((This log of this event is presented as an in-character recording. Due to forum restrictions, certain words have been censored to allow this post to go through. An uncensored and complete version is available in google document form!))
Static flickers, peppering the screen.
The screen flickers with a jagged zap as the recording begins.
Axel’s fire pit roars gently as people gather around the Agarthan bistro’s flame for the prospect of story. Agartha’s inner light shines bright.
Each action and sound by those within the vicinity of the hovering drone are recorded for all to see and hear. It looms just behind Klaus von Richter, who is never too far from the main host of the event: Angelique Richter.
Vomher grins at the audience and pulls out a small metallic sphere from within the depths of his coat. He releases it into the air, where it activates into a small floating drone with the flash of a light. Its blue eye remains focused on all attendees. “Hallo, everyone! This event will be recorded for future viewing and listening pleasure. Your stories are important to us. Thank you!”
[*Shanni]: She turns to smile and wave at the new arrivals.
*Svetochka pulls out her smartphone from her bag, and taps her thumb against the screen a few times, then holsters it back in place.
[Insein]: Good evenin’ folks an’ welcome to Story Night. I’ll be your host, and my name is Angelique Richter. Angel for short.
[*Shanni]: Claps for Angel.
Insein gestures over to Klaus. "This here fella’s my husband, the esteemed doctor Klaus von Richter. He’ll be helpin’ tonight as well. "
Vomher waves as he’s introduced!
[*Shanni]: Claps for Klaus.
[Insein]: One of the things that the Council of Venice has told us is that everything is true. Stories have impact, and are important to our culture and reality.
Insein nods at all the newcomers as she settles into the familiar cadence of speaking. “Truth is, we are all a part of the story of this Age, and our knowledge and wisdom should be passed along to everyone in order to help us preserve it.”
[Insein]: This is why I’ve invited you all here tonight. To listen, to learn and to speak and pass along your tales to us all.
[Binkx]: Binkx offers a small smile. She closed her eyes and nods, seeing the wisedom in such a practice.
Cordite nods along to the words.
[Insein]: Not everyone is obligated to speak, of course, but I ask that our audience be respectful of whomever has the floor and give them your full attention. It’s a hard thing to stand up and talk to folks. They deserve your attention.
Insein nods and continues. “Also a reminder that this is a peaceful gathering, and we are here to listen, learn and share. I request that no fighting nor weapons be drawn.”
[*Shanni]: Nods quietly at Angel’s words.
[Binkx]: The synth blinks a bit at that. Geez.
[Insein]: Hey, I’ve seen it happen.
Insein brightens after. “Tonight is a special event.”
*Svetochka couldn’t help but smirk, holding in a chuckle at the idea of someone drawing a weapon and shouting obscenities during story-sharing, though she wouldn’t comment.
[Binkx]: Binkx will wince at the thought.
[Insein]: We’ve been sharing stories and fightin’ side by side in this here tree for quite some time. To celebrate the anniversary of our new gatherin’ place some folks have dubbed ‘Mallgartha’, we decided to run a little contest.
Vomher winces at the term ‘Mallgartha’.
Faerner chuckled at the nickname.
*Svetochka leans into Wolf, muttering towards his ear as she appears amused. “That’s a new one.”
Insein snickers. “A few weeks ago, I asked for folks to submit some of their observations and stories about their journeys through this world. Over a dozen of you responded with a lot of wonderful, well written tales.”
Insein glances at all the newcomers and waves them forward. “Don’t be shy! Come sit.” She steps over to make room for the new arrivals.
Faerner looked to Sveta and nodded to the free bench, opposite them.
Jingi looks to the many empty chairs.
*Svetochka nods to Wolf, and smiles.
[*Skullwar]: “I don’t bite” laughs
*Svetochka looks to Amalie and smiles. “Hey, Amalie.” She leans in and offers a kiss on both cheeks before she settles onto the bench.
[Binkx]: Binkx wiggles her fingers at Rhys and beckons him closer.
[Insein]: As I said, it’s been an almost impossible task but we’ve narrowed it down to our winners and honorable mentions. So tonight we are going to listen to a half dozen stories that we thought were too amazing not to share.
*Cognizance smiles and returns the gesture. “Evening, Svelta.”
*Svetochka settles herself down onto the couch, though her words were directed towards Amalie for the time being. “How’s things? Hear you’ve been busy with the new novel lately.”
[Insein]: We would like to start off with three honorable mentions before moving to the three winners.
Faerner gently nudged Sveta to quiet her.
*Cognizance nods, and glances over to Angelique, listening attentively.
*Svetochka squints at Wolfgang as she is nudged to shush, just sticking her tongue at him before she falls to silence.
Faerner smirked amused at her, before looking back to Angel.
[Insein]: “The first of which is called Black Humor penned by an Agent known as Miricat.” Angel looks about. “I don’t see her here, however.”
Jingi looked on with anticipation.
Cordite smiles a little to herself, listening.
[Insein]: Dr. Klaus von Richter will you be so kind enough to share it with us since she ain’t here?
[*Shanni]: Looks back and smiles as she quietly waves to Maya.
[Mayahuel]: Maya gives a mouthed, “Sorry I’m late” and waves.
[*Shanni]: Waves to Sol further back and smiles.
[Binkx]: Binkx gave a warm smile to Maya, returning her gaze to Klaus after.
Vomher slinks over to the center stage and pulls a paper from the confines of his coat. “Presenting Black Humor - by Miricat!”
*Svetochka brought her gloved hands together quickly in muffled claps.
*Cognizance claps briefly, and gives Klaus her attention.
Vomher begins reading the story, a bit nervous as he does so. “Me, I’ve worked for Big Blue over 40 years. No, not that Big Blue – the secret ones, the “illuminated” ones. At least they think so; some of ‘em anyway. Doesn’t matter if you believe they are illuminated or not once you sip the Kool-Aid, so you just keep going.”
Insein smiles as she listens to Klaus tell Miricat’s story.
Faerner focused on Klaus. Smirking lightly at the opener.
[*Shanni]: Turns to look at Klaus as he tells the first story of the night.
*al-Faris smirks slightly at the topic of the Illuminati, listening quietly.
*Svetochka raised her chin slightly upon the mention of ‘illuminated’, quickly commanding more of her attention then she’d usually offer.
Vomher continues on with Miricat’s monologue. “And yea, I do look spry for 68, but my tiny personal joy buzzer seems to keep bringing back the original blueprint if you know what I mean – at least that’s how it works for me. And I fell into this gig at 26.”
[Binkx]: Binkx can’t help but grin at the Kool-Aid referrance. Her feline shaped fangs glint in the golden light of Agartha as she does so.
*SweetMadness places her back against the back of the couch she’s on, listening calmly
[*Lcollins]: Leo glances at Rhys and Reyes. He then looks down at his shirt, back over to the other two, and then awkwardly makes a halfhearted attempt to tuck his shirt in.
Vomher takes a breath before going on. “I mostly train new recruits, which is where this little cautionary tale comes from. Cute kid outta Oregon – I’ll call him Carl – comes to me and says he just passed his finals, wants to get out there and find a unique experience or some [email protected]%. Ah well, youth…”
HaloLuna winks at Venator.
Rebel14 looked over “Long time no see Miss Luna”
*Svetochka tilts herself against Wolfgang’s arm, resting the side of her head against his shoulder as she listens quietly to the story.
*Cognizance waves to Halo as she arrives, and continues to listen carefully to the story.
Vomher nods just a tad, gaining a bit more courage despite his nervousness as he recites the tale. “So I figure a quick milk run. Check on Krieg at the lighthouse near Kingsmouth, see how he’s doing. Those loose ends were mostly tied up a while back, but damn if the place won’t just fade away. It just keeps hangin’ on, so I keep tabs on the ones that are left. Strictly off the books mind you. So we load up and off we go.”
Faerner smiled at Sveta, before leaning back on the couch, relaxing, while focusing on the story.
