Quarantine Part 1 (Autumn/Winter) page 32

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Olorin
Tyler’s not at his house. What happened? Did he get taken away like Mark did? What’s going on? Ronte must be getting ready to make his move. Everybody’s disappearing. Then I stop myself. Just because he’s gone right this second doesn’t mean anything’s wrong. Am I going crazy?

 
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[[Flame and Kilo, when I said “lead the way” that was kinda your cue to get things moving. Now I’m sat here like a lemon waiting for one of you guys to at least do something… Hint hint…]]

 
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[I’m waiting for Flame.]

 
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[Whoops! Sorry.]
Jaye S.
“It’s actually not going to be that hard to get in…there’s a huge tunnel grid beneath the city.” I lead the two of them down through the passage and through seemingly endless corridors and turns. Finally, we make it. “Well, the map I memorized says that the caves can be entered here, the western side of square 01-27-97-AF. I know that the two of you know what you’re looking for and you can certainly find it. Oh, and one more thing. You see the lantern I have here, right? Well, when either of you find ‘it’ come back here and yell for the others.” I then leave the darkness-powered lantern (It works like a beacon) on the floor and go look for raw material I could use in my projects.

 
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Kar Wale

“I just realized something, Damion.” I say as Jaye leaves the cavern. “There aren’t any guards down here…” I shoot a huge lightning bolt at a pile of rocks, turning them into ashes. “Phew…” I take a deep breath. “Exhausting, but so much fun. We can just use electricity as light down here, I guess.”

We traverse the 1-way cave to a large corridor with old papers on the ground going as far back as 2014. We turn a corner and continue down the dark caves using electricity as light.

 
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[[This might work, but I doubt it… Testing…]]

 
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{What are you testing…?}

 
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[[Oh wow. Somehow, my PS3 doesn’t think I’m logged in, but lets me post anyway. Something is odd about Kong’s log-in function… Anyway. To business.]]

I see the blast of electricity , white-hot, momentarily scarring my vision.

“I can see perfectly fine down here, without the lightning… My eyes aren’t normal anymore. It’s lilke I don’t need light to see. It’s… weird, to say the least.” Either his light blinds me constantly, or he wanders around blind. I take a third option, focus, and my eyes seem to relax as my night-vision stops. “I really haven’t got much control, it might be my body but it doesn’t mean I know what it’s doing.” I explain, forgetting that telepaths read minds.

I conjure a light of my own, a powerful fire that illuminates the surrounding tunnels. Another mistake, I realise; it won’t take much to lose control of the flames, and cause some serious, unintentional, damage. I shut the fire off, and try to imagine an orb of pure luminescence… Nothing. Damn.

“Ok, you lead then.”

 
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Kar Wale

“Yeah, Okay.”

I use some little sparks to lead the way ahead.

“Hey, in your mind, you thought that it’s blinding me. I guess it’s my power, cause I barely see the flash at all.”

 
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Jaye S.
There was no way…an artifact like this? Firstly, what was it doing down here? Second, where does it lead? Third, is it relevant? Fourth, am I going to stop asking questions and investigate? Okay, I could answer that one…“Where would the generator be…” I find it, but it sort of creeps me out. That darkness-powered technology was only invented a couple years back, just before the incident with the virus. What is fairly new tech doing in a place like this? Well, there was one way to find out…I powered up the giant portal and found that it could be set anywhere, anywhence. In fact, it could function as up to seven different portals. Well, people don’t typically carry around coordinates for the enemy’s base, but it just so happened I had one. Working from memory and guesswork, I activate one seventh to what I think is Ronte’s castle. Noises of a battle pour out, and looking at it I see a group of people fighting some huge enemy. I deactivated it quickly, reasoning that I hit a button incorrectly. Oh, my time gauge was off…even for that far in the future the fighters seemed a bizarre group. Well, there should be a way back here…thinking quickly I activate a portal to the library and lock the coordinates and limit the ability to open it to three certain genetic signuratures. Eh, that what you can do when you carry your teammates’ fingerprints just in case, I think. Not much more to do here so I go look for the others to tell them about the wonder of technology that I found.

 
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[[Hmm. Back here on my PC, for a few reasons:
1) It’s horrible typing with a PS3 controller.
2) The PS3 has a character limit when you input text, for some reason.
3) I tend to make long posts, which, thanks to 1 & 2, will be a pain in the arse.]]

