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The Manic Mind of Man

The Manic Mind of Man

A surreal, bizarre dreamscape exists alongside everyday Earth. People are being drawn into it, where their imaginations truly come alive.

2142 readers have visited this universe since Captain Grue created it.
Topics: , action, modern, original, and surreal (Add Tags »)
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Introduction

"The only thing that I'm certain of, Kap, is how lonely it is to live in your dreams."
~Norm, First Mate

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Earth, 2018. Exactly one year ahead of the present day. Somewhere, someone is taking stock at a department store they wished they never stepped foot in six years ago. Elsewhere, a pirate ship rips past the dream of a small child in a whimsical cosmos, pushing apart the winged piranhas that swarm it. The child wakes up, terrified. All they can think of is the pilot's eyes. Yellow. Green scales. Real.

"The Source of Mind" (referred to as 'The Source') is an intangible place. It exists parallel to reality, though intrinsically linked. Whenever anyone envisions thought or dreams, they are accessing the Source. The knowledge of this plane of existence is known to very little. Occasionally someone will make the trip, and become trapped within the endless dreamscape. But something has been happening recently, a shift in the Source has caused absurd collisions with reality. Ideas escaping people; swapping dreams; the most vivid hallucinations for no reason.

An entity within the Source is trying to break free. It knows about reality, and will break the universe to get a taste of it.

And you are involved. By choice or not, you are in the Source. So who are you?




Race.
Human
- Earth is your home. Whether or not you knew about the Source, you are here now. Humans tend to hold a reasonable, grounded perspective of reality. Using their minds, humans can theoretically manipulate anything within the Source. Creativity is your greatest strength. Though be wary, a human's stray thoughts may conjure themselves and cause unforeseen dilemmas. Humans may find it difficult to fully understand the Source without becoming a traveller. Ergo yes, a human may become a traveller if they lack a suitable transport/shelter in it for too long.
- A human's manifestation of thought exists only as long as they are thinking about them/it.

Example sheet (* means it's optional or situational)
You can customise this to your specific liking, just hit all the required spots.
Spoiler: show
Name/Alias:
Ethnic Group/Race/Species:
Gender: If your character identifies, it could help to outline both sex and gender.
Age:
Date of Birth: *
Appearance:
Personality:
Quirks: *
Likes/Hobbies:
Dislikes/Nopes:
Significant Other: *
Family/Friends: *
Place of Residence: Or where they used to live.
Education:
Profession/Skills:
Source Prowess/Imagination: Humans are not limited to certain types of abilities. But they might be stronger in some areas, depending on the nature of their imagination/mind.
Goal(s): Short term, long term, anything they might be seeking.
Flaws/Fears:
Backstory: You can be as vague or as detailed as you like :)

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Traveller
- When a human becomes trapped in the Source (or chooses to stay), their mind begins to warp and changes their own reality over time. The result is what is known as a traveller, someone who traverses the Source for eternity. Generally remaining humanoid, a traveller's appearance will take on new elements. These can be manipulated by the traveller's imagination, or be a visual representation of their mind/emotional state. Once maintained for a while, these alterations become permanent. Their clothes are also created by their thought. Most travellers reject their humanity, preferring the company of Sourcekind as they try to cut all ties to their past. There will be exceptions to this of course, perhaps with some travellers seeking an escape and a return to their human form. Sometimes the line between traveller and human is blurred, the transformation happening slowly over years rather than instantaneously.
- A traveller's manifestations of thought are permanent, though their weakened humanity makes them weaker.
- Travellers might be hermits, the name is purely in reference that they have 'travelled' from reality.
- Travellers generally create a companion/vehicle to help them traverse the Source.

Example sheet (* means it's optional or situational)
You can customise this to your specific liking, just hit all the required spots.
Spoiler: show
Name/Alias: Some traveller's may have forgotten their name. It is your choice to disclose that or not.
Ethnic Group/Race/Species: Traveller.
Gender: If your character identifies, it could help to outline both sex and gender.
Age: Travellers tend to get 'stuck' at a certain age.
Date of Birth: *
Appearance:
Personality:
Quirks:
Likes/Hobbies:
Dislikes/Nopes:
Significant Other: *
Family/Friends: *
Place of Residence: *
Education:
Profession/Skills:
Source Prowess/Imagination: Travellers are limited in their manipulation of the source, unlike humans who can attempt to do nearly anything. Think of travellers having a 'specialisation' in a magic school, rather than being able to use anything.
Equipment/Vehicle/Companion: 1- If it's a companion that holds greater sentience than something like a normal horse, write a Sourcekind sheet below this one.

2 - Otherwise, seperate what equipment your character has

3 - However you wish, but these numbers are to provide an example.

Goal(s): Short term, long term, anything they might be seeking.
Flaws/Fears:
Backstory: You can be as vague or as detailed as you like :)


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Sourcekind
- Ideas, dreams, nightmares. Sourcekind were never human, rather they are the manifestation of human/sentient thought. They can manifest as virtually anything. A dragon, a dodgeball, a 70's disco dancer. Once created, a Sourcekind may not change form(unless that was the 'idea' to begin with). Some are extremely two dimensional in personality, some are primal creatures, while some are complex beings who would like nothing more than to understand their own origin. Some might know the humans who thought them, others won't. Lesser Sourcekind are manifestations of basic thought, like rage from a wolf creating a furious set of teeth.
- Sourcekind do not produce manifestations of thought.
- A Sourcekind's power can be manipulated by the emphasis humans/travellers place on it.
- Sourcekind may freely move about in the Source, and it has no negative impact on their mind.