*al-Faris eyes Cordelia’s choice of neckwear curiously for a brief moment as she listens to the story, then turns her attention back to the storyteller.
Insein grins and looks over to Klaus as he continues, very amused at the tale.
[Binkx]: Binkx smiles up at Prince. She placed a finger to her lips in a “Sssh” motion. She winks at him, golden eyes aglow. She would greet him after the story.
Vomher glances up from the paper to the audience. “We make it to the lighthouse OK, but Krieg isn’t there. The kid, Carl, he decides to poke around, and finds a note in the crapheap Sam’s been nesting in. Looks like it might lead to his source, which could tell us more about the island, so we follow up. I figure the kid is fine with me. I mean it ain’t like this place is a complete deathtrap like that temple in Tokyo.” He tries ineffectively not to snicker.
*Cognizance tilts her head, frowning slightly at the mention of Krieg, but keeps listening.
Cordite returns the curiosity of the woman beside her for an equally brief moment.
Vomher raises an arm up in a broad, trailing gesture as if trying to draw emphasis to the words. “We follow the trail back to some guy’s house, and find a basement door. Happens to be right next to the burned out Killian place – you know the one. I figure there might be trouble below, so I warn the kid to stay put, NOT to go near that house, and go in.”
[*Hyel]: Making his way to stand behind his Wife, he kicks a few balloons out of the way as subtley as possible. Sliding up behind her respective seat, he places a palm to her cheek before rolling his shoulders and standing straight, hands held behind his back. He’s quite silent as the storytelling proceeds.
Vomher frowns a bit as his eyes return to the paper. He takes a moment and gathers his breath before speaking the next part in Miricat’s story. “Well, of course when I come out the kid is missing. Found him in the bathroom next door, body in the tub, head in the sink, glass everywhere, pants around his ankles.” Another breath, his words weaker as he recites the rest. “Best part? His…ah…member was, well, where it shouldn’t be able to reach. Postmortem…I think…hope. And the house? The house just laughs at me. Good one though, I’ll admit. Clear message.”
Insein puts her hand to her mouth and tries to hide her snickering.
[*Shanni]: Her eyes widen as she listens and she clears her throat.
[Binkx]: Binkx…blinks, “[email protected]%…” She whispers…
*Cognizance blinks twice. ‘oh dear’ she murmurs.
Vomher shudders and resumes the story. “So I laughed back. I mean, I had to go to the Well to wait for him to rise from the dead and all, but damn, at least he found a pretty ‘unique’ experience. So yea, listen to your T.O., or you can go f… well, you know.”
Cordite fidgets uncomfortably.
Vomher takes a bow. “And that was ‘Black Humor’ by the agent Miricat, whom sadly could not be with us tonight. The tale belongs to them! Please give to them any and all praise you may have!”
Faerner snorted at the last bit.
Insein claps excitedly.
Faerner then applauded.
[*Lcollins]: Leo shifts a bit and applauds politely. He might be a little paler than he was a minute ago - it’s hard to tell.
*Svetochka straightens up to an upright sitting position, crossing her leg over the other, and claps her hands together quickly in applause.
*Cognizance claps softly.
[*Shanni]: Claps for Klaus at his telling of “Black Humour”.
HaloLuna claps for you.
Rebel14 nodded once
[Binkx]: Binkx…claps. She murmers, “For…about the billionth time…I’m so glad House is a Nice…living…House… Geez…”
Vomher folds the paper back up and scurries back to stand beside Angel. He fidgets slightly with the feathers of his collar.
Insein snickers at Klaus. “Thank you so much for sharing that wonderful tale by Miricat. I do wish she could’ve been here to tell it herself, but it’s far more humorous to hear it from you.”
[*Hyel]: Turning his head slightly to the side, he eyes Rhys as he shuffles back into the place he was standing previous. He remains expressionless, though he does softly clap at the end of Klaus’ retelling of Miricat’s tale.
*Goonshine tries to slip in unnoticed during the applause.
Insein looks over and smiles. “Our second honorable mention was titled Explode the Sad! by an Agent named Heather “Goonshine” Ramis. Heather, would you like to tell your tale?”
Cordite glances over her shoulder, noting the blue-haired woman.
Insein points at Goonshine.
*Goonshine turns scarlet red.
[Rebel14]: “so Miss Luna… how are you”
[*Goonshine]: I uh…yeah, my story! Let me just…
[Binkx]: Binkx gave a smile up and over to Goon, expression encouraging.
Vomher begins to grin. “Ohhhh, yesss. Tell us! It was a wonderful story!”
[*Lcollins]: Leo glances behind himself, then steps to one side.
*Goonshine stumbles over the balloons, popping many of them.
Insein beckons her up, encouragingly. “Let’s give a hand for Goonshine!”
You clap excitedly for Goonshine.
Insein claps excitedly for Goonshine.
Faerner applauded as well, looking at the woman curiously.
[*Goonshine]: My story is titled “Explode the Sad.”
*Cognizance claps for Goonshine, and gives her her full attention.
[Mayahuel]: Maya claps and settles in to listen.
[Binkx]: She claps for the blue haired woman.
Cordite pats metal-gloved hands together lightly, watching.
*Svetochka claps her hands again muffledly.
[*Goonshine]: Of all the scary things in the Secret World, the one that scared me the most recently was a can of lukewarm soda. Just some soda I picked up off the street of Kaidan.
[*Goonshine]: Well, I mean, it wasn’t just any soda.
[*Goonshine]: It was mine.
Insein listens intently.
[*Goonshine]: My font. My label design. I uh, used to be a designer. Not a great one to be honest, but I got by. Not much purpose to my work but to get the next paycheck. Paycheck’s weren’t really that great either. But I had no responsibility and I liked that.
[*Shanni]: Listens as Heather starts her story.
[*Goonshine]: Quick show of hands, how many of you are–or were–freelancers?
[*Lcollins]: Leo nods along in complete understanding.
*Cognizance tilts her head, and gives a tentative nod.
Cordite chuckles lightly to herself, clasping hands and glancing about.
[Binkx]: Binkx raised her tiny hand, “ish…Ish…”
Faerner pondered a moment, before shrugging and raising his hand as well.
[*Goonshine]: For those who aren’t, thing about freelance work is some months you get the big gigs, and some months you survive thanks to cheap ramen. Bingo Cola design gig? Big month. Y’know, limited time variation cans, only sold in Japan. And my design, picked along with a dozen others! The months after though, those were ramen months.
Cordite nods sympathetically.
[*Goonshine]: But that’s okay! I knew where I was. Heather, you are alone in your apartment, it’s a ramen month, but soon it’ll be a big month again. Except after a few more ramen months I swallowed a bee.
[*Hyel]: Slowly, he lifts one hand, holding it aloft for a moment before lowering it again, placing it on Binkx’s shoulder.
*Cognizance nods in understanding.
[*Goonshine]: Since then its been all bee months.
[*Shanni]: Gives Heather a sympathic look.
[*Goonshine]: I have had a hard time coming up with a scale for bee months.
Cordite nods again, brows knitted slightly.
Vomher tilts his head to the side and watches, listening with rapt focus.
[*Goonshine]: And I guess that is what scared me about the soda can. Those balloon-like faux-classic letters, those shapes and pastel colors in the design were like the components of a spell that transported me straight off the Tokyo street and back into my studio apartment in Seattle. Butt and hands cramped from hours of sitting and wrestling with Photoshop.
[Rhyses]: Rhys looks around quietly, glancing down at his feet as he shifts slightly.
[*Goonshine]: I felt…vertigo, maybe. Nostalgia. Regret. I wanted to be away from the scary things and the Secret World, go back to when my biggest worry was about the next paycheck.
Cordite shifts uncomfortably, contemplating her hands.
[*Goonshine]: Right then my phone chimed. New message. Harumi asked if had gotten up to the overpass yet. And…another emotion hit me. Shame. Me wanted to go back to worrying about ramen months. Here, now, people–strange people, but people!–were depending on me.
[Binkx]: Binkx’s golden eyes soften as she gazed upon Goon.