“No, I meant you’d be blind, since there’d be no light for you to see with. With my night vision, the lightning was so sharp it burned.” I’m glad I figured out how to control my vision, because that would have been painful, and I don’t think splitting up down here would be a good idea.

Getting all this energy, with my abilities, was a bit like upgrading from a car to an experimental, high-tech fighter jet. Sure, it all works in the same basic way, but with a whole extra dimension to traverse, a hell of a lot more power, and a million unmarked switches to use. Maybe some of them aren’t attached to anything. Maybe some of them will do something incredible, and maybe one or two would fire me out the cockpit without a parachute. And one of them has to be the one I’m looking for.

Of course, that’s just a metaphor. It’s not directly the same as my situation, which is a lot more complicated, and has less flashing lights to tell you when you’re completely screwed.

“I’ll figure it out eventually. I’ve managed to get the hang of healing pretty quickly, and trust me, healing is something you want to be able to do. When you’re dieing of blood loss and have a bullet wedged in your shoulder, it’s a handy thing to know. It’s also a good thing to know if your stomach ends up inside your lung.” Kar doesn’t have a clue what I mean, but no matter.

I focus again, and can feel the energy running up my arm. A faint blue glow, underneath my skin, dashing along my veins and leaving a pale after-image behind. I imagine the caves around us, full of light, a bright arc emanating from my hand. A beam of light paints the dark tunnels a pale blue…

The energy forms a ball in my open palm. It surges, growing to the size of a golf ball, and then turns into a perfectly spherical black rock.

“Damn.” I swear aloud, and, as if I had muttered the magic word, the rock bursts into light, showing the long, dark tunnels ahead of us. An odd solution, but I got there in the end.

“So, what are we looking for down here?”

 
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Kar Wale

The deep caverns were lit by only a dim, dark blue light from the rock as we walked through it. Haunting… The stalactites seemed to glare at me as I spoke.

“Number one, a way outta the city.”

I nod my head to explain it’s the most important.

“And number two, maybe find out more about where Ronte is.”

We move on for a bit, but then I jump into converse again.

“I haven’t felt human for the three years we’ve been like this…”

I trailed off, since he knew it was the same for everyone. “Life changed. But I just… never feel the same. I go to bed differently, I can’t eat even a quarter piece of what I usually have as a snack… It’s just… awkward, being like this. I can almost… talk… to the other bugs.”

I close my eyes, and suddenly all the lights go out.

“What the…?”

 
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Tyler

I wake up, and quickly get out of bed, new determination to find information burning inside of me. I eat a hurried meal from the sack, then head out.

Concentrate. I told myself.

Today, I will find what I am looking for. Came after that.

 
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Kar Wale

I fire a huge bolt at where I last saw light, and in the flicker see an ad that wasn’t ever put up.

DON’T GO BERSERK!

I see behind me, Damion, completely blinded and confused about the darkness.

There wasn’t anything there when I looked back at the poster, except a hoodied man holding a large gun. An assassin… I quickly fly downward, but he points at me, and I feel weak. Why am I attacking an innocent? He’s just trying to make me happy, realize true compassion… Yeah, I should follow him. Yep. Damion is a traitor, I know it. I start following him but then realize Wait, no!

I fire a bolt at his back, hurting him. Wait, what am I thinking?! I plead to him to forgive me for my insolence. He lets me follow him, out the cave. On the street, the amazing man takes me to a nice house. He gives me nice drinks and I fall asleep at lunchtime.

I wake up immediately and think how stupid that was. First thing I do is zap the mutant and he goes “THWACK!” on the table. I rush back inside the cave faster then I’ve ever flew to find Damion dozing off, feeling bad for not thanking the mutant for helping him realize his true self.

“Snap out of it, Damion! God damnit, he’s an assassin!”

He shakes his head, but then stops his trance.

 
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[still waiting for fogs response.]

 
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[More or less waiting on others, but I’ll go ahead here.]

Tyler

Dissatisfied once more, but spirits not let down, I trudged back home after a long day of guard searching. It seemed as though if the guards had done anything right, it was make sure it was hard to find where to go if one wanted to get at higher power Sentinels. I go to my room, though first note that Kar hasn’t yet returned, and hope that he hasn’t been caught – then probably killed.

Though trying to leave that thought behind, I go to bed once more, after a short grab from the food sack.

 
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[[Sorry I’ve been away.]]