Example sheet (* means it's optional or situational)
You can customise this to your specific liking, just hit all the required spots.
Spoiler: show
Name/Alias:
Ethnic Group/Race/Species:
Gender: Sourcekind technically have no real gender, but they may assume one.
Age: *
Date of Birth: *
Appearance: Sourcekind can be anything from a realistic human to a talking, cartoon spoon. Heck, it could get more abstract in ways I don't even know.
Personality:
Quirks:
Likes/Hobbies:
Dislikes/Nopes:
Significant Other: *
Family/Friends: Sourcekind won't ever have biological family, but Sourcekind might still form families depending on their origin.
Place of Residence:
Education:
Profession/Skills:
Abilities:
1- Sourcekind do not use their minds for powers, they have a consistent set of abilities that may serve a number of purposes

2 - However, since sourcekind are birthed from ideas/thought, it could be that your sourcekind is a shapeshifter who may gain more abilities as such

3 - You can customise the way you layout your character's abilities to your liking but do try to separate them.
Goal(s): Long term/Short term, what they might be seeking.
Flaws/Fears:
Backstory: You can be as vague or as detailed as you like :) I will say in the case of sourcekind, one idea would be to describe the concept/dream/idea/emotion that created them.


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Alignment.
While other factions/alignments exist, these are the main two at quarrel with each other. This is not a fight between good and evil. This is a fight for reality and what makes an idea. So, do you fight alongside the Kaptain or have you joined the ranks of the Daydream Beast?

Sanity - Kaptain Erratik
Erratik is a crocodile man traveler who travels the Source, maintaining its link to reality through the use of his Spatula. While chaotic and mildly insane himself, Erratik believes that if the Daydream Beast succeeds then the Source will become stagnant without reality to sustain it.
At the birth of our story, he is searching for humans/travelers/sourcekind to aid him.


Madness - The Daydream Beast
The Daydream Beast is a vile Sourcekind, one who wasn't actually created through human thought. It wants to break the walls between the Source and reality, with the belief that isn't right that they be 'trapped' in the Source while a whole universe of space exists.
At the start of out story, the Beast is pulling humans from Earth into the Source. Doing this weakens the walls between reality.

Rules

Each race has a subtly different sheet
You can have character secrets that I don't know.
You control your own character development/arcs and such.
If anyone wants to instigate some kind of world altering event, pls discuss in the forum.
If your character's action directly effects another player/environment, the chance for others to react is necessary unless it's been discussed prior.
If you wish to control two characters under the one name (eg a traveller and companion) it helps to include another sheet for them on the same page.
I've no issue with swearing, just make it genuine.
I've no issue with romance, just make it genuine.
I've no issue with a lot of things, just make them genuine :P

The Big Three ~
  • No Metagaming
  • No Powergaming
  • No flaming

Rules regarding the Source of Mind ~
  • Humans/Travellers do not age while in the Source unless they want to. They could remain there for 300 years and still appear 20
  • Safe transport in the Source can take the form of almost anything from a horse to an elevator.
  • Sourcekind/Travellers maintain their appearance when they travel to reality
  • Humans and travellers' Source manipulation abilities do not work in reality.

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Character Portrait: Ettie James The Mistress of Shadows + The Shadow Creature
Character Portrait: Norm
Norm played by Captain Grue
Defender of Earth, and Master of Mediocrity.
Character Portrait: Kaptain Erratik ???Crocodile, rainbow Nile. The store is open, stay a while.???
Character Portrait: The Daydream Beast "A hero is just a man who knows he is free."
Character Portrait: Frederick Dredsen You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.
Character Portrait: Dreadhead "You ain't seen shit, son."
Character Portrait: Jane Blackmore A skilled illusionist who can blur the lines between objective and subjective reality.
Character Portrait: Squelch
Squelch played by Captain Grue
A toddler's drawing of a "crappy" person.
Character Portrait: Norien de Iridius "I may hate the humans, but that's only because I envy what I lost..."

View All »Available Characters

These poor, unfortunate souls were once a part of this great world, but have been abandoned. Why don't you consider viewing their profiles and making a decision on whether or not you can roleplay them accurately?


View All »Places in The Manic Mind of Man

The Struggle Streets

The Struggle Streets by Captain Grue

Oh God, oh man. Here I am on Struggle Street once again.

The Source of Mind

The Source of Mind by Captain Grue

The strange, ever shifting dreamscape of wonder and torment.

Reality

Reality by Captain Grue

All that is physical space.

Erratikworld

Erratikworld by Captain Grue

Welcome to prime time, bitch.

Two Dimensional Square Space

Two Dimensional Square Space by Captain Grue

This wacky place was created by Kaptain Erratik in his earlier days.

The Sunsmoke Clouds

The Sunsmoke Clouds by Captain Grue

The Daydream Beast's domain. A feeling of awe runs through this place like thunder.

Create New »View All »Groups

There are no groups in this roleplay!

View All »Arcs

Arcs are bundles of posts that you can organize on your own. They're useful for telling a story that might span long periods of time or space.

Jane Blackmore's Character Arc

As Jane travels further and further into the Source, she was forced encounter her inner demons and embrace her toxic side. Bad things will happen; it always will.

View All »Quests

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Events

Soon™.

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ettie James Character Portrait: Norm Character Portrait: Kaptain Erratik Character Portrait: The Daydream Beast Character Portrait: Frederick Dredsen
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CHAPTER ONE
~A Spatula in Space~


As implied, a spatula floats through space. A curious sight for someone in reality, perhaps, but this was not physical space. This was the space of thought, the Source of Mind that feeds and is fed by consciousness.

So a spatula floats by, rotating on a strange axis in a ballet of its own seclusion. This spatula holds within it the power to manipulate the Source to an incredible degree. While few know of its existence, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that whoever found this spatula could potentially warp any aspect of reality to their liking.

In the Sunsmoke Clouds of the Daydream Beast, forces are already at work to locate it. A gaping jaw of harsh sunlight grinds its teeth, grinning at the possibility that it could very soon be free from this lucid dreamscape. It sends word to all residents of the Source to meet with it in the deepest reaches of the Clouds.

How did such a spatula come to float in space, you might ask? It was misplaced. Why was it misplaced? A lapse in judgement, perhaps. But who would misplace such a crucial item at such a crucial point in time?

