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[SS] Chocolate Fish

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Edana Callan on Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:15 pm

«Well, it makes me a smaller target, I guess. Aside from that, I don't think there're any particular advantages? But Edana, I honestly don't think you have much room to improve in that area. I mean, you're so slim! And those muscles. I'm honestly jealous.»

«Oh, I was referring more to the upper part.»

She casually replied, still having her focus on her own work. Edana Callan was not the type of person to usually be affected by such thoughts or complexes. To her the main topic was efficiency. Actually everything involving her body was just a matter she considered more on the side of efficiency over anything else.

Just looking at the new set of clothes she had changed into would underline that. Having picked another military green mini skirt that’d easily flutter in the wind for easy leg movement’s sake, along with a white tight military style rib tank top that’d accentuate her chest and another short cut military jacket, that’d only reach down to her belly area and was too tight to actually button it up, she truly kept her own body’s movement ability with high regards, whilst unknowingly sending off that other weird kind of signal.
Fortunately that sight would remain hidden under the thick’s coat cover.

«Thank you, though. I didn’t know my muscles were that impressive. They are not yet on the level of what a knight for example would have. I heard they train so much, they actually reached a level 20 times more than that of an ordinary person. Oh, if I only could exchange those clumps for that…!»

With a dreamful sparkle in her eyes, she placed her free hand on her ample chest.

«Imagine! 20 times more amazing! That would raise my efficiency to a whole new level! With that well developed muscles my movements would be beyond crazy! No prey would stand a chance!! Neither could they outrun nor overpower me!! Ahaha~!»

Oh dear, those fantasies’ wildness made her drool.

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Erin Lightheart on Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:27 pm

“Of course, I'll help out but... People don't exactly have the best memories for items that don't have strong emotional value, you know? We may lose a lot of time trying to analyse every single one of them.”

“Isn't there really anything in common between the abducted children? If there was, we could start by investigating based on a priority list of who shares the most characteristics with the abducted children...”


Erin poorly suppressed a lighthearted giggle at Tierney's suggestion. This wasn't out of malice or anything, but rather out of positive surprise that she had come up with something that she was about to suggest her to do. In order to clear up any misunderstandings, she smiled kindly at her while looking straight into her eyes.

"Actually, I was just about to ask if you could look into that part while I get started with the more grueling work. Since you brought it up, I guess that means you're fine with handling it, right? Two heads are better than one, anyway, and all the better if you can find something out with that method before I can."

However, the relative lack of information provided by Folke to the two of them would only serve to make this increasingly difficult. Her smile quickly returned to that of a professional stoicism as she turned to head to the house of her client once more.

"Unfortunately any easily-seen pattern has not been shared with me, so it will be for everyone's benefit if you're able to uncover such a thing for us. And don't worry; I have no particular interest in fame, glory, or status, so I won't be taking credit for much of anything we do here. So long as the kids are safe, that's all I care about."

The less likely she was to be mentioned in reports to this 'Necessarius' once the case was finished, the better. She was far more interested in rescuing the children and then being forgotten about afterward, for her own safety.

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Tierney Bevin on Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:14 pm

Tierney merely shook her head, slightly confused by Erin's need to justify herself when there were more urging matters at hand than glory.

“It doesn't really matter who takes the credit or not, does it?” She asked, tilting her head to the side but quickly returning into a pensive stance. It was true they had little information to go on, so the best idea would be to simply ask Erin's client a few questions directly; the village had yet to trust them so simply going around knocking at doors to find out more would prove to be considerably time-consuming and they did not have such time to offer. She bumped her fist on her opposite open palm as she declared her plan.

“Okay. I'm going to ask a few questions while you make the calls to the households. This is a village anyway so everyone should know each other and their children. With a bit of help from your client I think we'll be able to sort out every household in a decent priority list to begin with.”

Whereas Erin would take care of the surface work of talking to the clients directly, Tierney would take care of the deeper investigation; for a group of two this sounded like the most productive way to gain results and Tierney could only thank the fact that this was a village and not a wide city.

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Edana Callan on Sun Oct 02, 2016 7:58 pm

Folke Sunquist was out alone. He had parted from the others only a while ago, but he had been walking his legs tired already. But what was tiredness in face of the mission, in the face of that mission.

He wasn’t in the mood to smile.

For much longer than he would admit he had been with Necessarius at this point, wandering through the darkness the world of Magic was truly made of. He had been struggling, yet never stopped moving forwards. He was tireless, continuing down this road eternally. Yet, he had never felt like this. Never in all this time had the prospective of a mission gotten to him this strongly.

«We need to bring this to an end…urgently…»

Mumbling while casting a short glance to the small boy by his side, he’d move forward fighting the resistance of the snow covered ground.

This was the fourth month now that children had been disappearing from remote villages in the Swedish wilderness. At first it had only been a single village suffering the unfortunate fate, however as time went on the target had switched and another village became victim. After the number of children hat grown truly worrisome, Necessarius’ attention was directed towards the case and Folke Sunquist had requested the responsibility of dealing with it. He had his reasons to be this eager about it. Once he had made it to the target at that time, two or three children had already disappeared. It grew up to four, then the disappearances stopped abruptly. Was it because his presence was noticed? A while later it happened again, another village had become the target. Sunquist followed right after. Even though he’d been there, three more children had been abducted, with two already taken before his arrival. The next time, five had been taken once again. Even with his interference all effort seemed to be for naught.