[*Goonshine]: I shook up the can and sprayed it all over a tree. Eerily the filth on the overpass slithered down and latched on to the tree to lap up the cola. I started scaling the filth ladder to try and find more cameras for Rum.
[*Goonshine]: As I climbed up, I thought, hey, maybe a can of soda isn’t all that scary, and if I am honest with myself, my life till now was mostly ramen months. Maybe a life of mostly bee months wouldn’t be so bad after all.
[*Shanni]: Makes a small grimace of disgust.
*Goonshine looks up and looks around.
[*Goonshine]: Thanks for listening.
Insein claps excitedly for Goonshine.
You clap excitedly for Goonshine.
[*Lcollins]: Leo applauds politely.
[Vomher]: Wonderful! I am glad you have found your hope.
Faerner clapped loudly, rather thoughtful at the tale.
[*Shanni]: Claps for Heather giving her a smile.
Track1044 claps excitedly.
Cordite lets out a small breath and slips a finger up under one side of her glasses to wipe one eye, nodding.
[Binkx]: She claps , her eyes shining.
Cai9 claps for Snowboy.
Jingi clapped for Heather.
[Insein]: Thank you. That was truly enjoyable.
Insein bows to Goonshine.
*Cognizance smiles and claps for heather.
*Svetochka claps her hands quickly in applause.
*Goonshine manages to break a few more balloons getting back to her spot.
[Insein]: Our final honorable mention is A Midnight Meeting by Agent Michael “Ocholivis” Redbane.
You wave at Ocholivis.
Jingi clapped for Ocho, only to wave at him after.
Cordite looks back over her shoulder to Heather and tries to give her an encouraging smile, before turning back.
[Insein]: Mikey, would you like to tell your story?
Insein points at Ocholivis.
[Vomher]: Tell us!
[*Shanni]: Claps for Agent Redbane.
*Cognizance claps for Michael.
[Ocholivis]: Hi everybody.
*Svetochka claps her hands again.
[Binkx]: She smiles and claps for Red.
[Jingi]: Hey, man.
*Track1044 tip his hat at Michael
[Ocholivis]: First off, thank you all for inviting me to this gathering tonight. I am greatly honored to be here.
*Goonshine gives what she hopes is a nice smile to Cordelia
Faerner clapped as well, before leaning back, putting his arm over Sveta’s shoulders.
[Ocholivis]: And thank you to our gracious hosts, Vomher and Insein. Without them, I wonder how many of us would be here today?
Jingi nodded at that prospect.
[Ocholivis]: I’m Mike. Mike Redbane, though I generally go by Ocholivis or, for short, Ocho.
*Svetochka smiled brightly, looking content upon being wrapped into Wolfgang’s embrace, and once more leans the side of her head against his shoulder, the top of her neck pressing against his neck.
[Ocholivis]: We all have fond memories of our mumified pal, Said, yeah? Well, there was one time he asked me to do something… a little different.
[*Shanni]: Coughs arching a brow, “Oh?”
[Ocholivis]: Said asked if I could retrieve for him a newly produced package of dates right off the assembly line from the date facotry in Egypt.
[Ocholivis]: He wanted to keep it on the hush-hush, of course, but said it would make both of our employers very happy.
*Cognizance raises a brow, but nods along, listening.
*Goonshine smiles at the mention of Said.
[Ocholivis]: The pickup itself wasn’t all that difficult, but… as we’ve come to learn, nothing is ever as innocent as it seems.
[Binkx]: Binkx blinks as she listens.
[Ocholivis]: I tell this story not from my perspective, but from that of Khepri, a young girl whose family lives in al-Merayah.
[Rhyses]: Rhys strolls over towards the edge, looking over silently while he listens.
[Ocholivis]: I call it… A Midnight Meeting.
Cordite arches an eyebrow.
[Ocholivis]: Khepri held her breath. Her mother would ground her ten times over if she knew that she had snuck out at night again, but she couldn’t help herself.
[Ocholivis]: The village of al-Merayah had changed. Her memories of chasing her friends around the stone buildings and watching the sunset by the river banks were long past.
[Ocholivis]: Since the river dried up, her mother had demanded she stay inside and admonished her even when she opened the windows a crack at night. “Khepri, it’s for your safety”, mother said.
[Ocholivis]: Tonight, through her bedroom window crack, she had seen the man carrying the crate pass by.
[Ocholivis]: He looked… different.
[Ocholivis]: He wasn’t from al-Merayah, that she knew, and there was something about him that was intriguing. She couldn’t place it, though.
[Binkx]: The tiny synth arched a brow.
[Ocholivis]: Memories of honeysuckle that grew on the riverbanks coalesced and evaporated like morning dew in her mind. She had to know what was in that crate.
Jingi gave a small wave to the bunny-hatted lass beside him.
[Ocholivis]: “Ahhhh, we meet again. Your kind are always so… helpful when it comes to these sort of acquisitions.” The voice was not the mans, but someone elses.
[Ocholivis]: It was smooth, cultured. From her hiding spot, she couldn’t make out this other man, but the pristine white suit he wore was stunning.
[*Shanni]: Lightly shivers.
[Ocholivis]: “You have it, then? Our scientists have been trying to get inside that date factory for months. What? You didn’t think we had our own scientists? Please. Do you think we’d let the minds that designed the pyramids just go to waste? Let’s see it then.”
Ocholivis points ahead.
*al-Faris frowns a bit at the pyramids line, for some reason.
[Ocholivis]: The honeyed-man gestured toward the unassuming crate. “Oh, Ocho, this is magnificent,” the white-suit man exclaimed.
[Ocholivis]: “A finer specimen of dates we haven’t seen yet. These will go a long way to helping this region get back on its feet again. Once we figure out what’s really in them, of course.
[Ocholivis]: Oh, don’t look at me like that. We’re done working with those ‘purple-people-eaters’. For now, consider us the ‘good guys’. We want to see this end just as much as all of you do so we can all get back to business.”
Jingi stifled a chuckle at the thought of Said speaking like that.
[Ocholivis]: The honey-man smiled.
[Ocholivis]: White-suit man chuckled back and said, “You know, you lot may not say much, but you speak volumes. Come. Let us walk and discuss the finer points of our new Egyptian agriculture, yes?”
[*Shanni]: Waves and smiles quietly to Mister V.
[Ocholivis]: The pair walked off, leaving the crate behind.
[Mayahuel]: Maya looks over her shoulder at the tall figure behind her and gives a friendly smile.
[Ocholivis]: Khepri, looking both directions before silently emerging, made her way over to the plain wooden crate.
[Ocholivis]: “Why are dates so important?” she thought to herself.
[Ocholivis]: She couldn’t remember the last time she had eaten any of the region’s famed al-Merayah dates, but these dates were somehow special. The men had said so.
[Ocholivis]: “Well, couldn’t hurt to try just one, right?”
Insein cringes slightly.
[Ocholivis]: The End.
[Binkx]: Binkx squirms and whispers, “Persephone…”
Insein claps excitedly for Ocholivis.
[*Track1044]: Well written, sir.
Jingi clapped for Michael. “Wonderful.”
[*Shanni]: Gives Ocho a hearty round of applause.
[*Lcollins]: Leo claps.
[Mayahuel]: Maya applauds.
[Insein]: Very nicely done and told.
You clap excitedly for Ocholivis.
Faerner applauded, though with a slightly bitter look on his face.
*Cognizance claps and nods.
[Ocholivis]: Just goes to show. Our actions… even small ones… have very large consequences.
*Svetochka claps her hands together.
Insein nods. “So true.”
Insein bows to Ocholivis.
[Ocholivis]: Thank you all. And thank you again to Vomhem and Insein for this opportunity.
[Binkx]: Sh sighs and looks down at her hands. She sighs, rubbing them together. Her expression is pensive.
[Insein]: Thank you so much for such a great story!
[*Hyel]: Squeezing Binkx’s shoulder, he slips his hands away to clap softly, only to return both hands to her shoulders. He presses his palms into her shoulderblades reassuringly. Briefly, he looks over his shoulder at the restless Rhys.