The darkness suddenly floods the room. It’s as if someone switched my eyes off. I can’t see, and flail around in the darkness. I turn on my night vision, just in time to be painfuly blinded by a violent flash of lightning. I hold my eyes shut as they burn in pain, the super-adjusted light-sensitive cells completely overpowered by the powerful burst of light. The pain follows the optic nerve and sets my mind on fire, a familiar pain, almost an old friend.

My eyes won’t heal properly, but no matter. I still have my other senses, just as improved as my sight, and they’re not rendered useless by shadows. Think…

I can feel Kar, buzzing around… And someone else? A stranger. An enemy, perhaps. An odd odour cuts through the damp air of the cave… Something that spoke of fire, and violence, and death. Gunpowder. The man is armed. Some sort of firearm. In this city, the only people who carry guns are the people who plan to use them. If you didn’t have the nerve to pull the trigger, someone else would show you how to do it. You’d be lucky to survive.

We’re in trouble, but that’s not the only problem. Something else about this man is odd. A feeling… almost like an “aura”… You want to impress him, to be his friend, to follow him to then end of the earth and smile as he throws you off. Mutants with these “aura” abilities aren’t unheard of, but very rare. They are dangerous. They mess with your mind and get inside your head, making you fight against your own free will like a puppet on strings.

I hear another burst of lightning, as Kar strikes this newcomer. Obviously he is a threat, but I can’t help. I’m staggering blindly, anything I do in this state is bound to go wrong. I’ll hit Kar, or blast a hole in the roof and kill us all… For once, I hear a voice inside my head that makes sense.

You can’t let him take control. You can’t fight back. You know what to do.

This could be the worst move I have ever made, but I have no choice. I succumb to the pain, and fall to the floor.
-
I open my eyes. The first thing I realise: I’m not in the cave anymore. I look around the large room, the deep red of the walls seeming familar. The cream linoleum floor is stained crimson in places, as memories start coming back. Many dark leather chairs are sprawled around the room, some standing up, others thrown around. Most of them are torn, battered and sprayed with blood. The acrid scent floods the room as I realise where I am. Behind me, the large windows are mostly missing, the glass littering the floor. Outside, a dark void. Escape isn’t an option. Even though I know it’s just in my mind, I’d rather be back in the cave. This is somewhere far darker, more malevolent, and somewhere I know well.

My old coffeeshop. My home, my life, and the site of so much carnage on that fateful day, years ago. The white door on the far end of the room opens, and two figures step through with a tray of drinks. Three drinks. Three people. In any other place, this would be a relaxed conversation between three close friends. In this creepy scene from my past, inside my mind…

The taller of the two, a hooded man, leather jacket clearly hiding a strong physique, places the tray on an upright table and drags two blood-stained chairs across. The smaller one, a thin wreck of a man, wears tattered rags, stained with blood and filth. I drag a chair forward, and get ready for a confusing discussion.

