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Kyle Keaton

"I got your back, dude."

0 · 1,574 views · located in Aires

a character in “Birthstone Spirits: The Great Escape”, as played by FyreT1ger

Description

Image
Full Name: Kyle James Keaton
Age: 16
Birthday: April 17
Nation: New York, USA
Height: 5' 6"
Eyes: Stormy grey
Hair: dirty blond

Personality: Easy-going / Loyal / Hotheaded / Protective / Brash / Hopeless Romantic / Health Conscious / Impulsive

Equipment: square cut diamond earring, and Swiss army knife Image

Good heart, Bad decisions:

As the youngest and only son of his parents and despite their wishes to treat all four of their children equally, Kyle proved to need more of their attention than his sisters. Usually he just goes with flow and lets life take him where it will, but some specific things he cannot accept. Those things often lead to him blowing up in temper, violently. He hates that he gets into fights, specifically he hates the grief it causes his family and good friends. Kyle is nothing if not loyal to those who have the patience to deal with him in all his faults.

Quirks:

Doesn't go anywhere without a blue baseball cap.
Always slaps people on the back.
Calls everyone he likes, "dude or bro"
Loves taking risks.
Fascinated by cars, motorcycles, and extreme sports.
Has a Triple X tattoo on the back of his neck.



Life is not tried; it is merely survived if you're standing outside the fire.

~Garth Brooks ~

So begins...

Kyle Keaton's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts
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A well-muscled blond teen with a faded blue baseball cap pulled low over his face, plodded along the sidewalk rolling a paper covered in small, neat script between his hands over and over again, while talking to himself. If any passers-by noticed him they might think he was crazy, but one of the things about New York City is most people just wanted to get on with their own business, and were often blind to anyone else. He hunched up his shoulders to remain temporarily invisible and saw only the grey sneakers on his feet. This boy also wished to just get on with business for now.

Raising his head and dropping his shoulders, he paused at a subway station. He needed to take the subway to return to the little rowhome in the Bronx where he lived most of his life, but his feet remained on the street, stuck like glue. "I can't face Dad right now," he whispered in a strained voice and turned away even though he knew his dad would worry about him. It seemed his dad was perpetually worried about him, not that the boy didn't give reason for worry. Proof was there in his hands and on his face; a split lip and black eye definitely don't mean everything is a-ok. With an angry grunt, the teen shoved that paper back in his muddy backpack and started running. Running felt good, but was unfortunately something that drew people's attention. People on the street started shouting at him and he heard sirens.They better not be for me, he thought and kept running.

Since he wasn't watching where he was going, he ended up running into someone significantly taller than him with black hair. "oof!" he grunted and fell back, but the shorter blond didn't stay down long enough to feel pain. He dropped his backpack and jumped back up in a defensive position, since he didn't know what to expect from this person.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Grayson Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Harper Calloway Fields Character Portrait: Autumn Jones Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Jason Carter
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Harper snorted when the southerner got slapped...or tapped...by the SoHo chick. "See, that's what happens when we crowd people," Harper tutted, turning away to make his call, "Ya hear?"

He himself didn't hear the girl's questions or the tourist's response. Nor did he see the blond guy barrel into the tall and, now that he thought about it, somewhat intimidating yet familiar face that belonged to the dark haired dude. As he lifted his phone to his ear (he had decided to call the Central Park Medical Unit, since the bohemian girl didn't seem to be in too much of an emergency), he did notice the girl on a bench not too far away, a textbook on her lap. She was kind of cute...He gave a short wave to her, smiling widely, but he wasn't completely sure she had seen.

"Central Park Medical Unit. What's your emergency?"

"Uh, yeah, there's this girl who looks like she fell out of a tree," Harper explained, "Yeah, I think she maybe hit her head too hard." he turned back to glance at her before reaffirming, "Yeah, probably hit her head too hard. Oh and her ankle didn't look that hot either." He provided the coordinates of where exactly they were in the park and answered a couple other questions before hanging up.

"Good news, chica," he hollered to the injured girl, waving his phone, "Your ambulance is on its way! So just sit tight for like ten or fifteen or twenty minutes." He honestly didn't know how long it would take them...a girl who was still functioning after falling out of a tree probably didn't beat out a possible bicycle accident or an injured puppy or a cat or frisbee or kite stuck in a tree.

The setting changes from New York, Central Park to Aires

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Harper Calloway Fields Character Portrait: Autumn Jones Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Jason Carter Character Portrait: Yuki Ryouta
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Yuki

Yuki’s serious and determined face hid the excitement that was burning inside of him, ready to take him over and cause him to explode. Studying in New York, in NYU for crying out loud, was an awesome experience, but studying Journalism was his dream. In high school, he worked his butt off preparing a suitable portfolio for his work, writing in the school newspaper and preparing a mix of photos he had taking over the years from different gigs and scoops he experienced. Now, he was in the big leagues, determined to make a name for himself. Getting through the dreaded Core Requirements was a bad enough roadblock to his path to success, but to be denied of a trip abroad because he was too young and didn’t take the required Journalism classes yet was a huge hindrance to him! Somehow, he got this crazy idea to go up to his professor for his Methods and Practice Visual Reporting class to talk about his situation. His professor saw that he was a determined kid and he said that there can be some leeway if he was ready to take the challenge. Determined, Yuki agreed and the professor suggested that he consult advising first, but that he was going to make a recommendation for Yuki to study abroad early. However, he had to make the best first class portfolio for his visual reporting course and bring together something more unique than a tragedy, comedy, or heartwarming story. If Yuki showed that he had potential through his project, maybe he could do a Journalism study abroad in the summer.

So then, why was Yuki at the Central Park when he had to come up with the portfolio that could determine his future? Well, it was his best place to think and his favorite area for photos. Central Park was picturesque, as though it was made for recording and photography. Yuki was excited about his chance and couldn’t wait to get started. However, where he should start is the question. To find something unique took a chance moment, and chance moment was what Yuki hoped would be in Central Park. He made sure to pack extra amounts of memory cards, his tripod, two journals, and of course his cameras for the hunt for the biggest scoop. Along the way, he decided to practice on some locals. Who knows, his big break could come from something ordinary and unexpected. So he filmed whatever he saw, hoping to get inspiration.

It was a fall afternoon and the leaves were rich in vibrant reds, glowing oranges, energetic yellows, and some vivacious browns. The park was bursting with activity left and right. Yuki took out his video camera without the tripod and set the memory card in place, ready to capture something that would help out his career. He sat down on top of the massive heaps of black rock that were in Central Park to get a good view from the top. Focusing his camera to the left, Yuki captured two little children’s climb to the top of another large mound. To his right, he captured a heated argument between a couple which ended in the lady pouring her bottle of water on her man—er ex—and storming away from the scene. Ladies and gentlemen, the typical New York lifestyle Yuki thought. Adventure in one corner and heartbreaks at another. C’mon, New York is supposed to have some excitement and uniqueness, what’s so unique about all this crud?

Suddenly Yuki heard some commotion near a tree and a leaf pile. He turned his camera and increased his focus to find a blonde girl with strange clothes and no shoes on the ground and people gathering around her. Yes! Some excitement! This is going to be golden. I better get closer...

Yuki climbed as fast as he could safely down the massive black rock and hurriedly got closer to the commotion. He crouched down behind a nearby bush and set up his little film studio, trying to conceal himself. Setting the tripod as low as possible and focusing on the scene, he witnessed a group of people helping the girl who seemed lost and confused. Yuki turned the sound up to try and listen into the situation. It seemed there was some sort of ambulance on the way and he hoped they wouldn't catch him in the bushes. While the situation was still on hold, Yuki took out his notepad and jot down some notes on the situation:

Incident in Central Park: A Damsel in distress
Subject is a female blonde, strange clothes, barefoot, a foreigner. Seems to have fallen from a tree and is lost and confused. Approximately four people aiding her...no wait five.

Yuki observed a man bump into one of the guys on the scene and covered his mouth to muffle his chuckle.

Ambulance on the way. Confusion and unknown situation. Persisting to observe to comprehend the situation.

Where this was leading to, Yuki couldn't know, but it was still something he can observe and something he can feed to his camera.

(OOC: Sources for some of the information here are:
https://journalism.nyu.edu/undergraduat ... sm-abroad/
https://journalism.nyu.edu/courses/2014 ... porting-2/ )

The setting changes from Aires to New York, Central Park

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aria Delaine Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Autumn Jones Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Cyclopean
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#, as written by Linnea
Autumn frowned. This girl had fallen out of a tree and didn't want an ambulance? What was she, a druggie? Alcoholics she could handle. Drugs she could not. How would she even help someone who was stoned? She imagined it wouldn't be like bringing Emily to bed with a glass of water after she hit the booze.

As the girl stepped on a pine cone, Autumn winced. Yeah, she was definitely stoned. The situation was starting to make Autumn a bit uncomfortable. Sure, she had been to parties with alcohol. Drugs, however, were never present. Just the thought of them freaked her out. What if the girl started yelling at traffic or worse, attacking others? Autumn wasn't quite sure of the effect drugs had on people, but she was certain they weren't good.

