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Departures; Open
Topic Started: Jan 7 2016, 12:28 AM (1,714 Views)
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The high speed train was moving really fast through the countryside.

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Sitting on a seat close to the window, a tan girl with deep blue eyes was looking at the trees passing by with a somewhat melancholic gaze.

This passed by fast, really fast, just like the scenery outside. It was really odd to be on the move again.
To a new place, to new adventures. Yet, leaving the town she grew up to deeply love in a way she could not explain left a sad mark in the girl's heart.
Hyakuji will be hard to forget.

The song in her headphones was accompanying her thoughts, isolating her from the silence of the carriage she was sitting in.
Aya Taisha moved her eyes briefly from the scenery outside to the silent carriage.

Other people were there, headed to her very same destination.
Link Joker was only the last of the countless events that brought the world to decide for the Joint Campus Program.
Her hand moved for a few seconds on her chest, where the Abraxas Stone she received long ago lied.

Moving. On the move to the newly built Senki Academy. A supposedly new fresh start for 'special' people like her.
On an island, far away from everything else so that their powers could be held distant from the rest of the world, wasn't it?

Maybe she was overthinking it. Maybe she just didn't want to accept she had to move.
But her mother signed in to work there, and already made all preparations to leave Hyakuji and transfer to Kaneshima.

There were other people sharing her carriage. Not many to be honest, and just a few were around her age. Were they other 'special' kids like her?
No doubt they were. Who else would move to Kaneshima by themselves with large bags of clothes?

Who cared. She was not in the mood to check anyway.
Her eyes moved back to the window and the scenery outside just as the train entered a tunnel.
The countryside left room to a dark grey wall.

The young metabolist sighed.

Despite Amelia signing in to work in the newly opened Academy, she still had a lot of chores to handle in and her father was constantly dragged away by the next Karate demonstration somewhere else in Japan.
Just like last time, she'd have to move in by herself, alone.

Her friends still remained in Hyakuji, including Heleth.
The head prefect, just like her mother, had a lot of things to take care of first, before she could move to 'take control of the new Academy'.

Aya had little choice but to leave Amaranta, her alien plant, in the care of the young demon as well. The plant was really friendly with Heleth, so she crossed her fingers and hoped the two could get along for a while, at least until she could bring her to Kaneshima as well.


Not too far, in the same carriage, stood a dak haired girl was busy reading what could be far too obviously identified as a book on occult.
Her attention was completely focused on it, and the amethyst eyes were moving through its words at a constant pace.

For the young necromancer known as Tsukimi Akemi choosing to move to Kaneshima was a no-brainer: when the Joint Campus Program offered her a fully payed scholarship the girl saw it as a great chance to repay her father.
The exorcist spent a lot every to pay for the tuition in Kaimu's private institute: moving would prevent other huge expenses for her father, yet she could continue her studies surrounded by people that would not consider her a freak.

Not to mention she knew her best friend Himiko was going to move as well in a few days, making everything even easier to choose.

Akemi's mood deeply contasted with Aya's, and the necromancer from Kaimu had an happy smile printed on her face as she was busy reading, contrary to the nervous look on the white haired girl from Hyakuji.
Edited by Sota, Jan 7 2016, 12:31 AM.
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"Now why so glum lass?" Aya would hear a deep-voiced Irishman say from across the aisle. If the metabolist turn to look at the source, she would see a tall, blond-haired man with numerous scars taking a swallow from a hip flask. He would give the girl a wide smile, and shifted in his seat so he could face directly at her. "Not lookin' forward to the new school or somethin'?"
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Aya's eyes moved slowly toward the source of the voice that addressed her.
The white haired girl's blue eyes focused on the tall blond guy that asked the reason behind her sigh.

Her usually blank face didn't change expression as her right hand began to move with a fluid motion toward her headphones.
The metabolist measured that movement so that she could let them slip down from her head and rest on her neck.

A full second followed, where only the noise of the wheels on the rail could be heard.
"Yes" she said right after "I had to move, but I didn't really wanted to."
There was little to be surprised about the fact that he noticed she was moving to the new school. Just like the others she was alone with a bag of clothes.
The blue eyes studied the scars on the face of the man that just talked to her. An eyepatch with a visible sign of a burn.
The girl wondered what happened to that boy that roughly looked her age.

Her blue eyes moved to the flask he just drank from.
"How about you, excited about the new School instead?"
The girl tried to evaluate that wide smile printed on his scarred face, but couldn't guess if he was that of an unfortunate good guy or that of a seasoned criminal.