Insein frowns a little. “It was so hard, you have no idea how difficult it was to break it down to just three winners. I love all of the submissions.”
Goonshine claps for Goonshine.
[Binkx]: Binkx nods and claps again.
[Insein]: Without further ado, let’s get to the winners.
[Insein]: Now, thanks to Agent Hollopoint and the Council of Venice Agent Andy Bee, we have prizes too!
*Track1044 gets excited and lets out a small “woo”
[*Shanni]: Claps and cheers, “Cool!”
[Insein]: Third place is set to win 10 Haunted Caches, 10 Shipping Container keys from the C block in the Kaidan Shipyards and an Inferno’s Regalia outfit.
[Binkx]: Binkx trys npot to droll over teh Halloween caches.
[Insein]: And the third place prize goes to…
*Track1044 claps in excitement
Vomher pretends to drum roll in the air. There is no effect. He’s just doing it for the sake of it.
[Insein]: …”From Hell We Write” by Gin “Jingi” Synrio. Congratulations!
Jingi chuckled at Vomher. “Dad-- Oh.”
[Jingi]: “I’m honored.”
*Cognizance claps for Gin. “Congratulations!”
*Svetochka claps her hands together quickly in applause.
Insein claps excitedly for Jingi.
[*Shanni]: Claps loudly for Gin.
[Vomher]: Congratulations, Gin!
[Mayahuel]: Maya claps and smiles at Gin. “Well done!”
Faerner applauded as well.
*Track1044 claps wholeheartedly
[Binkx]: She grins and claps for Gin.
You clap excitedly for Jingi.
[Insein]: Are you up for telling your story?
[*Lcollins]: Leo applauds with a smile.
[Jingi]: “Oh dear this means I do have to tell it?”
*Track1044 cheers for Jingi
[Insein]: Indeed it does, son.
[*Shanni]: “Grats Gin!”
Jingi stood up and headed over, unfolding his letter. “I’ll try my best, excuse one, it’s been… awhile since I’ve publicly spoken like this.”
[Binkx]: Binkx smiles up at Rhys.
[Rhyses]: Rhys nudges Prince, leaning closer to whisper something.
*Track1044 smiles at Jingi and nods at him
*Cognizance smiles softly and waits for the story to begin.
[Binkx]: She returns her gaze to Jin, her smile true and curious.
Jingi held the letter out, clearing his throat. “Now… this is… less a story of the past or well, less of much anything truly. To preface: I’m not supposed to be here. I was granted clemency for these few hours to be with you all.”
[*Hyel]: Frowning a little bit, he turns to look at Rhys, slowly. Lip curls a little as he leans in to whisper in return.
[Rhyses]: Rhys smirks. “I take that as a yes.”
Jingi twisted his lips a bit before speaking further, “My work partner and I have been in the Hell dimensions for quite some time now. If you’ve never been, I’d suggest you never go.”
Cordite stiffens slightly and fidgets, glancing at her hands.
*Track1044 looks intensely at Jingi
[Jingi]: “An open letter penned to my mother and father. The time moves slowly here compared to the overworld. The once beautiful eden now ravaged by eternal sandstorms and territorial disputes over anima reserves that have long since ran dry.”
[Rhyses]: Rhys gives Louis a confused look, arching a brow as he silent mouths, “What?”
Insein watches Gin but glances over at Cordite briefly, pouting.
[Binkx]: Binkx smiles a bit, “Excuse me…”
[*Shanni]: Gives a sad sigh at Gin description.
[Mister-V]: peeks down at his phone, frowning a little at it… but drops it back in his pocket to ignore
[*Lcollins]: Leo glances around, a touch whiter at the mention of the Hell Dimensions. He takes an awkward step backwards.
Jingi continued on, reading from the scrawled letter. “I pity those stuck in the cruel, endless torment. I give my sympathy for the devil; for the kings and princes of barren land.”
*Cognizance nods along, frowning somberly.
[Jingi]: “Do they deserve such pain? Forsaken and ravaged, wanting the endless honeyed touch of Gaia’s light?”
[Jingi]: “Nay. They’ve learned to live without her light, but we still fight anyway. Fight for land, fight for smuggled distillates.”
Jingi looked up a bit, speaking with a mute tone. “Eblis and Wicker, arrogant fools. Their war, their rebellion, was merely a handful of sand spent by the sandstorms. A conflict in a sea of treachery. We drown willingly in the burning sands.”
[Jingi]: “Yet that’s how it always was, wasn’t it? We’re demons after all. It’s in our nature; our branded nature.”
Insein inclines her head solemnly.
Jingi flipped the page, reading the scrawled text still, “The war rages on, there will be no true end to it. We won’t win this war, nor will the next battle. We’re merely just cogs in the mechanism: the endless war machine.”
[*Shanni]: Slightly frowns in thought.
TechWarden listens to Gin soberly, gaze flicking from time to time as he processes what he’s hearing.
[Jingi]: “Anahi-tet and I have been down here for weeks fighting for our side this time around. There’s been little progress fighting against battalions.”
Jingi looked up with an annoyed thin-lined smile at the thought of their work, “We’ll push back what we can, but without support it will be no use. We’re merely two jinn down here. Sure, we can hold our own against one machine tyrant, but two?”
Insein frowns a little, remembering machine tyrants and shuddering.
*Cognizance listens quietly, eyes downcast behind the lens of her glasses.
Vomher looks worriedlly to Gin.
Jingi flipped to the last page, wondering if he should continue. Yet, he did. “If only we were like you chosen, eh? Anahi-tet scoffs at that whenever I bring it up. We were chosen, once. I wasn’t alive back then to experience that, though.”
[Jingi]: “Perhaps that’s why i’m not embittered against humanity like she and the others are, at least, not for that reason. I’m merely bitter because it’s been weeks down here, and that is an eternity compared to the overworld.”
[*Shanni]: Gives Gin a thoughtful look.
Jingi gave a deep breath only to fold up the letter and place it back within his vestments. “I hope this next skirmish ends soon. I want to see my family again. I’ll try to be strong for you, mom and dad. Hopefully we can meet up in Ealdwic again. For now, though, from hell we’ll write.”
Jingi glanced over to Angel and Klaus. “I suppose this time around we met up in Agartha, eh?” He spoke quietly.
Insein claps excitedly for Jingi.
[Insein]: Yes. Yes we are.
Vomher grins at him. “It may not be Ealdwic, but it’s still somewhere!”
You clap excitedly for Jingi.
[*Shanni]: Claps loudly for Gin, “Thanks Gin!”
Faerner clapped his hands together, nodding rather impressed.
Hestian applauds Jingi.
Insein holds a small package for Jingi.
*Svetochka claps her hands together quickly, nodding with approval.
*Cognizance claps slowly.
Cordite frowns, contemplating the golden void to the right.
[Jingi]: “Thanks again.” He smiled to his mother and father.
[Insein]: Thank you again. That one was a wonderful story.
[Mayahuel]: “Sure was,” Maya nods.
Insein draws a breath, composing herself. “Now on to second place.”
Jingi looked on with anticipation.
[Insein]: Our second place prizes are a magical intricate devastating glyph, 20 Infernal Caches and a Neo-Tribal Warrior Outfit.
*Svetochka exhales deeply and leans up comfortably against Wolfgang.
*Track1044 lets out a low-key “uuuh”
[Insein]: The winner of second place is…
Vomher gives another air-drum roll!
[Insein]: … “A Wraith of Roses” by Kallie. Congratulations!
*Cognizance claps excitedly. “Congratulations Kallie.”
*Track1044 claps excitedly! “Congratulations!”
[Mayahuel]: Maya applauds for Kallie.
Jingi claps for Kallie!
*Svetochka claps her hands together.
Insein glances around, looking for her. “Kallie?” She frowns, not spotting her in the crowd.
Cordite looks around.
[*Shanni]: Gives hearty applause for Kallie.
