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  1. - Top - End - #61
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    The man handcuffed to the bed was not happy. His chest hurt, his back hurt, his shoulders hurt, everything above his waist ached or throbbed or felt like somebody had set him on fire. Thank god for painkillers, he thought.

    Of course, he could deal with pain. He was a professional. The thing that actually made him upset, of course, was the two Antiskill officers and the ESPer staring him down. He did not like where this was going.

    "You are in so much trouble, you know. When you get out of the hospital you're going straight up the river. Life in prison, no question; unless you feel like helping us track down whoever it is you're working for."

    The Antiskill pauses to pick his nose, examining his finds for a brief second before flicking it away and continuing.

    "Your buddies left you here to die or get caught; what do you owe them? I mean, they kidnapped a little girl, from what we hear. Those the kinda people you wanna protect? Are you really that kinda guy?"

    "I wouldn't be working for them if I wasn't, now would I?

    God, even talking hurts. The G.E.A.R. soldier shifts in his bed, groaning as he leans on a bruise too hard.

    "You won't find me the talkative type, I assure you. Quit wasting your time."

    The Antiskill give each other a look. Well, it's more like The Look-the one that passes unspoken understanding between two people who've known each other for a long time.

    "You wanna play it that way, it's fine with us. We're not the ones gonna be rotting in prison for the rest of our lives. Plus, this guy says he can read minds. I don't really get the spooky ESPer thing myself, but I reckon he's gonna get what we want anyways. That means your pals are gonna think you ratted them out, and you STILL go to prison. Last chance buddy."

    The man in the hospital bed ignores the Antiskill to stare down the ESPer in the corner. He wondered whether it was a bluff. Or, if it wasn't a bluff... How much could they pull from his mind? It would be difficult, at the very least; he'd had extensive anti-psychic training. He knew how to shut down parts of his mind, close them off to prying eyes. But there was always the off chance that they managed to get something useful...

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

    In a room not to different from the other one, Yori sits in a chair and distractedly reads through performance reports and data files as he waits for the small girl in the hospital bed nearby to wake up. He wondered whether or not he'd get what he was angling for. Well, he supposed it didn't really matter. Whether or not the brat agreed, the project already had what they needed from her, and if she did consent, well, icing on the cake.

    The girl stirs, mumbling as she begins to come to. Yori puts his work away and folds his hands, resting his chin on them as he leans forward.

    "Good morning, lazybones. I have a story to tell you..."
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  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    A boy with silver hair sat alone in an empty room, staring around idly. It was not the room he had thought he would end up, no, it was in a barren warehouse, rooms emptied of life and of death.

    The warehouse was cold, and a simple wind chilled him to the bone as he leaned against a box, and his lips twitched slightly as he closed his eyes.

    That girl was... different. She hadn't cared that he was sort of dead, nor that he wasn't really all there.

    Ah well. Such is life, right?

    Shiki

    The girl slowly opened her eyes, which widened with fear at the man in front of her. She shrank deeper into the hospital bed, covering her head with the blanket and turning away, as if by the mere act of pretending he wasn't there he would go away.

    "Go 'way. Don' wanna hear a story from you."
    Last edited by Terry576; 2012-06-21 at 01:18 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    When at last Moroe's lungs gave out, she stood shakily in the chilly workshop, gasping for air. It wasn't often that an impulse like that took hold of her. She reached out a hand to steady herself, before realising that there was nothing beside her; Or, in this case, nobody. She looked around in confusion, searching for the person who should have been brought running by that scream. Where was Hajime? He should have made it back by now.

    Oh. Right. Probably dead. Yet another lost soul who'd reached out to her in vain. She trudged up the stairs, conscious of how empty the house felt. It had been nice to have company for a while; She could admit that now. Upon reaching the bedroom, Moroe once again let herself collapse into bed, fully dressed. This time she didn't take any sleeping pills. Maybe she didn't want to face the dreams that would come; Or maybe she was waiting for Hajime to come walking through the door, carrying a happy Shiki in his arms...

  4. - Top - End - #64
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    Whether Mami replies to Tobio or not he doesn't ignore Mei's plight as he looks at the rest of the Judgement members and gathers up his courage. "A-Ano, would you all p-please stop s-staring at M-Mei-san? It is r-rather rude and a-as you c-can s-see it is m-making her rather uncomfortable. A-After all you s-shouldn't do unto o-others that y-you wouldn't done u-unto yourself. I-Its just common c-courtesy."

    After addressing them Tobio puts a comforting hand on her shoulder and says in a much softer voice so that thier words can't be overheard by the nosy bystanders, "Don't worry Mei-san. It's okay that you can speak your mind like that. However you should probably work on your temper. Not that I would ever judge you for it, but you might unnerve other people."

  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    Mami

    "If I have to spoon-feed you every question...what did you see when you first arrived on the scene? How many attackers where they? Did you recognize any of them? What did they do? How did they do it? What did you do then? How many escaped? Did they take anyone? Did they leave anyone? Those are the important questions." Mami says impatiently, glancing down at her watch, "I thought you were a member of Judgment? Shouldn't you know what sort of information could or might be useful?"

    As business-like as she is, Tobio and Mei's reactions are still quite...well...surprising. Clueless green eyes peer at Tobio as the boy begins to stammer. Still, he brought up a good point and he was at least being more helpful then the one she had actually come to question.