Well, let's get right to that.

~~~~~~~~~~~~


Floating by a nebulous mass of glowing eyes was a 17th century pirate ship, sailing through the Speculating Skies. The vessel would appear to be flying aimlessly at a glance, but on closer inspection would reveal it appeared to be searching for something as it turned to face every angle before moving on to new spaces in the Source. It hoisted large white sails decorated with a crudely drawn smiley face.

On board manning the helm was an extravagently dressed crocodile man, presenting a long purple coat that swept across the floorboards and a pirate's hat bearing the same insignia as the sails. Beside him was a more casually dressed boy, leaning very closely towards adulthood.

The boy leaned over the side of the ship, peering into the deep thought that makes up the Source. Eventually he turned to the pilot, visually annoyed out of boredom. His voice was Australian, and carried with it a resourcefulness to make up for the stereotype.

"You've not told me what it is we're lookin' for, Kap. What am I meant to do?" He asked, not surprised in the slightest. Kaptain Erratik had a habit of being vague. And while it usually had a point, Norm had always wished he would just be a little more straightforward.

"Oh, Norm, I pity you!" The Kaptain boomed. The louder his voice, the more his yellow eyes seemed to beam out of his head. "Grow some eyes and an extra brain and you'll find yourself knowing what you seek but not being able to retrieve it." He had always thought of himself as a wise man, but Norm merely rolled his eyes and sighed at the pseudo-philosophy. Norm was one step ahead, and knew this was in reference to the girl he had always had a crush on that remained unrequited. The Source to him was just a bunch of actualised metaphors, and he saw through them all.

"Low blow, Kap. I'll keep an eye out, for whatever it is you're doing."

Norm moved back to the edge of the ship, looking for anything to peak his interest. Wherever it may be, he knew it shouldn't be long.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Frederick Dredsen
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~Santa Cruz, California~

Frederick Dredsen squeezed his eyes shut, gasping for breath. He rocked back and forth on his bed, producing a dull squeak that was almost drowned out by the heavy rain that slammed against the side and roof of the tiny rental house that he hadn’t payed his rent on in a month. Fucking loser. His shaking hands clutched the sides of his face as he dragged in breath after breath from between his clenched teeth. The tattooed skull on his right hand appeared to cry as the raindrops on his window cast their transparent shadows on it.
As he readjusted his feet, his left one bumped against an empty beer bottle with a small clink, one of the many that littered the floor of his tiny bedroom.
Lightning suddenly flashed out of the sky with an earsplitting explosive sound, illuminating Frederick’s dark room with a pale light that disappeared just as quickly as it came. Just do it, already. He flinched and curled onto his side, sobbing as the black storm that was his depression swallowed him whole. Again. Oh god, he hated himself so much.
He felt like nothing, Hell, he was nothing. He groaned in his agony and shakily grabbed the long hunting knife that waited for him at his bedside, and stared hungrily into the dull grey sheen of the blade. Slowly, steadily, he placed the sharp end on his arm, paused, at war with himself, and then began to cut long strokes into his arms.

This was the only way for him to cope, the only distraction he ever had. It wasn’t all that bad, he deserved it, anyways. That was the only thing he knew for sure about himself. Fuck you, Frederick. He thought to himself bitterly. As he finished his third cut, another splinter of light split the sky with a earth-shaking shriek. It was almost as if it had electrified Frederick, because as soon as he heard it, the dark sadness in him quickly melted, began to glow red hot, began to simmer with hatred. I hate you. He growled at himself, a low, wild sound that would have terrified himself at any other time. He placed the blade on his arm again and began to cut harder, with longer strokes.

He watched red spill out faster than it ever had, embracing both sides of his arm. The small trails of blood coated and ran over several of his old scars, whitened and blackened with age. He felt like the storm was raging around him, a thick, black, grey, red tornado with him at its very center, from which there was no escape.
No escape.
His head lightened, and he blinked several times, opening his mouth but not inhaling. He felt dizzy. This is it, you bastard. Look what you’ve done. Finally.
He dropped the knife, and looked down at his arm, which was completely coated in thick warm red, which looked almost black in the dull light. It was dripping down onto the floor, where a comfortingly large puddle had already accumulated. He let loose a breathy, wild, hysterical laugh. This is it!
With that, he let himself fall onto his back, completely giving himself up to the storm.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Ettie James
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It had begun to rain rather unexpectedly in The Sunken City. Ettie watched from her perch as globules of water detached from the flooded streets and soared up into the air, disappearing into the blackness above. She frowned, crossing her legs and leaning her elbow atop her knee so that her hand could more comfortably cradle her chin. Her other hand, fingers longer than expected for a palm so small, reached out to catch some of the drops, which she lifted to her lips. Salty.

"Someone in reality must be crying," she murmured and flicked the remaining water from her fingertips. It only ever rained in the Sunken City when the streets became flooded.

'It is not your concern,' Coal cooed, from her shadow. 'Do not worry.'

"You forget I have a family out there," she replied with a frown. "Perhaps it is one of them."

'I am here. You need not miss them.'

Ettie clicked her tongue and cast the beast into silence. The frown disappearing, she stood from where she sat atop the archway of a dark building. From the edge she peered down into the flooded street at her reflection; her violet eyes, glowing lightly as they did, refracted sharply and consumed the rest of her features. "Let us return," she sighed. "I wish to see more."

Her heels lifted, her arms spread, and without a hint of reluctance Ettie leaned herself off of the edge of the archway. As she fell raindrops dusted her cheeks and rustled her hair. Her slender form hit the water without a sound, her upper body sinking faster than her lower. Then suddenly she was standing in an alley, her bare feet dipped into a deep puddle of water. She was entirely dry, other than a few droplets that lingered at the tips of her dark hair.

This was not a city that Ettie recognized. The wonder of the Sunken City was that your point of entrance was never your point of exit: you were always bound to end up somewhere else. While Coal made it simple enough to travel shorter distances, it was easier to access different areas of the Source just by choosing at random. Brushing her fingers through her hair, Ettie trotted from the alleyway and into the streets, searching for something new and exciting - and preferably, shiny.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Frederick Dredsen