“Well, this brings a whole new meaning to ‘talking to yourself’. Why here, of all places?” I wonder.
Why not? I like it here. I thought it’d remind you of better times.” The hooded one speaks with a deeper, harsher voice than mine, like someone with a throat infection or doing a bad Batman impression. He smiles, and his teeth glint in the shadows.
“Oh, take that hood down, you look daft. And we’re indoors anyway.” I ignore the comment about ‘better times’. We both know what he means by that. I sip at my coffee instead. “So, we’re here. All three of us. Why?”
Three?” He looks confused for a second, and then looks at the seat to his left. “Oh, hah, of course. He’s not really here for anything more than decoration. He barely even knows we exist!
“And you didn’t know that I existed until a few days ago. You thought it was just you and him. You were wrong.”
I am NEVER wrong.” Anger confuses people, they make mistakes. He has to be planning something, so I want him nice and angry. With some luck, I’d leave with the upper hand.
“That’s your problem. You’re broken, and you know it. You’re too arrogant, you have no self control… It’s no wonder you keep screwing up and losing control.”
I see what you’re trying to do. I’m still you, remember. I know how you think.
“Exactly. You’re still me. I’m the original, and I’ve been me for a lot longer than you have.”
Well, I know what I’m doing. You just flail around, hoping something works.
“And you just explode in a ball of rage after about twenty minutes.”
He pauses, clearly holding himself back. I don’t know what would happen if he throws a punch at me here, but I can’t imagine it will end well. He seems to sense the same thing.
So, back to business?
“I didn’t know we had any business.”
You are in my body. I want you out.
“That’s not how it works. You know that. I can’t leave, you are part of me. Without me, you don’t even exist.”
You really don’t understand how this works, do you? You think you’re just me and the freak stuck together?
""Freak? He’s not a freak. He’s just as much of anything as you are."
Oh, I disagree. He’s a freak. Aren’t you, freak?
The smaller one tries to reply, but gives nothing more than a strangled coughing.
See? Can’t even speak. Hopeless little freak.
“How is he so starved and weak? This is all in my mind. He could easily ‘imagine’ himself a drink or something.”
Again, it doesn’t work like that. He barely knows we’re here. He sits there, but he thinks he’s in a neverending tunnel of darkness. He thinks he’s starving, so he starves.
“I think I can fix that.” I stand up, and give him a sharp slap, knocking his chair backwards.
I didn’t know we both wanted to kill the little b-
“He’s waking up. Look.” The shorter one slowly peels himself off the ground, and looks up at me.
“Hope that didn’t hurt too much.” I say sympathetically, offering him my hand. He looks at it with fear in his eyes.
You’ve scared the little freak. After all you’ve just said, as well!” The taunting is ignored as I pull him back into his seat.
“Are you okay? What do I call you?” I ask. I can see the paranoia in his eyes, but I know he can trust me.
Just call him Freak.
“He’s not a freak.”
He’s a fr-
I’m not a freak…” he replies in a weak, withered whisper.
You’re a freak. You’re a freak and a wretch. You don’t deserve a name, and you don’t deserve to exist.

Another voice rings out around us/me.
“…Damion! …an assassin!” Kar’s voice fills the room, and the hooded man stands up.
Well, looks like I’m needed. I’ll see you two later!” He laughs defiantly as he steps towards the door, and falls flat on his face, his ankle held tightly in a bony, malnourised hand.
Go… Quickly…
I take a moment to aknowlege him, and run out the shattered glass front door, into the void beyond.
-
My eyes snap open.
“We need to get out of here.”

 
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[Got some bad news. I know this game is dying. It wasn’t supposed to, but it is. (Mostly because I never post). But yeah, the reason for me not posting is that I’ve been studying for an AP European History Test coming up in a couple of weeks. Up until then, I will be studying quite a bit, so I won’t be on very much. Anyways, what I’m going to do is ‘close’ this, and the restart the game at the beginning of Spring. Why? Well, several important things were supposed to happen, but I never got around to doing them. Once I’m done with the test, I’ll think up some ideas and restart this. Is this ok with you guys? If you don’t want to restart, then I can continue it right here. Tell me what you want.]

 
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[I personally think we may need a fresh outlook on the game. I believe we should begin again andrestart, but the major things that happened should have still occoured in the past, i.e. the market being blown up.]

 
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[Hence the restarting at spring. Fall was great, Winter was borderline dead, and Spring… Spring is not what I wanted Spring to be at all…]

 
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Crow

I awoke in a dim-lit room laying on an ice-cold metal hospital bed. The matress was gone and all i was laying on was a metal frame. I had no shirt. Connected to me were wires that were connected to a machene that showed looked like (if it were working) it would show my vital signs. I can barely remember anyting. I remember being in the back of a van and vomiting. My hands were turning black and was throbing with extreme pain. People in hazmat suites were strapping me down to a table and injecting me with some syrum. Then…nothing, just waking up in this dark, dim, and old run-down place with blood on the walls and a smell of must and rotting corpse. I un-did the straps that were holding me to the table. I sat on and an extreme rush of vertigo came over me. I had to close my eyes to keep from falling over; My hands started to ache from gripping on the table’s edge for support. Not sure how long i had sat there with my eyes closed, I opened them and slowly scanned the room, trying to remember; But it was useless, i couldn’t remember anything.

To Be Continued

 
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[… Have you even signed up? Also, this game is ending… well, more of restarting. Also, guys, I’m restarting it. As in now. Right now.]

 
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It’s been an hour…I don’t see signups…

 
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There’s no open slots…

 
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[So yeah, I will be restarting Quarantine at Spring ASAP. And then, before Outbreak, I’m going to do another ‘out in the open’ kind of game. In other words, something that will possible be a new series. Because I just had an awesome idea…. FML (I get a lot of these, but can’t produce ’em all.)]