And now it had been three again.

Just like before the Magician Sassa would strike without any visible pattern, making it hard to predict her next move. She’d take the children, one household at a time at irregular time intervals, irregular times and with irregular characteristics. No connections anywhere. It couldn’t be tackled with logic, nor with any information he’d been able to acquire. It seemed hardly surprising to him that he’d overlook such crucial details as the dolls, considering all the chaos surrounding Sassa’s actions.

«If only we could end it tonight…»

Catching on to his worry the small boy walking next to Folke Sunquist turned his way, his eyes filled with question and worry of his own.

The boy was the kid of one of the villagers. Sunquist, when gathering information, had caught wind of one of the family’s missing their child, so he had aborted everything he had been onto, desperately doing all in his might to prevent another tragedy from reaching the people’s hearts. In the end, those fears had been calmed, was the boy found quickly somewhere close by the outskirts of the village, hiding somewhere in the woods. Apparently they had come astray from the road they knew when being challenged to a test of courage by some of their friends.

With a smile on his lips, he’d bent forward and given the child calm, finding the exact same words a father would, he’d then occupied the child’s mind with a small riddle, a tiny not all too complex thing. That’s all he’d done and all he needed to. At least now they were moving as a pair, back to the boy’s home.

«Don’t worry~! Don’t worry~! Mister Folke just forgot to turn off the lights! Haha! Boy, never forget to turn off the lights! It’s important! Or one day it will eat all the electricity and everyone’s caught in the dark! Just like cavemen!»

With a smile on a face he told a lie. The kind of lie that’d protect an innocent world. Just like he always does.

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Vita Vesta Caesar on Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:52 pm

«Oh, I was referring more to the upper part.»

For a moment Vita stopped dead in her tracks, and then resumed her work like nothing like had happened. Or at least, she tried to, but she'd slipped up when she paused, and had to bend over and redo the part she'd almost finished.

"...Ah, I see." she said, unusually subdued compared to normal. As she fixed her mistake, she was moving slightly slower than before as well.

«Thank you, though. I didn’t know my muscles were that impressive. They are not yet on the level of what a knight for example would have. I heard they train so much, they actually reached a level 20 times more than that of an ordinary person. Oh, if I only could exchange those clumps for that…! Imagine! 20 times more amazing! That would raise my efficiency to a whole new level! With that well developed muscles my movements would be beyond crazy! No prey would stand a chance!! Neither could they outrun nor overpower me!! Ahaha~!»

By the time Edana finished talking, Vita had completely stopped moving and was just staring at her. After a few seconds she blinked, seemed to realize that Edana had finished, and began moving at her usual pace again. She quickly finished what she was working on, stood up, and moved on to the next thing. It seemed like she'd muttered something under her breath, but it was carried away by a gust of cold air.

"In that case, you'd definitely benefit some from being taken down a size or two. I hear they can cause back pain, and make it tough to run, and the extra weight is definitely dragging you down even if you don't realize it! And you're still young, you know? You could still be growing. There's no telling what'll happen in the next few years. You should probably have something done if you're worried about it~" Vita said in a cheery tone as she worked, humming a tune she'd learned back in her days at the church.

But despite the levity of her voice, her smile didn't quite manage to extend past her eyes.

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Erin Lightheart on Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:16 am

“It doesn't really matter who takes the credit or not, does it?”

Erin blushed as she realized what she had said aloud so casually. Being raised the way she had been, self-confidence was always a struggle, plus the urge to satisfy the other person's ego was strong, as Tierney must have inadvertently reminded her of her abusive mother subconsciously. However, there was no time to dwell on such things.

"Sorry...force of habit. Worked with far too egomaniacs who would need some sort of reassurance before even doing anything. My apologies for doubting you. Let's get started."

“Okay. I'm going to ask a few questions while you make the calls to the households. This is a village anyway so everyone should know each other and their children. With a bit of help from your client I think we'll be able to sort out every household in a decent priority list to begin with.”

And so the two had gotten started on their respective tasks. Erin's in particular was grueling and repetitive, but she hoped it would get the job done. With the town having previously been united when it came to attacking the people from Necessarius, it wouldn't be too difficult to send the word to search all of their homes. With particular focus on their living rooms,  any dirt-covered object that seemed out of place, no matter how small, would need to be left alone, but reported immediately to her.

If reports started coming in, she would write everything down on a self-drawn map of the village in an attempt to discern some sort of pattern herself. Whether it was a particular pattern of the households, specific rooms contained within, or even something like the directions the room(s) faced, she would know in short order. She quietly wished Tierney would discover something before her, but...it was better to prepare for the worst even while hoping for the best.

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Edana Callan on Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:02 am

The work routine returned and went on and on.

Edana had calmed her own mind only a little, couldn’t she fend off the grin she wore at thinking about the fantasies she had just been talking about. Oh, one day for sure she would reach this ideal, if she just kept working like this.

«In that case, you'd definitely benefit some from being taken down a size or two. I hear they can cause back pain, and make it tough to run, and the extra weight is definitely dragging you down even if you don't realize it! And you're still young, you know? You could still be growing. There's no telling what'll happen in the next few years. You should probably have something done if you're worried about it~»

«….eeeeeeeeeeeehh!?!?!»

A shock ran through her whole body at this comment and with a soft sound accompanied by a comical clonk her lance had been dropped into the snow, perfectly hitting the only spot where a rock stood out.