*Cognizance glances around. “Oh?”
Insein sighs. “Well, I suppose I will have to share it with you. I hope I can do it justice.” She pulls out a sheet of paper and gives one last, furtive look around.
*Track1044 claps and cheers Insein on
[Insein]: A Wraith of Roses, by Kallie.
Vomher skirts back to his spot on the sidelines. “Congratulations to Kallie. I am certain you will do wonderfully telling it in her stead.”
*Goonshine claps for Insein.
Insein smiles briefly at Klaus.
[Insein]: One of the fundamental religious concepts studied by theologians is the common theme of life after death, with the presiding faiths believing in Paradise, Sheol or the reincarnation of the eternal Atman.
*Cognizance nods along, listening carefully.
[Insein]: Many hold, however, that the soul can remain earthbound, or at least able to intervene in worldly affairs.
Jingi listened to Angel intently.
[Insein]: Others of learning insist that life is an accident that ends when chemical activity ceases, heralding oblivion, but as any freshman of the Occult often-times laments, would that it were so simple.
*Cognizance tilts her head, intrigued.
TechWarden tilts his head for a moment, considering this, then shakes his head, dismissing the thought and following the story.
Cordite shuts her eyes, taking a slow, deep breath.
Insein continues reading from the paper. “Examining the body strewn beside a wrecked car, Kallie morbidly wondered what sort of corpse she beheld.”
Vomher listens intently.
[Insein]: Would it be like those shambling undead wretches she had laid to rest in the New World, showing no semblance of their former humanity?
Insein smoothly falls into the cadence of the story. “Or perhaps a tormented mummy as she’d encountered in the land known in antiquity as Kemet?”
[Insein]: More likely an unfortunate individual, merely cut free from the shackles of life, she mused.
[Insein]: In certain lines of work, such ponderings are commonplace, especially so with the depressive atmosphere in that dim, misty forest, shadowed by the almighty Carpathians. To her relief, the decomposing cadaver remained still.
Insein glances at the paper, then scans the crowd. “She felt her gaze drawn towards a notebook, half buried in the soil, sodden with the recent rain.”
*Track1044 listen intensely
[Insein]: Most of the ink had run, though leafing carefully through, some aged photographs of a young Romani girl were still intact.
[Insein]: According to the accompanying jottings, the author had planned to visit her grave, which was nearby.
[Insein]: Kallie looked around absent-mindedly, and spotted a straggly rosebush a few feet away.
*Cognizance listens carefully, giving Angel her full attention.
[Insein]: She knelt down to carefully break off the better specimens, and as she did so, a chill breeze caused the hairs on the back of her neck to stand on end. Was someone watching?
[Insein]: Nodding to the corpse, she briskly made her exit, hoping to escape the unsettling atmosphere.
[Insein]: Following the notes towards a Romani camp, she spotted a weathered stone grave where expected.
Insein gives an unsettling smile. “As she solemnly placed the wreath of roses on the soil, her breath hung in the air.”
[Insein]: She froze.
*Track1044 his breath
[*Shanni]: Holds her breath a moment.
[Insein]: Ordinarily at this point, in her experience, a harrowed spectre would take umbrage with her for disturbing its rest, but this felt different; it felt calmer.
[Insein]: To her surprise, a bedraggled face peered cautiously from behind the headstone.
[Insein]: Out stepped a small, translucent girl, her visage entirely pale save for pock-marks on a handkerchief she was holding, which she painfully coughed into.
[Insein]: Then, seeing the offering, she looked up at her visitor, a smile forming across her face, and said in Romanian, “Red flowers. My favourite!”
Insein folds up the paper as she exclaims the final line. “She rushed forwards excitedly, arms outstretched, and closing her arms around her visitor, and with an echoing squeal of delight, faded slowly away.”
*Cognizance smiles slightly, just a shade wistfully.
[Mayahuel]: Maya claps, “Wow! Lovely!”
You clap excitedly.
Faerner applauded as well.
[Insein]: Again, that was Kallie’s A Wraith of Roses, and this was our second place winner, should anyone see her, please let her know.
*Track1044 applauds loudly and proclaims" Very well written… also, very well presented. Thank you"
*Svetochka claps her hands quickly in applause.
*Cognizance claps softly. “That was delightful.”
[Insein]: I’m sure she would have done much better, but it was a lovely story and a joy to read.
Insein smiles over as Klaus joins her again.
[Mayahuel]: “You did it justice, Angel,” Maya smiles.
TechWarden rubbed his chin thoughtfully for a moment, then nodded and applauded appreciatively along with the gathering observers.
[Vomher]: You did wonderfully with it. We will just need to send her many congratulatory words.
Insein sighs and smiles, making eye contact with everyone briefly. “Finally, we are down to first place.”
[*Shanni]: Claps loudly for Angel with the narration of Kallie’s tale.
[Insein]: Our first place winner is in for a special treat.
[Insein]: After negotiating with Andy Bee, we are offering the rare Route 666 Biker Outfit, a glyph of intricate fierceness, 30 Future Tech caches and a Mini Mecha pet.
*Track1044 pretends to pass out of excitement “I want that”
[Vomher]: The mecha is adorable and the outfit is prime fashion for those on the road!
Insein smirks. “Are you all ready to hear the winner?”
Vomher does the final drum roll in the air. It is just a goofy gesture and no drums exist, but he grins and does it anyway.
[Insein]: Alright, the grand prize winner of Story Night’s first Story Contest goes to…
[Insein]: … Mayahuel Bailey for her story “War Memorial” let’s give her a big round of applause!
*Cognizance applauds. “Congratulations Maya!”
[Mayahuel]: Maya blinks. “What??”
Faerner clapped loudly for that.
Jingi clapped for Mayahuel. “Congratulations, darling!”
Insein claps excitedly for Mayahuel.
*Track1044 caps loudly for maya! “Congratulations!”
You clap excitedly for Mayahuel.
Hestian claps for Mayahuel.
[*Shanni]: Calls out, “Woot Maya, way to go!”
Ocholivis claps excitedly.
[Insein]: Maya would you like to come up and tell your story for everyone?
*Svetochka claps her hands together quickly in applause.
*Track1044 cheers for Maya!
[Mayahuel]: “Oh,… I don’t know what to say. Thank you!! Yes!”
[Insein]: All you gotta say is your story for everyone.
[Vomher]: We all want to hear it from you!
TechWarden smirks a little and snorts at Klaus’ antics in amusement. Then turns his gaze attentively to the announcment, clapping for the winner.
[Mayahuel]: She shakes and catches her breath. “I need to find the story. I wasn’t prepared. One second.” She grins apologetically at everyone, her hands unsteady.
Jingi chuckled softly as he’d look on with a smile.
[Mayahuel]: Clearing her throat a bit, she looks out to the group. “Many of you may not know me, but when I first came here I didn’t know who I was. I only remembered one thing. This story is dedicated to the person who loved me even when I didn’t know he was real. Mihai Stroi.”
[*Shanni]: Smiles brightly to Maya giving ger two thumbs up, “You’re awesome, you got this Jefe!”
[Mayahuel]: The hardest thing for me to in the beginning was the zombies. It wasn’t the gore. It wasn’t the sounds they made or even the smells of some of them. It was knowing they used to be people.
*Cognizance smiles, and listens with interest.
[Mayahuel]: They used to laugh and take their children to the park. They held hands at the movies. They complained about the weather and even each other.
[Mayahuel]: Even as they came at me with their awful broken gaits and milky eyes, jaws working with muscle memory, I could not help but feel badly for the undead. I had left Seoul with so little of who I was intact.
[Mayahuel]: Maya’s hands tremble as she reads from her phone.
[Mayahuel]: I had my name and nothing more than a vague memory that someone had loved me. I shambled toward that dim memory in much the same way as the zombies hunted flesh, chasing after some phantom pain in my heart.
*Track1044 smiles softly at Maya, listening intensely
[Mayahuel]: The war memorial held five names, hometown heroes from World War II. I was tasked with putting them all to rest. It was fairly routine.