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Frederick’s eyes snapped open, and he stared, looking but seeing nothing. He didn’t hear anything either.
Where's the storm? He thought groggily to himself.
He was still lying on his back, but his bed seemed a lot more uncomfortable…it was really hard. He sat up slowly and blinked, rubbing his eyes. When he pulled them away, he felt a cold shock freeze his insides. His hands, or more specifically, the sides of his fingers and knuckles, were coated in fresh blood. What…?
He looked at his arm, but the cuts he had given himself moments ago, although inflamed and red, were sealed. The blood wasn’t coming from his arm…so where was it coming from? He hesitantly placed his fingers on his eyes again, and rubbed gently. When he pulled them away, a new coat of blood was beginning to drip down his hands.
My god…I’m crying blood!
He was suddenly acutely aware of his surroundings. He whipped his head around, and his eyes widened as he suddenly realized he was not in his bedroom anymore. He scrambled to his feet and clenched his hands together as his eyes roved over the new bedroom he was situated in.
There was a bed, he had been lying on it earlier. The floor was made of dark, old wood planks, as were the walls.

The entire room was bare aside from the bed, a threadbare green carpet with holes in it, and a small window lent a gloomy light to the inside, casting a cross-framed shadow on the bed. Frederick took a deep, shaky breath, and waled over to the window, peeking outside. What he saw shocked him. Rows and rows of dark grey houses lined a dull cracked pavement road, penetrating the cold grey overcast sky as far as the eye could see. None of these were identical, however. He saw medieval towers with little dreary modern apartments between them, with little houses of every style and age next to them. It was like some giant had taken every toy building set imaginable and had left them cluttered together in a single suburb.
How drunk did I get last night? Where am I? Frederick thought, shocked. He placed his hands on the window sill and gazed out into the dark and dreary world set before him. Mist seeped through the streets, blown by an invisible, intangible wind.
Frederick had no idea where he was, but something about this place seemed so familiar.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Frederick Dredsen Character Portrait: Dreadhead
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A knife twirled in his fingers, and a grimy tongue licked the inside of his mask. A large leather belt held his overbearing coat, sandpaper skin hiding behind the holes from his mask. Underneath it, he smiled. This house had been empty for far too long. Out of all the places in the Source, most humans who travelled would end up here and Dreadhead relished every opportunity to entertain himself with company. As soon as Frederick's eyes opened, he dashed away from outside the window and out of sight. Rats hurried across the street to meet their master. Dreadhead withdraw the knife into his pocket. "Playtime." He whispered, and instantly shifted into the form of a rat.

Following the edge of the house, the rat pushed itself under the the front door and into the room containing Frederick. To Dread, this would come off as one of the more subtle houses. Fine details gave clues to the owner's mental state, every hole in the carpet and wear in the walls. These things were to be appreciated. The tap of rat feet was silenced by the carpet, and it jumped up on the less than superb bed. As Fred looked through the window, Dreadhead snapped back into form and laid provocatively across the bed.

Dreadhead's voice was loud. Cockney.

"You a virgin, mate? Heheheh! You fuckin' reek of nubile ineptitude!" His laugh was acidic, scratching itself through the mask in a playful jab. Similar to a drunk insulting someone they may or may not be friends with. He rolled off the bed laughing, pulling himself up on the opposite side of the room Frederick was on. He would take a moment to acknowledge his reaction, before continuing when he saw fit. "Ah'ight, babychild. Welcome to yer new home." He presented his arms outstretched, "This is what ye putrid miseries provide you, mate. Peachy. Most folk stay inside, don't ever come out." He pointed his head towards the window, distracted. Eyes worried. "I suppose they don't see doors or sumthin'."

Collecting himself with a brush of the coat, Dreadhead proceeded to casually produce his knife.

"What say you tell me what ya think's goin' on. If it ain't a good guess I'll gut ya!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ettie James Character Portrait: Frederick Dredsen Character Portrait: Dreadhead
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The city was incredible dull, lacking in both color and excitement. Ettie walked for some time through the grid-like streets, weaving between houses of all shapes and sizes. Silence was so thick around her that the sound of her breathing was somehow disheartening. A frown curved her lips and a sigh escaped her.

Somehow, she knew there wouldn't be any shiny things here.

As she passed through yet another side alley her attention was drawn to a flicker of movement in the window of a building one street over. Ettie backpedaled, an eyebrow raised, and realized she had somehow wandered upon a lone human. She paused where she stood, unsure whether to approach, when Coal suddenly emerged from her shadow and pulled her into the darkness of the alley.

'I smell a rat,' he growled and the skin upon the back of her neck prickled. Moments later another figure was in the room. A sourcekind? Or perhaps a very changed traveler?

Ettie leaned back into Coal's cool form, his icy feathers brushing her hot skin. His beak tapped the top of her head twice, perhaps in warning, but he spoke no more; he tended not to speak much, anyway. Approach was dangerous, considering both Coal's ominous words and the unknown identity of the second being in the room. But Ettie had been in that human's shoes before. Alone. Terrified. Confused. And while she only held a shred of hope for a return to reality, that shred forced her to investigate.

"I won't get involved," she said quietly. "But I want to get closer."

Coal was understandable reluctant to give into her wishes, but he always gave in when it came to her. His form shifted slightly and suddenly she was draped in darkness, her form disappearing into the shadows of the surrounding buildings. She crept to the building and positioned herself within the shadows just to the side of the window. The being of unknown origin was speaking in a rather unpleasant way, with threats and acrid laughter. Ettie remained there, back pressed to the siding of the house, unable to see but listening closely.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Ettie James Character Portrait: Frederick Dredsen Character Portrait: Dreadhead