«They have that kind of side effect? I didn’t know they were that devious! What do I do! WhatdoIdo!?!?! Whaaaaaaaaaa!!!»

Clearly panicking Edana found herself unsure of what action or thought to focus on next to. Desperately running through possible scenarios to save herself and her efficiency, she quickly eliminated all possibilities that even she could see as outright nonsense.

With all fuses crashing, she rushed towards Vita, throwing herself onto her knees before her, ignoring the cold of the thick snow and ripped open her coat, revealing it.

«VITA!! PLEASE HELP ME DEFY THIS GRUESOME FATE!! LEND ME YOUR WISDOM!!!»

Tears in her eyes.

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Tierney Bevin on Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:24 pm

Slowly, the pen came to a halt on the surface of an already half-filled notebook, the writer glaring at it as if willing it to tell her anything she wanted to know, or at least something before simply deciding to close the notebook and exhale harshly. For a good amount of time now, Tierney had been asking all about the village's inhabitants, environment, style of life, children, habits and anything else she could think of that could factor in how the kidnapper would choose their next target. It was almost like a terrifying stalking session, and Tierney had to found herself going easy on Erin's client due to the sheer amount of things she had to ask.

Yet despite that, she had found no evidence of any common pattern between the abducted, leaving Tierney with as much valuable information as she had started with. Nothing distinctively in common between the children and the households, truly a course of actions meant to put off detectives and the likes. With a dejected sigh, Tierney called out to Erin as she approached her while offering her half-filled notepad, shaking her head to represent the lack of useful and then scratching it with her pen.

“Are you done with your calls?”

She was well-aware that this was a magician case but she had truly hoped that there would at least be some kind of pattern for them to follow instead of running around and potentially missing the next abducted by little; she had to praise Sassa for her talent at throwing everyone in a loop no matter how bothered she was by it.

“I was somewhat hopeful to find something, but as thought the kidnappings have no common pattern that could have us create a priority list. For now, I've asked your client to ask the abducted's parents about those ominous dolls Folke had mentioned and get back at us so that we can save time by trying to find similar items, but it's already night-time...”

Tierney bit her lip in frustration; now was not the time to idle around grasping at thin air, yet the kidnapper had efficiently made them do just that. They had nothing else to work with than Erin's idea, so after heavy considering she found herself having to put the investigation on lower priority as she set down her stationery and instead grabbed her violin case.

“Investigating every household is going to take a long time and we're going to open massive blind spots doing it when for all we know Sassa could exploit that to abducted someone tonight. Erin, I think we should gather the children in a safe place where we'll be able to keep an eye on them while either of us goes through their homes.”

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Erin Lightheart on Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:17 pm

The process was as grueling as she expected it to be. While she had gotten the townspeople to start their preliminary searches to give them something to go on, her hopes were raised a bit when Tierney approached her. Did she have good news?

“Are you done with your calls?”

“I was somewhat hopeful to find something, but as thought the kidnappings have no common pattern that could have us create a priority list. For now, I've asked your client to ask the abducted's parents about those ominous dolls Folke had mentioned and get back at us so that we can save time by trying to find similar items, but it's already night-time...”

“Investigating every household is going to take a long time and we're going to open massive blind spots doing it when for all we know Sassa could exploit that to abducted someone tonight. Erin, I think we should gather the children in a safe place where we'll be able to keep an eye on them while either of us goes through their homes.”



Erin rose from her seat and offered a sympathetic look. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst was indeed going to be the card played in this game, even during this early stage. However, as she went over her companion's last words, it was as though a lightbulb appeared over her head. It was idea time.

"Tierney...you're a genius! It does contain some risks, but hear me out and tell me what you think. Trying to set up traps at random households and finding where the next target lies may indeed be too much to ask for in such a small amount of time. Therefore we can try and ensure that the target house will be the one we will have already trapped; place all the remaining children in one house, forcing the culprit to visit that one house no matter what in order to nab them. With all the traps and ourselves being there, we're bound to catch them in the act and fight back. However, there is the risk that the culprit will know something's up and will simply avoid the house with the congregated children. Or a child has already been marked elsewhere and the culprit does not need to actually enter the house to make them disappear, resulting in one child vanishing from the single house in front of our eyes with no culprit in sight to catch. What do you think?"

How could she not have realized this was a potential course of action from the beginning? She quietly cursed herself, already imagining how much time could have been saved if this was actually successful. Of course, before deciding any course of action, it was up to Tierney's scrutiny. After all, she could have missed something when coming up with this idea which another perspective could help root out.

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Vita Vesta Caesar on Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:54 pm

«VITA!! PLEASE HELP ME DEFY THIS GRUESOME FATE!! LEND ME YOUR WISDOM!!!»

Faced with this scene that would effortlessly break the composure of even a war-hardened veteran, Vita felt her face twitching, and not from the cold. It seemed it was torn between whether to form a cynical grin at how overly effective her offhand taunt had been or an outright grimace at how completely ridiculous this spectacle was. She had no idea what her expression looked like, but she doubted is was anything normal.

"Edana, yo-" she began, and then stopped. She seemed thoughtful now, introspective, as if she were seriously considering Edana's request; her previously torn expression had completely vanished. The truth, of course, was anything but that. At first, she'd meant to just tell her to put her coat back on, but as the words came out of her mouth she noticed another possibility.

