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    • The boy in the beanie said nothing while the others spoke their piece, but the darkening expression on his face said it all. He was annoyed at their disagreement. "Sure, you can't get anymore wet, but you can get sick. And it's not stupid at all!" By the end, his voice rose into a shout. "What's stupid is staying here! Why wait around like this when it's obvious that nobody's coming? That poster was probably just a prank or something! And you!" He whirled on the girl currently trying to break the warehouse door down with her mind. "What are you doing?! What if the cops show up?" His voice rose in dismay. The girl in an orange shirt, who until now had seemed willing enough to stay, looked to have changed her mind as she listened to both him and Dahlia. She leaned away from the latter, as if further distance would prevent her from getting either condition the woman spoke of. "I think…" she started. "I think I'm going to leave now. Even if I can't start my journey now, I'd rather not start off on the wrong trench foot—er, foot. And it's probably best not to begin our journey with breaking and entering either," she drawled out with a look toward Chigusa and Selini. The boy in the headband shook his head. "I doubt anybody will notice right now. Still," he glanced at the sky. "The weather's not getting any better. And I don't know if it's the storm or something else, but I can't get any signal here with my phone." He took out his phone and showed the screen to the gathered people, but especially Shawn. "I actually tried to call my brother an hour ago, but wasn't able to. Honestly? Kind of spooky." Despite his words, his voice itself came out flat. "I hate to agree with him," he nodded at the beanie boy, "but I think we all might be better off finding some shelter before we get electrocuted. And not in the warehouse," he said. "Yes, there's a low chance anybody notices, but I'm not risking getting my trainer's license revoked over this." "Argh! Why did everything turn to shit?!" the boy in the beanie scrubbed at his hair through his hat. "What if we got the wrong place? Or what if something happened to the assistant? Or maybe it really is a prank? Crap, I don't know, and that makes everything worse!" He shook his head. "It doesn't help that the longer we stay here, the more likely we all are to come down with something later!" The boy seemed to realize he was spiraling. "Listen," he took a deep breath. "I can't stick around any longer or I'll go crazy. You're all free to do what you want. I'm not your boss. Just… be careful. And don't get arrested. I'd hate to hear of anything happening to you all later on. Would make me feel bad." He took another breath. "The name's Isaac, by the way." "I'm Reina," the girl chimed in. She leaned toward Dahlia briefly before darting away. "Good luck with your trench foot. I'm leaving before I catch that." "She was obviously joking," the last boy muttered. Then, even quieter, he said his name. "… Qadir." Isaac adjusted his beanie one last time. "Well, hope I see you all later on our journeys." Then he turned around and walked away from the pier, toward a hazy building in the distance. For those who had already booked a stay, they would recognize it as Hotel Atlantica. Through the rain, they could only make out bright points of golden light and the vague outline of pointed spires. But even that seemed like a beacon of warmth and safety in the storm. "Stay frosty, but not too frosty, you hear?" Reina waved and followed Isaac toward the hotel, Qadir trailing behind with one last nod. And then they were five. Qadir's words proved true. The storm was not getting any better. In fact, it seemed to worsen, as if determined to make the group of five change their mind about staying behind. The clouds had covered the sun and cast the land below into an early night. Soon enough, everybody was treated to the sight of rain falling sideways. In the distance, a small potted plant hurtled through the skies before crashing onto the deck of the cruise ship S.S. Lemu, still docked at the port. The warehouse door was giving way with each psychic shove. Perhaps it was because of the ruckus Selini was making, or the ambience of the storm, but Chigusa was the only person to hear what came next. A low, mournful howl that came not from the land, but from the sea. One could have mistaken it for the wind itself, but for the deeper, almost yawning cries. The sound blended with the crashing of the waves like the notes of a song. Chigusa and the others would get the unmistakable sensation of being watched. It was an eerie feeling, made even more so for the girl by the deep singing that only grew louder as time passed. Try as she might to look out over the sea, though, she would spot nothing capable of making that sound. Though it was difficult to see much of anything. The scenery would go from pitch black to a blinding white whenever the lightning flashed. There was not enough time for one's eyes to adjust to either the light or the darkness. And then suddenly, the singing stopped. Soon after, Chigusa heard the patter of frantic footsteps from the opposite side. A few seconds later, a young woman who looked about the same age as everybody else whipped around the corner, hands clutching at her duffle bag. Though far more bedraggled, her distinct cotton candy locks identified her as the same girl that Nikolaos had traveled with for part of the route to Khalk Harbor. "I'm here! Sorry I'm late! I got lost on the road of life!" she shouted. The girl skidded to a stop, but her feet gave out on the slippery path. For a second she stood there, arms spread wide like a bird's in an attempt to right herself, and then she crashed forward, headbutting Shawn in the stomach. The two fell to the ground, splattering mud and rain everywhere. "Ow…" the girl groaned, rubbing at her skinned knees as she sat up. "That really hurt..." Distracted by her pain, she hadn't yet realized she was half sitting on the boy. At that same moment, Selini finally broke the warehouse door down. It fell to the ground with an even louder crash, revealing the shadowy interior of the warehouse. A few pinpricks of light winked at the group from the darkness. OOC: A lot happened in this post! Feel free to react and respond. You can also post more than once this round if you feel like it, though that's of course, entirely optional.