    "You're right, and I plan to, but she's with her son right now and is looking after him. If I tried to pull her away right now for questioning, she'd clam up and I wouldn't get a thing. So I'm giving her time by questioning others who are less distressed." She explains patiently, before a wry smile comes to her face, "...Of course not, my mistake. Friends? Siblings?...You aren't already married, are you? Aren't you a bit young for something like that?"

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  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    Ren snorted and began deadpanning out an answer- specifically, in one long unending sentence.

    "Six attackers, exterior wall of hospital blown open, unidentified, engaging Anti-Skill with rifles, disabled them with my esper ability, unknown number of people kidnapped, roughly five casualties."

    "You should know that all this information is already in the official report, right? Are you sure this is necessary?" Ren frowns and looks at Mari.
    It is poor form to hit a retreating target with a hypervelocity railgun.

  7. - Top - End - #67
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    Mei went so red at that implication that she promptly put tomatoes to shame. M...M...Married? To the dumbass...? She clutched her ears and bent over nearly double in the chair, whimpering and wishing she were dead. Horrific! Utterly, totally, incomprehensibly horrific! And yet, a guilty corner of her mind relished the fantasy of being Mrs Shirogane Ren, waiting for him to come home from work in a house with a white picket fence and a dog named-

    "No! No, no, no, no!"

    It took Mei a little while to realise that she had, in fact, said this out loud, and the sheer embarrassment of it all brought tears to her eyes. While Mei was not a shy girl, everyone's attention being centered on her in conjunction with her successions of little slip-ups caused her to have a panic attack, prompting her to flee the room in terror, crying tears of shame the entire way.

    She ran from the building, not knowing where she was going and only stopping once she ran out of breath.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    There was not even question about Tobio's actions. Showing the loyalty of a dog Tobio uncharacteristically glares at Mami, which is rather disturbing actually with the way his hair partially covers his hair as he says in a cold voice, "That was uncalled for ma'am."

    With that he skates out the door after Mei. Thankfully with her short stature she could not run very fast and as such Tobio just had to trail behind her and wait until she tired herself out. When she finally does she would hear the clacking of skates and Tobio rushes up to her and returning the favor she did for him last night engulfs her in a warm hug as he says, "Its okay Mei-chan. While they are our coworkers their opinions don't matter. What matters is what you think and fell,as well as the fact that your real friends won't judge you, like you didn't judge me. I'm sure Ren won't judge you either. So don't cry, it doesn't suit you." As he hugs her he gently rubs the top of her head, almost like a brother would.
    Last edited by AnimeKid; 2012-06-21 at 05:14 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #69
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    Mei sniffed, gathering her wits and grateful for Tobio being there. Today had not been an easy day for anyone involved and she was rather near her emotional limit. Still, she supposed, that was no reason not to lose her cool-She was a member of Judgement, after all. Taking a moment to compose herself whilst hugging Tobio back, she straightened her posture and wiped away the tears from her eyes, trying her best to keep under control.

    "Thanks, Tobio-kun...I...I really shouldn't have lost my cool like that. And thank you for not judging me...I mean, I'm probably silly; I'm probably just blowing this way out of proportion and-"

    She yawned, suddenly realising she was tired as well as how late it was.

    "It's late, isn't it...? We should probably be going home..."

    A thought suddenly came to her, causing her to jerk herself wide awake. Her parents probably hadn't heard from Kouta-nii and were worried sick!

    "Oh no! I...I have to tell mum and dad that Kouta-nii's okay! I'll...I'll see you tomorrow, okay, Tobio-kun?"

    She then dashed off homewards as quickly as her little legs would allow, down the lit streets of Academy City.

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    Tobio smiles fondly at Mei as she runs home. Satisfied that she is going to be okay he decides to go home as well. The evening sun starts setting as he skates home. As he does he ponders if he should use his training method to avoid sleep again. He decides against it seeing as he should get some actual sleep. He would just have to hope that the nightmare would not come.

    So once he gets home he gets in as much practice as he can. Using pool as usual to test his power by freezing and thawing it, as well as using the flash bags that were given to him by Ryuu. Come to think of it he would have to thank her if he saw her again.

    __________________________________________________ _____________

    Crocell spent the entierty of his day at the arcade. He had to keep his skills sharp to remain the champ after all. Now if only he could beat that *ss who kept getting the high score on DDR. Should Jirou continue to challenge him he would rapidly find out that Crocell was one of the highest scorers on many of the games. Experience had to count for something after all.

    When all was said and done Crocell finally headed home for some R&R...Man was detention going to suck tomorrow.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    After hanging out with the Micro Sisters (who were happy to continue walking home with him), Katsu, Kin, and Krystal Ryuji considered this to be a good day. Not only did he get to hang out with 5 gorgeous girls, but he also made a friend (he thinks?) in Katsu. Though it wouldn't hurt if he slowed down a bit.

    After bidding the group farewell he returned home to the shop. He let himself in seeing as his mother was still out on her date. He went to the fridge to find himself something to eat when he saw a note tapped onto it. Taking the note off to get a better look he reads, 'Going to be out late on my date sweetheart. I know you never hold it against me so I made you some sushi, fried rice, and tonkatsu. I know their your favorites so eat up! Love you!<3'

    With a small laugh at his mother's enthusiasm he opens the fridge to reheat the dinner his mother left him. After dinner he laid down to sleep, unaware that his life was going to be a lot more interesting from now on.

  11. - Top - End - #71
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    Moroe awoke. She rose. She showered. She got dressed. She had breakfast. She went to her computer. She began to research the man who had taken Shiki. Every so often she glanced at the door.