"...I do know of a way. But Edana, it is not a simple feat. It is not something that can be done with the power of just one person, no matter how great. No, it is something that requires the full strength of a country to succeed. But no other country aside from that of Rome remembers this technique. Having chosen that fat over the supremacy of muscle, they cast it aside as unnnecessary! They left the proper path! So Edana, join me! Become a citizen of my Rome! I will grant your desire, and we will reform all those poor, misguided countries!"

Blatant lies, from beginning to end. There wasn't even a scrap of truth within them. But Vita spoke flowingly, passionately, as if she truly believed every word. Truly a speech worthy of an empress. Would this speech succeed in gaining her a (guillible) follower? Or would it fail, with Edana's common sense (assuming she had any) tipping her off to the unreliability of her promises? It didn't matter in the end. At best, she'd get a citizen, and at worst, she'd be able to hold this over Edana's head for months.

Incidentally, Vita had decided to ignore those two things hanging out in the cold.



Sweden, ??? ??:?? %.m.

A sharp gaze pierced through the underbrush of the surrounding woods. Its position periodically shifted, but not even the slightest rustling of the leaves could be heard. There was no way for even the beasts who called the forest home to take notice of it, much less a human who had allowed his natural senses to atrophy to such a degree. All it did was stare across the border of the wilderness into civilization. Watching carefully, it did not miss even the smallest action of those who would call themselves hunters, or those who it would call prey. There was no sense of tension in its figure as it watched the people come and go, merely a great well of patience that seemed to have no end.

And finally, after an inderminably long time, it left. No trace of its presence remained; there was no way to tell if it had ever been there in the first place. Not in the light shrubbery, and not anywhere else within the great expanses of the wide forest, either. The beast seemed to have completely disappeared.

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Edana Callan on Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:32 am

Edana Callan’s eyes were filled with the sparkle embodying the greatest of expectations as she absorbed each and every word her saviour Vita Vesta Ceasar spoke. The promise of a way out of her misery, the prospect of escaping the curse that was the vicious extra weight.

And Vita’s Rome.

«Not interested.»

The next instance Edana’s coat was all buttoned up, the lance back in her hand and she was yet again drawing symbols into the snow. On her face only a look of cold boredom, expressing how little she actually cared. The transition from hot heatedly pleading for being saved to coldly decline any and all suggestions, had gone so quickly, one could only envy the reflexes she held. But that was how it usually went, whenever Vita would exploit the situation and bring up joining Rome like the scamming artist she actually was.

And just like it’d usually go, any demands, thoughts or ideas that were exploited had been washed from the Irish read head’s mind, while she’d also build up a wall blocking off any further attempts at persuasion.

However that wasn’t because she didn’t believe in that Empire Vita had announced herself to be empress of, it was just that the offer was neither good nor anything compatible with her own fundamentals. All Edana had been about was the hunt after all and a good hunt would only be accomplished when loyal to no one that’d limit her actions. Necessarius in a sense was an exception, as she’d actually be able to commit herself to the hunt entirely, naturally being drawn towards strong prey that’d be worth it.

With those thoughts crossing her mind, those two additional weights as well as any other of her body’s imperfections had easily escaped her attention.

Back to normal, she’d just go on.

«I wonder how things on Tierney’s and that…Erin’s?…side are going. Do you believe we can trust that girl to do good work?»

…and on and on.

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Vita Vesta Caesar on Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:12 pm

«Not interested.»

"Tch."

Clicking her tongue at Edana's immediate refusal, Vita immediately resumed her work as if nothing had ever happened. This was far from her first failure, and it wouldn't be her last, so this sequence of events was something familiar to the both of them. She knew from experience that trying anything more from here would be like speaking to an iron wall, so she didn't even try. She'd try recruiting her again at another point in time, when the memory of this particular refusal was not as fresh. But the monotony of their task was still seeping into their bones, so they would need another topic of conversation soon enough.

«I wonder how things on Tierney’s and that…Erin’s?…side are going. Do you believe we can trust that girl to do good work?»

"Hm, I wonder? Regardless of whether that was the truth or a lie, the quality will be suspect either way... Well, a lack of talent in magic doesn't necessarily imply incompetence, and if it turns out to be the other way around, then there's no doubt she's capable in at least one area, so I guess it should be fine. And if worse comes to worst, Tierney's there too." she said, rambling on without giving any sort of explanation.

She'd vaguely realized during their conversation at the inn earlier, when Folke had introduced Erin. Even if she wasn't a fully capable magician, would she really have been left out of the report? Would Necessarius really neglect to leave any record of an extra unit of personnel? Were the records of one of the most powerful organizations in the world really that sloppy? Vita had a hard time believing that. The others seemed to have glossed over it, and she didn't know whether they had allowed it to pass like she had or if they just hadn't noticed. But she, at least, after spending so many years within the Roman Catholic Church, was far too familiar with betrayals from supposed allies to not notice something like that.

She didn't know their intent, she didn't know the truth behind the matter. It could be something mundane, it could be something serious. Erin might be a spy from some other organization, she might be a personal friend of Folke from somewhere, and unexpectedly, he might have been telling the truth. But regardless, there was nothing they could do about it right now. There really was nothing they could do about it, and they didn't even know if it would matter. The best course of action for the moment was to let it play out since if nothing else, they were sure that Folke was indeed a Necessarius member.