Honestly, this whole day was just weird. A girl falling out of a tree, a young man bumping into another and presumably ready to start a fight, it was all just too much. Autumn backed away, not willing to deal with whatever nonsense was going on. Maybe this was the norm for New York, but not for her. She pondered going back to the hotel. Though, she could get some shopping done.

The other blonde gazed at a tree, leaving Autumn feeling more uncomfortable with each passing second. She bit her lip, hand covering her purse. She felt a little bad for fearing for her safety, but one could never be too careful.

She turned, noticing a girl who had fallen to her knees. "Hey, are you okay?" She asked, feeling a slight sense of deja vu. Oh yeah, she had asked that earlier to the tree girl. Great, now this girl was looking at the tree, too. Autumn gave it a glance, just to see if there really was anything going on there. As far as she could see, there was nothing there. What was this, a mass hallucination? Though, if only two people saw it one could hardly call it mass.

The blonde extended her hand to help the girl up. She could only hope that this one wasn't on anything. From the looks of it, she seemed safe. "Here, let me help you up." The act was short lived, however, as she heard a creaking sound from nearby. She turned her head, eyes widening as the tree leaned forward with an unsettling groan. Quickly, she tried to find an explanation. Root rot maybe? That sounded plausible. She gulped, forgetting about the girl on the ground for a moment.

Autumn was well aware that the tree was falling. She didn't need anyone to tell her that it was. This didn't mean she didn't appreciate someone telling her, though. She glanced back at the fallen girl. "Come on, grab my hand." The roots flung upwards, reaching towards the sky. Not waiting to hear the girl's response, she made a grab at her and tried to get them both out of harms way. She herself was fine, but she wasn't sure if the girl she had tried to help had made it. She could only hope.

Her fearful eyes locked with the other blonde's for a moment. Was she enjoying this? She looked away, back to the fallen tree. This was crazy. This was just too crazy. Autumn shook her head, ready to just leave. She would much rather be at the hotel than in this mess. It was the hand that stopped her from walking away. She felt her heart sink. Trembling, she stood in place. Try as she might, she just couldn't will her legs to move. They twitched occasionally, as if they were teasing her. She heard the tree girl speak, though her voice seemed much farther away than it actually was. "I'm trying to run." Autumn squeaked out a reply. "I really am. I just can't seem to move." With all her willpower, she managed to step back by about two feet.

The setting changes from New York, Central Park to Aires

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Harper Calloway Fields Character Portrait: Autumn Jones Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Jason Carter Character Portrait: Cyclopean
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As it turned out, Dorian was far from the only person in New York concerned however mildly with someone else's well-being. He watched in growing discomfort as others began to swarm around the girl in her bed of leaves(well, as much swarming as three people could do, anyways), attracted to the incident like flies to honey. The first was a boy who slipped by Dorian without so much as a glance, instantly crowding the girl, checking her over with an inexperienced eye. Even before he opened his mouth, all uncertain words and a distinctly Southern accent, Dorian had him pegged as a tourist from his flannel shirt to the fact that he was willingly invading the space of someone who had not only managed to climb one of Central Park's tall trees, but also to fall without so much as a scratch. The next person- a girl this time dressed all in dark clothes- arrived just as suddenly, hovering slightly away, but still asking the same question that had already been asked, offering help. Another tourist. Dorian was getting good at this guessing game. The last one was certainly the most welcome because, despite his apparent tendency to narrate whatever he saw, he was taking care of the scene with the same disinterest mixed with practicality that Dorian could appreciate.

But the girl was fine enough for all of their concern(however mild that may have been on Dorian's own part), climbing unsteadily to her feet and staring them down with a hazy gaze and a strangled out thank you that spoke wonders of just how disoriented she was. With an ambulance being called and two other people willingly answering her questions, Dorian prepared to slip off, his role in this little scene hopefully done. Going to Central Park, he decided as he began to step away, wasn't always the best idea. Who knew what sort of strange characters you'd end up meeting? Like the strange character who promptly barreled into Dorian. As Dorian let out an "oof" at the impact, stumbling back a few steps, his mind couldn't help but half-heartedly add, 'this would never have happened if you'd just stayed home today.'

Dorian's accidental assailant went sprawling on the grass, somehow more stunned by the impact than Dorian himself but only for a moment before hopping to his feet, dropping a dirt-encrusted bag, and putting up his dukes like Dorian had been the one to carelessly throw himself into him instead of the reverse. Dorian was unamused, uninterested, and, above all, unimpressed. The two were like opposites, Dorian towering over the wannabe fighter by almost a foot, even with the other boy standing after his little fall. His face was a mess, a black eye and a split lip visible under his ratty blue baseball cap, so obviously this wasn't a one time "let's fight people" occurrence, a far cry from Dorian's own neat and calm appearance.

"Excuse you," Dorian deadpanned, staring down at the boy critically. It wasn't meant to look particularly mean or threatening, but Dorian was cursed with features that made nearly everything look intimidating regardless of his own intentions. Also, yes, he was mildly pissed off. There was a moments pause, the other boy still staring at him fiercely.

"Look, what do you-" the demand died mid sentence because, as it turned out, Dorian had bigger problems than a slightly insane guy with a thing for starting fights. That would be bigger problems both literally and figuratively in the form of a tree being uprooted. This was weird, even for New York. Also dangerous, again, even for New York as the large tree went careening downwards at a remarkable speed right towards the other guy. Dorian had a choice then, a choice to either run away, like a normal person, or to put himself willingly in danger for a person he didn't know nor care about. It only took him a split second to decide.

Dorian tackled the other boy to the ground, pushing both of them out of the tree's descent and rolling in the grass and out of harms way. But Dorian didn't have time to worry about grass stains, however, because no sooner did he look up from his position sprawled above the other boy than something happened that he couldn't quite explain. Someone- no, something- was crawling out of the dirt, all skeletal claws and exaggerated proportions, reptilian skin and fangs, not teeth, fangs. It was like something that had stepped out of a horror story, a sci-fi monster from another world that couldn't possibly exist by any stretch of the imagination. But it did- it did exist, it was there right in front of him. And, perhaps the most disturbing thing was that the girl- the stoner or crazy or whatever she was was leading it away, trapping it somehow. This couldn't be real, it shouldn't be real, but the noise, the smell, the strange, warm sensation on his wrist where his bracelet was- all of the evidence pointed to this scene not being a figment of his nightmares, but to an even more horrific reality.

The setting changes from Aires to New York, Central Park

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Cyclopean
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The much taller black-haired person, a young man actually, glared at him and Kyle responded by bearing down in his defensive stance. Yes, this guy was nearly a foot taller than him, but Kyle wouldn't back down. He was never intimidated by folks being taller than him. The guy didn't hit him yet, but he was talking in a tone, the blond didn't like and then frammit! The bigger guy tackled him suddenly. Kyle punched out at the guy's face and shoulder. He didn't want to kill anyone, but he wanted this guy off! If his hand connected at the face, the other guy would probably have a bloody nose.

Because he was so much shorter, he didn't see what was happening behind the black-haired fellow, but he heard a lot of unpleasant noise. Creaking and shouting and UGH! an absolutely horrid screech! "Get off me!" he protested to the guy pinning him down and opened his fists to push that weight off. To top off this horrible scene, there was sudden pain in his right ear that doubled the headache from that awful screeching.

The setting changes from New York, Central Park to Aires

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Grayson Character Portrait: Aria Delaine Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Harper Calloway Fields Character Portrait: Autumn Jones Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Jason Carter Character Portrait: Falke der Herrscher Character Portrait: Gwenneth Yuan Character Portrait: Cyclopean Character Portrait: Yuki Ryouta
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If Dorian had expected a pleasant response for tackling someone out of the way of a falling tree, he would have been sorely disappointed, emphasis on the sorely, by the other boy's reaction. He swore, rolling off his assailant and staggering to his feet in one less than fluid movement, right hand clasped over his nose to stem the flow of gushing blood. Drops of crimson already decorated the green grass beneath his feet, painting dead leaves in a macabre fashion. It was only the most pressing injury because, damn, the other boy could pack a punch, even when flailing wildly as he had been. The teen didn't have time to nurse his wounds, however, because there was something that needed his attention more than a possibly broken nose. Monsters, apparently, had that impact on people by making their everyday problems seem minuscule in comparison because, yes, his father not showing up for dinner was upsetting, but not more so than, say, some sort of Eldritch abomination killing him.

The scene had continued to play out when Dorian had been more preoccupied with his own issues. People were scattering to the wind, doing the normal thing, the smart thing in running away, taking off in all directions to save themselves. Others were not, and he wasn't even sure why he was surprised. There was a boy waving a camera around in such a way that reminded Dorian of a mix between an insane paparazzo and those found footage mockumentaries. He was with two of the girls left- the tree girl who, as it turned out, was probably less insane than the rest of them for staying if only because she apparently knew what was going on, and another. Others dotted around the park, either frozen with fear or grasping clumsily for weapons, and there was a dog barking somewhere, but Dorian's attention remained fixated on the immediate problem.