  12. - Top - End - #72
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    Yori smiles without humor at the girl sulking under her blankets.

    "Oh, I don't know. I think you'll like this one."

    He stretches, folding his hands behind his head and leaning back.

    "A long time ago, in a place not actually too far from here, There lived a man and a woman who loved each other very much, and they had a young son, five years of age. They were very proud of their son, and were overjoyed when the City told them he had great promise, and might be a powerful ESPer one day. He attended the best schools the City had to offer, and was placed in a special advancement program."

    Yori closed his eyes. He wasn't smiling anymore.

    "The young boy was full of curiosity. His teachers and peers were amazed at how much he loved learning. Eventually, he developed his ESPer powers to the point where he was advanced to level three, and at only age seven! Everybody thought he was a smart boy, and his parents were very proud of him. But the City wanted him to be more. They started giving him more schoolwork, and special extra-curricular training. He stopped taking regular classes, and started getting lonely. He was tired every day, but he still loved learning new things and pushing himself. He was content. His parents, however, were worried. They hardly ever saw or heard from their son anymore; parents will worry as they do, and they were considering withdrawing him from the City's program and enrolling him in a regular school, where he could make friends again. The boy's curiosity eventually led to him to eavesdropping on instructors with his powers. And he overheard them saying they might pretend that he had had an accident, and that he had died, so that his parents could never see him again. Then they could keep him and train him however they wanted. The boy was shocked! He thought these people were his friends!"

    Yori shifts in his seat, folding his arms over his chest.

    "So, the brave little boy, determined to see his parents again, because he still loved them very much, decided to sneak out of his school and tell his parents what the men from the City were planning on doing. It would be a grand adventure. But something terrible was going to happen..."

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

    Meanwhile, Moroe's relentless search turns up nothing. It is, to her great relief, the GOOD kind of nothing-somebody had spent a considerable amount of time erasing Yori from every database, every file, every network and archive. And they had done SUCH a good job, that it was undeniably clear that there had been information there, once.

    Their was a definite pattern emerging from her research. It paints the outline-for all of the things she wished her search would turn up had been erased, leaving a shadow akin to a chalk outline-of a man who had NOT worked for the city for a long time; a man who DIDN'T specialize in genetics, and a man who was currently working NOWHERE NEAR District 19.

    Whoever had covered tracks fro Yori had done, unfortunately, TOO good of a job. It was like somebody had erased their tracks in the snow by shoveling all of the snow around the footprints away.
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  13. - Top - End - #73
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    In happier times, Moroe might have smirked. Apparently this man had good reason for lacking faith in those around him. Wasting no time, she opened a new (and hidden) application on her computer. A mosaic of camera views filled the screen, showing viewpoints from all across Academy City. With a few well chosen commands, Moroe sent most of her drones towards District 19, on a search for the home base of her enemy. Though she didn't know exactly what to look for, she had a few ideas. For one, this particular district had become rather run down, so (if the cutting edge equipment which those soldiers had been using was any indication) her targets were likely to outclass it in terms of funding. For another, their boss didn't seem like the type to cheerfully ferry his men everywhere with his ability. The rank and file grunts probably relied on some suitably camouflaged transportation, along with an accessible garage or two. And then there was the big one: Genetics research. Now there was a discipline that left some fingerprints: Expensive labs, specialised tools, sterile environments; The list went on.

    With all these clues, Moroe felt very confident that she'd be able to find her targets sooner or later. Now, actually defeating them? That was a different matter entirely.

  14. - Top - End - #74
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    Darkness. Darkness, and then the voice of a sorrowful angel saying 'goodbye'.

    And then...Light. Miserable, grey light.

    Shougo awoke with a gasp, clutching his head. It felt like it was on fire. Next to him, he was dimly aware of his mother and the nurses rushing to his side. Where was he? Wasn't he dead? Blearily, he glanced around the room before surmising that he was in the hospital and, ignoring their pleas for him to stay still, he got out of the hospital bed. Forcing aside his confusion, he blurted out the first thing that came to mind.

    "Where is..."

    Where was who? A sharp pang of pain flared in his head, causing worried looks from those around him-Especially his mother.

    "How did I get here...?"

    A moment of silence passed as Shougo struggled to recall what had happened. Up until three days ago, his memory was clear-But after that...After that, he drew blanks. He vaguely remembered some things-A big fight, sneaking into Daisukes' house: but even these things felt...Wrong. Even trying to remember them caused the throbbing in his head to grow worse. Before he could ask that question again, more forcefully, his mother answered, explaining how he had got there-How he had gotten beat up by Daisuke, who was caught in the act and would soon face justice for his actions.

    And as she spoke, Shougo knew she was lying. A shamefully consummate liar himself, he could tell that she wasn't telling him even half of the truth. He kept this to himself, however, and merely nodded along with her story (much to her relief). He knew she was doing this because she felt it was for the best-Probably out of some desire to protect him from what he remembered. What Shougo said next, however, caused her to worry.

    "I'm going to school."

    Physically, he was perfectly fine. There was no reason that he shouldn't go to school; the rationale he had given was that he had already missed out on nearly a week of school as it was, and he couldn't really afford to miss more. Besides, he no longer needed the room and he'd rather someone else who was actually in need of it. His insistence, combined with his argument, eventually caused his mother to relent and allow him to go to school-as long as he promised to come home as soon as it was finished.