But as a topic to pass the time with, it was a rather fine choice. Quite to her taste as well. Despite the potential seriousness of the issue, she found herself treating it more like a puzzle that a real issue, perhaps due to the lack of any immediate danger.

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Edana Callan on Sun Oct 09, 2016 4:07 pm

«Tierney? Hm.»

Before Vita was even given the chance to assume that Edana just had voiced doubt in Tierney, the Irish red head immediately moved on with her work, removing a handheld torch from her coat’s pocket. It was only about 30cm long, but could be expanded to nearly a metre, a tool usually used by hikers. She’d take the torch and place it a little farther away from one of the main roads of the village, they had been close to, perfectly measuring the exact position. Then with it placed she’d just use a bunch of more runes and other drawings reminiscent of magic arrays and strange languages, many of them means to keep the flame from extinguishing once lit.

The concept was a fairly simple one referring to the light at the end of a tunnel. In lore and many other sayings a light at the end of the tunnel would embody the hope people lost in something are drawn towards. Obstructing that idea a bit by placing said light close to a main road, which she’d use as the tunnel’s end in this occasion, she would draw all those willing to escape the tunnel that was the village towards said light.
There were no side effects. It was just a spell meant to influence the path a possible escapee would take, easing the pursuit.

«First his appearance, then that assistant and, yeah, he sure is younger than I expected. I wonder if my attention just was shaken a bit when I gathered information. Either way, who will claim the kill this time?»

Drifting a bit back to her memories of the time she had researched Folke Sunquist, who was by then still a mystery — at least more than he was now —, only to quickly flip topics all over again, she finally brought things to the main aspect: The hunt. From there on out a grin formed her lips. Clearly this was her greedy self making the big appearance.

Lighting the torch, she completed the setup.

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Tierney Bevin on Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:34 pm

“Okay!”

Forming a fist and hitting her opposite palm with it, Tierney's face suddenly lit up with eagerness and anticipation as she proceeded to remove her violin case from her shoulder and opened it; in what was at first glance a completely normal violin case protecting a violin, Tierney dislodged the upper padding of the casing to reveal hidden storage from which she pulled four thick and disassembled wooden parts that could simply be fitted together.

Its upper part had four branches wrapping themselves around the shaft, decorated by all kind of pink and white flower buds that had yet to bloom and a final wild rose's bud at the very top of the staff while the other three parts were plain and normal.

“The plan may not help us capture Sassa but that doesn't mean we should endanger the children just to capture her. If a child has already been marked, then they're going to get kidnapped no matter what we do anyway but if they haven't, then the odds are in our favour if we act fast. We don't have much time, I'll take care of gathering and protecting the children so you handle the trapping.”

Popping them together with a bit of strength, they formed a 1m35 staff which stood proudly next to Tierney as she readjusted the closed violin case on her shoulder.

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Erin Lightheart on Tue Oct 11, 2016 2:56 am

The out-of-place detective watched this display with awe. This was clearly one of Tierney's tools for tackling the villain's plot. Her own tools were relatively humble by comparison, so she felt a bit underwhelming by slowly reaching into her bag to gather her own. Only several rolls of duct tape, vials of perfume, and markers were produced in the end, likely to no fanfare whatsoever.

"We'll need to house the children in a location that has plenty of rooms, enough to accommodate their numbers. Once that's been settled, i'll place some wedges of tape all over the location. However, it's important that the children are left ignorant about the tape, lest they accidentally or intentionally mess with them. At the very least, we will know if the culprit needs to physically enter the location(s) to snatch the children away with this method, if all else fails. Unfortunately, I lack the ability to cause harm or even defend myself, so this is about all I can do."

She glanced at the map she had drawn earlier to find a suitable house to use for the plan. The obvious choice was the Inn, but it could be too large for all of them to effectively defend. After taking a moment, she showed it to Tierney.

"What do you think about a defensible location? The Inn has enough space for sure, but it may have too much for us to handle. A manor would be the safest bet, but it would also come with its fair share of troubles trying to convince the owners to house so many children so suddenly."

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Vita Vesta Caesar on Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:03 am

"So we'll be waiting here until our quarry shows up, then?" she asked as she watched Edana set up the newest trap.

Vita wasn't an expert in this area, but she more than enough to discern what kind of spell it was. Or rather, she'd be a failure as a magician if she couldn't figure it out when she had to opportunity to watch it's creation from beginning to end, and it was a specialty of one of her partners. And Edana creating this funnel here meant she was intending to use this location as an ambush point. In all likelihood, several of the other traps they'd set previous were also meant to draw their target to this location.

«First his appearance, then that assistant and, yeah, he sure is younger than I expected. I wonder if my attention just was shaken a bit when I gathered information. Either way, who will claim the kill this time?»

"Hm? Do you have so little confidence?" Vita said, her voice having a more teasing tone than a questioning one. "Of course it'll be us, one way or another. If we can't pile on accomplishments, what's the point of us coming out here~?"

Feats to her name. Vita lacked many things, from citizens to land to funds, few of which were easily obtainable. But among them one of the easiest things to procure were feats. Feats gave one experience and paved the road to relationships with others. She herself had plenty of experience in the world of magic from her days with the Agnese Forces, but she as an individual had hardly any notoriety except in that group which she had already left. And that wasn't the kind one wanted to have, either.