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Frederick watched the gloomy skies drift sullenly over the collection of dead houses, trying to wonder why he felt so terribly at home here, when he heard a loud, obnoxious voice ask if he was a virgin. He jumped and whirled around, hands clenched and eyes wide, and they widened further as he took in the strange man that was lying seductively on the bed before him.
“The fuck.” He sputtered. “Who are you? Where did you come from?”
He instinctively attempted to back away from the figure, but he felt the window press up behind him, the cold glass freezing his back. The figure was wearing a trench coat, and had a top hat with…teeth? ringing the inner brim. He tried to focus on the man’s words, and listened all the way up to when he flicked out a knife. Frederick’s eyes narrowed.
This guy’s crazy…he’s crazy, just like me. His lips lifted into a bitter smile at the thought.
Even if I answer incorrectly and he ‘guts’ me…it’s still what I want, right? There is no correct way out of this, at least not that I can see.
He relaxed a little, and leaned his back against the window, letting the cold glass chill his shoulder blades.
“I think that there are only two explanations for this place.” He answered the strange man, trying to keep his voice as calm as he could.
“I am either dreaming, and dreamt that I was cutting myself too, and this is a part of it…”
His smile twisted into a grimace.
“Or I’m already dead, and this is the afterlife.”
He looked around, brooding. "I suppose I deserve this. What's your name?" He asked sullenly.
If he was going to be in hell, he might as well get to know his roommates. Folding his arms, he did his best to keep eye contact with the masked man.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Ettie James Character Portrait: Frederick Dredsen Character Portrait: Dreadhead
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Five guttural laughs pushed through Dreadhead's cloth mask, thick with his accent and spreading his foul breath across the room. Reacting to Frederick's apparent fear, his excited eyes made themselves presentable. Tiny, yellowish maggots could be seen dancing around them, although on a closer glance they would appear to be swimming inside of them. His hat took breaths, silently wheezing. He then took the time to listen to Frederick's words. The smile. The false sense of confidence giving way to gloom. Why, he could feel the walls of this house getting stronger.

Dread was disappointed by the young man's answers, bringing his free hand up to console his face.

"Who are you? Dickens' Scrooge or sumthin'? Name's Dreadhead, son. You ought to know it, I came from you lot."

As if he had never threatened him, Dread withdraw the knife back into his coat and resigned to casual speech. He was a whole lot calmer than he let on. Like a true psychopath, meticulous and charismatic in his methods. As the moment stood, Dread just wanted to help the poor chap get a grip so he could get on with it.

"This ain't no afterlife or purgatory, tho' I'm sure you folk who take short trips would like to call it that. And it ain't no dream either. How 'bout we take a walk? Tell me 'bout what you were doin' before you woke up and such. Pretty rare that someone gets out of bed here, most just stay asleep until they're done."

Dreadhead intended to lead Frederick outside, and walk beside him down the street. A particularly inquisitive rat sniffed outside the window, around where someone may or may not been hiding.

"You mentioned you cut yourself? That sounds pretty fuckin' dim. My mate Jack- Wait, hold up, son." Something caught Dread's attention, something behind him outside the house's window. The rat from the window ran over to crawl up inside his pants. It was scared, something Dreadhead never was. One hand moved into his coat to grip his knife. "Come out, sneaker! And be dandy!" His shouts were rich with playfulness, as he swung his head around to scan the area. "It ain't kind to peeve!"

It's quite possible that the one hiding (or her companion) might already know Dreadhead as well as his many aliases. She might even have another one for him. Whatever the case, Dread remained alert for whatever may happen.

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Character Portrait: Jane Blackmore
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~Somewhere in The Source, Sometime Late~


Jane Blackmore trudged down a lonely path, please note that 'path' is a figurative term here, as there are no roads in The Source. Not this far out, anyways; there had been attempts to pave proper paths and roads, but all attempts to do so were met with extreme resistance from the plant-based Sourcekinds on the basis that such actions are racist discrimination towards immotile greenery. Under strong public pressure, all attempts to pave roads through here and related construction projects were quickly terminated. Rumours have it that one of the higher-ups that made this decision is related to one of the trees here...such rumours were quickly dismissed due to a lack of evidence and the alleged starter of these rumours was promptly hanged and incinerated for slandering authority figures.

Jane knew about the history of this area, and gave her surroundings the evil eye. Clearly, she was not impressed with the unfortunate lack of roads. This being The Source, some of the grass and plants literally shrivelled in terror and slight annoyance as some lumbering creature stepped over them again as Jane stared at them with the look of undisguised disdain before quickly shifting back into place with a slight rustle between them.

You know, this place is a dump. I mean, look at it, there's no toilets; no restaurants; the locals are assholes and most of them don't give good directions. A Voice abruptly interrupted rudely, ruining the...okay, admittedly mediocre scenery, but Jane appreciated the silence, dammit.

Shut up, you know you are annoying, right? I never asked for your opinions and I certainly never asked the locals for directions. Jane retorted snidely, attacking the Voices in her head. Most of them had almost immediately chimed in, offering opinions on disjointedly, making it hard for her to concentrate.

I want to taste fooooood~

Ugh, I'm tired; we've walking for ages. Can't we rest? Don't you know getting good sleep is a vital part of being a healthy and productive person? Have you forgotten your health class teacher's advises already? Your feet hurts, why don't you go see someone 'bout that? I heard that there's some travellers capable of doing some pretty wondrous shit in the cities.

Yeah well, our very existence was founded upon the fact that we can annoy you. You should've aware of that ever since, oh I don't know, maybe when you went to the psychiatrist for the first time around?