    __________________________________________________ _______________

    And so Shougo found himself at the school gate a full hour early, in new school clothes given to him by someone he didn't remember. Sitting at the gate, he found himself struggling to remember what had happened a few days ago. He knew this place had something to do with it. The stress of it all caused him to gasp for breath, thick beads of sweat rolling down his brow. He needed a smoke. He found his hands reaching for a cigaret-Wait a minute.

    He didn't smoke. Never had, and if he had anything to say about it, never would.

    What in the nine hells was going on...?

    If Tobio walked to school, he'd have found Shougo sitting on a bench near the front gate looking extremely perplexed. Several students went out of their way to avoid him, whispering behind his back. They too had heard the rumours and while they were somewhat worried for his sake, the bruises that he had given many of them four days before had yet to heal.

  15. - Top - End - #75
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    [Thursday]

    Tobio had gotten out of bed early that day. It was 5:00 am when he woke up screaming and sweating profusely from his nightmare. He pants as he wipes his hair from stickily clinging to the front of his face. Not able to go back to sleep he gets up and commences with a shower and breakfast. After he does he decides to get a move on as he leaves his house after restocking his backpack on icecream sandwiches.

    He gets to school early as well and when he sees the students parting from a certain spot he deciedes to check it out. When he does so his eyes widen in disbelief. Just how was Shougo here when he saw him just yesterday on the brink of death? He skates up to then as him as he says in a concerned voice, "Shougo-san? What are you doing here? I just saw you yesterday at the hospital and you were so badly injured they weren't sure if you would wake up again."

    __________________________________________________ _____________

    Crocell wakes up rather normally as he had not trauma to deal with. So he performed his morning rituals, got himself some breakfast, and went off to enjoy another day at Azabu Academy. Hopefully today would be a little more interesting since it was his patrol day.

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    Ryuji's morning is remarkable similar to Crocell's. Morning rituals followed by breakfast. After he finishes washing off his plate he wraps his mother in a warm hug before placing a kiss on her cheek. He then heads out the door with his violin case this time. He decides to take the long route to school in order to enjoy the beauty of Academy City.
    Last edited by AnimeKid; 2012-06-23 at 08:42 AM.

  16. - Top - End - #76
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    Shougo looked up at Tobio, his mind racing to remember who this familiar, blue-haired person was. Then it clicked-He was that nice boy who helped him with his phone. Of course, he...he didn't remember...why he was.......he was...The pain and disorientation came back, and Shougo grabbed the side of his head to steady himself. It wasn't quite so bad as last time, but....

    ""Good morning, Ishida-san. I was at the hospital yesterday...? Well...That would make sense. I thought I was dead, but I woke up today, perfectly fine."

    He shifted in his seat and absentmindedly pulled out his cellphone-An old, battered piece of Nokia-branded plastic. Something to do with this? Maybe Tobio would know. Shougo hesitated for a second, then remembered that Tobio ...Well, he remembered that they would be friends. There would be time to repay his debt. The words died in his mouth, however-After all, how would he even begin to phrase the question? He did not know where to begin. But he did remember what he asked about Tobio helping him with his studies.

    Shougo bit his lip for several tense moments before spitting it out.

    "Ishida-san, I have missed nearly a week of school. If you would help me catch up...I would be in your debt."

    Tobio might have stared for a little bit at Shougos' neck scar-It strongly resembled a large, hand-shaped burn. It had also subtly changed Shougos' voice, producing a distinct flanging effect every time he spoke. Still, Shougo was still fully capable of speaking...Although he looked uncomfortable at the attention, producing a long red scarf from his bag and wrapping it around his neck to hide it.

  17. - Top - End - #77
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    Tobio nods his head while keeping his mouth shut about Shougo's scar. Some people just have things that they don't want to talk about sometimes. Considering he just got out the hospital now would not be a good time to press Shougo.

    "Sure thing Shougo-san. I'm not the valedictorian or anything but I'm pretty adept at the school subjects. You can count on me. Oh have you told Ishimaru-sempai that your out of the hospital? I would imagine that she was worried about you. Last time you were injured and out of her sight she seemed to be pretty worried. Also, do you have a headache Shougo-san? You shouldn't push yourself."

    He pauses for a minute before he decides to continue onward hoping that he wouldn't offend. "Also... your a little behind Shougo-san, but you've only been out of school one day. It was why I was so surprised to see your here. I actually saw you just two days ago. You were only gone yesterday.
    Last edited by AnimeKid; 2012-06-23 at 08:16 AM.

  18. - Top - End - #78
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    Shougo blinked. Was it that bad? His memories were so patchy that he could barely remember going to school...But apparently, he did.

    "Thank you, Ishida-san. And I will be fine-This headache is but a trifling matter. It should be gone in a day or so. And I apologise for my....For my slip-up. I barely remember the past few days."

    That name that Tobio mentioned, though-Shougo hadn't heard of it before, unless he'd met 'Ishimaru' over the four days that he didn't remember. Injured? 'Last Time'? The wave of unformed memories caused a barely suppressed bout of nausea in Shougo. That name...

    ""Also...Ishida-san...Who is Ishimaru-senpai?"

  19. - Top - End - #79
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    Tobio scrunches his brow in confusion as he says, "Ishimaru Moroe? Don't you remember? She was really worried about you last time you left the hospital without her knowing. YOu said that you were indebted to her over some matter. You even promised to take down Astraphobia over the fact that he was incessantly bothering her."