The exchange of words happening close to her caused the amethyst gaze of Akemi to leave her readings, and switch her attention to the two.
No, she never met either. The tanned girl looked as inexpressive as a doll, and the boy looked like he had a fight with a bear or something.

For the moment her attention came back to her occult book.
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Excuse me.

Said a plain girl, sitting next to Akemi. Dressed in a white sundress and straw hat, Otome was - perhaps - an epitome of normalcy. Was there any purpose in her being in this carriage today? No, not really. Whether it was by train or plane, she didn't mind at all. It was the same for her...

I am sorry to be a bother, but...

With a smile, Otome took two packed lunches and chopsticks from her bag. After unwrapping them, she smiled at the other girl.

... I was so nervous before that I made too much only for me

With some omelette rolls, vegetables and plain rice - it was not an exquisite meal, but an appetizing one, nonetheless.

I know this isn't much, but will you do me the honor of sharing it?

Then, Otome suddenly got a bit red on the cheeks.

Ah! Where are my manners? My name is Otome Minamoto

Of course, there was not even a single piece of truth in what she said. At all.
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Matt had, in all honesty, simply made a lucky guess about the girl's destination. Well, perhaps not entirely lucky. She was on the young side, and this train was headed towards the new school. So really, more of a semi-educated guess on his part.

"Fair enough then," he would say in response to her answer. "I wouldn't say I'm excited meself. Hyakuji was an interestin' place, that much is certain. But... Well, I'm lookin' forward to some peace and quiet meself. I really have some things left to learn, and what with the whole Link Joker thing, I'd rather just have a chance for a lil' normal livin' for a while. The stress was playin' hell with me studies, after all."
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Link Joker.

Aya blinked once withouth changing her expression. That...thing changed everything. People's perception of the world and probably the relationships between regular humans and everything else.

Link joker was the reason of many problems throughout the world, but in the end for her it just translated as a change of school briefly to finish the last few months of her last year in high school elsewhere.
Just a few more months and she'd have to move to university anyway.

Now that she thought about it, Link joker just anticipated the day she'd have to move anyway.

"I am not too sure you will find peace and quiet in Kaneshima" She stated when the boy finished talking "If this place will gather even more people than Hyakuji and Kaimu combined did, things will probably remain just as hectic. By the way, I'm Aya Taisha"


"Hm?" Akemi's eyebrows rose as an interrogative expression appeared on her face. The girl that was silent until moments ago sitting next to her just asked her a question and she removed her attention from her book.
Folding it in her hand, while keeping a finger inside to not lose the page she reached, the necromancer listened to the unexpected request from that girl she didn't pay much attention to.

Her eyes settled briefly on the now unwrapped lunch boxes before moving back to that girl that introduced herself as Otome Minamoto.
While she took a second to ponder on what to do, it was clear she didn't want to offend the girl that offered her part of the extra food she made. Not to mention she introduced herself as well.
"Well, I'm Tsukimi Akemi" she began, as she moved her attention on the book to put a small bookmark inside before fully closing it. The meal looked simple enough, and despite not being really hungry she decided to not refuse it.
"It's not poisoned, isn't it?" she joked. There was something odd in taking food from a random person that is actually offering it, right?
Akemi extended her hand and carefully took the box she was offered "What makes you nervous? Do you happen to be another student moving to Kaneshima's new institute, Senki Academy?"
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It was a natural for Otome to say...

Of course, it is not poisoned. There are some salmon in the rolls, though...

... With a beaming smile. She was not a type to take everything literally, despite her inexperience with social customs. Mainly, by carefully observing the situation from an outsider's point of view, context and the other girl's expression. Easy enough.

Oh my. A very good observation from your side, Akemi-San. Actually, I am on my second year at Senki. It's a good place. A vibrant one. Full of hustle and bustle, but...

Watching leaves, dancing on the wind, she smiled.

... I don't hate it. It's what makes things more interesting, is it not? Not knowing what will be on the next turn, but simply enjoying the ride. Things that are most unexpected are the most amusing.

It was a nostalgic one. Otome was oblivious to it, but she actually loved this academy. All the chaos, it brought. She should not, and yet... She was.

Obviously, I must have an ability, right? I am an ESP. And for my ability... Hmm... Say, Akemi-san, do you remember how many breads you have eaten in your life?
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"Maybe I won't get me break," Matt would say in response to Aya, shrugging in the meantime. "But hey, one can only hope, roight? Oh, and the name's Matthew Hazeman." He stuck out his hand across the aisle for the metabolist to shake, a wide smile on his face.

"Oh, if ye don't mind me askin', what's yer thing? Personally, I'm a bio-mechanical construct who spent a century buried under rubble. Worked very hard to alter me genetic code to get that way, let me tell ye."
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Akemi didn't really think her observation was good. She thought it almost bordered on obvious. Those kind of questions people come out with when they talk with a stranger they just met.

