This New Home Is Just Weird

[10:57] <Minaplo> [The walk from Academy Station was quiet and short.-
[10:58] <Minaplo> [Most of the students who'd arrived had dispersed; it didn't seem many were heading in the same direction as Ai, and the few who did ended up peeling off on the way. By the time Ai Yoshino arrived at Soejima Road, she was alone.-
[11:02] <Minaplo> [5 Soejima Road was easy enough to find, despite its resemblance to the other dorm apartments in the area. 5 Soejima Road was… Distinctive. Surrounded by a perimeter wall of packed stone of around the same height as Ai herself, the building stood at around five storeys tall and was made of cheap-looking off-white stone, with shabby-looking cracks in the brick and mortar here and there.-
[11:02] <Minaplo> [The gate, fortunately, was unlocked.]
[11:04] <Ai> Now. Ai had briefly pondered trying to climb that wall just to see if she could… well, no. She sort of, hopped up a bit to try to climb it…! …and then relented, once it was a bit too tiring. "Mou… Let's not." So, instead, the brunette - brushing aside one of those bangs briefly and pushing up her glasses - went ahead and opened the gate. "…Why is this one in disrepair…?"
[11:05] <Minaplo> [The courtyard was not worth the effort of peeking. There was struggling grass that gave way to patches of dirt, empty flowerbeds, a bare tree despite it being spring…-
[11:10] <Minaplo> [The only thing of note was a black cat, lolling in front of the door.]
[11:14] <Ai> …Which instantly got her attention. Ai knelt down, suitcase going to the ground gently, to look at said cat. "…Eeeee, a-at least there's a kitty. Hi kitty! Kitty kitty kitty <3" …And reached out cautiously.
[11:17] <Minaplo> [The cat rolled over to look at her. It had bright blue eyes, its pupils small and relaxed at the moment. After a moment, it stood up and languidly ran its head against Ai's hand. "Meow."]
[11:18] * Ai immediately rewarded it with … uh. Sort of vigorous ear skritches. "♪~"
[11:24] <Minaplo> ["Mrrrr." The cat continued to push into Ai's hand for a minute or so, before it broke off. After a moment of looking up at her, it leapt through an open window into the dorm itself.]
[11:26] <Ai> "Aww. Dorm kitty got tired of it. Oh well~" Ai cooed to herself, before going ahead and entering the dorm through the normal human door method. …She kept a window in mind, though. Just in case.
[11:42] <Minaplo> [The key to the door worked, fortunately.-
[11:48] <Minaplo> [The inside of the dorm bore marks of shabbiness and unkemptness. The lobby was divided into three areas: check-in area; living area; and dining area. The dining area was the farthest, and was mostly a big dining table surrounded by mismatched dining chairs- one of which was clearly an office chair.-
[11:50] <Minaplo> [The living area and dining area were both carpeted in dusty red carpet, and 'mismatch' was the closest thing the two areas had to a theme, with the living area being decorated with disparate pieces of furniture, from couches to lumpy loveseats to a sad, single recliner.-
[11:51] <Minaplo> [The check-in area had linoleum floors, dusty except where people had walked through it- not that many had apparently done that. The check-in desk was here, which was a normal check-in desk- except for the box-office like booth built into the corner of the desk and the wall. Made of wood with a locked door and only a little slit atop the desk, the booth seemed impenetrable.-
[11:51] <Minaplo> [The sign-in book sat in that little slit.]
[12:25] * Ai was… really, really confused at the place. She visibly winced, before starting to wander over to the booth. And sort of. …Stared at it for a bit, before sidling closer to grab at the sign-in book.
[12:38] <Minaplo> [There were two names already in the sign-in book- 'Hideki Nakajima' and 'Sachiko Kurata', although neither was familiar to Ai.-
[12:38] <Minaplo> [Ai heard a faint tapping sound from within the booth…]
[12:39] <Ai> …She did sign her name though. And. …After doing so, slid the book to the side, crouching at the lip of the desk and moving to try to stare into the slit. "…Hello? …Is someone in this. Weird thing?" She wouldn't want to realize she's just talking to a squirrel that snuck into the giant wooden box.
[12:44] <Minaplo> [The inside was too dark to see. Only a vague shape could be seen.-
[12:45] <Minaplo> ["What's so weird about this?" came the response, from a gruff, irritated voice. "You see these in banks, you see these at road tolls and cinemas, do you ask them why they have weird things too?"]