The monster, unbidden, had broken free of the bench that had seemed like such a good trap only minutes before when the metal had twisted forcefully around the creature, pinning it within. Now it was continuing its rampage, but it had a target now, or, rather, the predator now had the perfect prey. Dorian hadn't seen what led up to the fixation the monster had on the girl, but it made a sort of horrific sense. She wasn't in the best shape- that much was obvious even from a distance, too frail, almost sickly looking- and her pace was slowing with each step, or perhaps the monster was just increasing speed. Easy prey. It was looming over her now, and, for the second time that day, Dorian was faced with a choice. He exhaled, pulling a now blood-stained hand away from his nose and groping in his pockets. Keys, phone, wallet… there. He found what he wanted- a pocketknife, another gift from his father. It wasn't incredibly large and certainly wasn't meant to cause harm, especially since he primarily used it to snip off loose threads on clothes, but it was large enough and definitely sharp. He clasped it in his hand, unfolding the blade. Choice made. He apparently didn't have a good track record for making choices today.

Dorian ran then, each step punctuated by a pulsating warmth emanating from his bracelet that he didn't have time to worry about, gradually picking up speed as he sprinted into death's grip with only a hope, a prayer, and a knife on his side. The monster was even bigger up close making even Dorian feel small in its shadow, but he couldn't worry about that now. Now he could only worry about his aim, as he stumbled into the monster's path, dug his feet into the ground, and, with a shout and in one swooping motion, buried his knife into the creature's chest. It went in surprisingly smoothly, and he could see blue blood oozing from the wound, intermingling his his own red covered hands. He looked positively feral then, blood staining his face, knife buried to the hilt in the monster, teeth gritted with the effort of twisting it and digging it in deeper. This was not how he expected his day to go.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Grayson Character Portrait: Aria Delaine Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Harper Calloway Fields Character Portrait: Autumn Jones Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Jason Carter Character Portrait: Falke der Herrscher Character Portrait: Gwenneth Yuan Character Portrait: Cyclopean Character Portrait: Yuki Ryouta Character Portrait: Isabelle Gentile
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Harper had broken the surface in time to see something bounce off the monster and splash into the lake. A second later the monster had turned around and was chasing someone else, away from him. He gave an enormous sigh of relief, sinking just a little in the water.

His curiosity piqued about whatever had fallen into the water...it didn't look like a frisbee since the splash was so small. Ducking underwater, a familiar stinging hitting his eyes, Harper swam to the spot where it looked to have landed. Oblivious to whatever was happening above land, he finally found what looked to be the shaft of a knife sticking up from the muddy bottom. Retrieving it, he realized it was indeed the shaft of a knife, with the blade still attached to it. Small, but well-crafted it looked. He hadn't gotten a good look at whoever had thrown it so....finders keepers? Briefly he imagined the look on Sadie's face if she found out he had stolen someone's knife. If she found out...and he hadn't actually stolen it. The person had lost it in the lake...

Lungs reminding him he needed to breathe, he resurfaced. He was wary of returning to the shore, scanning the park. A ways off he saw a black mass fall to the ground, still, before shattering. "Well, good thing that's taken care of," he said outloud, "Stupid aliens should know not to mess with us Earthpeople!" Deciding it was safe to return to land, Harper swam to the shore, his jacket still on the ground, relatively unscathed. Hauling himself out of the water, he shook himself like a wet dog, water from his clothes and locks spraying everywhere. Picking up his jacket and pulling it over his shivering self, he held up the knife he had found and opened his mouth to ask for its owner.

An intense heat interrupted him, blossoming yet again from the same place it had before. With a shout, Harper dropped the knife. This time wrapping his fingers with his wet shirt, he looked down for the source of the pain. He was startled to realize it came from his shark-tooth necklace, and even more surprised to find the exact source was from the pearl ring he had found earlier that day!

"Stupid, cheap piece of plastic," he muttered, struggling to untie the wet cord behind his neck. It took him a few minutes of useless fumbling before he remembered he still had a knife. It was when he turned to relocate it that he finally noticed the whiteness closing in. His eyes widened, and he quickly grabbed the knife before running away from the erasing, panicking. What was this? Some sort of alien thing? Had he stayed in the water too long and not realized it? Was he dying? Was this a trick?

His feet couldn't carry him fast enough, and in an instant white surrounded him entirely...

He hadn't realized he had closed his eyes until he opened them, and was startled by the darkness.

"That's it. I'm definitely dead..." he said out loud. He wasn't even sure how he was standing...looking down, he only saw more darkness. Yet as he kept looking, small pinpricks of light glowed below his damp flipflops, and then spread, creating what looked like a bridge of light. Closer inspection revealed what looked like an ocean, waves rolling not too far below them. When he looked up he noticed the others from the park, standing around and looking just as confused.

A voice started talking, speaking of warriors and gemstones and cyclosomethings. Words that flew over his head until the very end, when she spoke about their "destinies". When she finished speaking, he frowned. Commit to being monthly warriors on the basis of an attempt to suppress those beasts? Not even obliterate or wipe out, but suppress...meaning they'd still be around. And there were supposed to be more of them in this other place?

This had to be a trick. Had to. Some sort of trippy thing, maybe an amusement ride or simulation, where they needed random people's opinions. It was New York after all. It wouldn't surprise him.

What did surprise him was when one of the girls announced she was 'going home' and then walked towards the other world. What was she, crazy?! Squinting, he realized that it was the same girl who had fallen out of a tree, so...yeah, he wasn't surprised anymore.

"Well, I'm going home, too," Harper said loudly, turning back to the blue portal, "Besides, if the only basis for picking us people is because we have a magic birthstone or whatever, I literally just found this ring today, a few hours ago, in a hotel pool, and I'm pretty sure it belonged to someone else, so, uh...yeah. I'm definitely the wrong guy for this. I'm out."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Gwenneth Yuan Character Portrait: Cyclopean
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Once the black-haired guy released him, Kyle could see what was going on. "Damn!" he muttered to himself when he saw that massive alien beast thing and the tree uprooted and lying on the ground not far from him. Apparently the other guy pushed him out of the way, and he freaked out... Another thing the blond ruffian didn't want to tell his father about. His father wasn't a mean or bad guy. Actually his father was the best guy Kyle knew, but that was the problem. Kyle was always in trouble for one thing or another, even when he wasn't trying to be. Punching that guy who got him out of harm's way was another stupid troublemaking thing for the boy to do.

He shook his head. He didn't have time for this! That monster was chasing a dirty and way too thin girl, and before Kyle got himself together, the same guy who saved his butt approached that monster and well, Kyle didn't see what he did, but the monster collapsed into a pile of black stone. The blond shivered at the sight but got himself back together faster than before. As something of compensation, he pulled a white handkerchief from his jacket pocket and jogged over to the other guy.

Rubbing his neck with his free hand, Kyle handed over the handkerchief and said quietly, "Here, clean up a bit." Turning his head away briefly, he continued, "You can tip your head back to slow the bleeding." He paused again and kept rubbing his neck. This was a seriously awkward situation and his day was already bad, but he wasn't a coward and could 'fess up' to his mistakes for the most part. It was easier with strangers than his family though. "I'm sorry for that. I...I wasn't thinkin' right."

While he was still speaking, the pain in his ear elevated and a white fog came over them. He tried to avoid expressing the pain, so the guy wouldn't think he was unwilling to say what he needed to. Temporarily he went deaf and numb, which freaked him out AGAIN, but this time Kyle kept his hands to himself.

When sensation returned, he was on his knees in a weird place that looked like the entire universe and every ocean in the world were crushed together and flattened. This was really freaky! He couldn't hold back a shout of surprise. Topping off this awful day, some lady somewhere said he had to save the worlds of Earth and Aires. What the Heck!? How could some freak like him save anyone? All of his teachers said he was nothing but trouble; actually pretty much everyone thought he was a troublemaker. He sat down and shook his head, protesting this weird lady's words. She couldn't be right, but what if...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Grayson Character Portrait: Aria Delaine Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Harper Calloway Fields Character Portrait: Autumn Jones Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Jason Carter Character Portrait: Falke der Herrscher Character Portrait: Gwenneth Yuan Character Portrait: Cyclopean Character Portrait: Yuki Ryouta Character Portrait: Isabelle Gentile
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#, as written by rikura
Jason' s smile disappeared as he noticed a freaky hand coming out of the tree after it fell. His eyes widened as, not just a hand, but a whole freaking monster thing emerged from it. Taking a few steps back, Jason surveyed the area, seeing most of the people still here. But what was that idiot girl doing still standing there!?

He watched the scene unfold, and it happened fast. From the girl who'd fallen from tree throwing pinecones at the monster, to being chased by it, to it being stuck in a bench, to that first guy he saw stabbing it with a dangerous look in his eyes.