Look, fine, I'll do whatever; jus-just shut up, okay? You're making my head hurt! She growled inwardly in frustration, her complexion paled, not that it made much of a difference, her sickly complexion was already bad enough that people would've mistaken her for an albino if it wasn't for the fact that she had mousy brown hair that told otherwise. Her hair needed a trim as well, but Sourcekind barbers are a rare commodity and having her hair cut any other way don't make a lick of difference. After all, a traveller's appearance is a more-or-less reflection of their state of mind/mental well-being; therefore, traditional methods of altering appearances no longer apply to them in any way. Which was a shame, because she also needed a shower; Jane reeks of some evil combination of rotten eggs, spoilt milk, dead fish, and dried blood left in a barrel to ferment on a hot summer day; she doubts she'll ever look healthy and smell like pine cones and flowers ever again. With or without a shower. She rubbed her temples distractedly as she tried to deal with the Voices in her head, they were growing stronger day by day.

She stumbled, and ultimately tripped on a loose vine hidden in the undergrowth and crashed onto the ground. She nicked one of her fingers in the process as well, spilling a few drops of black blood that is of an unnatural hue onto the ground. The plants' reacted with mischievous laughter and a billowing whistle that carried over the wind. She cursed inwardly, now wearing a scowl on her face as she climbed to her feet. Somehow, she knew this was going to be a long day.

»»-------------¤-------------««

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Character Portrait: Jane Blackmore Character Portrait: Squelch
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A patch of undisturbed soil, sprouting out of it a healthy green grass. Surrounding it was a platform of steel, and it floated in front of the horrid little creature that would be known as Squelch. It caught his attention, and while Squelch had a bet to fulfill, he could surely take his eyes off the wondering girl for a moment to ponder this curiosity.

Disgusting. The dream of some failing artist, no doubt.

Squelch did not like the curiosity.

Squelch resembled a toddler's crayon drawing of garbage personified. He appeared two dimensional, for one, and there was a stunning lack of detail in its form. Legs indistinguishable from his arms, four short black sticks protruded from his frightfully round torso. One arm was just a bit shorted than the other, but none of this disparity in detail compared to the abomination that was Squelch's face. It was roughly lemon shaped, and looked to take the image of human faeces if it wasn't for the strange blots of colour staining it. A pair of vicious eyes with olive pupils supported two squiggly eyebrows that furrowed in between them.

Truly, Squelch was a pathetic excuse for a Sourcekind. He smells like mouldy cheese, silent farts and play dough. Once he spiked a disco's punch bowl with chunks of himself, and ended up being the only one to drink the putrid stuff. Yet as he watches this wondrous display of beauty hover by, all Squelch feels is an intense dissatisfaction with it. Why, it was no where as perfect as Squelch was, surely. Something had to be done.

So, like a 2D image being dragged across a screen, Squelch willed himself to the top of the grass-steel platform. To justify himself for what he was about to do, Squelch yelled out:

"Everyone's a critic!" And he vomited all over the grass. His bile stained the steel, and caused a minimal amount of corrosion. Now the platform looked just like him. Oh joy.

In reality~
Some failing artist snaps out of his daydream, and slaps himself for coming up with something so stupid.
~And back

The bet! While forcing himself upon the passing concept, Squelch had almost forgotten. He had made a bet with one of the plants here. You see, Squelch gains pleasure from ruining others. The bet was for the plants to ruin something beautiful (or in his eyes, ugly) and in payment he would go on to find some other place to vandalise. And so the passing girl known as Jane Blackmore was the new target. It is a stretch, I suppose... thought Squelch. The girl didn't look half bad, and the scent that disgraced the flowers refreshed his mind. But the fingers, the symmetry, the anatomically viable structure and her three dimensions were abominations. Yeah. Show her what for! His body twisted into his face, and he squished back down into the ground to follow the girl more closely.

And... Strike! The plant got her, tripped her into the ground like a falling tree! Squelch snickered quietly as the plant found great joy in her misfortune. "But that's nothing," he whispered, "Check this out."

A image on the surface of the ground, Squelch would swim quickly up behind Jane before launching upwards and regurgitating a jet of bile down on her. The stuff is technically harmless, if only a little irritating to the skin and toxic if ingested. But those who had become victim to Squelch's hijinx would say there is nothing to wash off that dreadful stuff. Regardless if he hit or not, Squelch would land back down to assume he had anyway and enter a vile laughing fit.

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Character Portrait: Jane Blackmore Character Portrait: Squelch
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»»-------------¤-------------««


Jane saw a literal piece of shit spray a jet stream of liquified sewage towards her. It was an obvious low point in her life when even personified poop wanted to attack her. Seriously, it was bad enough that she had to deal with the plants, but now even the literal shit-stains of The Source wanted to attack her, that was...not good.

"What, you're just going to let him do it? Do you want to be covered in even more filth and smell worse than you already do? No offence, even though you already smell worse than a hobo who haven't showered for his entire life, but you aren't exactly doing yourself any favours by standing in the way of 2000cc of liquid dream-crusher. MOVE IT!!!

Look, I was about to move out of the way even if you didn't say anything. Jane thought with exasperation and lazily moved out of the way. She really don't feel motivated right now, especially since her newfound nemesis appears to be something that resembles a child's drawing of what garbage looks like. It inspires disgust more than abject terror.

Luckily, she managed to dodge out of the way just before the putrid fluid landed on the spot she had been standing on a few seconds before. An maniacal snickering could be heard in the distance.

Hey Jane, he did something that wasn't very nice now, didn't he? You know what to do with bad people, don't you? Shouldn't bad people be punished? You'll be a hero, cleaning up the scum of The Source. a Voice said persuasively, with a devilishly charming voice. It sounded soooo persuasive.

"Yeah. Baddies needs to be punished. I'll be a hero." Jane murmured absentmindedly, apparently convinced.

You shouldn't talk to yourself, Jane. People will think you're CRAZY.

Jane concentrated on channeling power from her Source, some vile force that made her feel violated and repulsed every time she draws upon its power, it's something that was bother instinctively familiar and repulsive at the same time. She saw how the other Travellers had drawn power, and her Source felt nothing like how it was supposed to work. Strangely, unlike other travellers, she does not have the ability to create any thoughts that are capable of affecting the Source, all of her creations are temporary and are intangible. Perhaps the only upside is that, her illusion can seamlessly blend in within the dreamscape that is the Source.