[12:50] <Ai> "Actually, a lot of them have more windows and a better design." Ai noted. "Weird is based on what's expected! Dorms don't have ominous booth things! I'd expect thick glass! I'd expect a room! I apologize if you're offended but this entire dorm is confusing! And I'm sure you've heard it…" Another look at the book. "Twice already! B-but I dont wanna argue with someone over the appropriateness of booths when I'm probably annoying them and
[12:50] <Ai> they probably aren't being paid a lot because this is a really weird dorm and I hope you don't get nasty looks from the other dorm keeper people-" of note, her voice was actually starting to sound apologetic. "-a-and then they all hog the microwave and cook fish in it when you should be cooking it on the stove but they do it just to smell up the place like a meanie and then steal your sandwich from the fridge all because some r-rude person
[12:50] <Ai> in management shoved you here and you don't know why and it sucks and I don't wanna make your day even worse and…. a-and…"
[12:50] <Ai> -
[12:50] <Ai> Breathe.
[12:50] <Ai> "…Sorry. Can we start over?"
[12:52] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[12:52] <Minaplo> [A stick emerged from the slot.-
[12:52] <Minaplo> [It snared the sign-in book and withdrew it into the darkness.-
[12:52] <Minaplo> ["You're Ai Yoshino?"]
[12:54] <Ai> "Y… Yes ma'am. … …?"
[12:56] <Minaplo> ["How old are you?"]
[12:57] <Ai> "15!"
[13:01] <Minaplo> ["Alright, Ai Yoshino, 15." Said the stranger. "You get a pass. This once. But remember, there's nothing strange about a booth in a dorm. Also, my dorm isn't weird. It just has character. If every dorm was identical, then that'd be boring. You should be grateful you get to spend your year in such an aesthetic, life-enriching place."-
[13:01] <Minaplo> [The sign-in book reappeared. "I'm Miss Asahina, the caretaker. And you should go unpack. You're probably tired."]
[13:04] <Ai> Blush. Fidget. "…A-alright, Miss Asahina…" At which point she started to slink off. …Well. Something approximating slinking off. It was actually impressive how fast that girl could move without making tons of noise doing so. …Honestly she was now losing, fast, the Good Feeling she had gotten from Dorm Kitty (tm).
[13:05] <Minaplo> [Miss Asahina retreated into secluded silence.-
[13:06] <Minaplo> [That would be until Ai realised that she hadn't actually been told her dorm room. Or given a key.]
[13:07] <Ai> …Which had her. …Sliding back to the booth with a look of abject shame. And sort of just looking at the floor as she did so. "M-m-miss Asahina what's my room number…"
[13:08] <Minaplo> ["3-E." A tarnished brass key was shoved out of the slot by a stick.]
[13:12] <Ai> "Thank you, Miss Asahina…" Ai reached over and - acting with undue caution, like she had been dared to pet a snapping turtle - she retrieved the key, hand pulling away really fast. And. Slunk off again, clearly not wanting to spend longer near Asahina than she absolutely had to.
[13:16] <Minaplo> [Out of curiosity, how would Ai climb the dorm? Staircase, or elevator?]
[13:17] <Ai> Stairs! She read she needed to stay fit.
[13:22] <@Minaplo> [Stairs it was.-
[13:28] <@Minaplo> [Ai would arrive at her dorm… What was she expecting it to look like?]
[13:42] <Ai> Ai had expected… Well. That depends. Before she knew what the dorm itself looked like, she expected a modest-sized, plain room with maybe bunks or simple beds, crisp monocolor wall paint, a desk, a chair, and basically… no frills whatsoever. Now that she knew what it looked like? Ai expected instead, a dingy linoleum-lined, peeling-wallpaper nightmare with a busted heart bed from a love hotel or something creepy like that, no desk, or
[13:42] <Ai> a desk with no chair, dust everywhere, it'd all be neon yellow or something, maybe something secretly died in it… Oh and maybe a giant sofa that's there just because screw you. …Honestly she was scared that someone had a vendetta on her (who? She had gotten sent to Sophia because it was a good school and the ones in Tokyo were even more expensive. …She hadn't offended anyone, right? Why would. …Why would someone do this to
[13:42] <Ai> her?)
