, until she was startled by a loud banging on the door. She acted first, linking the screens to the security camera.

Oh, it’s Lav and Vera,” Cress said, unbolting the door. He quickly side-stepped the former when she charged inside. She was panting as she gave a sweaty hug to everyone she saw. “So sorry we’re late. We—” she caught her breath. “We ran all the way here from the train station. How’s it going?” With the flick of a switch, the screens returned to the simulation.

Has anything exciting happened?” Verano asked, curiously examining the pairings that the randomizer had arranged. Niege opened her mouth to answer him with a simple “no,” but the raw crack of a gunshot suddenly tore through the air between them. They watched from a birds-eye view as a boy and girl wrestled on the roof of an office building over possession of the weapon. “That’s something interesting for you,” she said instead, a bit uneasily. “There’s only three guns out there. Two have been found, one has been used... and I thought I hid them well.

But aren’t we guaranteed to have the three gunslingers remaining at the end?” said Lavender. Perhaps it slipped her mind that she herself could defeat a gunned foe with melee weapons. “Unless you gave them other useful stuff.

To give examples, Niege mumbled about the presence of a tracking device, a bulletproof vest, even a kit to build a bomb. Facing the seniors directly, she raised her voice. “But hey, what happens will happen. I trust you two can give and take points fairly, and that’s all you need to do right now. It’s not your job to worry.” She handed them each a laminated sheet of paper, chock-full of small serif words and numerals, akin to a scholarly research essay. "Here's an abridged guide to the points they give in the Officer Battles."
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by Avria on Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:49 am

Originally, Hazel and Tam had planned to just wait it out in their grove, but after the third person passed underneath them, they agreed to relocate. This place is kind of close to the where we all started out. She pointed a finger at the buildings, and Tam agreed. As per his insistence, she had taken the gun, and one of the knives.

I hope I don't have to use it, she thought nervously. I'd probably mess up -- it's been a while since I played with starting pistols. She used to own several starting pistols back in Italy -- they'd always fire blanks, of course, and it was fun playing Cops and Robbers with Peanut back then.

One day, Peanut had asked to take one of the pistols home with him. She'd agreed, unsure of why he would want it. The next day, Peanut was back -- and the pistol had been modified to shoot real bullets.

"Isn't that illegal?" she had asked. Peanut told her to live a little. The entire thing was kept a secret by the two. They would get in so much trouble if their parents had known.

In the end, they never used the pistol.

Things took a turn for the worse when they both heard the gunshot.

While Hazel wasn't any stranger to what they sounded like, she still flinched -- badly -- upon hearing the loud crack. They were in the middle of relocating when it happened -- Tam was already on the ground, ready to move. He was half-hidden behind a clump of bushes as she struggled to make her way down.

It was at that moment that another girl burst in on them, weapon in hand. She looked as though she had just run a marathon -- brow glistening with perspiration, chest heaving. She looked distracted, and was frantically looking around.

She might've passed them up, if Hazel hadn't dropped her knife. Straight in front of the other girl.

Hazel froze. She'd been so rattled by the gunshot -- and by her sudden appearance, that she hadn't noticed her her grip on the knife was slipping until it was too late. She fumbled for a second, slicing one of her fingers in the process, and still, the stupid thing landed in front of the other girl.

The other girl looked up, eyes narrowed as she spotted the freshman. Hazel's breath hitched in her throat -- and she stopped moving, as if she were a deer caught in the headlights. I didn't -- I couldn't --

"Nice try," the girl's breath was rough, ragged from the run. She leaned down between her feet, twirling the knife around in her fingers. "Thanks for the knife," she smirked.

Hazel barely registered the fact that the girl thought Hazel had just tried to kill her. No -- that wasn't...! It was hard to think, or even breathe. She watched, still frozen in horror as the girl drew Hazel's knife back, ready to throw it up at her. I messed up again,
didn't I...? I can't do anything right.