[*Shanni]: Shudders slightly as she listens to Maya.
[Mayahuel]: I found Edwin Mannon at the base of a tree, near the decayed corpse of an old woman. She had not come up from a grave. She sat against the tree as if taking a rest in the shade.
[Mayahuel]: Mannon died again by my hand, still trying to crawl toward the other body. Pieces of a cotton dress still clung to her. A pink sweater with pockets had started to fuse with what was left of her dried flesh. I searched them both, something I did sometimes in hopes of returning belongings to family or identifying bodies.
[Mayahuel]: I found a small wallet containing two dollars and an old wartime photograph of a young couple smiling at the camera. The note on the back was inscribed in faded ink. “Take me with you, Ed & bring me home safe. Love, Viv.”
Insein tries to put a hand up near her face, sniffling slightly.
[Mayahuel]: I put the photo in my pocket. I reached down to pull the rings off his finger and then hers. Sure enough, they matched—inscribed on the inside with the initials E.M. and V.M. I left the rings and the photos with Sheriff Bannon, moving on the next day to Blue Mountain.
[*Shanni]: Gives a sad smile.
[Mayahuel]: Perhaps it was simple chance that the two of them were out there together. Maybe it was coincidence that the husband had dug himself out of a grave and found his way to his elderly frail wife who had somehow made her way to a tree over a mile from her home. I chose not to believe that.
[*Lcollins]: Leo leans back, deep in thought.
[Mayahuel]: Maya clears her throat again as she looks to Shanni when she reads the last lines.
[Mayahuel]: She gives a smile to her friend.
[Mayahuel]: I chose to believe that love is stronger than death, or years of separation. It outlives everything we forget. I chose to believe that instead.
[*Shanni]: She gives Maya a smile through her tears.
[*Shanni]: Claps quietly.
Insein claps excitedly for Mayahuel.
TechWarden nodded solemnly as the story showed the woman’s identity was as he suspected. He bowed his head, knowing… and understanding the choice implied, as he continued listening.
Cognizance claps for Mayahuel.
You clap excitedly for Mayahuel.
[Mayahuel]: “Thank you for the honor of sharing this. I love Story Night so much.”
[Mister-V]: flicks something away from the corner of his eye, remaining otherwise silent
[Vomher]: A wonderful story about the triumph of love.
Track1044 claps excitedly.
Jingi applauds Mayahuel.
*Svetochka claps her hands quickly in applause.
C-Monster claps for Mayahuel.
[Insein]: Thank you so much Mayahuel for your story. It was a pleasure.
Faerner put his hands together with a slow nod.
*Cognizance smiles softly. “That was lovely. Thank you.”
[Mayahuel]: “Thank you both for what you do, for this great space to tell our stories.”
*Track1044 applauds “Well deserved first Place! THank you”
Insein holds out a small package for Maya. “Thank you, again.”
[Mayahuel]: “Thanks, everyone! Thank you, Angel and Klaus.”
[Insein]: Without all of you, without the storytellers, this would not happen.
[Mayahuel]: Maya takes the package. “Thanks so much!”
[Vomher]: Thank each and every one of you!
[Insein]: Yes, thank you all so much for attending and listening to so many of our fine writers and chroniclers of this Secret World we all share.
*Svetochka claps her hands again.
[*Track1044]: Thank you for hosting and putting this together!
[Insein]: And thank you to all who submitted your stories. I would like to take this opportunity to mention that I try to run Story Night every month and that while we normally do not have a contest, we are an open forum for you to all tell and share your stories.
[Mayahuel]: Maya reaches over to give Shanni a big hug. “Glad you were here for this.”
[Insein]: For now, I would also like to reiterate how hard it was to take those dozen stories and try to come up with winners, as they were all so good. I see three in the audience now that I didn’t call out that had amazing stories to tell. Would any of you like to come up and tell a tale?
Faerner scratched his chin looking around the collection of people.
Jingi would return to his seat, relaxing. “Oh gosh, one story was enough out of me.” He jested.
*Svetochka looks up to the side of Wolfgang’s face.
*Cognizance glances around idly, sneaking a look at her watch as well.
[*Lcollins]: Leo looks around at everybody else.
Cordite sits back, checking her phone.
[*Lcollins]: “I’ll… I guess I’m here, I’ll tell mine.”
Insein snickers, then glances over at Amalie, then to Leo, then to Faerner, then settling back to Leo. “Alright then! Come on up and share.”
*Cognizance smiles, and claps for Leo.
[*Lcollins]: Leo stands and pulls a small, folded piece of paper from his breast pocket. He adjusts his glasses and clears his throat.
*Svetochka smiles brightly at Wolfgang as she looks up.
[*Lcollins]: “Anyway, this is called 'The First Time I Died.”
Insein claps excitedly for Lcollins.
[*Lcollins]: “The first time I died was on Solomon Island, right after the Fog rolled in.”
Cordite looks up sharply, frowning.
*Cognizance tilts her head, and listens.
Jingi looked to Leo, listening.
[*Lcollins]: “I was hunting a spirit across the island, and all the clues had led me to a dead end. And that’s a literal dead end. Apparently, the only way to properly search the building I was in was if I was dead.”
Mister-V gives Cricket a brief wave and smile before excusing himself away
[*Lcollins]: “Even after I figured that out (by having someone patiently explain it to me three times,) it took me a minute to get my brain around the idea.”
[*Lcollins]: “Kingsmouth was like someone trying to teach a kid to swim by throwing him into the deep end of the pool. No, actually, that’s not right. Kingsmouth was like someone trying to teach a kid to swim by putting him on a boat, sailing out to the Mariana Trench, and tossing him into that. "
Cordite shuts her eyes a moment before gathering herself, getting to her feet, and quietly scooting off.
[*Lcollins]: “Even with the zombies, and the ghosts, and the weird lights in the woods, and whatever the hell a “wendigo” is, even with all those, the thing that gave me the most pause was the idea that the best way to keep living in this weird new world was to kill myself.”
TechWarden head turned slightly, as if he was hearing a voice, and he frowned, then glanced at his smartwatch. He sighed and grimaced, then gave an apologetic nod toward the group as he backed away, then turned and headed toward the portal to Ealdwic.
*Track1044 tilts his head and listens carefully
[*Lcollins]: “I fix computers. I know how hard that is to do. And the human brain, it’s like the most complicated computer system you’ve ever imagined.”
[*Lcollins]: “So to me, the idea that there’s this group of magical creatures that can instantly knit the shattered pieces of your mind back together after it’s been splattered across the pavement is like asking if I can fix a laptop that someone has thrown in front of a moving train.”
[*Lcollins]: “The answer is no, and the immediate follow up question is “why would you do that?””
[*Lcollins]: “Of course, on Solomon Island, I had a very good reason to do that. That spirit wasn’t going to hunt itself down.”
[*Lcollins]: “So I had to make a choice to make. I could go out and let myself get savaged by the zombies, which seemed like a ridiculously painful way to die. I could wander down to the shoreline and take a swim with the Draug, which was even worse because it’s being savaged and drowning at the same time.”
[*Lcollins]: “In the end, I just went with the easiest answer, which was to borrow a shotgun from the supply closet in the Kingsmouth Municipal Police Department and shoot myself in the head.”
[*Lcollins]: “I did find the spirit, and I did end up coming back to life, although sometimes I wonder if I didn’t.”
[*Lcollins]: “But that’s something to talk to my therapist about. If the Secret World has therapists, and not just beer.”
*Cognizance frowns slightly, but nods along.
[*Lcollins]: Leo folds up the paper and returns it to his pocket. “Thank you. That was very kind of you to allow me to share.”
You clap for Lcollins.
Faerner clapped loudly.
[Mayahuel]: Maya claps.
*Cognizance claps for Leo.
Jingi clapped for Leo.
C-Monster claps for Leo.
*Track1044 tips his hat at Lcollins “Thanks for sharing!”
*Svetochka claps her hands together.