[14:46] <@PersonaGM> [Instead, she'd find…-
[14:54] <@PersonaGM> [A room with perfectly decent white wallpaper, with a very light floral pattern; light blue soft carpets, a big, entirely comfortable bed that could fit two Ais in comfortably and possibly three at a stretch; a solid wooden desk with an ergonomic office chair that looked just right for her size; several bare bookcases; big, thick curtains that could block out the sun; and she even had bedside tables with an alarm clock and reading lamp.]
[14:56] <Ai> And she said, out loud. "…Then why leave the lounge… a-and the outside… and…?!" …She twitched for a second, before, in a fit of pique, Ai just. Put her suitcase down inside, pushed the door closed with a kick? -
[14:57] <Ai> …And then glided into the bed (shoes sliding off in a smooth motion she definitely has practiced) and started. Uh. …Pounding on the pillow with her fists while laying on her belly. "Weird! So weird! Not even all bad but weird!"
[15:03] <@PersonaGM> [At some point during Ai's crisis of weird, she would notice something either more welcome or more weird, depending: a brown paper parcel sitting on her desk.]
[15:04] <Ai> Slow stare. …Then, with a vaguely suspicious expression, the girl just. Nabbed it with a quick snap of her wrist, and started gingerly opening it!
[15:06] <@PersonaGM> [Ai had never had a Sophia Academy welcoming parcel before.-
[15:16] <@PersonaGM> [The first thing, front and centre, was her academic diary. This was a useful book; it held her class schedule for the year, outlined the names of everyone in her class (H1-C, led by a Mr. Asaka), and had two pages dedicated to every week of the school year, letting Ai plan assignments, outings and the like. Each day also had some information on it, such as major holidays. There was even a little area for her to write phone numbers.-
[15:22] <@PersonaGM> [The next item was a wall calendar that wouldn't leave any marks on the wall when you took it down. Nice.-
[15:22] <@PersonaGM> [There was a tourist's guide to the city of Katashiba, which Ai might actually use.-
[15:24] <@PersonaGM> [There was also a t-shirt! It was white, with the Sophia Academy logo on the chest, and on the back? A map of the whole school grounds. It was, everyone had to admit, very stylish and practical.-
[15:24] <@PersonaGM> [There was also a school newsletter, telling Ai that the school elections had finished and had chosen Caolán Choi to be student council president.-
[15:24] <@PersonaGM> [Finally, at the bottom of the pile of goodies, was…-
[15:25] <@PersonaGM> [A smartphone. A blank smartphone with a white case and no maker's logo. It still had the new plastic on the screen.]
[15:26] <Ai> "…A phone." She said, having filtered through most of the rest quickly. I mean, advertising she goes to the school… She didn't know its reputation in the actual town? …Newsletter, newsletter. Eh. Who even is that? …The planning stuff was useful, even the tourist guide! But still. Phone! -
[15:26] <Ai> She peeled the plastic off and …turned it … on?
[15:35] <PersonaGM> [And it flickered on! The Sophia Academy symbol, before it faded into a white screen.-
[15:35] <PersonaGM> ["Congratulations!", said the phone. "You've been randomly selected to be a beta tester for the new Sophia Academy Student Smartphone Programme. Using this phone, you can access the Sophia Academy intranet and special services, such as S-Chat or the Sophia E-Marketplace. You can also connect with other beta testers as well."-
[15:35] <PersonaGM> ["Please enter your full name to log in."]
[15:36] <Ai> "So…" She turned it over in her head. SASSP? …SASSPP? …That's a terrible abbreviation. Whatever. "…Pin-pon, is." …She paged around, wiggling her finger looking for some kind of EULA or other thing.
[15:49] <PersonaGM> [She would find nothing except the log-in screen and the digital keyboard.]
[15:49] <Ai> "…Hm." So she types her name in.
[15:55] <PersonaGM> [That rewarded her with a sweet chime. The white screen resolved to a typical smartphone interface- a handful of small app icons floating on the screen. She had phone options, of course, as well as text messaging, internet and maps… But it also had special apps for S-Chat, the Sophia E-Marketplace and a third unmentioned one simply labelled 'Tome'.]