Jason had unconsciously started to sprint towards them when the monster was towering over the girl, his finger burning with a white searing pain as he moved. "Damn it!" he stopped sprinting, the pain too hot for him to focus, and tried to yank the ring off. It wouldn't budge. It would twist when he twisted it, but it wouldn't move past his knuckle. "W-what the hell is going on!?" And though he saw the guy stab it, he wasn't really focused on it, only on his ring. Until, that is, he saw everything starting to be swallowed by a wall of white. He closed his right hand tight around the fingers on his left and did a 360.

"There's no way out of this thing... crap." He closed his eyes as the white closed in and waited. For a second, he felt a very strange shift in the air around him, and the pain from his ring stopped. In fact, everything stopped, and it felt like he was paralyzed and having the air pulled out of him before things snapped back to normal. He opened his eyes slowly to see blackness. "What-" He cut off as lights arranged under him and in front of him, creating a path. He started and looked down, and with a blink of surprise noticed that under the lights it looks like there were churning dark waves. He looked around slowly to see eleven other people there as well, all of them he thought he recognized from the park.

"Okay, what is going on?"

His eyes shot forward as he heard a smooth voice start to speak, almost sounding like it came from every direction. He heard as the voice started to talk about things he wasn't familiar with, and his curiosity caused him to listen, really listen as she mentioned the legend, the birthstones, and the monster thing. What did she call it? He tried saying it out loud in a whisper, "Cyclo... Cyclopean..." And as the voice finished talking, giving them a choice... well, he'd already decided without really thinking about it like he should have.

He heard someone say, "I'm going home," and was surprised to see the girl who he'd before thought was crazy walk towards the other world, and after a second, things clicked in his mind. She wasn't crazy, she must have been from this, this Aires? If everything happening wasn't just some illusion or dream or something... He glanced back at what he assumed would be the way back to Earth, and then looked in front of him to where the girl was walking.

Yeah, there was no way he was changing his mind now. The peridot on his ring started to glow right as that previously annoying guy said, "Well, I'm going home, too," and he started to walk before saying, "Well, I'm in. I'm not sure if any of this is real or just some crappy dream, but I don't think I could walk away even if I wanted to... It feels... right to me." Not that I can actually DO anything...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Grayson Character Portrait: Aria Delaine Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Harper Calloway Fields Character Portrait: Autumn Jones Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Jason Carter Character Portrait: Falke der Herrscher Character Portrait: Gwenneth Yuan Character Portrait: Yuki Ryouta Character Portrait: Isabelle Gentile
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What in the? Falke’s brain felt groggy, like the times he'd stayed up far past his self allotted bedtime or tried to do too much in one day straining body, mind, and soul. How long had been sleeping on the floor, again? And, wait-... Voices? Familiar somewhat at that, and yet-... Reality returned with a short, unpleasant jerk. Already standing upright, he wobbled slightly, off balanced by the sudden spell of dizziness plaguing him. He sucked in a breath of fresh air, unaware that he'd been holding it, with a gasp. He'd been getting away with /it/ and whatever was happening, finally getting Otter to follow him by tugging on the leash, and then nothing, absolutely bloody nothing. Coo like clinks echoed and rolling waves roaring softly became noticed by his ears, seemingly falling directly underneath him, or above him maybe, or really both at the same time. He honestly wasn’t sure, but all he could say was that this certainly didn’t feel like he was at Central Park, or in New York City anymore at that. Alright, set priorities straight. Monster had been attacking, clearly not in the park anymore, and a whole bunch of teens crashed on the floor around him. Something was happening, though he wasn't quite sure what. Wonderful. He raised his hand to rub gently at the side of his temples, wincing slightly because of the rope-burned flesh of his palms stinging painfully, noting the disappearance of his blind-man’s ‘sunglasses’ as he did. Great. That was his third pair this year, his parents wouldn’t be pleased to get him another. But then again, losing his glasses seemed less of a problem currently, than the pickle he was currently stuck in And, wait… Rope-burns? The leash. Crap. Where was Otter? He’d been right behind him, tugging on the leash, still barking his silly head off at the monster. And now? There didn’t seem to be any hide or hair of his dog. Depp… He didn’t however have time however, to continue chewing himself out or perhaps calling out for Otter, as a Voice echoed forth.

His brain was able now to comprehend what was being said but not at the same time, maybe it was the echoes fault, likely. Or, well… He couldn’t quite believe this was all happening. Month warriors? Spirits stuck in stones in their jewelry? Save the world? Destiny? Yea, right – a ton of stuff worth investing his sanity in, no not really. All 12 or nothing, well, that didn’t sound pleasant… Falke glanced about, his eyes narrowing wearily as they made their unfocused trek about the room. Listening to the others varying remarks of going home, both heading in opposite directions, more than slightly disconcerting he’d might mention if asked, and another’s happy-go-lucky why not giving it a shot. He stayed silent however, not voicing a comment or opinion. Because really, while he was not sure on his own answer to the question asked of course, but - blue portal to earth or gold portal to wherever that was again? Well, the humming listless noise that he assumed were the portals happening on either end of the room – didn’t really shout out blue or gold to him, so like he knew where to go if he did decide. Great.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Grayson Character Portrait: Aria Delaine Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Harper Calloway Fields Character Portrait: Autumn Jones Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Jason Carter Character Portrait: Falke der Herrscher Character Portrait: Gwenneth Yuan
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Skylar watched with wide eyes as one of the boys who had been standing near the tree earlier stabbed the thing right in the heart, a deafening shriek filling the air as the creature dissolved in front of her. The burning sensation coming from her necklace intensified, the sudden increase in pain bringing her to her knees.

She opened her mouth to scream but couldn’t, her heart thudding away in her chest. An overwhelming sense of panic washed over her, her eyes squeezed shut as she struggled to take in air. She was going to die, she was going to die, she was going to die…

Just as quickly as the pain had increased it was gone, the burning replaced by a comforting warmth that seemed to envelop her like a thick blanket. Skylar felt like she was floating, the panic replaced with a strange sense of calmness.

If this was what dying was like, she was totally satisfied.

Slowly her eyes opened, her surroundings gradually coming into focus. She definitely wasn’t in Central Park anymore, the familiar chaos of the city replaced by a serene setting that she couldn’t even begin to explain. Her older brother had told her about patients who explained their own near death experiences, saying that it felt as if they were traveling through a tunnel towards a bright light. While Skylar didn’t consider herself to be religious, maybe this was what heaven was supposed to be like.

Regardless, Skylar wasn’t exactly sure what to think about this whole situation. The rational part of her kept saying that this was ridiculous, that she should turn and go back through the portal that led back to Earth. The other part of her was attracted to the idea of being an “undoubtedly special being” though. That and the fact that she was pretty sure she was already dead, and what else did she have to lose anyway? Not much.

"I'm in." She stated, glancing back to see if any of the others had made up their minds yet.

The setting changes from Aires to New York, Central Park

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Grayson Character Portrait: Aria Delaine Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Harper Calloway Fields Character Portrait: Autumn Jones Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Jason Carter Character Portrait: Falke der Herrscher Character Portrait: Gwenneth Yuan Character Portrait: Cyclopean
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#, as written by Linnea
Black blood oozed from the beast like pus from an infected wound. It flowed to the ground, leaving its mark on the earth. Autumn blinked, not sure if she was grateful or disgusted. She let out a slow and tentative breath, as if to test if it was alright. So far, so good. If she could breathe, then perhaps she could walk. Her unsteady steps seemed less difficult than before as she slowly tried to make her way out of the park.

The beast shattered into onyx shards like glass falling from a broken window. It was a pitiful death to be sure. This terrifying creature was left as nothing but a pile of tiny black stones on dead leaves. Autumn didn’t even question how such a thing could happen. She could only think of how it sapped away her fear. There was nothing scary about tiny stones.

Her steps grew steadier as she tried to pass the scene. She was definitely going home. No need to stay around here. She stopped, however, as her necklace pressed harder against her skin. Underneath her coat and sweater, it was supposed to be warm. Instead, it felt like ice. The piercing cold dug into her like knives, forcing her to hug herself tightly to try to ease the pain. She let out a sharp gasp, doubling over as the unnatural chill tormented her. This deathly cold, it went straight to the bone. There was no shivering, only pain.

The world started to fade, white erasing the skyscrapers. Perhaps this was a side effect of the pain. Was she dying? Surely a cold necklace couldn’t kill someone. Through squinted eyes she surveyed her disappearing surroundings. The whiteness was closing in, engulfing the world in emptiness.

She closed her eyes, hoping it would go away. Maybe this was a dream. She would wake up at home in her nice bed, surrounded by stuffed animals and posters of her various interests. Her eyes would fall upon the picture of her and her friends and she would know she was safe. Oh, how she wished this was the case.

The pain left just as quickly as it had arrived, leaving her both relieved and confused. Cautiously, she opened her eyes and stood up. The world was black now, a more discomforting nothingness. Autumn bit her lip. Maybe this wasn’t a dream. Maybe she wasn’t dying. Maybe she was already dead and this was simply her journey.
She looked around. Most of the people from before seemed to be there.