[Vomher]: Chilling. Please don’t harm yourself.
Insein claps excitedly for Lcollins.
[*Lcollins]: “Oh, don’t panic! I only shoot myself when Corporate tells me to.”
[Vomher]: That’s not even remotely encouraging!
[Insein]: Thank you so much for your story! It really was difficult to choose.
*Track1044 nods, “We do as we must”
Faerner looked to Amalie. “Do you want to have a crack at it? You seemd pressed for time.”
*Cognizance tilts her head. “Hmm? Oh? I don’t believe I wrote a story.”
Insein chuckles glancing between them before looking at those still around, then at Wolfgang and Amalie and blinking. “What?”
Vomher slowly pulls out a paper from one of his pockets and squints at it. “Then who wrote it?”
[*Track1044]: “Secret Stories in the Secret World?”
Faerner shrugged. “I can also just give it a go.”
*Cognizance blinks twice. “I…don’t know? I’m fairly sure I didn’t write a story for this, given the subject.”
*Svetochka gives Wolfgang an encouraging smile.
Insein looks at Klaus’ story then back at Amalie. “Give her a copy to look over. Until then, maybe Wolfgang wants to come share?” She smiles encouragingly.
[*Shanni]: Listenings attentively.
Faerner shrugged and stood up, stretching himself.
Vomher skirts right on over to Amalie and offers a copy of the alleged story. “So then you are not Amelie Sinclair?”
*Cognizance nods to Wolfgang. “Of course. Please.”
*Svetochka reclines back against her chair as she listens to Wolfgang, smiling.
[*Lcollins]: Leo seems a tad less twitchy now. He leans forward and grasps his shin with his hands, listening intently.
*Cognizance takes the copy and tilts her head, reading it idly, glancing up to give Wolfgang her attention as well.
Faerner looked around the group. “So… I really don’t like phones. Talking face-to-face is still in my opinion the best form of communication we have. And the worst time, my phone has #%@!#& me over, was in Transylvania.”
Vomher looks utterly baffled and returns to his place at Angel’s side.
[Faerner]: “I was on field-work duty in Transylvania. Racked up the work-hours by doing some Werewolf-culling in the Morning, take my lunch break and then check out the Carpathians to survey Vampire movements. Standard stuff really.”
Faerner made a so-so motion with his right hand. “Except it was one of -those- days. I was taking my lunch break, with my sandwich and coffee, sitting at a creek. Mourning the loss of a really good sledgehammer, when I was suddenly joined by an old man.”
*Track1044 listens carefully
*Svetochka rests both her hands on her knee as she continues to listen, smiling.
[Faerner]: “His clothes were covered in moss and roots, his face was broad and painted in a peculiar way and he reeked of forest. Like a some kind of Hippie-Santa Claus. He told me to follow “the scent of violence”, pointing down the road.”
Insein leans against Klaus, smiling as Wolfgang speaks.
[Faerner]: “Naturally, when something that looks like an Ancient spirit of nature, tells you to go take a peek, you learn to listen at some point. Only took me 20 minutes till I smelled the smoke.” Looked rather serious at that.
[Faerner]: “Then I found a burned ruin of a village, some of the bodies seemed recently scorched… Once I spotted the orange lights and the abominations, I put two-and-two together: Hell breach.”
*Cognizance frowns slightly, and listens to Wolfgang attentively.
Faerner spoke with a sarcastic tone. “Being the tactical genius, that I am, I wanted to get a better look at the beings and the lay of the land. Unarmed and without having called for back-up.”
[Faerner]: “So I quickly went to hide under some debirs, that was still glowing with heat.” Shook his head at his own stupidity.
*Svetochka couldn’t help but flash a smirk, but she remains relaxed, and a little reclined against her seat, listening.
*Track1044 smirks as wolfgang hits himself
Faerner put some tension into the situation by looking at individuals in the crowd. “It was one of those Hellbeast thingies and three of those rubber-skinned, grey Demon warriors. I waited till they’d get close enough. Readying for an ambush”
[Faerner]: “Until the silence was broken by a vibrating in my pocket and the sound of a Wu-Tang tune. I took my phone out, only to see my darling of a girlfriend texting me, that she loves me and asking if we were still on at the Horned god.”
*Track1044 shivers, at the thought of the situation
*Svetochka raised a gloved hand over her face, and couldn’t help but laugh into it, though the glove thankfully helped dampen the nose she made as her face turned a little red.
Jingi nodded at the Wu-Tang reference. It was, of course, nothing to mess with.
[*Lcollins]: Leo snickers behind his hand.
[Faerner]: “So… I turned it off hectically, wondering if my perfect ambush was still manageable. I got my answer, when I looked in the Hellraiser-reject-face of the Hellbeast, huffing infernal breath into my nose… Just one of those days.”
*Track1044 holds a hand over his mouth to quell the laughter
[Vomher]: Oh no.
*Svetochka would still be laughing, cracking up against her glove, but she kept herself muffled for the most part.
Insein shakes her head. She sympathizes greatly.
[Faerner]: “After I had run, what could only be described as a marathon, combined with excessive cursing, I wondered if I had made it into Russia. Only to see that one of the Demons, had a similarly good cardio like me. Since he was bent over, panting desperately for breath like I was.”
*Cognizance smiles, amused at the mental image painted by Wolfgang.
*Svetochka managed to calm down after a moment, letting out a long-drawn sigh. She drops her hand from her mouth.
Insein raises an eyebrow, amused.
Jingi perked a raven brow to the demonic comment. He smiled.
[Faerner]: “So, I am going to spare you the bloody details of what happened next, but a good bit of advice, if you ever find yourself unarmed fighting against those Demon warriors: Their armors may be spiky, but you can get a good grip on those head-horns. If you have fire-resistant gloves, that is.”
[Faerner]: “Either way… What made me most furious about that day is, in London I need to walk around like a moron, trying to get some mobile service… But in the middle of nowhere-stan, among fiends and ghouls, I can get 5 bars, when I need them the least!”
Jingi glanced to his own spiked jacket. He laughed aloud.
*Svetochka grins widely at that, shaking her head.
*Track1044 is containing his laughter
Insein claps excitedly for Faerner.
[*Lcollins]: Leo applauds.
Jingi applauded Wolfgang.
You clap excitedly for Faerner.
[*Shanni]: Claps loudly.
[Insein]: Thank you so much! That was wonderful!
Hestian applauds Faerner.
Cognizance claps for Faerner.
*Track1044 cheers for Wolfgang “Well writen! Comical value was trough the roof!”
[Mayahuel]: Maya claps and smiles.
*Svetochka claps her hands rapidly in an energetic applause, grinning.
Faerner smirked and sat back down on the couch. “Thank you, thank you.”
Insein looks around. “Do we have any others that would like to share stories?”
*Svetochka slips up close to Wolfgang, and slips a brief kiss against his lips.
*Track1044 laughs, while mumbling “Hellraiser-reject”
[Mayahuel]: Maya gives a wave. “I’m afraid I have to go. Thank you again so much for everything.”
*Cognizance glances back down at the small sheaf of paper in her hand. “I’m not really sure this qualifies as a story. While I’ll confess there’s a possibility I wrote this, perhaps while inebriated, this is really just four and half pages of insults about Sam Krieg’s writing style.”
[*Shanni]: Waves and gives another round of applause as hse gets up.
[Insein]: I would love to hear it anyway.
You wave at Mayahuel.
Insein waves at Mayahuel.
[Vomher]: Krieg is terrible. Insult away!
[Insein]: Good night, maya.
[Vomher]: Don’t die, Maya!
*Track1044 waves to people leaving “Congrats everyone and especially you Maya”
*Svetochka grins at Amalie. “It starts with ‘Sam Krieg has terrible prose’, doesn’t it?”
[Jingi]: “Goodnight, Miss Mayahuel.”
[*Shanni]: “Thank-you, Klaus, thank-you Angel and thanks to everyone who shared their stories, great night!”
*Svetochka waves over to the people leaving.