[15:59] <Ai> A stare at that. Jiii. "…Hn?" And she started fiddling again - and now was peeking at the system information. Going towards Tome to find stuff like publisher…!
[16:08] <PersonaGM> [Ai's detective instincts would find… Nothing, really.]
[16:20] <Ai> Blink blink. This was. …And now she … but… "What? Uggggh, these weird pack-ins… Fine." And so she tapped it on!
[16:20] <PersonaGM> [Tome opened… It didn't really seem to do anything. 'No Files Found' was all it read, but it didn't tell Ai what it was supposed to find. Maybe it was some kind of e-reader? Maybe it was bugged.]
[16:22] <Ai> "Reh?" She said out loud, before staring at the phone again. Intensely. "…What is this weird garbage…?" And then? …She had been leery about doing it for some reason before, but now! …Web browser, go!
[16:32] <PersonaGM> [The web browser was a perfectly decent, even fast, web browser that worked just fine.]
[16:48] <Ai> And so Ai, at that point, typed in "Tome app error" for a search term!
[16:48] <PersonaGM> ['Did you mean: Time App Error?']
[16:50] <Ai> Grumble grumble. She scrolls down anyway, but there's. …probably nothing? She does get a small pang of paranoia, and goes ahead and pokes the link to the corrected search, hits the button for page 2 of results… then closes the browser.
[16:55] <PersonaGM> [Which left Ai with time to herself. Would she unpack? Would she have a nap? Watch tv? She had a tv, after all.-
[16:55] <PersonaGM> [Or she could explore the area, that might be fun…]
[16:57] <Ai> …She ended up unpacking, actually, and started transferring her contacts - … so just her old house, mom, dad, really - and then thought about it. "…Hm…" She paged through the tourist guide a bit - looking for shopping options. There was no way there was gonna be anything like Akiba but…
[16:57] <PersonaGM> [UNLESS.-
[16:58] <PersonaGM> [… Well there were plenty of electronics stores in the inner city. That's all the tourist guide seemed to show off, but fortunately a few local businesses got to advertise in the 'for students' section. Apparently there was an electronics store on Kaneko Street, which wasn't too far from here.]
[17:04] <Ai> …That works. So, after setting up her room, Ai would gear up for heading out to shop! …Careful to scoot /well/ around the mysterious confessional booth on her way out.
[17:07] <PersonaGM> [The booth remained silent.-
[17:07] <PersonaGM> [As Ai emerged, she'd see the cat had returned. It cheerfully fell into step with her.]
[17:08] <Ai> "Eee~" Was all she said, and after a small crouch to just give a stroke? She wandered off towards Kaneko street~ "…More like koneko street~ …You're not that young though."
[17:14] <PersonaGM> ["Meow?"-
[17:14] <PersonaGM> [The cat followed her to the end of Soejima Road; after that, Ai had to make her own way.-
[17:36] <PersonaGM> [The electronics store- Miyamoto Computer Cafe- was a curious mix of electronics store and, as the name suggested, a computer cafe, where one could play or use computers whilst ordering food and drinks (as reckless as that seemed).-
[17:36] <PersonaGM> [It was quiet, but Ai could tell the store had recently been cleaned and re-organised, and it now shone with neatness and tidiness. No doubt once the school year kicked in properly, this place'd be a popular local haunt.-
[17:37] <PersonaGM> [Sitting behind the counter was a Japanese man in his mid-twenties, who greeted Ai with an energetic "Welcome, welcome!"-
[17:38] <PersonaGM> [The only other person in the shop was sitting at a computer- a young girl, maybe around Ai's age, wearing a long dark blue dress. She had long black, cut into the straight 'hime' style. She had her back to Ai, but from what Ai could tell, she seemed pale.]
[17:53] <Ai> Ai was a little curious about the girl at the computer, thinking about it, before walking by to look to the man. "Oh, hello. I'm just looking around… Maybe saving up for a new laptop later…!" She did bow gently.
[18:17] <PersonaGM> ["Oh-ho, later?" Said the man, bowing a little in return. "How much later?"]
[18:20] <Ai> "…When I have money. …I… Don't know when that is…?" She swayed a bit on her feet. "B-but I just got into town so I'm trying to figure out what stuff is around! Th… the cafe part's neat."
[18:21] <PersonaGM> ["Thank you. It gets pretty popular with the students, haha. It's a good place to make some friends."]