Having moved on to Necessarius, it was necessary to both prove her experience once more as well forge bonds with as many people as possible. Spread her name, make connections. For that purpose, Necessarius was quite the ideal place. It sent her around the world to deal with dangerous situations with an eclectic variety of partners. She was more than satisfied, and as one could see from her amiable relationship with Edana and Tierney, it was working on at least some level. All of that would mean nothing if she let the credit be stolen by another, however, to say nothing of the damage it would do to her pride.

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Tierney Bevin on Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:57 pm

Looking at the peculiar staff in her hand while Erin suggested potential locations, Tierney sweat-dropped now that she had been struck with the painful realisation of what the possibility of having to fight indoors may entail. Nonetheless, unless they used a child as a bait she would have to throw herself in a dangerous predicament and she was certainly not about to hand over a child for her convenience.

“Hm? What do you mean? It's best if we find a place where only the children would logically be as opposed to too many villagers, so of course we're going for a mansion.” She tilted her head in a cute manner as she went over Erin's words once more. Reaching out towards her, Tierney took the roll of tape away from her hands and made it spin on a finger as a grin made her way to her face; though it was certainly not anything even remotely close to an innocent one.

“You can do a lot of convincing with a simple roll of tape when it comes to pesky people, you know.” As the dangerous words left her smiling mouth, Tierney gave the tape back to Erin and turned around, walking as she looked back once to give Erin a shit-eating grin.

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Erin Lightheart on Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:40 am

“Hm? What do you mean? It's best if we find a place where only the children would logically be as opposed to too many villagers, so of course we're going for a mansion.”

“You can do a lot of convincing with a simple roll of tape when it comes to pesky people, you know.”


The entire display from Tierney was only met with a confused and skeptical look from the young detective. Erin clearly had not understood or appreciated the intended humor. When she was done and on her way, she realized something and called out after Tierney.

"Wait! You go and tell the others, so all four of you can quickly gather the children. I'll arrange the mansion and will set up my tape there. Just make sure not to tell anyone except Folke and your friends about what i'm doing, or else the whole thing may be ruined. No child is allowed to leave their designated rooms until sunrise."

Assuming compliance was given by Tierney, she set out working to single out a mansion from the map of the village. Many, many small wedges of tape were prepared, all cut very specifically and drawn on with very unique symbols and strokes. As a finishing touch, she would spray specific combinations of the various perfumes on each one to produce a very distinct, but subtle scent as yet another unique identifier for each wedge. Her target? Every single window of the mansion. Once the kids were safely in their rooms, with everything locked, the wedges would be applied to their closed doors too.

If any door or window was opened for any reason, she would know. Given the specific cuts, drawings, and even fragrance on each, it was very unlikely if not impossible for one to attempt to replace the wedges without her knowing. Assuming there was nothing wrong, she made the arrangements as best she could and would get to work immediately on applying the tape to all the windows of the selected mansion.

Lacking any useful magic, this was the best she could do at the moment. She could only pray that this would work.

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Edana Callan on Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:15 pm

That moment of satisfaction upon completing the torchlight at the end of the tunnel trap, would only last for just a moment.

«So we'll be waiting here until our quarry shows up, then?»

Edana confirmed that by shaking her head in response to Vita’s question. It was a simplistic gesture, expressing how great the routine behind her setups actually was.

«We’re just getting started. We already set up a base layout of traps and boundaries around the village that however isn’t enough yet. Now that we have set up the torch we are required to fortify its effects, therefore we need to cut off all alternate escape routes, set up emergency traps here and there and add something that will slow the enemy down just in case. Basically we just finished the first 10% of the entire thing.»

Looking at the work they had already put into their preparations this reveal was disheartening, at least to the ordinary listener. To Edana Callan this was just natural. She was so perfectionistic in what she did when out on the hunt, she could never be satisfied with just a simple set up. Therefore the glance she gave Vita made it quite obvious how little she would regard any complaints or veto.

«Hm? Do you have so little confidence? Of course it'll be us, one way or another. If we can't pile on accomplishments, what's the point of us coming out here~?»

«Oh, it will be us. I’m overly confident about that. The question is, who of us will claim it? You, Tierney, Folke Sunquist, Erin Lightheart or me?»

A serious glint Miniskirt and winter coat girl Edana Callan’s eyes made it obvious. Their sharpness revealed her intent on making the race against the other four, actually marking this as the beginning of a competition of skill. That was so like her. Of course she’d seek the risk of a competition for the kill, especially in a situation as complicated as this.

That was the misfortune of a nifty prey.



Everything should have gone well. Everyone was preparing for the final battle. Everything was given. Everyone was occupied with giving their most. Everything would have reached a happy end, if only everything would have gone as planned.

Everyone, however, was too occupied with their own expectations.



Close to the end of his path, Folke Sunquist could savour a sigh of relief. Only a few more metres and the boy to his next would be back to his home. He had managed to calm him by using the kind of speech a father would give their child, but that was what told him how much more calming the real parents’ words could be.

The boy had been silent their whole trip, clinging to Sunquist’s coat with his tiny fingers, seeking protection from the gloomy shadows. Indeed the shadows this night had been gloomier than ever. Maybe it had been just a brainchild born from the fear the recent incidents had caused, but it had still even grown onto the expert Magician. He felt fear and nervousness. There was hardly any calm in any of this. The air felt heavy. Heavier than usual. Again he remembered what had lead him here.

He felt it.