    Tobio didn't really see how Shougo could have forgotten Ishimaru Moroe. The last time Tobio saw him he spoke about her in an almost reverent tone of voice. Then againmaybe he was imagining things. "Well if you want I can um... re-introduce you to her if she comes to school today. She's been absent a lot lately. Oh yeah, I was wondering would you mind teaching me Nimori ryu jutsu? T-That is i-if you don't mind! I just thought that it could be a good way for us to hang out. And it repays your debt to me in the process."

  20. - Top - End - #80
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    Shougo sounded out those words.

    "I-shi-mar-u Mo-ro-e..."

    That name sure had a nice ring to it...And for a moment, Shougo was lost in forgotten memories. Ishimaru Moroe. Why did that sound so...

    He shook his head, clearing his thoughts.

    "If I have, I do not remember, Ishida-san. I suppose I shall have to meet her...Again, if needs be. And I will be glad to teach you Nimori-Ryu ninjutsu...If you would have me as a teacher. As you said, it is the very least that I could do. Ah...What about coming over to my house after school? Mother wants me home, but she said nothing about friends."

    Inwardly, he mulled over what Tobio had said. Did he owe this 'Ishimaru Moroe' a great debt? If he did, even if he did not remember it, it was his duty to repay her in full. He would have to find her, then. Ishimaru Moroe...

    The bell rang then, announcing the beginning of the school day. Reflexively, Shougo turned towards the building and began walking, raising a hand towards Tobio in the process.

    "We'll meet at this gate at three thirty, then, Ishida-san?"

    Ishimaru Moroe...

  21. - Top - End - #81
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    Shiki

    She stared at him with horrified, widening eyes as he spoke. No words could convey how that made her feel, how that made her think. It was just a terrible story, about an even worse man. A story that destroyed all conceptions she had before of Academy City, all that she thought about the world. It was a terrible thing for him to do, and an even worse thing to bear.

    "What's your point?" she said, her voice blunt and far too world weary for a small child.

    Hajime

    He walked into the apartment slowly, his suit jacket thrown casually over his shoulder, his clothing wrecked. He carried a bag with him, and his usually dead eyes flickered with some sort of emotion as he stared blankly at nothing, and yet absorbed everything.

    Shiki was gone, yes. But not lost. She could be found, and they could bring her back. It would be hard, but it would be worth it. She hadn't lied, and she hadn't been cruel. She was not the Original, so he didn't have to listen to her, yes.

    But he wanted to anyways.

    She was not Master, so he didn't even consider her words.

    But he wanted to anyways.

    His eyes flickered over to a nearby drawer, hesitating momentarily. Would her gun be in there? Would he be able to take his Master's lone weapon, and leave without her noticing, or caring? Or would he fail, just like he had failed her already? He was useless, inept, and utterly incompetent.

    And yet he was the only one who could possibly save Shiki.
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  22. - Top - End - #82
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    Unfortunately (or perhaps not), Hajime's attempt to be stealthy was doomed to failure. Ever since Moroe had woken, part of her had been listening for his return. When at last she heard the telltale sounds of someone moving through the house, a slight ray of hope managed to show itself on her stoic face. She immediately swivelled her chair around to face the door, and called out tentatively to whoever was on the other side.

    "Hajime?"

    Of course, she also had a gun pointed at said door when she did this. Blind optimism just wasn't her style.

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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    "...Master," he said, an automatic response already at his lips. He turned, and there was a spark of... something in his eyes. He stared at her with that slight spark, and dropped his bag, slowly walking towards her, approaching at a steady pace until he stood in front of her.

    The two looked at each other for a moment, gray clashing with green. Then gray sank lower, below her, and his head went down. Drops of wetness appeared on the ground below, and Moroe might feel a sense of shock - the clone, the clone who has never shown anything, is crying.

    "Master, is... is she going to die? The girl you told me to protect. Is she not going to survive?"
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  24. - Top - End - #84
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    It took Moroe a while to reply. She'd never been good at consoling people, even at the best of times, and these most certainly were not the best of times. Her eyes followed one of the tears on its journey to the ground, with a kind of fascinated wonder. It felt as if she was witnessing some sort of milestone; A huge, though painful, step on the road to true humanity. In the end, Moroe didn't even try to project a comforting aura, instead opting for cold honesty. If Hajime was going to get through this, he needed to know the facts.

    "Maybe. She might already be dead. Even if she isn't, the people who took her are probably planning to finish her off when she's no longer useful...

    ...but I don't plan on letting them get that far. Until I know for a fact that that girl is dead, I'm going to do everything in my power to find and rescue her. I've got drones out searching for the location of that dimensional manipulator's base; And once they find it, I...No, we, are going to go there. How does that sound?
    "

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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    Yori rubs the thumb and forefinger of his prosthetic hand together, listening to the soft rasp of carbon fiber. He tsks at the small girl staring sullenly at him from underneath her bedsheets.

    "I'll get there in a second, as long as you don't interrupt."

    He stands and stretches.

    "So the brave young boy is getting ready to sneak out one night to go see his parents. He's not happy anymore. The lessons he was getting were getting darker-all about death and war. He hasn't seen his friends or family in a long time. But the City catches him, and while he's trying to escape he loses control of his powers and is horribly injured. The City saves him, because they want him too much to let him die. But they are angry with him. They want a way to make him do what they want. So when they fix him, they secretly leave him broken. He needs to use his powers to stop his head from caving in because they implanted a magnet in his bone graft. He needs to use his powers to stop his heart from stopping, because there's a circuit in his arm that will kill him with a fatal shock if he lets it close. He needs to use his powers to stop a spring-loaded needle in his leg fro killing him with poison. And so, for nearly a year, the boy is constantly tired and afraid, because he is always straining and using his powers to stop himself from dying, and cannot use them to escape again. He wonders where his parents are, because he has not heard from them for a long time..."