[18:24] <Ai> A nod, and a little smile, tilting her head and winking. "Friends are good~ …I think I'll window shop a bit then maybe do the cafe thing, thanks~"
[18:26] <PersonaGM> ["No problem! Thank you!"-
[18:26] <PersonaGM> [So where would Ai look first?]
[18:27] <Ai> Where she said! Laptops. Gotta check out the ~selection~.
[18:32] <PersonaGM> [It was all pretty decent as far as selection goes. The store trended towards selling pre-made computers in general, and the laptop was the epitome of this, naturally. There were plenty of computers here that exceeded both Ai's laptop and her budget.-
[18:34] <PersonaGM> [After a few minutes of browsing, Ai would notice that the black-haired girl from the computer was now walking around as well, frowning down at a printout of paper which she compared to the machines on display.-
[18:39] <PersonaGM> [The girl really was pale. She also had large, serious, almost luminous grey eyes. She was likely considered very pretty, with small red lips and a cleanliness to the lines in her face.]
[18:41] <Ai> …Which lead Ai to - once she was done looking over her own (eeesh she needed more money… ;-;) specs anyhow - stare. …And catch herself staring. And stop. …Those eyes, though. Still, she wandered over and at first just looked at the computer displays, before… "A… are you looking for something?"
[18:44] <PersonaGM> [The girl turned to look at Ai with a suddenness and speed that suggested she hadn't even been aware of Ai's presence.-
[18:45] <PersonaGM> [The girl stared at Ai with those big eyes of hers. "I'm trying to find a good computer, but I don't know anything about them." She said.]
[18:46] <Ai> "Huhh… You printed stuff out, is. …Well, hm." She looked over the displays too. "Whatcha trying to use it for?"
[18:47] <PersonaGM> [The girl shifted the paper slightly to make it harder for Ai to read. "Why do you want to know?"]
[18:48] <Ai> She waved her hand a little. "J-just a general idea! A… a uh, gaming rig needs stuff that'd be really expensive if you just wanna watch videos or do work…" She blushed a bit, though, and even cold-sweated. Please don't be scared of me, first cute girl of the year…!
[18:50] <PersonaGM> ["…" The girl eyed Ai doubtfully. "Are you an out-of-towner?"]
[18:52] <Ai> Another blush. "…Y… yeah." She closed her eyes with a nervous grin, scratching the back of her neck. "Ahaha, I'm one of those schoolgirls at that one place and… I-I mean at least I'm from Japan! Not a scary American girl or something… I just thought you needed help, r-really."
[18:53] <PersonaGM> ["I-I see." Said the girl, looking away.-
[18:53] <PersonaGM> ["… I just want a computer to write on and record things, and I want it to be lightweight and slim."]
[19:00] <Ai> "Oh… Well. I guess look for a netbook? …I think there's also those 'chromebook' things if you really don't want anything else. …I think. …I-I use a normal netbook. But uh then again a lot of…" She was acting oddly flustered and wiggling her hands. …Did this girl look older than Ai, actually? …Being embarrassed around a senior and local…! She couldn't be caught out as a weirdo. Pivot, pivot! "A-ah apple computers are more
[19:00] <Ai> expensive but have the better form factors. I dunno if they make netbooks! …And uh. B-believe it or not but the Chinese brands are really good for a bargain, if he has any. I'm t-trying to save up for a bigger one so… I didn't check the netbook section."
[19:01] <PersonaGM> [She looked about the same age. She was around the same height, too, maybe a little shorter.-
[19:01] <PersonaGM> ["A bargain? I can't afford much."]
[19:05] <Ai> "Yeah. …It's like. All Chinese producers often like… …I forget why but their stuff is real cheap to use. Some of it's probably because of weird or bad things like labor, but you can't avoid that…" Brief pause and blink. No, stop going on tangents! "But anyway the laptops are actually good rather than weird bootlegs, at least I think Huawei and… …Lenovo? Are they… They might be. But they're actually good and cheaper for the
[19:05] <Ai> same performance. But the netbook section over there-" A point to the farther end of the laptops. "-has all the really cheap ones that are enough to get you online and run office. O-or openoffice or whatever they call it now. That one's free."
[19:09] <PersonaGM> ["… I'm lost."]