All of a sudden, there was a loud crash, and Tam stumbled to the right of the girl. She hesitated, lowering the knife -- unsure of what to do. Hazel had completely forgotten about her partner.

"Well, that was a pretty bad entrance," he muttered as he picked himself up, yanking out a twig stuck in his hair. "Ow. I guess you just swept my off my feet. So, uh," he began weakly. "Knife to meet you."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Normally, throwing one's weapon would be an ill-advised move. But there is, quite literally, no chance of me missing, Willow thought grimly. She was no stranger to how the simulations worked, but it still felt disconcerting -- everything felt so real. She sat perched in a tree, well-hidden by its dense foliage. Her left hand gripped its trunk for support, the rough bark completely natural underneath her hand. Her other hand had her knife by its hilt, poised and ready to throw.

In front of her on the ground, a boy stood breathing heavily, gulping down large amounts of air. Willow had heard the loud crack of a gunshot shortly before, and immediately scrambled for cover. A few minutes later, this boy had burst through the line of trees. Thankfully, he lacked both a weapon and a partner.

Either they split up, or his partner's gone, Willow mused. It's likely that he was fleeing from whoever found the gun. Though... I wonder why his pursuer simply did not cut him down? It's hard to outrun someone with a gun. Willow considered several ideas. Maybe that person simply is not accustomed to firing a gun -- or killing other people -- simulations, she corrected herself. Simulations. This isn't real.

She didn't hesitate any further, and drove the knife clean through the boy's chest. This isn't real. That's why I don't feel guilty, Willow told herself firmly. She hopped down from the tree, bracing the balls of her feet for the landing. I... I'll need that knife back.

Willow fought back a wave of repulsion as she retrieved the knife, trying not to look at the boy's face.
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

Post by espeon on Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:01 am

Last night, Aster was up late finishing a draft for a philosophy paper on free will and emotional responses. He spurned the coffee that Anise offered him this morning, half under the impression his body grew a caffeine tolerance and half believing he wasn’t in need of any stimulants anyway. Free will, right? It would seem that he made the wrong decision, though, for he couldn’t so much as keep his eyes open until he was alarmed by the untimely beeping and clinking of one of the chairs. Gasping for breath, the boy sitting in the chair was riotously tossing and turning, trying to get free. As he ran over to assist the candidate, Aster noticed the boy was also clutching his chest with trembling hands. A gunshot wound…? No, that’s too immediate for him to even feel the trauma like this, the senior thought, recalling his past experiences in the simulation. A… knife wound? He wasn't sure if he should be disturbed or amazed that he could perform a pretend biopsy like this, without any real biology knowledge having crossed his mind. Or was it an autopsy?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bloody hell,” Cress whispered, staring in hazel-hued wonder at the monitors. He winced at the first murder, which presented itself much sooner than everyone expected. “It sure feels different watching from here.” He watched over Niege's shoulder while she double-checked the hundred or so points that the system granted to Willow, vaguely glad that technology hadn't wholly superseded humans yet.

Lavender leaned in towards the eye-level display of Tam, Hazel, and [unnamed girl], eager that their weapons would soon be deserted so they would engage in hand-to-hand combat. “It’s like watching a movie. Speaking of which, snacks are essential for movies! Vera and I took the train to Pasadena today and bought some ‘luxury candy,’ whatever that is,” she said, quoting an employee from the candy shop. She took out the neatly boxed sweets from her bag, extending it towards the others.

While sampling the candy, Lotus said, “How long does this last, Niege?” She scratched her head. “I don’t want the candidates… or us… to stay here all day.

That could be an issue. I can make the arena smaller to force them closer together,” answered Niege. She immediately opened a settings window, did some of her computer magic, and turned the microphone on again. “Hello! Candidates, can you hear me? The arena has shrunk to half its original size. If you wander beyond the new boundaries, there may or may not be land mines awaiting you.
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Re: avria and espeon 1x1

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