    Yori begins pacing, limping restlessly from one end of the room to another.

    "The boy's ESPer powers grow-he is always using them, and like a muscle, they expand with his constant exertion. When he can finally use them again, to do things other than stop his own body from killing him, The City makes him an offer.

    "Work for us, and we'll give you everything you could ever want. We'll make you whole again. If you don't, we will do bad things to you."

    It was a very easy choice for the boy. Even though he hated the City for what they had done to him and for taking away his family for so long, he wanted dearly to be able to live his life again, to see friends and maybe see his parents once more. He ran errands for the City, worked to keep the city safe, and did everything he could to make them trust him. After all, if he was a good boy, they'd let him see his parents again."


    Yori stops pacing and stares at the ceiling.

    "One day, a City official comes to the boy. He tells him some sad news, that his parents passed away yesterday; there was a car crash, so sorry. And the boy wept, and cried, and was very sad. But he kept working for the City, not because he wanted to see his parents anymore, but because he wanted to worm his way into the heart of the City. Because he knew that it was the City that had killed his parents, and he would find a way to make the City pay dearly for that transgression. But he couldn't do it now, becuase they had him on a leash; if he betrayed them, the pieces of him that the City owned would kill the rest of him. He worked very hard, for many years, and finally ended up in charge of a project that he knew would eventually bring him in contact with many ESPers. The boy, now a man, knew that he would have only one way to beat the City, and that would be to find somebody who could give him back his missing parts and break away the chains keeping him from cutting the City's throat."

    Yori is quiet for a long while while he stares at the ceiling. Finally, he turns to Shiki, resting his chin on his hand. His gaze is inscrutable, and his face is a careful mask.

    "Such a sad story. Alas, we will never know if the boy succeeded. Now, little girl...

    I have an offer to make you. On a completely unrelated note, of course, since a story is just that; a story.

    I'm tired of living with prosthetics. They're a pain to take care of and I dislike having to look like a cyborg with a limp. So, if you would be willing to use your powers to give me back my missing limbs and the chunk of skull I had to have replaced with a steel plate, I'd be willing to give you something back in return. Such as your freedom."


    Yori smiles again. For once, it seems genuine, the smile tugging on one corner of his mouth as he tries to keep his face neutral.

    "You could see your friends again; your family, if you have one. Go back to doing whatever it is small children do these days, presumably eating ice cream in the park and playing hopscotch or something. Or you can say no, and I can walk away; quite understandable, considering the last time we met. But then you would be stuck here, and your friends and family will never know what happened to you because you will vanish off the face of the earth. The spoiler here is that you will be dead within a week; something entirely out of my control at this point."

    "It's entirely up to you."


    Yori pulls a chair up and sits, and stares levelly at the girl in the bed.

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

    The drone floating over the rundown buildings in District 19 would be bored if it could be. But since it didn't quite have the level of sentience to do so, instead it swept over the same few blocks of crumbling infrastructure that it had been assigned to, looking for something new. There wasn't anything, of course; it had swept its search sector twenty two times already.

    But orders were orders. Still, there was nothing out of the ordinary here. Just a bunch of old warehouses, some condemned apartments, and what used to be a small park, now filed with rusted out cars and what seemed to be (as suggested by the chemical spectrometer the drone was sniffing around with) a meth lab hidden underneath some tarps. The drone flew lazily across the sky, giving the dying part of the city another look.

    Such a shame. If the drone could feel sadness, it would have sighed. But alas. There was no such emotional response. It peered through its sensors at the old apartment buildings. Broken windows, torn curtains, busted lightbulbs. It stared down at the warehouses. They were the same picture of disrepair; weeds growing through cracked asphalt, graffiti on the walls, a high-tech air-filtration unit on each roof, and rusting aluminum siding.

    Waaaaaait.

    The drone banked and turned back, taking a second look. The advanced equipment was well camouflaged, but it was definitely out of place. The drone beeps its find back to the control center.

    If drones could feel pride, it would.
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  26. - Top - End - #86
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    Tobio nods in agreement before he heads off to class. Tobio takes extra care to get lost in the crowd this time as he doesn't attract the attention of one Kyoshi Jirou. Hopefully he would be lucky enough to avoid him. However if Tobio were lucky he would not have ended up facing Astraphobia alone two times with him getting away both times.

    Tobio gets into his first class, Japanese history if you must know, and sits near the middle. Once more students start filing in Tobio hears lots of conversation. Normally he wouldn't pay attention, however he heard his name come up a few more times than he liked to he decided to listen in.

    "Did, you hear? My sister at Tokiwadai told me that one of the students there was went on an unusual date."

    "Unusual? How so?"

    "Well, apparently the girl, Kakamura Mei, has a boyfriend already. And the date was with another boy."

    "Eei! Really! So promiscuous girls like that attend Tokiwadai?"

    "I guess so, anyways she went on a date with this boy to the movies. An get this, that boy had light blue hair!"

    "Light blue hair? You don't mean..."

    "Hai! It sounds like Ishida-san is in quite the love triangle."

    "Kyaa! This is so juicy!"