[19:26] <Ai> "…S… sorry. Just. Go buy … buy whatever's cheap? A-and like mess with the folding to make sure it doesn't feel flimsy… a-and get metal-cased ones if you can! But if you can't th… that's fine." She blushed again, backing away. Oh no, oh no. She messed up, didn't she? "…I'm sorry… I. I didn't mean to confuse you! … " Backing up a bit further.
[19:29] <PersonaGM> ["…"-
[19:29] <PersonaGM> ["I'm… Going to go." Said the girl, looking away. "Look at the netbooks."]
[19:30] <Ai> "G… good! That's. …Good…" …At which point, throat seizing up and practically shaking in her shoes from shame and guilt at upsetting the girl? …Ai actually ran out of the store. Just, bolted.
[19:32] <PersonaGM> [And bolt she would.-
[19:32] <PersonaGM> [And in fact, in her shame and haste, Ai would soon find herself…-
[19:32] <PersonaGM> [… Rather lost.]
[19:34] <Ai> "…Ah? …W…wah. This is bad…" She muttered on realizing she didn't know what street she was on, even. …Naturally, she pulled out her phone and started googling right off! ['Katashiba street map']
[19:37] <PersonaGM> ["You lost?" Asked a deep voice from behind her.]
[19:39] * Ai jumped a good three inches into the air. "K-kyaa!" And nearly tossed her phone, quickly giving it a deathgrip to … well, not do that. She turned to look at the source of the voice, backing away slightly.
[19:43] <PersonaGM> [It was a monster of a man, easily two metres tall if not taller. He looked white, although the term hardly did justice to his truly bronzed skin. He had unruly, straight, sharp red hair. He was nothing but muscle.-
[19:43] <PersonaGM> [He reached behind him in a way that felt… Threatening.-
[19:44] <PersonaGM> [But at that moment, a flash of bright blue would catch Ai's eye.-
[19:47] <PersonaGM> [She turned her head, but saw nothing that bright nor blue… But it did draw her eye to…-
[19:48] <PersonaGM> [The cat? It looked like the same cat. It was ambling through a small urban park, sunning itself in a patch of light between a sundial and a decorative faux-marble fountain filled with clear water, around which birds seemed to gather- a few of which eyed the cat warily.-
[19:48] <PersonaGM> [The cat seemed to notice Ai a moment later and meowed. It was about fifteen metres away.]
[19:51] <Ai> What. What was that? …But this guy was weird and. …Sharp? Muscle? Reaching…? Wh-what if it was a gun and he smuggled it in and - breathe. Run. …Run. So Ai ran, yelling something about "Th-that's my cat he knows the way back really thanks mister but I'm not lost anymore it's fine aaaaa!" …She felt like an idiot. But maybe looking insane would trigger some weird reaction. Like. …Like maybe he was part of an obscure religion that
[19:51] <Ai> feared contact with the insane and avoided them lest they too go mad? Yes, let's go with that.
[19:53] <PersonaGM> ["…?" If Ai had turned to look, she'd notice the man- or rather, a very big teenage boy- looking absolutely lost, whilst another friend laughed at him from the shadows.-
[19:53] <PersonaGM> [Well, not just him.-
[19:53] <PersonaGM> [But as Ai approached, the cat turned and ran…-
[19:53] <PersonaGM> [And Ai's hunch- or terrified excuse- proved correct. Before long they were back on Soejima Road, and the cat was walking along at her side happily.]
[20:18] <Ai> "Thanks, guy, you saved me. …I think. …Someone was laughing at him though. …" She sighed. "Maannnn I thought I could just tell that girl that I was a native a-as an icebreaker, some people're really scared of foreigners, a-and then I… I find one that's all buff and rawr. …M-men are weird. And he might've been okay but. But the way he moved his arms and… a-and…" She pouted a bit, gliding her ankle at the cat gently as if to
[20:18] <Ai> kinda-sorta pet him.
[20:21] <PersonaGM> [The cat gingerly rubbed its head at her ankle, but kept its head down.]