An illusion of her gradually transforming into a terrifying androgynous demon that seemed to have crawled out of the depth of an Asuran hell was flawlessly projected onto The Source. She inwardly thanked the Blackmores, her adoptive parents, for their weird fascination with Eastern Mythologies and Esoteric Religions of the East, it certainly gave her plenty of inspirations.

"PUNY CREATURE, WHAT DARES THOU TO OFFEND THE INFERNAL ONE FROM THE SIX PATHS OF REINCARNATION?" She bullshitted with a satisfyingly melodramatic and booming voice, addressing the sentient feces with an aura of authority that she didn't realised that she possessed up until that moment.

You did well, that'll teach him to mess with you! Now, run away while you can; you can't keep up the illusion for long, girlie. One of the Voices said rather hurtfully, she wasn't sure which one, but she was pretty sure she hated it.

I know that. Be quiet. I don't want to talk to you, asshole. Jane thought back, as she quietly slipped out of the mirage and escaped from an angle that was conveniently blocked off by her towering illusion. Hopefully, that illusion can buy her enough time to run away before it realise that 'The Infernal One' was just a delightfully realistic illusion with no real impact on The Source.

»»-------------¤-------------««

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Character Portrait: Ettie James Character Portrait: Frederick Dredsen Character Portrait: Dreadhead
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Frederick waited in sullen silence (he did not very much appreciate being called Dickens Scrooge) as Dreadhead called out to an unseen person who had apparently been eavesdropping on their conversation. There was a moment of silence, but no one revealed him or herself.
“I didn’t hear anything.” He muttered, crossing his arms and shivering ever so slightly. The old house was drafty, and he could feel the cold from the fog outside slowly wrapping its fingers around him, working its way through his thin tattered black clothes and chilling him.
He didn’t feel like going on a walk, he didn’t really feel like doing anything, but Dreadhead seemed too unpredictable for Frederick to be comfortable with denying his request.
“I’m ready to get out of this house if you are, Dreadhead.” He said resignedly. He paused, then smiled conspiratorially. “Unless you want to look for whatever’s spying on us?”
He didn’t actually believe that anyone was there, of course, but he believed that it was best (for now) to play along with the masked man until he figured out for himself what was going on.
He leaned back against the chilled window, letting his back slowly grow numb from the freezing cracked glass.
“It’s up to you.”

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Character Portrait: Ettie James Character Portrait: Frederick Dredsen Character Portrait: Dreadhead
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Dreadhead's mustard, screwball eyes darted around the window. They did not blink. He definitely saw something. He knows these streets like the back of his hand, and knows all the entities that pass through it. Whatever was out there, it wasn't taking an action anytime soon.

"No..." He said, then whirled around to Fred with a twisted smile and jovial approach. "No, mate! Nuthin's up to me, that ain't how it works. Never has been, never will been." He withdrew the knife, and headed outside.

"It's your door, ya sadsock geezer. And in my experience, no one gets out by stayin' in."

Dread looked out towards the street and up into the grey fog that made up the sky. Strange shapes fly overhead above the cloud, casting large blots of shadow. He chuckled, and looked back to Fred.

"Whachya wanna know, mate?"

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Character Portrait: Ettie James Character Portrait: Frederick Dredsen Character Portrait: Dreadhead
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Frederick gave the eerily jovial masked man an appraising look, then gave a barely audible sigh of relief when he folded away the knife.
“Well…ok. Where are we? This isn’t my house, and…”
He turned to look over his shoulder out of the window he was leaning against. Cold white clouds drifted aimlessly through the muted grey street, blurring and obscuring the odd randomized houses lining it.
“...I’m not in California anymore, am I?”
He felt a little angry at his helpless confusion, and, straightening, clenched his fists, letting them fall to his sides. “Can we get out of this damn house? I need to clear my head.”


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Character Portrait: Ettie James Character Portrait: Frederick Dredsen Character Portrait: Dreadhead
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Outside, Dread smiled as Fred began to lose himself. It was a nervous smile. The windows on Fred's house were cracked. A small amount of debris let loose from the ceiling as the house rumbled. However his will to leave would let him, and allow some of the fog to be lifted. A combination of jealousy, joy and that all encompassing dread flowed through him as he watched. In the end it was merely depressing to watch someone with such power squander it in ignorance.

"No, yer not in California. But you still might be, in a way. And yes, this is most certainly your house. Whatever travesties yee be experiencing will be thrown against the foundation of your own being." He gestured towards the house. "And so... Broken windows." Whirling around and avoiding eye contact with Fred, Dreadhead observed the other houses. "I ain't callin' you out though, son. Been a while since someone's so much as left their bloody dwelling."

On closer inspection, it would appear that the majority of other doors on the block would not have door handles or keyholes.

"It might be easiest for you to believe this is a dream, I suppose. Reach your own conclusions, uh... Say, what's yer name?"

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Character Portrait: Ettie James Character Portrait: Frederick Dredsen Character Portrait: Dreadhead
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Frederick coughed and swore as a small cloud of dust rained down on him. The house had started creaking, and it was starting to unsettle him.
“My name is Frederick. Frederick Dredsen. ” He muttered, moving towards the door. He pulled it open, wincing at the complaining shriek it made, and began to walk down the rotting wooden steps to the first floor. The man was right, it was his house, but it looked…different. Everything was darker and older. The curtains had moth-eaten holes in them, the carpet was dirty and matted, and there seemed to be more trash than usual accumulating in the corners of every room. And the windows were cracked.
He ran shaking fingers through his wild hair and stepped into the unlit living room, letting his eyes adjust to the darkness. He knew where the door was, the door to the outside, but he was scared. He had no idea what was on the other side, what might happen if he went outside. He didn’t trust the man, he didn’t trust this…place, and he didn’t trust himself to react maturely or healthily to anything that might happen. Frederick gritted his teeth, hating his thoughts. He sat down on the dusty arm of the ripped couch and waited for Dreadhead to enter the room.