    Tobio puts his head down in his desk in embarrassment and exasperation as most of the girls in his class start staring at him. He really hated rumors. Once class let out Tobio proceeded to his next classes.

    __________________________________________________ ____________

    Crocell's day was considerably better than Tobio's. It was actually pretty average. He paid attention to the teacher, and took notes. He had to stay on good terms with the teachers lest he get in trouble again. And some of the teacher here would just love to bust him for something, he knew it!

    After classes lunch had rolled around. Deciding that he would rather not have food poisoning today, Crocell heads off campus to Pātisserie Joyeux to get something to eat. Who knows, maybe Kin and Krystal would be there. If not oh well, at least he got to eat some tasty treats!

    __________________________________________________ _____________

    Ryuji classes let out with him finishing off a problem at the board at the request of the teacher. Mr. Sakisaka was a pleasant enough teacher, but was constantly hard on Ryuji in order to make sure that he didn't become to full of himself and crash. It was nice of him to care so much, but it could really grate on Ryuji's nerves sometimes.

    At lunch time Ryuji decides to head into the central area of the school garden to have lunch. He takes out his packed lunch of his leftover food from last night to eat. After a filling meal he takes his violin out of its case. Seeing as he has sometime left before he has to go back to class he starts playing a slow song full of romance for all passing ears to hear.

  27. - Top - End - #87
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    Shiki

    She looked at the man with new horror. She didn't want to hear this. She didn't want to be told this terrible story, didn't want it to ring, click with something inside of her.

    "I don' wanna heal you... 'cause you're a bad person! Bad people shouldn't get stuff, they should be locked away! But you... you weren't always a bad person, so I don' know anymore..."

    She stared, downcast, looking for something, some reason to heal him.

    "But if I don't do it... I won't get to see oniichan and oneechan again, right? I'll jus' be... locked up in here, 'till I die or you get tired of me."

    She teared up, wrapping her arms around her legs, and said with a small sniffle, "I don't... I don't wanna die in here. I don't wanna die in here ever. But you... you hurt oniichan! You hurt him, and you prolly hurt oneechan too! They were just tryin' to prote... proct... help me! Why'd you do it, if you just wanted me to help you!? I would've done it, just because of your story! You didn't have to... you didn't have to..."

    The girl started sobbing uncontrollably, and didn't finish her sentence.

    Hajime

    The clone stared at the ground, his fingers slipping over the wetness of the tears in abject fascination, his mind running through possibilities and reasons that he would ever cry, that he would have any reason to. He was a clone, and he was his Master's. That was what the Original had said, and the Original wouldn't lie, would he? He never lied, not if he could help it. He liked to watch people struggle with themselves over the truth, then finally accept it.

    Hajime was, different, in a way. He was a different sort of clone, because he had never been designed not to have emotions. He was designed for living, and that had been taken away.

    "...Even if she's already dead... we can't just leave her there, can we Master? It wouldn't be right to just leave her to die."

    He looked at his hands, and sighed, a touch of bitterness in his usually blank voice.

    "Master, do you have a plan? If so, shall we carry it out? I do not wish to sit here doing... nothing, for any longer."
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  28. - Top - End - #88
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    At that moment, a beep sounded from Moroe's computer, which she swivelled around to check. When she swivelled back into view, there was a predatory smile on her face.

    "Then sit no longer. I've found them."

    She quickly rose and stalked out of the room, trusting Hajime to follow. Her destination was the ground floor workshop, or, to be more specific, a hidden keypad that was set into one of the walls.

    "First things first: We neen weapons. Those troops were equipped with some impressive armour. Pistols alone aren't going to cut it against them."

    The wall slid aside to reveal a deep recess, filled with a selection of the finest guns which Academy City had to offer; Guns which, despite their quality, were usually forsaken in favour of Moroe's standard pistol (or, occasionally, sniper rifle). As comprehensive as this arsenal was, she rarely found an excuse to use any of it. Today, however, there was some serious killing to be done, so she reached in and grabbed as much firepower as she and Hajime could comfortably carry in nondescript bags: In her case, that amounted to an assault rifle, a string of grenades (both normal and chaff), two unusually powerful pistols (though still not enough to be reliable against that armour), a monomolecular knife, and a good selection of plastic explosives. This accomplished, she stepped aside to let Hajime take his pick. It was only then that she revealed a somewhat worrying flaw in their upcoming operation.

    "I'll be honest here: I don't really have a plan. We know almost nothing about these people, their base or their procedures. So really, beyond 'sneak in, find the girl and sneak out (preferably without getting into a fight)', we'll be playing this whole thing by ear. Is that acceptable?"

    Moroe didn't like operating this way, but she didn't really have a choice in the matter. There was barely any data available, and no time to gather more. The query to Hajime was more of a courtesy than a real question. She already knew that he'd never abandon her.

    "Poor, faithful little clone. You really drew the short straw when it came to masters..."

  29. - Top - End - #89
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    Leaning back in his chair, Yori strokes his chin.

    IF you're still undecided, I can tell you a second story. This one , you probably already know."

    "There once was a beautiful little girl. She didn't have many friends, and she didn't have parents she could remember. There were always strange men asking her to do things-to test her powers, to heal certain people. One day, though, the men tell her to go find a friend."

    "And the little girl does. She finds lots of friends! And she was very happy with her new friends. But she doesn't know why she was told to go find these friends. The men from the City told her that her friends would keep her safe. But safe from what?"