*Cognizance waves to those leaving.
*Track1044 cheers for Amalie.
[Jingi] shouts: Goodnight Shanni!
*Cognizance smiles back to Svetla. “Not quite. And I suppose it might be worth a laught or two.”
[Faerner]: “Then please take the floor.”
*Cognizance glances down to her watch. “I’ll see how much of this I can fit in before I need to leave then.”
Faerner slipped his arm back around Sveta, before relaxing into the couch.
Jingi looked up to Amalie, wondering if he recognized the writer somewhere.
*Cognizance smooths out the sheaf of papers in hands and takes a deep breath. “Sam Krieg, that’s a name you might be familiar with, but shouldn’t be, because he doesn’t deserve the slightest of considerations from good people such as yourselves.”
*Svetochka rests the side of her head onto Wolf’s shoulder, relaxing.
*Cognizance smiles as she reads off. “Sam Krieg is an amazing author, a genius who has discovered how to write in such a way where his words devalue the paper they are written upon.” She flips over a page in the sheaf. “Let’s go on an adventure through one of his alleged stories.”
*Track1044 gives Amalie his attention
*Svetochka holds up a finger. “Ah, so I was right… sort of.” Though she quickly fell back into silence.
*Track1044 grins at Svetlana
*Cognizance clears her throat softly. “Ahem, ‘George glanced over at Eliza and contemplated his misfortune. Would the world ever give him a break? He shook his head and felt like crying. Just like him to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere.’” She says, in a deliberate, measured monotone.
*Cognizance smirks. " Now, he told us George was contemplating his misfortune, and then George contemplated his misfortune! How highly he must think his reader’s vast intellectual capacity. And a delightful recap of events that occured just one page before.” She flips over the page again. “Oh, and ‘Just like her to not be amused.’ Wow, repetition for emphasis!” Amelie punctuations her statement with a vague, directionless pointing gesture. " I sure am made so much aware of important her lack of amusement is to this situation. Why, we don’t even need any dialogue, nonverbal gestures or emotions to even infer her lack of amusement, Krieg tells us like it is!"
*Track1044 grins, while shaking his head jokingly
*Svetochka chuckled softly.
Vomher snickers at the snide commentary regarding Sam Krieg.
*Cognizance returns to a careful monotone, continueing. "“He stepped out of the car, and looked around, hoping to find a miracle. It was getting dark and cold wind was sweeping through the damp forest.”
*Cognizance takes a deep breath, letting Krieg’s writing set in. “I am gobsmacked right here, I mean, just amazed at how seamless Krieg transitions into a description of George’s surroundings, and the oh so clear and decisive world he paints. There’s no room for possible misinterpretations here, no descriptions of feelings or sensations. The forest was damp, and cold, and dark, and that’s it.”
*Buie touches her earpiece, huffs and nods as quietly slips away from the crowd.
Insein grins, her eyes watches Amalie as she speaks. She chuckles warmly.
Jingi tilted his head, contemplating.
*Cognizance continues reading off Krieg’s writings. "“A loud click. Were they not alone? Other cars around them, rusty and broken down. A graveyard of cars. A loud click. An engine coughing to a start.”
*Cognizance shakes her head slowly. “Phenomenal, just extraordinary. He used sounds! Loud sounds! Twice, no, wait, thrice! One of them was just the same one!” She makes another aimless pointed gesture. “Repetition for emphasis!”
Faerner smirked amused, leaning back into the bench.
*Cognizance flips over another page, and continues back in a monotone. "“A light from the old barn. He spun around as Eliza screamed. The barn, he thought. They had to make it to the barn.”
*Track1044 holds his hand over his mouth to cover his grin, while nodding what appears to be agreement
*Cognizance sighs, looking honestly quite annoyed now. “And chapter end! What just happened? Find out next chapter! Because Krieg isn’t going to tell you anything this chapter.” She frowns, twirling a hand in a small circular gesture. “Or any chapter, really. Because the only thing more convoluted than this misanthropic sad-sack’s writing is his god complex.”
Insein guffaws, trying to hold her hand to muffle the noise.
*Svetochka flashed a wide grin at that, shaking her head.
*Cognizance frowns, staring down at the paper in hands, continueing with a clearly irriated tone. “How does this trite move millions of units? What literal witchcraft is required to make people read this trash? I would burn these books but it would be offensive to the fire! That’s not even mentioning the plagiarism! King-” She stops suddenly as her watch chimes off.
*Cognizance blinks thrice, and then once, looking at her watch. “Oh? I’m out of time?”
Insein laughs and claps excitedly for Amalie.
Insein claps excitedly for Cognizance.
Vomher can’t help but snicker. “If that was drunken you writing it then congratulations to inebriated Amalie!”
*Track1044 laughs quietly while clapping loudly for Amalie
You clap excitedly for Cognizance.
[Insein]: That was really good!
*Svetochka claps her hands quickly for Amalie.
C-Monster claps and whistles for Amalie.
[*Lcollins]: Leo applauds loudly for Amalie.
Faerner chuckled and clapped his hands.
*Cognizance smiles a bit sheepishly. “Oh, um, thanks I suppose.”
Jingi smirked, giving a soft applause.
[Insein]: Again, I want to thank you all so much for joining us tonight.
*Cognizance glances back to her watch, before looking up toward Klaus and Angel. “Well, it appears I’ve got to run, but thank you so much for hosting this. It was lovely.”
[Insein]: I think it’s time for us to head out as well. I hope you all have a wonderful evening.
Cognizance applauds Insein.
Cognizance applauds you.
*Track1044 cheers for Amalie, Angel and Klaus “thank you so so much!”
[Vomher]: Thank you all so very much!
*Svetochka smiles at Wolfgang, and nudges with her elbow. “Shall we get going? Your place this time?”
[Jingi]: “Thank you two again for the event, brief though it may be. I’ll have to return to the dimensions, but will try to contact you two whenever I can.” Gin nodded.
[*Lcollins]: Leo quietly slips out around the back of the chairs.
[Insein]: We look forward to seeing you again.
*Cognizance smiles and waves to everyone. “Have a lovely night everyone. Stay safe!”
[Faerner]: “Well yeah, we almost always go to my place.”
[Vomher]: Don’t die in Hell!
[Faerner]: “Good night, stay safe, folks.”
[Jingi]: “Of course.”
*Svetochka tuts at Wolfgang, shaking her head. “Fine, my place then?”
*Track1044 tips his hat to everyone. “have a great evening. Thank you for hosting, and thanks for all the wonderful writers”
*Svetochka smiles, and looks ahead. “Good night, everyone.”
[Vomher]: If that’s the end, then…
[Insein]: Thank you!
*al-Faris stands, adjusts her jacket and gives the remaining attendees a small wave before turning to depart.
[Faerner]: “Oh no, we’re going to my place, cause it is better.” He winked at her.
[Faerner]: “Besides, my pills are there. Otherwise I’ll be sleeping on the couch.”
Vomher holds out a hand. A small spherical drone snaps into it from the air behind him. Gently cradling the orb, Klaus beams at the remainders of the audience. “The recording of this event will be made available soon! It needs just a bit of processing time, but I promise it will be available for all to view! Thank you!”
Insein glances at the drone and at Klaus. “You ready to head out?”
Jingi waved to the crowd, “Catch you later. See ya, mum, dad.”
*Svetochka rolled her eyes and gives Wolf a light elbow o the bicep. “You’re just suspicious of me now.”
Insein holds a hand out for Klaus and begins to head to the exit.
[Faerner]: “Well duh. Who knows how many of your Lumie pals, been having a peep show?”
Faerner chuckled, nudging her.
Vomher gently pats the drone in his arms. Its faint blue light ceases and it powers down, the recording now through. He takes Angel’s hand and smiles at her. “I’m ready.”
*Svetochka rolls her eyes dramatically again. “I have no idea what you’re talking about, lyubov moya.” She says, as she hooks her arm arond Wolf’s.
Static flickers once more.
The signal cuts.
The story night has concluded.