[20:22] <Ai> "…Sorry, you probably d-don't understand what I'm saying. …You're alright, though. If you're a boy. (Are you a boy? Don't you have to look at a cat's bits to… or maybe hear them yowling or…) Uhm." Blush. She seemed to not get it. "…Right! Uh. Thanks for … …le-leading me… home." Beat. -
[20:24] <Ai> …Did the cat actually know the way? …Or that she was lost? "…Why does a cat kn-know…" She shook her head. "Ahahaha I don't need to look super crazy this soon! Right! Well. You take care kitty! Maybe I'll get you a takoyaki later or something." …As she made her way to the dorm, prrrrobably quieting down to avoid… looking crazy in the way of 'talks to cats at extreme length'.
[20:24] <PersonaGM> ["Meow." The cat ran off to the dorm and vanished inside a window.-
[20:24] <PersonaGM> [The dorm was still quiet and empty by the time Ai arrived…]
[20:25] <Ai> Again, she orbited at a high distance from the Omen Booth, though… she did briefly pause to sort of take a long distance look at the desk. Squinting to see if any more names had been added.
[16:11] <@PersonaGM> [Rather ominously, the sign-in book… Had been closed.]
[16:13] <Ai> Such an omen! …was. Was everyone already here? …Odd. Still, Ai just snuck further up, suspecting that, somehow, Miss Asahina knew she was there, but practicing stealth anyway. It is important to be a ninja when scary boxes exist in your world. Back to the room.
[16:15] <@PersonaGM> [3-E. Ai's sanctuary in this strange wilderness.-
[16:16] <@PersonaGM> [The room was comfortably cool; she felt the slight breeze of air conditioning in her hair and on her skin, cooling the light sweat there. Furthermore, the sun was starting to go down…]
[16:19] <Ai> These things would be known in time. For now… For now? Another glide-and-deshoe slide. And hugging her pillow like she was trying to murder it. "Uwaaaaaaaaa~ I r-really messed up and my own icebreaker got ironied at me and I messed up in front of her and in front of some guys a-and even the cat a-and…" Curl. "…Muuuu, this sucks." She peeked up at the sunset, tilting her head, and sort of staring for a few seconds. "… …"
[16:25] <@PersonaGM> [The sun continued to slowly wane, indifferent to poor Ai's plight.-
[16:25] <@PersonaGM> [How was Ai feeling? Hungry? … Sleepy?]
[16:27] <Ai> …Hungry, now that you mention it. She didn't even think of it.
[16:31] <@PersonaGM> [In between the quiet hunger and the shame and general tiredness, time would slip by… Until she heard the cat scratching at her door.]
[16:32] <Ai> "…Oh, kitty." She sort of… almost lamely, commented - and went over to open the door, sort of drooping listlessly.
[16:38] <@PersonaGM> [There she would see the cat, but next to him was another welcome sight- a tray, on which were several small hot, covered metal dishes of food… And a pamphlet.-
[16:38] <@PersonaGM> [On seeing that Ai had opened the door, the cat walked off.]
[16:39] <Ai> "…O. Okay." She tilted her head. Then looked down at the tray, and picked it up. …Did he… deliver… Still, Ai took it into her room and closed the door again, setting up the food whilst lazily eying the pamphlet
[16:40] <@PersonaGM> [The food was a medley of seafood! You had grilled fish, fried octopus, some mussels, plenty of fluffy rice of course…-
[16:40] <@PersonaGM> [The pamphlet was rules.]
[16:43] * Ai could appreciate that, even if she sort of… poked at the mussels suspiciously. Sqsh, sqsh. …Starting to read those rules. …Someone like Miss Asahina probably had super weird and rigid ones.
[16:45] <@PersonaGM> [The rules were printed, but had a crop of hand edits and little details changed in bright red ink. Frequently throughout the list, the caretaker had crossed out words like 'me' and replaced them with 'Miss Asahina'.-
[16:45] <@PersonaGM> ['Rule One: Curfew is from 12 AM to 5 AM. During curfew, the front gate is locked and the building's external doors are bolted. If you believe that you will stay out past curfew and know in advance, due to accident, planning or circumstance, ring me Ms. Asahina in advance and I she will keep the back door unlocked for you.']
[16:47] <Ai> Chom chom, octopus down the hatch. Study study. …that's not that bad a curfew.
[16:50] <@PersonaGM> ['Rule Two: Your rent and utilities is paid by the school. The following extras are also provided to tenants free of charge: daily breakfast, nightly dinner, sanitaries. Submit any dietary or sanitary requirements to me Miss Asahina within a week of arriving'. Today was Friday the 30th of March, so that meant… the 6th of April.-
[16:50] <@PersonaGM> ['MONDAY: Breakfast is rice, grilled fish, buttered toast. Dinner is boiled bamboo shoots with steamed rice.'