    • The girl continued her stare down with the deer until finally it scampered off. As Brian spoke up the girl let out a small, "eep," startled by his sudden appearance. "I- er, it was - it could bite...wait what if it was a ghost deer?" What if there were more ghost animals to deal with than just the dog? The girl couldn't imagine what she would do if there were ghost birds or bugs in the woods that she had to fight too. How would putting a seal on a ghost bug even work? Trying to distract herself from the possibilities of the horrors in the forest the girl blurted out, "I'm gonna go in." And so she did.  Looking around for basically anything that would be indicative of some kind of ghost creature's rummaging she didn't see much in way of actual tracks, besides the deer prints from earlier. She wondered if that confirmed if it was a real creature or not. Did ghost animals leave real prints? As the girl pondered this question, she then looked down and noticed something else weird about the ground. It looked as though something had been dragged here and there some time ago, though the girl couldn't make heads or tails of what or when.  Continuing further into the forest, looking to the side suddenly every time she heard the rustling of leaves or freezing in place every time she heard the sound of a twig snapping, the girl eventually stopped for real as there was something even stranger on the ground in front of her.  A small discolored patch was found on the ground, as if the area had been dug out and filled some time ago. Curiously looking at it the girl called out, "uh, um Brian it looks like...well, uh, I think something dug out this area...er, well it did? So uh....do you think we should....?" The girl looked at him, clearly not intending to do any of the digging herself. After all, she was already nervous about ghost bugs that she didn't  even want to think about what other horrors lied in the dirt. 
    • Cade wasn't exactly a fan of Zeru, so far. The cloaked figure wasn't forthcoming with answers, which was already something causing him a great deal of annoyance. He wasn't entirely sure why, but it seemed to grate his nerves in a way that made him tense. It didn't help that the younger ones here were being used to answer his questions either. That really frustrated him. Yet still, he kept a stern look on his face, refusing to show those small annoyances as he tried to prod for information that could help them. “Think of them like… characters in a game. I’m not sure if y’all would remember video games, so I’ll also say like… extras in a movie. Side characters in a book. The locals who are stuck in their flow aren’t going to hinder us. The inn y’all stayed at was run by them. They’ll be helpful, but they won’t go out of their way, just follow their invisible script.” This annoyed Cade too. Maybe it was a bit silly, but something about Zeru was so incredibly perfect at needling his sore points, and he couldn't even remember why this particular point was sore for him. He shoved that frustration down as he listened to Zeru and Jet finish up, the discussion about perfectly nice people ended on a note where, at the very least, they weren't doing anything to harm the locals. "Very well. If we aren't causing the locals any stress, I'll help." He didn't bother adding in the "I don't like it", that was an unspoken thing he was sure Zeru would catch onto. The underlying reason he was hopeful wouldn't have come through to the cloaked figure at least, which meant he had something to work with there, "Food does sound like a good idea. If only to keep morale up."  · · ─────── ·?· ─────── · · "Sometimes odd things like dragons or monsters show up. They don't, y'know, exist here, but they seem to show up around Sojourners. It's how many of ya end up being lost. At least, that's a standing theory." Wonderful. Cade sighed as he rubbed at his eyes a bit, trying to ignore the building annoyances being stacked precariously on top of one another. It wasn't enough that he had no idea what to do about this whole situation, but at least he was getting information. Dragons were apparently a thing here that he would have to worry about, which already sounded a tad on the insane end of things. He wasn't even sure how effective against a dragon he might be. In the end, maybe he wouldn't be able to help much after all. Deneb, on the other hand, seemed happy to share more promising info, of course... Before he could speak up though, the stuttering young man had already started. He couldn't fault him, he supposed. Jet had been a bit of a nervous wreck the entire time so far, and it was a chance to either vent, or do something relatively normal... But what he heard only made that tower of annoyances a bit more unstable. Child abuse would explain quite a bit about the young man's seemingly fragile mental state, and he resolved to keep an eye on Jet while he could. "Before we continue... I do have to be sure, we'll hear the information too, won't we?" Cade held his hands out, shrugging a bit with his palms facing towards the sky, "I don't know Zeru well enough to care about them getting it alone." "Feisty! I like it." Deneb snickered, "You don't have a problem with it, Zeru?" A rather particularly resigned sigh came from Zeru, shrugging a bit. Seemed as if they had been through this song and dance before, somehow. Cade fully expected to not understand, not be able to use currently, or just plain not care about whatever was so important for Zeru to know from this vendor. Cade also fully expected to be able to find a use for whatever information was received here eventually. He just smiled as he nodded his head, his hands slipping back into his pockets as he did, "Wonderful, we have a deal." His ability to manipulate those books was already off the list, he wasn't going to give that away until he had no choice in the matter. What he could remember though, was a different matter entirely. It was fragmented in the worst possible ways, just enough to give him a gleam of knowledge from his past... "I was quite the researcher, back home. I worked for a number of government projects, where I was often asked to dig into a number of old books by the ones in charge." He waved a hand in the air, shaking his head as he did, "It's hard to imagine what might be of interest, but... I suppose that alone might be quite alluring, if government projects are nearly as secretive here as they were back where I'm from." He gave a small grin, hoping that little seed would blossom in the future. If Deneb or Zeru read between the lines there, it was just enough information to potentially give himself some more... Value in their eyes. Or maybe it would amount to nothing, but it was a safe thing to give away. "That was where my skills generally were. Research and communications. I have some experience with fire arms as well, but I suppose I'd be a bit rusty with those, even I had access to them here..."
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