From the way she talked though, it implied she had been there already.
Then, as obvious as most conversations she had with students in Kaimu when met for the first time, she shifted the dialogue towards their powers.

"I can't say I've ever counted them..." she said, a bit embarassed by the odd question about eaten bread "Do you want to demonstrate your powers with that? You could say any number, actually..."


Suprise was evident on the tanned girl's face when she heard about what Matthew did to himself.
In all the time she spent in Hyakuji Aya learned anything was possible, but also learned everyone could just invent things. As such the girl always maintained a bit of a sceptical attitude despite at the same time accepting what was told her.

So, based on the assumption that was true, why did he do that to himself? How did he end buried under rubble?

Her brain always stacked up new questions faster than she could ask.

"I practice Metabolic Alteration" the girl stated as an answer to Matthew "I can alter my metabolism. Hasten or slow it down. Very handy at times."

Two seconds of pause followed.

"How did you end buried under rubbles for a century?"
The girl glanced at the scars she could see on Matthew's face and wondered if they were related to it.
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Otome's expression hasn't changed. A tiny smile was frozen on her face. Closing her eyes, she started to speak. Even her voice remained the same. A perfect example of calmness.

But of course. I might be simply pulling your leg. Nothing, but a mere fraud, trying to pass as something she is not. However, what if I am actually right? You can't know for sure, and neither can I.

Then, she let a tiny giggle escape her. Of course, covering her mouth with a palm first. Otome was a lady at heart, after all.

Whether I am liar or not means nothing, since my power is a useless one. Do you remember your dreams as a child? Do you remember your first meal? Do you remember your first love? However, questions like those are easy enough for me. If you want a better example then I will oblige. I have blinked sixty nine times for the duration of this talk...

Then, she blinked again.

Oh... It's seventy now. Also, my answer is one hundred and twenty-four loaves. I prefer Japanese cuisine, though.

Memory is a cruel thing. An amazing one, but still merciless Sometimes, we remember things best forgotten, and sometimes forget the most precious ones. What a strange creatures we are. Don't you think so too, Akemi-san?
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"Ahhhh," the homunculus would say in response to Aya revealing her ability. "Metabolism changes, eh? I remember tinkerin' with those meself. Delicate balance to find for this. Fiddly work, but interestin'."

Then came the pause. Matt wouldn't say anything. After all, that would be rude. That, and he figured the girl was trying to figure out how to put a question she might consider rude into non-rude words. He did open quite a few lines of inquiry there, after all. Eventually, she settled upon her wording.

"Ah," Matt said, his tone perfectly amiable in the meantime. "That'd be a good startin' point, I reckon. Back in the 19th century, there wasn't what one could call a dearth o' information on the process that I wished to undergo. In fact, I was damned lucky to know it even existed. However, despite my knowledge of it bein' possible, certain steps still had to be taken, formulas followed, materials gained. And, unlike now, I was not what one would call a good person. So I stole from others, experimented on people that no one would miss, and killed more than me fair share o' people."

The homunculus would pause there, letting what he just said sink in. Most people needed a moment or two to process the fact that Matt openly admitted to being a kidnapper and murderer, after all. More to the point, Matt wanted to judge the girl's reaction, to see just how much of the rest he could share with her.
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Yes, Akemi thought exacty that she could be pulling her leg. As long as Otome played with informations she didn't have access to, it could very well be nothing but a lie.
Truth or lie, at the moment it mattered not to her. At any rate more than ESP powers Otome presented it like she had some sort of eidetic memory and some superior counting ability.

What was the use of counting your blinks anyway?

"Yes...Yes we are. Our head stores information with some odd criteria at times..."
The necromancer found herself at a loss for words. Delving into a field she had no knowledge wasn't too good for the her, as such she decided it was time to quickly change the subject.

The girl bought a few precious seconds by preparing herself to eat that extra lunchbox, by taking the chopsticks in her hand.

"You seem to know Kaneshima and Senki Academy. Since I'm moving there for the first time, could you tell me something about the places to visit? Do they have a good library?"


So, he thinkered with metabolism. Her eyebrows moved slightly upwards for the surprise.
Well, she had to expect that...didn't he modify himself to become a construct of sorts?

A veiled shade passed on the girl's face. To transcend humanity.
While her whole discipline gravitated around pushing everything out of her body to shape it into perfection, he decided to become something else entirely.
It was something she would be unable to fully understand. To
Her body was everything. Her powers were a result of the perfect balance and control she could exert on it.
She shaped her body, and in a certain way he did the same, yet in a way she would never approve.