Immediately he pushed the boy behind his back, forming what was the final wall in face of the presence he had encountered in this remote snowy road.

His heart beat.

His breath was lost.

His conclusion had arrived.

«So it is you.»

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Vita Vesta Caesar on Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:21 am

«We’re just getting started. We already set up a base layout of traps and boundaries around the village that however isn’t enough yet. Now that we have set up the torch we are required to fortify its effects, therefore we need to cut off all alternate escape routes, set up emergency traps here and there and add something that will slow the enemy down just in case. Basically we just finished the first 10% of the entire thing.»

Vita gave a disaffected, exhausted sigh in response to this revelation, but didn't bother attempting to argue the point. When it came to things like this, Edana became unbelievably stubborn. Trying to talk her out of it would be a feat akin to untying the Gordian Knot. Or rather, if Vita could do something like that, she would've already managed to accrue legions of followers and countless swaths of land with her awe-inspiring skills of persuasion.

"Where are we off to next, then? To set up Burmese tiger pits and Malay mancatchers?"

«Oh, it will be us. I’m overly confident about that. The question is, who of us will claim it? You, Tierney, Folke Sundquist, Erin Lightheart or me?»

"Well, it won't be Erin or Folke. If one of them was to claim the credit, then there'd be no point to coming out here. The story would go from us coming out here and saving the day, to us coming out here and helping them save the day. What's the point of that?" she said, seeming to ignore Edana's implied challenge. But then a cocky grin made its way to her face, and she continued. "Of course, I'll be aiming for the best case scenario of me getting the lead role. Fufufu."

With a laugh that seemed to suit a scheming mastermind better than an empress, Vita prepared to go back to work with renewed vigor.

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Edana Callan on Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:18 pm

Occasionally important matters take some time.

When the detective girl’s request went around the small village a lot has been set into motion, even though there was hardly any change on the outside. As silent as ever the small village in the mountains would continue, even if its inhabitants would once again use their network to make a move.

They asked around, checked their homes and tried to remember details that may have already been forgotten.

In the end, after a long time, when the sun had set and the night long since fallen, word finally arrived at Erin’s place.

She’d receive, what was nearly a miracle considering how cut off the village was from the rest of the world, a call on her cell phone, then another and more and more. What was at first only a few snowflakes soon became a blizzard.

With a lot of cackling, disturbances and the kind of technical difficulties brought by an old outdated cellphone tower, the information arrived, even though partly incomplete. But at least it arrived via that route, surprisingly enough.

Strange dolls, like barbies or action figures yet also the classics made from rags or even porcelain had shown up in some families’ homes. They hadn’t been placed there by a strange force, though, that the callers confirmed rather quickly. They had simply been found in the forest, on the streets, on hiking paths and so on. It wasn’t anything strange as people this remote from society would at times simply leave their waste all over the place or things were just lost here and there. Naturally the found toys had been covered in dirt and some had been too lazy to clean them, while some had actually gone through the act. Still the stories were piling up. The number of appearances was strange, yet could all of that be pointed to the same source or were parts of it really just lost items? At least no one seemed all too worried about it.

Besides that there were all kind of strange phenomena no one actually asked for. Like kitchen ware disappearing, the toilet water being frozen, the electricity cutting out, strange footsteps in the snow or — that one was actually a bit more important — a child that had gone missing over the course of the day. A boy, whose parents had fallen into despair assuming the worst case. However as soon as they complained, cried and cringed for help the connection mercilessly cut and before it could even be restored a new call had already made its way into the line.

Some even called more than once, just following the urge to give updates, even though absolutely unimportant.

In the end, while there were gems, the most of it was absolutely useless.

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Tierney Bevin on Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:54 pm

Tightly grasping her precious staff along with a notebook that had its pages crumble under her sheer force, Tierney ran throughout the village, panting as she ignored how terrible she felt about this sudden amount of exercise; here was no time to waste pitying her lack of athleticism.

True to her word towards Erin and her role in their plan, Tierney had spent the last hour and a half doing her best to convince the still cautious parents to let their children come with her to a safer place and gathering them to the mansion Erin had decided on. All had went smoothly when Tierney had finally arrived to the manor with a decently large amount of children following suit, some bravely willingly, others curiously, but while she went through the list of children she had written down in her notepad when initially gathering information, Tierney realised had managed to found and bring to “safety” every child in the village...

Except one.

Having been made aware of that very, very dangerous fact, Tierney ran off as she left the children in Erin's – and some very peculiar company's – care.

And now, despite having frantically ran around everywhere in search of that child whom she heard should still be around from local sightings once the villagers had warmed up to her enough to even let her know, she had yet to find that missing boy and bit her lip as she kept on running and cursing under her exhausted breath.

In the distance, she could see figure; they were unfortunately nothing akin to a young boy's stature and that truly saddened Tierney but they were figures she was far too familiar with and she came to a grinding halt in front of them, not even bothering to breathe properly before saying anything.

”Haah, haah... Vita, Edana, haah... We have a problem, I can't, haah... find a child!” In the end, she had completely omitted to explaining any of the situation besides that very simple fact before she was forced to stop and take deep, deep troubled breathes.

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Edana Callan on Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:40 pm

«Where are we off to next, then? To set up Burmese tiger pits and Malay mancatchers?»

«I wish we had the resources for that available. But maybe a few wolves could be found, instead.»