Before her was a golden pillar of light. Heaven perhaps? Autumn had never really given Heaven much thought. She had always believed in regeneration. Would she get in even if she didn’t believe? Had she sinned too much? Was she hellbound? Trying to communicate with the dead wasn’t a sin, was it? She tried to think of the seven deadly sins. Which ones had she committed? Gluttony. That was for sure. She wasn’t a whale, but she was certainly chubby.

Before she could worry any more than that, a path revealed itself. Tiny dots of white light, stars of varying shapes, formed beneath her feet. Beneath them, an ocean in the middle of a storm. Autumn stared at it for a moment, entranced. Perhaps she wasn’t a sinner after all. This was too pretty to be hell. She almost wanted to touch them, just to see if they would respond. Above her, white birds flew in various directions. Her eyes followed one of them as it soared to the vortex behind her. Surely, that had to be hell.

The star path lit up brighter as a voice spoke. “Welcome to The Core.”

She sounded godlike, beautiful and wise. The feeling was inexplicable. It was as if her body simply wouldn’t let her feel anything but whatever this was. It wasn’t quite positive, yet it was nowhere near negative. One could describe it as neutral, but there was too much emotion there for it to be so. Warm perhaps? Trusting?

Autumn listened intently as the woman spoke. At least this wasn’t Heaven or Hell. Though this all sounded outlandish, she didn’t question it. Perhaps this was due to her wanting to believe in such things. Perhaps the voice was simply too convincing. Or, perhaps, she just liked being called special.

A demi god. It sounded nice. In fact, the whole story sounded nice. Gods, powers, stones. There was, of course, the fear of these “Cyclopeans”. But to be revered, to be a god, it sounded wonderful. Frightening, but wonderful. As the story continued, and Autumn finally caught on, she found it a little less positive. Her destiny was really to fight those creatures? How was she expected to fight them? She couldn’t even move when she saw one!

Still, there were people depending on her. If this was real, and she honestly couldn’t think of how anyone could fake this, then she would be dooming millions of people. It was a terrifying, and also a little flattering, thought. She gulped.

Her eyes looked upwards as she thought it over. Assuming this was real, there were two worlds at stake. Hers, and this “Aires”. If she were to go home, she would not only be keeping the rest of the group from fighting but she would also be allowing the worlds to fall to ruin. The Cyclopeans would invade and her world would die. Then again, the military would surely get involved. They would figure out how to kill those things soon enough. But would the war end? On the other hand, if she were to go to Aires, she would become a demi god. She would gain powers and be revered. Of course, she would have to fight the Cyclopeans. Still, superpowers. Finally, she decided to go to Aires. It was better than waiting for her world to burn.

Others started making their choices. The other blonde opted to go home, which appeared to be Aires. Well, that explained how she knew what the Cyclopean was. Others agreed to the terms, saying they would go to Aires. There was one, however, who chose to go home.

“Wait.” Autumn said, walking up to him. “You can’t leave now. You heard what she said, it’s all or nothing. If you go, then none of us can help either world.” She reached for his arm, trying to stop him. “What about the people back home? They’ll die without our help! Are you really willing to risk millions of lives just because you don’t want to do anything? Do you really have no one you want to protect?” She protested, though her voice remained steady.

The setting changes from New York, Central Park to Aires

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Grayson Character Portrait: Aria Delaine Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Harper Calloway Fields Character Portrait: Autumn Jones Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Jason Carter Character Portrait: Falke der Herrscher Character Portrait: Lux Adair Character Portrait: Gwenneth Yuan Character Portrait: Cyclopean
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Everything happened in matters of mere minutes, shattering a once peaceful day that almost signaled the end to a near perfect vacation. The people flocked to the park like some unheard call had lured them step by step into the trap that sprung the moment the strange blonde was encountered. The appearance of the monster, its slaying and the scattering of what was left brought a chill to the warmth of the autumn sun. Onyx stones that glinted hard and cold amongst the autumn leaves that made the park beautiful at this time of the year.

The brunette that was called here by that same instinctive lure watched all that had happened from afar. A small twinge of ice radiated against her wrist, the worst of the pain emanating right where the turquoise stone pressed into her skin. The image of everything around her, flashing and fading to white to only be replaced with the spectral like area around them. When the woman appeared, speaking a greeting, the one who had kept silent stepped closer to listen.

As dialogue was exchanged, more information filtered into the mind of the watcher, her nutmeg eyes glinting with some emotion be it pride, hunger, or lust. It was hard to tell. A coy smile curled its way onto her rosette bows, deft fingers brushing through the chocolate curls that rested on the pretty little head of the female that had kept quiet. A demigod? Now... that is better than Lead Actress! And that weird monster... so that was what the woman meant by a 'cyclopean'...interesting. The thought brought an entertained chuckle from the seventeen year old. Her fingers curled around the bracelet at her left wrist, her coy smile twisting up further.

People depended on her! This was the most exciting thing to happen to her! Lux couldn't help but let another chuckle escape her, feeling nearly light headed from all of this! Imagine me, Lux Adair, a demigod! Someone that people depended on protecting! More and more thoughts of the same nature dashed across Lux's mind, allowing her to keep her silence. However, she knew what she was going for.

With sure steps, the brunette allowed her feet to carry her across the crystalline path towards the portal that would lead to the world called Aires. Where she was to be the hero, but... Lux stopped in her tracks, her eyes glancing over the others she was supposed to work with. Another one had went to talk to the male that seemed to be staying behind or indecisive. It did not matter what he was to Lux, but it appeared that even if she went ahead, nothing would be done if he didn't follow. Perhaps it would be best to wait for them? It must be suicide to walk into a world she knew nothing of alone, when she had these others to have her back.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Grayson Character Portrait: Aria Delaine Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Harper Calloway Fields Character Portrait: Autumn Jones Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Jason Carter Character Portrait: Falke der Herrscher Character Portrait: Lux Adair Character Portrait: Gwenneth Yuan Character Portrait: Isabelle Gentile
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"Do you really have no one you want to protect?"

Harper froze mid-step at those words. His eyes widened briefly as he thought of his sister, Sadie...she was the only person who had ever cared about what he wanted, who actually cared about him, and she was also the only person he ever cared about.

With an exasperated exhale out his nose, Harper spun around slowly on the inhale. Exhaling into an annoyed smile, Harper looked down at the blonde girl.

"Look, you," he said in an irritated tone, "This game that you're trying to pull, this guilt-tripping, reverse psychology bullshit? Whatever it is, it's not gonna work. Even if we all help, who says it's gonna work? You heard the lady: attempt to subdue or suppress or stifle or whatever she said. Not eradicate. Not annihilate. Not "get rid of the problem entirely". And there's not even a guarantee our attempt will pay off. An attempt is like a half-assed try"

A quote from his father right there.

Harper continued, "I'm not about to throw away my life on the slim chance that it'll prevent something that apparently is bound to happen anyways. I would much rather, on the other hand, use the remaining time we have before the cyclowhatevers invade Earth, which sounded like a decent amount of time to me, to build up on some ammo and home defense to prepare against them. Oh, and also to spend some quality time with the one person I actually want to protect, who I have a date with in two hours for ice cream, so if you'll excuse me, I will be off."

With that, he turned around and resumed walking towards the blue portal. "Besides!" he exclaimed, throwing up his hands, "How do we know this isn't just some elaborate stage performance? We're in New York City! That Cyclowhats it was probably just a man in a costume, or an animatronic!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Grayson Character Portrait: Aria Delaine Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Harper Calloway Fields Character Portrait: Autumn Jones Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Jason Carter Character Portrait: Falke der Herrscher Character Portrait: Gwenneth Yuan Character Portrait: Cyclopean Character Portrait: Lux Barnes
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Black blood began to burble from the wound, gushing and spurting from the incision, decorating the grass beneath its feet and, unfortunately, Dorian as well. He winced, shutting one eye as the black ooze sprayed onto his face, but dug the blade further in, twisting it once more for good measure because the dry-cleaning bills were going to be awful, but a few extra dollars spend on laundry were preferable to death. Then the most remarkable thing happened, and, for the first time since this unfortunate adventure had started, remarkable was actually the appropriate word. He could hear it, an audible sort of crackle as the monster began to harden before his very eyes before shattering, onyx shards flying everywhere leaving Dorian standing where he was, panting, painted with blood, knife still posed where it had been before the creature had promptly exploded.

This was too unreal. This was insane. He'd just- there had just been… A monster had dragged itself out from a hole in the earth underneath a tree, run rampant in Central Park, and Dorian had just killed it. Probably. He'd just… He'd just killed something, something unearthly, violent, and over eight feet tall. His hands shook, but he stood frozen, dazed, unable to move for just a moment. That is before a white handkerchief was thrust in front of his face, breaking the spell as he whirled around. No, it as just that boy from earlier offering up the cloth in combination with a muttered apology. To be honest, Dorian didn't hear most of it, the apparent apology muffled by the sound of his heart beat still thundering in his chest.