What he said right after had her pale a little. To achieve his goal he admitted he stole, killed and experimented on people to gain his status as a construct of sorts.

Damn it.

Damn, damn, damn it.

Her discipline had roots that dated as far back as middle ages. Her family tree began with people that made their research in the few possible ways allowed at the time...dissecting corpses to illegally pursue their studies, much like all the people that wanted to explore end expand human medicine in those dark times.

Their success survived through the centuries through her bloodline. Did her ancestors resort to such murderous practices or stole corpses from cemeteries at night?
It wasn't the first time Aya wondered about that: she used to talk with her mother about it when she taught her the first lessons of their discipline. She didn't know. It was a thing too far and distant to really know.
Receiving something like that, in such a casual tone was like a punch in her stomach.

"Why?" was the only word escaping her mouth. Yes, why? Why tell her that? What could accomplish telling someone barely met a thing like that? Which point did he want to prove? Was he proud of something like that?

Damn it.

"You must be kidding." was the flat statement that slipped out in the end.
Edited by Sota, Jan 11 2016, 07:54 PM.
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A good library, you say? Why yes, they do. In fact, there is an entire section for the occult. I believe that you might find this interesting because of your peculiar choice of read. Let me see. There are ancient Babylonian, Sumerian, Greek, Roman, Chinese and even more! I remember seeing books from Atlantis, Hyperborea and Lemuria, if I remember correctly. And I do. Necromancy, Alchemy, Thaumaturgy, Summoning Arts, Tao, Onmyodo - all of them! It's too big even for me now. I had a headache after spending my weekend in the library, but it was worth it. I presume...

Oh, I am sorry. I went overboard again. I get exited too fast. So, about interesting places. I am sorry, but this little me is a shut-in, so I don't know about any good places to spend your time. There is a bookshop, whose owner is my acquaintance. And there was that time, when my friends persuaded me to visit a maid-cafe.

Also, don't be surprised - your book was open wide enough for me to see, so I couldn't help, but to remember it. Want me to recite it? Or, want to listen some of the books in the library, while we are still traveling. I remember some. Well, not some, but it will do for now...
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Ah, why. Truly one of the harder questions Matt had to answer. Just one word, and yet it had so much complexity, so many subtleties. It also told a lot about this girl. It took her a bit to come to terms with what he said, and even when she was able to speak, she seemed somewhat... Unsteady.

"I like a joke as well as the next person lass," Matt would say, his tone calm. "But I'd never joke about that. I was a scared teenager who had to confront his own mortality while being surrounded by immortal monsters. I had been taught for years that if I was to do something, then any means were acceptable to accomplish it. And so I had to perfect the formula, make sure that I would remain meself once I made the change. And that meant testing the end product on various people, to see what happened. That's why I did it.

"Unless ye mean why I told you. In that case, I told ye because eventually someone will peg me as a homunculus. Best that people hear it from me than think I lied to 'em. Besides, context is needed for why I wound up buried under a collapsed castle. One of me teachers disapproved of my shoddy work in gettin' in my supplies, and thought it would lead to unwanted attention. So she tried to kill me, keep the trail dead in its tracks. Took out me eye, and toppled the place on top o' me."
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Akemi took note of the girl's high observation skills, and was pleasantly surprised to heas that there was an entire section dedicated to her favourite subject, but was quickly overwhelmed by the high stream of words that followed.

Otome probably noticed that, as she excused herself, only to submerge her with a second stream of words.

An embarassed smile appeared on the necromancer's face when she mentioned reciting full books from the library.
Wait, what was she, a robot!?
"No, no, it's not necessary!" she tried to dissuade the girl from citing books "I'd prefer to read them myself!"

"Shouldn't we focus on your lunch instead?"
For a moment she was scared to hear from otome a comment about the number of rice grains inside each lunch box.


Aya was definitely put off by the calm tone of his words, and despite the almost expressionless face, she was horrified of what she just heard.
Just what kind of person was he? Scared, yet unscrupolous, willing to extinguish other people's life to benefit his own.
"How did you manage to do something like that?"
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"With difficulty," Matt said in response, his tone still calm. Perhaps it wasn't exactly the most calming thing, but in all honesty, he didn't see it as something to get worked up about. "I looked long and hard for people that met me criteria. Thieves who ruined the people they left behind, murderers, rapists, other general scum o' the earth no one would ever miss. I'd watch in between me other jobs, get to know their habits, their vices, their virtues. Then, when the time was right, I'd take 'em. Make no mistake, lass: Every person I took deserved what was comin' to them. Sure, they got a taste o' power that few others got before, but they also got me.