    "Across the city, there are two angry men in a board room. They are arguing with each other. They are dressed in suits and look nice, but they are not nice men. One of them oversees and funds a project somewhere in the city that is developing flexible clones for use in wars, and the other one is head of a project to train a very special ESPer to act as a medic for the privileged people who secretly run the city, because otherwise she would heal regular people and damage the profit they make from hospitals. This man wants the special girl all to himself, and threatens to kill anybody the first man sends to talk to the girl. He'll kill the girl too, if he has to; he'd rather she be dead than help anybody else."

    "The girl doesn't know any of this. She just wants to play with her friends and grow up happy."


    Yori pauses.

    "Hmmmm. I guess you don't know this one after all."

    "Believe me when I say that I would have rather just asked you. I don't like overt displays of force, I like doing things quickly and quietly. But my hand was forced; the people I work for wanted you, the people YOU work for, although you don't know it, also wanted you, and there was going to be conflict any way you approach this problem. I decided I'd rather have you somewhere safe where you wouldn't get hurt by an 'accidental stray bullet'. And if it makes you feel any better, I made sure not to hurt your friends. They're safe."


    He examines the nails on his real hand, letting the girl absorb his words.

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

    In a security control room somewhere else in the labyrinthine building, a security guard watches dozens and dozens of monitors. He takes pride in his work, keeping the building safe. No lazy donut-eating buffoon is he; his eyes are watchful like a hawk, and he sees everything that goes on in and around the building. He leans over one monitor showing the skies over one of the warehouses in the complex, eyes narrowing. What IS that? He watches the monitor for a minute or two. It's been stationary in the air over the building for a while now...
    Hmm.
    He calls in another guard.

    "Does that look like a bird to you?"
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  30. - Top - End - #90
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    Default Re: [Rail IC] Academy City III: Abusive Physics Never End!

    Whilst school was never something he truly enjoyed, today was an especially soul-crushingly boring day for Shougo. Ever since...Well, actually, ever since today, people had been avoiding him. While this was normally not too much of a problem for the otherwise reclusive Shougo, after the sixth or seventh time someone had backed off when he so much as got near them, it began to grate on his nerves. It was embarrassing, and Shougo did not like getting embarrassed. Asking the reason why everyone was avoiding him yielded few results, however; he would usually be met with 'You know why,' or 'Isn't it obvious?'-Which, in the wake of his apparently recent amnesia (which he would much rather keep a secret), were not particularly helpful answers.

    Trying hard and failing to stay alert and attentive during a math class that he had fallen woefully behind in, Shougo found himself drifting slowly to sleep. He found himself dreaming about the maintenance of handguns-Saw himself methodically disassembling, cleaning, and-Wait a moment. He didn't recognise that place. Those hands weren't his hands. And he hadn't even seen a real gun before. Where had that dream come from, and why had it been so vivid!?

    Shougo awoke with a gasp, knocking his desk over and suddenly aware of the entire class staring at him. His math teacher, in particular, was looking rather annoyed.

    "Did you have a nice sleep, Nimori? I trust you have studied enough that staying awake in class was merely a formality that you decided to forgo today..."

    He tapped the whiteboard with a ruler, indicating a trigonometry equation that needed to be solved.

    "I hope you don't mind answering this question then..."

    Shougos' face colored-He clearly didn't know the answer to this question and he stammered out an apology to his teacher who sighed, tapped him on the head with his ruler and reminded him of next weeks' test. The school didn't expect much of Nimori Shougo, to be honest-His grades for the most part had been decidedly sub-par.

    The rest of the day continued in much the same manner for the academically poor Shougo, who found himself foundering at questions that his peers had virtually no trouble answering. This was not an unusual occurrence for him; but today...Today was different, and after much thought, Shougo began to piece together why.

    He felt positive about things-There was a quiet little voice at the back of his head that told him that he could accomplish what he had set out to do if he just grit his teeth and worked at it. It told him to believe in himself-Told him his life was valuable and that he was a good person who deserved to be loved. It felt nice to listen to that voice. It was different from the other voices in his head which spoke of the failure of past experiences.

    And he didn't know why he hadn't heard it until now. That voice had been speaking to him for most of his life, he realised with a shock-And only now did he feel empowered to act on it. He could pull himself out of the rut he was in. If what he had heard was true, Daisuke would soon be brought to justice and he would be free. He could do this. He could make something of himself.

    For the first time in his life, Shougo find himself looking at the clock and waiting impatiently for school to end so he could go home, work hard and succeed.

    __________________________________________________ _______________

    Like a certain Ishida Tobio, Kamakura Mei was not having an easy time at school. People were whispering rumours behind her back-Rumours that included said Ishida Tobio. The implications of said whispers sent all the blood rushing to her ears and it was all she could do not to have another panic attack. Her situation was not at all helped by the fact that she had gone home last night and found, to her absolute surprise, a note from Ren apologising for not getting her text earlier attached to a cake (that her father had already taken a slice out of). Mei had gone to bed that night building up the courage to ask Ren out after school was done, but her resolve crumpled after she heard the first rumour no less than two minutes after school had started.

    By lunchtime, Krystal might have noted a tiny girl attempting to hide from her peers. She might have heard of Mei, but even if she hadn't, she'd have known that this girl was not ordinarily the shy sort-Far from it, she was normally one of the loudest and most vocal members of Tokiwadai Middle School.
    Last edited by Lord-Cao-Cao; 2012-06-26 at 11:04 AM.

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