"I…It's fine," He finally choked out, taking the handkerchief with a trembling hand and pressing it against his nose, wiping slightly and doing more harm than good as he smeared the two colors of blood together before tilting his head backwards, closing his eyes with a deep, shuttering breath. So he didn't see his beloved New York City skyline begin to vanish, erased by a disturbing blankness blanketing the city, muffling for a time every one of the senses. When he did finally open his eyes, to his horror it was to the last of the trees disappearing, the grass beneath his feet not far behind. The bracelet on his wrist was throbbing now, but not terribly uncomfortably, and he clung to the sensation as the world apparently ended around him, erasing it or possibly him from existence. It was dark now. He couldn't see his hand in front of his face, even the one still clutching the now stained handkerchief. Just… nothingness until a brief glimmer of light appeared on the the horizon and slowly, slowly sensation came back. There were lights beneath his feet, fashioned like stars in the heavens above- or perhaps they were stars, he couldn't tell- and the sound of flapping wings, the gentle cooing of birds flying overhead, towards two swirling vortexes, just now making their presences known. And then, there was a voice.

It wasn't just any voice, it was a precise, beautiful voice, tone equal parts soothing and authoritative. And it didn't stop there- that magnificent voice was spinning a magnificent tale more fit for a best-selling fiction novel than the reality he existed in. Then, as suddenly as it had begun, there was silence, the star path dimming visibly leaving all twelve with a choice. Some didn't take long at all to make up their minds, wandering through the portal into the unknown or, as Dorian began to realize in the case of the girl from the tree, into the only world she knew. Others made uncertain declarations then and there, some heroic like the Southern boy, and others less so, like the dripping wet local demanding answers that Dorian was certain would never come. And then it was like all progress was frozen. Even those who had said they were going were still loitering around, either hesitant to go alone or too nervous that someone would stay behind. If it were the second case, they had a right to worry.

Even after one of the girl's- the one who'd checked on the girl in the tree(and, really, he wished that he knew their names to make all of this much more simple)- impassioned protest, no one seemed too convinced. There was that New York boy's attempt to force rationality on a very irrational situation, another girl- the one he'd saved- expressing her doubts that this was even real. All of their voices were breaking the silence at once, swirling together in whines and declarations and Dorian, who had just killed a monster with only a pocket knife, had a possibly broken nose that was still gentle trickling blood and hurt like Hell, and who had had a very bad day even before this whole disaster, had enough.

"You want to know if this is real?" His voice echoed in the otherworldly cavern, something halfway between a sneer and a frown frozen on his face. "See this blood on my face? On my hands? On this knife?" He was illuminated in the cold starlight, black blood evident as it stained his features and body alongside his own violent red, holding his pocketknife up for all to see. "I killed that- that thing back there, stabbed it between the ribs, felt this blade go through its scales as it screamed, was sprayed with black blood, and felt it disintegrate beneath my hands into little shards, so I think I would know if it was fucking real." His bracelet was throbbing now to match his elevated heartbeat, warm upon his wrist.

"I don't give two shits about the rest of you, but this is an all or nothing deal, and if you're too much of a coward to try to save your own planet, to save the people that you want to protect, that's your own problem, don't make it mine. This is the deal; we go through that portal and try to stop whatever the Hell is happening before it happens on our planet and puts everyone at risk, or someone goes home because they're too scared to even try and you've fucked two planets over, your loved ones included. I'm sure none of you want that on your conscience, and it's sure as Hell not going on mine." Not once did his voice crack, keeping his tone at somewhere between a cold monotone and a harsh whisper as if too afraid to speak loudly in the Core.

"And if it's a hoax, and I highly doubt that any of you believe that right now, what have you got to lose? Your dignity? If that's the case, then any dignity that you had is long gone by now. I refuse to let any cowards get my family or me killed when we could have done something to prevent it."

There was silence for a moment before Dorian spoke again, an aching tiredness in his voice. "Look, I just had to murder a giant monster with a pocket knife. Just go through the damn portal."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Grayson Character Portrait: Aria Delaine Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Harper Calloway Fields Character Portrait: Autumn Jones Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Jason Carter Character Portrait: Falke der Herrscher Character Portrait: Lux Adair Character Portrait: Gwenneth Yuan Character Portrait: Isabelle Gentile
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Harper ignored the guy, continuing to walk up to the blue portal, hands in pockets and mentaling "lalalaican'thearyou"-ing.

But when the guy started telling everyone what to do, then Harper finally stopped. And not out of obedience.

If Harper had been irritated before, which he was, now he was supremely pissed off. And on the verge of anger. "Listen, you," Harper snapped, marching over to the taller boy, "I don't give "two shits" about being called a coward or scared. Or about any stains on my conscience. Or about "dignity". But I do give A LOT OF SHITS about being told what to do! Especially by some snotty, twiggy, kid who only happens to be taller than me through genetics. There is no deal, Capische? I would much rather spend whatever remaining time we have with my sister and making plans for our survival with ample time and no immediate risk of dying than wasting it on some futile "attempt" to stop something that'll probably kill us two seconds into that portal."

He took a breath.

"As for it not being a hoax," he continued with the same amount of pissed-off, "You ever seen a movie, son? Ever been to a play with gore and violence? If it was an animatronic they could have easily filled it with fake blood that evaporates or disintegrates quickly. Or maybe you were just tripping balls. EITHER WAY, I don't give a damn what you think or what you think you can tell me to do. I am NOT going, this is stupid, it's suicide, it's fake, and you need to f***ing deal with it!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Harper Calloway Fields Character Portrait: Autumn Jones Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel
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Kyle was still trying to make up his mind about following the blond girl who headed directly for the yellow portal, while a loud boy kept ranting about attempting something without knowing if it will work. That was getting on his nerves. "Idiot, that's just life! Nothing is certain, nothing except death. If you don't try to do anything, you've already failed at everything." He swallowed at a frightening thought, but they had other stuff to do.

Apparently the black-haired guy also was sick of the loud guy, and started digging everyone about being cowards and talking about following conscience. Well Kyle already knew he wasn't a coward and the other blond girl who mentioned protecting people already piqued his conscience. At least for him, the scolding and orders weren't necessary. Without thinking about it, he reached up to slap the black-haired guy on the back, saying, "I'm with you, bro." His decision made, he did walk towards that yellow portal.

On his way, he met the first girl in her feisty march back to loud, annoying guy. She didn't even notice him when he offered to help. Kyle raised an eyebrow, and grinned slightly. He could like her, and maybe even this unplanned trip, if they could get moving.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Grayson Character Portrait: Aria Delaine Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Harper Calloway Fields Character Portrait: Autumn Jones Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Jason Carter Character Portrait: Falke der Herrscher Character Portrait: Lux Adair Character Portrait: Gwenneth Yuan Character Portrait: Isabelle Gentile
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The slap stung the lower half of his face, causing him to bite his tongue, both literally and figuratively. He had been slapped by girls before, but never this hard!

If it had been a guy who slapped him, Harper would have certainly returned the favor, and then some. But he didn't hit girls, so instead he just stood there, stunned and in pain as this blond girl, the one who had fallen out of the tree and undoubtedly caused all this, lectured him further on what an asshole he was and how immature he was acting and how unreasonable he was being even though everyone else seemed to have no regard for their own lives. Basically, things he already knew. In fact, the only thing he was really thinking about, besides feeling angry, was that the monster was called a cyclopean.

Some other guy pitched in, calling him an idiot and preaching about his philosophy on life. Seriously, these people all looked younger than him, from what he remembered. And they were lecturing him?

"I'm not an idiot!" he shouted, but before he could continue he felt the collar of his shirt yanked forward. He yelped, not just because he was now being dragged towards the wrong portal by a girl much shorter than him, but also because his necklace had slipped past his shirt and onto his bare skin, scalding him.

"Stop, you...crazy...bitch!" Harper hollered as he tried to undo just the pearl ring. The cord was still wet and he had already forgotten about the small knife in his jacket pocket. Giving up on his necklace, he tried to pry the girl's fingers off his shirt, but her grip was strong. Finally, two feet away from the portal, he leaned backwards as far as he could, planting his feet in front of him and slowing down her progress as he applied more resistance.

"All of you...are crazy!" he panted, "You know, two can play this guilt game. You all are what, high school students? You wanna talk responsibility? How bout rent to pay? Food to buy? Jobs to work? You guys probably live with your parents still and don't have to worry about that shit, but I do. Anyone gonna pay for all my new shit once I get evicted because I haven't paid my rent? Anyone gonna give me a new job once I get fired because I haven't shown up? Anyone gonna explain to my sister how come I went missing all of a sudden? And speaking of, how long do you think we'll be in this stupid mythical lord of the rings world? A day? Weeks? Months? If everything's in real time, do you really want your parents or whoever your loved ones are to worry about you for that long? What if it's some inception shit and one second in there is like a day on Earth? Huh?!"