What was harder to do was get the notes. For that, I stole from me teachers. They were the ones who raised me, who taught me that anything that if I was to do something, then I was to do it with no regrets, with no hesitation. Wasn't much of a life, but it was what I had. That, and the extra notes from people who tried to hunt me down simply because of who I worked for, led to my final results."
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That's fine. Otome is fine too~

It was a phrase, she already heard somewhere before. However, she couldn't quite remember where, which was strange. Maybe, she should catalogue and rearrange her memory again, because some things seem to slip away. Well, no helping it for now.

Thank for the meal.

After offering proper words, she took a single roll with her chopsticks. A single golden piece was glistening on the sun. Its fragrant smell was gently teasing her nose, as if asking her to savor its refined taste. Surely, Otome was proud of her cooking, but just a bit. With a single particle of her being that allowed such feelings. Otome took her first bite...

It's good, I guess. I remember adding some salmon, but... Here it is! Ah, salmon's taste is getting accented by my special omelette. Its juices burst and get absorbed! This must be heaven! I can't get enough! More! I want the salmon and omelette's harmony burst in my mouth again!
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Phew! Somehow Akemi feared that the odd girl really began to play the part of the personal live audiobook.
It would have been a tad too embarassing for her to bear!
A bit suprised by the speed that had Otome focus her attention on her lunchbox, she eyed the girl picking up her first piece and tasting it with a decidedly dreamy expression.

She certainly liked her food, she guessed, and proceeded to do the same, choosing a piece of omelette like Otome just did.
The necromancer took it with her chopsticks and proceeded to eat it.
She still had her chopsticks leaned against her lips when a voice in the same carriage had her turn her eyes in that direction.


"You are nothing but a monster if you think someone deserves to die as a guinea pig for your gain." Aya said firmly as she slowly proceeded to stand up. Maybe her tone was a little too high, because she noticed that the girl with the bright amethyst eyes was now looking in her direction.

Screw this guy. Her mood wasn't the best, but dealing with an all too calm psycho that spilled its dark backstory of serial killer that experimented on people was about to tick her off completely.
While she could understand the rationale behind killing someone for their crimes, she could never grasp to use someone as an unwillig test subject until death.

Sure, there was the chance that it was a big lie and that he was just making things up for sheer fun. But if her permanence in Hyakuji taught her something was that it was far too likely to be the real deal.

"You've become an immortal monster just like the ones that surrounded you and you didn't even notice." This time her tone of voice was lower, as she moved to take her luggage. While she was able to control that raging feeling to see him so calm and relaxed in his convinctions, that was not going to last much longer, and she knew it.

The metabolist didn't want to continue that discussion. She wanted to sever communication entirely.
In a fluid motion, she grabbed her bag, and began to walk away.
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Matt let the girl have her little fit of morality, his face not changing an iota as she did so. He simply let her have her little issue with what he had done 100 years ago, taking a drink from his hip flask as he did so. Then, as she walked away, he would speak.

"'Course, that was 100 years ago. Ye'd be amazed how ones priorities change, even in just a short while. What you find acceptable one day can change another. Murder on a large scale can change from a footnote to a mistake that ye can't take back. Immortality can be a barrier that stops ye from carin' about other people, but then become what makes you care about what happens to others because you'll alwayshave to live with it. And concern about what's changin' in your life can turn into outrage about what someone else has done in their past.

What I'm sayin' here is, judgin' someone on what they've done in the past is nice and all, but isn't it just so much better to think about what they could do in the future?"
The homunculus would shake his head some, chuckling. "Never forget what's happened, but always look to make what's next as good as possible, for yerself and others. Brings some perspective to just transferin' to a new school, doesn't it?"
Edited by mourge40k, Jan 14 2016, 05:51 AM.
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--- Do you believe it?

Otome heard this. Their words were too personal for her. 'Monster' wasn't such an easy word to say, but somehow it hurt. It always hurt seeing others' conflict, even if she was but a mere bystander. Could it be love? Not in a romantic sense, but close enough to feel pain.

Past is what shapes us. Humans are byproduct of their experience, are they not? Our personalities, that is. We can't throw it away, since our future is realized through the history. For such as useless person as me, past is everything. After all, it's all I can do. Remember...

Her expression was that of deep melancholy. Engraved at the maiden's face, it reflected something deep within her. Perhaps, that was longing for something. Something she desired so ardently for...

However, this might be only me, clinging to the memories. What do you think, Akemi-san? Can we judge someone for what they could do, and not for what they have already done? Oddly, this seems quite philosophical to me...
Edited by Kangei, Jan 14 2016, 06:23 PM.
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