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Character Portrait: Ettie James Character Portrait: Frederick Dredsen Character Portrait: Dreadhead
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"A fellow Dready boy! The boys in the mop'll get a kick outta this.." Dread's excitement was shortlived. It appeared to him what had appeared time and time again. The house was having its way with its host. In a way, the house itself was its own Sourcekind. It disappointed him greatly to see Fred doom himself to the couch.

But it had been so long; too long, for another new arrival to stay inside. The door on Fred's house still had a handle, and as long as that was the case there was still hope. Besides, it's not as if Dreadhead had anywhere better to be.

He walked in and sat down on the floor across from Fred, head pointed down. For a while he fidgeted and stayed silent. His hat breathed slowly, in and out. Kindnesses and niceties bothered Dread. They unnerved him like any old murder couldn't. And yet, an overbearing pain compelled Dreadhead to speak, dropping much of the playful ruse.

"Look, mate, for better or worse this is where you are. You've entered the Source. And these are the Struggle Streets. A cesspool manipulated by your own nasty thoughts. Here, look at my knife."

Dread pulled it out and showed it in front of Fred. It would appear rusted, stained with dried blood. Although every second the knife became cleaner. The serrated edge would smooth out, and the steel might gleam. It's possible the knife might even form features familiar to Fred. "It is the most vague representation of a knife possible. Its image is given by the folks who imagine what a knife looks like. It's the thought of danger that gives it the power to cut. So close yer bloody eyes, and think fuckin' hard about what would make this horrible dream a little more delightful. Then open those peachy peepers, ahyeheh. Make your own reality."

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Character Portrait: Ettie James Character Portrait: Frederick Dredsen Character Portrait: Dreadhead
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Frederick listened to Dreadhead’s words warily.
The Struggle Streets? What the hell was he talking about?
A cesspool manipulated by my own thoughts? He let a small smirk twist his lips. It would certainly explain the oppressive, black, rotting mismatched town, as well as its absence of any real color. His thoughts were interrupted when the man pulled out his knife again, turning it over in his hands and letting the waning light glint on the dull silvery sheen of the blade. It looked very familiar to him, but he couldn’t place it.
He stared at the knife, doing his best to pay attention to what Dreadhead was saying. What would make this place more delightful? He shut his eyes, listening to the masked man’s raspy, biting voice as he spoke.…Make my own reality? He clenched his fists. What the fuck was this man talking about? He didn’t understand, he couldn’t explain it, but the man’s words made him feel…odd. Like there was something that Frederick was missing.
Inhaling deeply, he tried to clear his head of the shadows that clung to his mind. It was hard, there were so many. Doubt, fear, and anger clouded his mind, and he tried to force it down, but he couldn’t. There was too much of…everything for him to get rid of it.
Then he had an idea. Instead of trying to dissolve the frustrated anger he felt for his situation, could he use it? Would that help him, or just make it worse? Could he control the outcome? The corners of his mouth curled downwards in a small grimace, and the cracks in the windows silently spread a fraction.
What could he do? What could possibly make this better? Frederick was in hell. His skin broke under his clenched fingers, red lining the underside of his fingernails.
“Dreadhead.” He spoke quietly and with an unsettling tone that suggested approaching insanity. “I have nothing. There is nothing I…” He stopped, struck by a sudden realization. He was quiet for a minute.
I know what I want.” He whispered, eyes opening, focusing on the knife. He recognized it now. He stood up, licking the blood from his palms, and strode past Dreadhead over to the door, that goddam motherfucking door that was always closed, always blocking his way, always preventing him from… He didn’t bother with the handle. He slammed into it full force, and felt exhilarated to feel sparks of pain in his shoulder and head. And splintering. He felt the door splinter a little. He laughed, an excited, harsh sound that escaped his mouth, and slammed into it again. The door was suddenly webbed with black cracks, and a few chips of wood dislodged and fell on the rotting floorboards. He began punching it, slamming it with his bloody hands, and the door began to fall apart.
"Get...the FUCK...out of...my...way!" He rasped at the fracturing door. Piece by piece it fell, white wood stained with dark red, until nothing but jagged white wooden fangs lined the top and bottom of the doorframe.
Frederick stopped, stooped over from the effort, breathing unsteadily. Still staring at the cracked pieces of the object of his struggle lying scattered on the street, he straightened slowly. Feeling a ferocious grin pull at his face, he turned and gave Dreadhead a bloody and bruised thumbs up.
“This works. I am fucking delighted, Dreadhead.”

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Character Portrait: Ettie James Character Portrait: Frederick Dredsen Character Portrait: Dreadhead
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"... Hah? Wahahahah! We're lucid dreamin' now, son!" Dreadhead was ecsatic, and headed out into the street in somewhat of a frenzied dance with his knife as his partner. An encore of rats clapped their hands around the road. The sky was still very much miserable, but moved faster through the sky. Flashes of red and yellow lit up some distance above the fog, giving the street a glow.

At once Dread stopped to address Fred. "But you know you coulda just gone through it all normal-like, right?" He moved back into his dance. "Bah! Whatever gets ya goin' and yer crimson blood flowin'! Oh the Kaptain's gonna love this-" Dread stopped once more, almost as if frozen mid-movement, "That's if the yella fella doesn't get to you first, I suppose..."

Dreadhead calmed himself back down and approached Fred whilst blowing his nose into his own cloth mask. It was all kinds of grotty.

"You'll want to keep hold o' that furious mojo, son. You're new here. Makes ya valuable. Just as well you wake up here, I ain't give one single toss who'd do you in. Say, I know a couple folks who might be able to help ya. They could get yer marbles all sorted in order. Well, one of'em would. The other's a tried and true citizen of the Source. What you brainstormin', boy?"

High in sky by a nearby thought, unbeknownst to Fred or Dreadhead, a bombardment of yellow clouds billowed towards the Struggle Streets. It would not arrive for a while, but every occasionally a yellow bolt of lightning would pass through the fog above the two of them.

The Manic Mind of Man: Out Of Character (OOC)

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