Harper glared at everyone as best he could before finally spitting out, "You guys are just kids. You think I'm the selfish one? You guys don't even pay taxes. Look at all of you. So eager to "save the world." This isn't Avengers. You guys all have frikkin superiority complexes or something."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Grayson Character Portrait: Aria Delaine Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Harper Calloway Fields Character Portrait: Autumn Jones Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Jason Carter Character Portrait: Falke der Herrscher Character Portrait: Lux Adair Character Portrait: Gwenneth Yuan Character Portrait: Isabelle Gentile
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Damn, this girl was good...

He had been formulating his own comeback and eventual dash back to the blue portal while the girl had talked, but once she mentioned his sister...

The part of him that thought the cyclopean was fake tried to reason with him once more, but that image....he imagined the silver chain with the cello charm she often wore ripped off and covered in blood. He had been planning on taking her to his apartment in Boston, which he would have turned into a shelter. But...if he kept up his current track record and failed once more...if a cyclopean broke through and attacked...

The disappointment he imagined on Sadie's face in a few hours by the ice cream parlor killed him, but the image of her being dismembered before his eyes was something he couldn't handle.

"I hate all of you," with a hard swallow he glared at the blonde girl as intensely as he could manage. "Fine...bitch...I'll go through this stupid portal. But don't you think, and don't any of you think" he shouted to the rest of them, "That I'm doing this for any of you, or because you guys told me to. As what's his face said so eloquently, I don't give "two shits[i]" about any of you or who you think you are. I'm deciding for [i]myself whether to go in or not, and that's for one reason only."

He turned back to the girl, and narrowed his eyes even further. "Only one reason," he hissed. Fists clenched, he turned his glare to the yellow portal and stomped through.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Harper Calloway Fields Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel
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If Dorian had been expecting a verbal assault, which he most certainly wasn't, he would never have guessed that the thing someone would find issue with was his telling them what to do. Obviously the other boy, whose maturity had been so beautifully represented as he covered his ears and"lala"'d with all the grace and dignity of a grouchy three-year-old before nap time, had heard him but not actually listened. So, staring dully down at the other boy who ranted and raved, marching over to him with all the fake wisdom that comes with young adulthood, Dorian could only pay him the same respects. As the adrenaline began to wear off, the pain that was his bloody face came back ten-fold, now accompanied by a rapidly developing headache as the shorter man continued his pissy rant. Did he know how movie things worked? Did he even believe that had been fake? His rant was nonsensical to Dorian now, and he couldn't decide if that was the headache talking or the general insanity of the afternoon.

That was when whatever God or Goddess was watching over them at the moment decided to be merciful and offer Dorian a reprieve and a show all in one while he got what he thought was a rather undeserved slap on the back- he hadn't wanted to make a grand speech, he'd just wanted to get this show on the road. The girl from the tree was back- hadn't she left already?- and promptly marched over to them and slapped the other boy across the face before delivering a speech of her own with words so masterfully sharp and cutting that Dorian vaguely entertained the idea that they may, in fact, physically wound the combative New Yorker. Personally he didn't want any thanks for the whole monster thing (in fact, if he made it back to New York, he was going to do his best to repress said memory) but it seemed like the blonde had the boy on the ropes, especially as she physically tugged him along towards the portal to Aires. She had ever reason to be upset, of course. It was her world first, after all, her world that would be damned if one smart-aleck youngster decided to back out and leave.

That was, of course, when the boy with the apparent inability to feel anything akin to empathy opened his mouth once more and Dorian, who liked to think of himself as a neutral person in the grand scheme of things, felt just a little bit of the annoyance he held for the other man turn into hate. It wasn't anything new, people spouting off that no one understood them, that no one had it as hard as them. And maybe he was right, right now. Dorian lived with is father in their nice little apartment in New York, went to school, didn't have a job. But life hadn't always been easy, and he loved his father more than anything, but he knew- he knew what his father would want him to do and the idea that- Oh, God, the idea that he was letting his father down, making life hard for him again, hard for everyone, and even hard for another planet… Dorian felt physically ill, and it had nothing to do with his nose or headache. that couldn't- that couldn't happen. He could never see that look of disappointment in his father's eyes again.

But the girl from Aires was having none of this and with the most precisely worded verbal smack down that Dorian had ever witnessed, eviscerated her opponent's argument. And it felt like a victory because he almost shut up before hissing one more pissy comment that Dorian couldn't really be forced to care about because he was reasonably certain that everyone else felt the same way. What a joy he was going to be for the next however long they were stuck here.

"Wooo. Go team." It was said with such a dead seriousness that it was almost funny. Dorian folded his pocket knife back up, slipped it into his coat pocket that was now covered in drying blood, and trailed behind his new best friend. Except he hadn't expected the portal to hurt as he was physically torn from the Core and was slammed onto solid ground not a second later. He blinked in shock and looked around dazedly. It was pure wilderness around him, tall trees and small bushes, foreigns sights and smells to the eternal city boy. He didn't see anyone else, not the others who'd gone through the portal, not a living soul. Just dense trees and the calls of some bird foreign to his own ears. He sighed, lying back down on the ragged grass beneath his body. He ached, pulling himself into a fetal position to alleviate the pain, and now, now he was thoroughly lost. On another planet. With no one he depended on to help. Fabulous.

(See OOC before posting anything like this)

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Grayson Character Portrait: Aria Delaine Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Harper Calloway Fields Character Portrait: Autumn Jones Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Jason Carter Character Portrait: Falke der Herrscher Character Portrait: Lux Adair Character Portrait: Gwenneth Yuan Character Portrait: Isabelle Gentile
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#, as written by rikura
Jason rubbed the back of his head as the whole fiasco played out. When the first blond said something to the annoying guy, he'd stopped and turned back. She's right. We all have to go.

As the dark haired guy and the annoying guy started going at it, he felt his blood start to boil. Who the hell does this guy think he is, talking like he knows everything? It's freaking annoying. But, whereas Jason made a decision to go to this other world on a whim, not really thinking it over, they're words made him think it through carefully. Overthink it really. . His hands balled into fists, emotions clear on his face like always. His ring was on fire, and he was seriously wanted to break that annoying guy's jaw if he didn't shut up.

Why the hell were they all being so freaking serious and arguing about this, huh? Everything was a clear black and white here, there weren't any gray areas. The pain from his ring and the "pull" he felt towards the other world were definitely real. And the whole deal with the cyclopean things... How could any of them ignore it? Not feel it?

Who cares if there's a possibility that they could fail? That this was impossible? What's the harm in trying? If they try and fail, that just means they got the same result as if they didn't try. Everyone dies. But if there's even the slightest possibility that they might succeed, might stop these things, even if they're only able to suppress them... Isn't it better to try and reach for that one little possibility rather than not trying at all? Giving up gets you nowhere.

He sighed. All of this should be simple. Besides, if you think about it, the voice said the stones chose them because their souls were compatible or something. If that's the case... do they really have a choice, or is having a choice here just some fanciful delusion?

The arguing was really starting to get on his nerves, and the annoying guy was acting like a kid yet calling everyone else the kids. Jason was about to say something, but stopped as the tree girl ran past him and slapped the annoying dude, following up by making him see reason and what he thought as her putting him in his place. He shook his head as the dude stomped by him into the portal, followed by a few others, but smirked a bit thinking of the guy's surprised expression when she'd slapped him. With a glance back at the others still present, Jason walked through the portal more relaxed than he should be.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Grayson Character Portrait: Aria Delaine Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Harper Calloway Fields Character Portrait: Autumn Jones Character Portrait: Haru Karokav Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Jason Carter Character Portrait: Falke der Herrscher Character Portrait: Lux Adair Character Portrait: Gwenneth Yuan Character Portrait: Isabelle Gentile
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Tallyho pulled herself from the palm of the valley—warm and grassy. She looked a short distance to see a spot of yellow on green pasture.

“My basket,” she huffed, “as she rose to her feet, tip toeing and leaping over the other teens that were sprinkled in the grass like a scattered set of marbles.

The blonde bent over and hooked the edge of the basket with her finger, flipping it over. Brown apples toppled out onto the grass and she wrinkled her nose at the stench.

How long was she gone?

She idly wandered over to the group, scanning their faces to see if they were awake.

“Ok…Well…I guess I’m going to town now,” hummed. Her voice trembled with uncertainty, mostly because she wasn’t quite sure if they were dead or not. Maybe their earthly lungs were too fragile for the air or something.

“Well uh… If you aren’t going to wake up…” she hummed as she took a few steps back.

“You’re not leaving that easily,” an unfamiliar voice echoed.

Tallyho looked around hastily to find the source of the voice.

“Over here,” he said.

Her gaze ran up to the top of the hill—where a mysterious ginger was perched, squatting and gazing down into the valley like a predatory bird—and wasn’t it ironic that a fine white owl sat at rest on his shoulder? It was almost a little patronizing, like some sort of socioeconomic portrait. Here was this man on a high hill, well composed, quite handsome, and well dressed, looking down into the valley at a flushed-faced vagabond, who was shoeless and had a record of stealing sips of liquor in taverns.

He stood up straight.

The blonde eyed his fine back pants, and his golden embroidered admiral trench coat—heavy with medallions and gold encrusted buttons. His fine jacket hung over one shoulder, his thin cotton blouse an elegant contrast. He pulled a smoking stick from his mouth, tossed it into the grass, then ground it into the dirt with his polished black shoe.