Firing back a 100% serious reply to what she had been unable to recognise as a joke, Edana Callan’s mind drifted off a fair bit. Of course she’d actually think about means to capture wolves and that quickly. With many mental drawings in the workings, she started mumbling a bit about possible options. It grew more silent over time, yet it never entirely left her.

Not even when the spark of competition had been ignited.

«Of course, I'll be aiming for the best case scenario of me getting the lead role. Fufufu.»

«I wouldn’t ask for anything else. Bathing in another’s defeat is truly the most satisfying. How about we make it even more enjoyable? Like with a bet.»

The spark turned into a raging flame. The moment the word «bet» left her lips they curled up to form what was an awkwardly ecstatic smile, paired with a truly mocking voice. It was plain as day that the shame that’d befall the enemy wasn’t what Edana was actually seeking from suggesting a bet.

«I’ll let you decide the stake. As long as it isn’t joining your empire I’ll be in for whatever you might come up with. Just make it worthwhile

Truly she wasn’t seeking a mild thing like paying all drinks or wearing some funny hat. Already dreaming up the possibilities her company might come up with, a sudden twist of fate would end the conversation before the actual good part.

«Haah, haah... Vita, Edana, haah... We have a problem, I can't, haah... find a child!»

What had arrived was an exhausted Tierney, obviously at the end of her wits.

«Eh?»

Quickly having her flame extinguished by the sudden storm, Edana could only widen her eyes when faced the sudden arrival of really bad news. Immediately thoughts came crossing again, with fears intensifying in her chest. They had been so busy with preparations that they never had considered an early attack. All this time had they assumed anything would only happen once they were fully done, had all indications pointed at a late night event and not an early evening one. However, wasn’t that still a possibility? With the amount of mystery their enemy was shrouded in the possibilities should actually be infinite.

«This is bad. Very bad even. How did we end up doing such an amateurish mistake?! Do you know for long the child has been missing?»

From one moment to the other her heated ecstatic expression had passed for a cold serious one. She’d immediately ready her lance for a sprint. The signal was clear, thus there was no need to speak it out: We need to act fast or everything’s for naught.

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Vita Vesta Caesar on Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:53 am

«I wish we had the resources for that available. But maybe a few wolves could be found, instead.»

It had only been intended as a joke, but as expected of Edana, she had either ignored or completely failed to grasp that subtlety. It was impressive in a way, to be so devoted that you to your craft that you ended completely inept when it came to communication with others. The way she smoothly moved the topic towards the considerations of finding wolves to use in the traps indicated that she had a screw or two loose, but among magicians that wasn't anything particularly noteworthy.

«I wouldn’t ask for anything else. Bathing in another’s defeat is truly the most satisfying. How about we make it even more enjoyable? Like with a bet. I’ll let you decide the stake. As long as it isn’t joining your empire I’ll be in for whatever you might come up with. Just make it worthwhile

"A bet? Hm, that's a good idea you've come up with. Though that condition is regrettable... But the stake, hm? There's no need to worry on that account. I'll be sure to come up with something suitably worth getting fired up ov-"

«Haah, haah... Vita, Edana, haah... We have a problem, I can't, haah... find a child!»

In the middle of Vita's sentence, Tierney ran up to them with a breathless shout. And in reaction, just as Edana had, she immediately shifted her mental gear to one more suitable for the situation. If Tierney's words were true, then this was an extremely dangerous situation. Their advantage had been the fact that they knew their quarry would come to them, but if Sassa managed to slip in and out without them noticing, then that would be completely lost to them.

«This is bad. Very bad even. How did we end up doing such an amateurish mistake?! Do you know for long the child has been missing?»

"There's no time to worry about our mistakes. All we can do is prevent the situation from worsening further. Tierney, I'd ask if you could explain while we move, but you should catch your breath before we continue."

They had blundered, but there was no time to lament that. So she told Edana as she herself tensely awaited for Tierney to brief them on the rest of the situation in reply to Edana's question. It would be most efficient if she did so as they searched, but with Tierney's current state, that wasn't an option. If one didn't maintain at least a certain level of composure, then they would not be able to think, move, or act properly. Those were the considerations Vita held in mind as she gave her recommendation; not centered purely in worry for her partner, but also with the goals of saving the child and stopping Sassa in mind.

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Re: [SS] Chocolate Fish

Post  Erin Lightheart on Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:36 am

The young detective struggled to come up with a reasonable plan in the face of these new events. With all the remaining children under her care, it would be irresponsible to abandon them just to see what Tierney was so upset about. Of course, she could easily make guesses as to why she was so flustered. If the children had already been gathered here as requested, and she still saw the need to leave again in a panic, it could only mean one or more of them had already gone missing.

However, she was not about to allow the children to become frightened, as it would only serve to make everything worse for everybody. What was the best thing she could do in order to keep them distracted? She did bring some of her puppets along, but given the cultural differences, would the children even appreciate a hand puppet show?

Regardless, she quickly put together a makeshift hand puppet theater in front of her likely confused audience. The act of choice was to be one with lots of physical comedy; the sort that would transcend cultural and linguistic barriers. She felt a bit silly putting on a show like this during such a tense moment, but keeping the children safe and busy was important; lesser chance of even more slipping away.

Please find those missing children, Tierney, Folke, and the others. She would keep the remaining children here, ready to defend them from anything even if it cost her life. The tape was applied properly, so nobody would be getting in or out without her knowing about it.

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