His bright eyes swam through the valley of bodies, like a shark weaving and wavering this way and that, looking for the right sea lion to snatch.

“Well that was a very dramatic show back there,” the redhead rasped, a slight chuckle escaping from his lips.

Tallyho offered her best poker face a technique she nearly mastered.

“What are you laughing at?” she finally asked.

“You people,” he hummed as he regained his composure, and calmly made his way down the hill. Tallyho moved a step back as he came, not pausing until he made a complete stop.

“You are all so melodramatic.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“’ You wanna talk responsibility? How bout rent to pay? Food to buy? Jobs to work? You guys probably live with your parents still and don't have to worry about that shit, but I do,’ ‘Nothing is certain, nothing except death,' ’A weakling on Aires, is a weakling Earth,’ honestly, you people are really made for each other. But for future reference, don’t take so long in the core. If it’s open for too long, the universe might collapse, you're welcome.”

His laugher faded and he idly reached to scratch the back of the owl’s head.

“Okay so who are you supposed to be again?” Tallyho asked, eyebrows straight, poker face still valid.

“Now how did I forget to introduce myself? My name is Haru Karokav, the first guide on this journey of ours.”

“Guide… What—“

Without asking, Haru Karokav drew close and took a hold of Tallyho’s amethyst. Though his approach was gentle, Tallyho nearly choked herself because she drew back sharply and he never let go.

“What are you doing?” She huffed as she rapidly lost her cool—beginning to wonder if he were some pervert or jewel thief—or both.

But the expression on his face was quite serious as he observed. He dropped the stone back collar bone. Then he drew back.

“Ah so she’s my kid then… Isn’t that interesting, Lillian?” he hummed as he stroked the owl once more.
“Hey, aren’t there supposed to be twelve of you…? It seems that the March Warrior was mis-transported,” the redhead sighed, “Lillian, why don’t you send word up to Ryou?”

Tallyho stared at him, her jaw slightly open.

“What?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Grayson Character Portrait: Aria Delaine Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Dorian Roberts Character Portrait: Harper Calloway Fields Character Portrait: Autumn Jones Character Portrait: Haru Karokav Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Jason Carter Character Portrait: Falke der Herrscher Character Portrait: Lux Adair Character Portrait: Gwenneth Yuan Character Portrait: Isabelle Gentile
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“Well now we head on into town, get you all rested, fed, and then I’ll give you a little orientation to the situation,” the redhead hummed.
“What were you saying before?” Tallyho asked. “What do you mean by ‘a guide’?”

“What do I mean by guide? Well to answer that I must continue to introduce myself. I’m Haru Karokav, yes, you know that. But I failed to mention that I am one of the 12 chosen guardians. The guardians are… Eh, hand-picked by the goddess to assist the month warriors, and protect them. If anything happens to any of you, then it’s our responsibility. I just so happen to be your guardian—the guardian of February. But this is a team effort. Even though your own guardians haven’t shown up yet, it is my responsibility as the leader to be a guardian to all of you.”

He frowned. “Well I’m not sure when the others will be showing up… It could be months, maybe later, even. Either way, you’re going to have to trust that you are in good hands with me. I will provide you with all of your housing, your food, and the proper training. All you really need to do is try not to piss me off, as I’d prefer to stay pleasant this early in the game. Well! I think that we should probably get to the nearest village and get to an inn. The sun will be setting soon and we wouldn’t want to risk another cyclopean attack.”

Haru turned sharply and began to walk away.

“Wait,” Tallyho called. “So you’re a guardian but… You don’t look very… Well, you don’t look like a seasoned fighter at all. I’m not sure if—“Tallyho paused when Haru made a discreet movement—a slight flick of his coattail revealed a fine sword mounted on his belt.

Despite how easy it was to get swords on Aires, the better swords were usually reserved for those who knew how to use them well.

“We guardians are… A lot older, and a lot more experienced than we look. If you have any more questions, you might want to learn how to walk and talk,” he hummed.

Tallyho hesitantly followed. She wanted to hear what he had to say about the prophecy, and what did she have to lose by following him? He offered free meals, and she was certainly starving. They didn’t move very far at all before Haru began to feed them more information about the situation, a subtle bait to lure any of the kids who weren’t too sure about following such an unusual man.

He began by explaining guardians some more.

“Believe it or not, we guardians are in a sense, beasts. Each of us has the ability to change into a certain animal. I suppose the goddess gave these forms to us based on our personalities—“

“A rat?” Tallyho hummed under her breath.

“A cat—smartass—a cat,” he hummed, although his voice held no malice. Perhaps because he didn’t feel like it was the right time to get serious and intense.

He stopped.

“Oh right, I saw that you all failed at introducing yourselves. I’ll do it for you,” he said. He pointed at each warrior in the order of their month followed by a synopsis of their ability.

“This is Gwenneth Yuan, the warrior of January. January can manipulate the force of life. Healing, and in extreme scenarios, revival.

Tallyho Abell is February, a manipulator of electricity and lightning. However, it’s ironic that she’s from such a low-tech place like Aires since she could really be an effective technopath.

Dorian Roberts—your friend who has been misplaced—is the warrior of March and holds power over wind and storms.

Kyle Keaton is April and a manipulator of water—specifically fresh water.

Skylar Grayson—the warrior of May—can manipulate plants, animals, rock and soil.

Harper Fields is June, and like Kyle, he is a man of water. However, he takes to the sea and salt water instead.

Aria Walker— is the warrior of July and has abilities over fire.

Jason Carter—August—controls illusions of light: Conjuring very few, dopplegangers of a specific form. These illusions hold quality over quantity; and therefore they have close to the same strength of the original figure copied. August can also use their illusions for mirage like effects.

Falke der Herrscher is the warrior of September and manipulator of Telekinetics— the ability to access to the mind, create mental forums, mental barriers and travel into the subconscious of others in order to gain information.


Isabelle Gentile—the opposite of Jason—is October. She controls shadow Illusions: Conjuring massive amounts of dopplegangers of a specific form also, but her power values quantity over quality. The illusions are significantly weaker than the original figure but can over power with numbers. She can use her powers to conceal also.

Autumn Jones—November—has connections to the Spirit world, can manipulate energy force, and can communicate with the dead. And she has a thing for tarot cards too.

And then there’s Lux Adair—the woman of December—snow and ice.

Now that you are all best friends, let’s go ahead and get to the inn, today is going to be one of the rare nights where you get to bond like normal teenagers,” he said as he marched towards the village’s entrance arch.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Skylar Grayson Character Portrait: Aria Delaine Character Portrait: Kyle Keaton Character Portrait: Harper Calloway Fields Character Portrait: Autumn Jones Character Portrait: Haru Karokav Character Portrait: Tallyho Abel Character Portrait: Jason Carter Character Portrait: Falke der Herrscher Character Portrait: Lux Adair Character Portrait: Gwenneth Yuan Character Portrait: Isabelle Gentile
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Harper woke up somewhere in between "I'm Haru Karaknov" and "handpicked by the goddess." Harper was never one to wake up easily, and it took him several seconds just to keep his eyes open and register the clean, blue sky above him.

He registered "I'm not sure when the others will show up" and definitely woke up at "could be months, maybe later even."

"Woah, woah, woah!" Harper exclaimed, sitting up, "Months?!"

And then he blinked, the pastoral scenery surrounding him entirely.

With a shout, Harper leaped to his feet, spinning around in disbelief. He almost lost his balance, jeans still stiff from the water. "What the hell!?" he gasped. Where was the park? Where was the CITY?! Didn't that one girl say it was possible this was a dream? Why wasn't he back? Was this actually...was this actually happening?!?

"OHHHHhh My GoD!" Harper wailed, grabbing his damp locks and falling dramatically to his knees, "HOly sweet--Mary mother of JesusfrickinCHRIST"

Yeah, he had walked through that portal, but he didn't think anything would actually happen. This had to be a joke. A dream. That cyclopenis or peony or whatever the hell that was...that was also a joke, right? This wasn't real, right?

"Aaaauuughgh" he hissed gutturally, staring blankly at this foreign landscape. He heard footsteps and rustling and whipped around. Instead of an attacker he instead saw the 11 people walking away, 10 of which he recognized.

Not wanting to be left behind in this bizarre, crazy world, Harper quickly scrambled to his feet and raced after the group, imagining one of those cyclone-monsters leaping out under ever blade of grass. He ended up diving through the middle, forcing himself to skid to a halt before crashing entirely with the person in front of him, but still bumping them slightly.

The guy in the front seemed to know where he was going, some red-headed dude dressed in weird clothes. Harper just followed along, but was surprised to suddenly hear his name. "What?" he asked without thinking, and was answered with "sea and salt water instead."

It took him until Autumn Jones to realize the guy was saying everyone's names, a month, and then some sort of ability. When he finished, Harper raised his hand and asked, "Hey, can you repeat all of that please? I didn't realize what you were doing until just now."