[16:50] <@PersonaGM> ['TUESDAY: Breakfast is rice, grilled fish, buttered toast. Dinner is Beef Mapo Tofu.'
[16:50] <@PersonaGM> ['WEDNESDAY: Breakfast is rice, grilled fish, buttered croissant. Dinner is curry pizza.'
[16:50] <@PersonaGM> ['THURSDAY: Breakfast is leftover pizza. Dinner is pork and chicken curry.'
[16:50] <@PersonaGM> ['FRIDAY: Breakfast is kare-pan. Dinner is seafood mix. (Fish, mussels, squid etc.)'
[16:50] <@PersonaGM> ['SATURDAY: Breakfast is rice, takoyaki. Dinner is spring vegetable medley (bamboo, rapeseed, sprouts etc.)'
[16:50] <@PersonaGM> ['SUNDAY: Breakfast is continental on sundays ending in an odd number and Full English on sundays ending in an even number. Dinner is pork cutlet and steak with a mix of Italian pasta dishes. Dessert is provided: taiyaki and strawberry desserts.'-
[16:50] <@PersonaGM> ['IN FUTURE MEALS MUST BE COLLECTED FROM KITCHEN AT 7:30 AM (breakfast) AND 7:30 PM (dinner)'.]
[16:53] <Ai> now squirshinng rice into her mouth. …Trying to sort of… try some of the mussels. She vaguely made a face at it, but kept reading.
[16:55] <@PersonaGM> [The mussels weren't bad, actually… They had a kind of tangy marinade to them, maybe.-
[16:55] <@PersonaGM> ['Rule Three: No smoking.']
[16:56] <Ai> …Ai did find the texture weird though. She liked her mollusks a bit more cooked and springy. …That's an easy rule. What dumb edgy kid would even…
[16:56] <@PersonaGM> [What indeed.-
[16:56] <@PersonaGM> ['Rule Four: STAY OUT OF THE BASEMENT.']
[16:57] <Ai> Browraise. She'll have to figure that one out later. …Maybe she could figure out how to get one of those tiny police drones…
[17:00] <@PersonaGM> ['Rule Five: STAY AWAY FROM ROOM 5-E.']
[17:01] <Ai> Double browraise. …What are even in these rooms that…
[17:02] <@PersonaGM> ['Rule Six: STAY OUT OF THE FIRST FLOOR CHECK-IN BOOTH.']
[17:03] <Ai> She just skimmed right past that after reading it the first time. Asahina, please.
[17:12] <@PersonaGM> [Rude.-
[17:12] <@PersonaGM> ['Rule Seven: I Miss Asahina welcomes friends of the tenants from outside the dorm to stay as guests. However, they must obey all the rules. Also, if you inform me Miss Asahina a week early, and space permits, a spare room will be prepared for them for up to three days, as will meals. Longer stays depend on circumstances.'-
[17:25] * Ai blinked. Rolled her eyes. "…That…" She reached into her bag and pulled out a pen. Scribbled out the mistake (probably some less than proper grammar, nothing major) proudly, before continuing.
[17:45] <@PersonaGM> [It was an important rule, though. Maybe not for Ai, but…-
[17:45] <@PersonaGM> ['Rule Eight: Treat fellow tenants with respect. Any complaints or grievances should be solved amicably between the two individuals. If this cannot be gone, I Miss Asahina am is available to mediate.'-
[17:45] <@PersonaGM> ['Rule Nine: Be nice to the cat.']
[17:47] <Ai> Now Ai was outright staring at the paper. "… … …I'm not crazy. I'm not crazy." She said around a mouthful of rice and octopus.
[17:48] <@PersonaGM> [Fortunately for Ai and her questionable sanity, the rules ended here.-
[17:48] <@PersonaGM> [Would Ai… Break any of them?]
[17:52] <Ai> …She WAS considering finding out ways to technically bypass the basement taboo, but she probably wouldn't actually break it. Otherwise… She didn't see a problem with anything? …Well, okay. She'd buy her contraceptives at the konbini like a normal human being, god.
[17:52] <@PersonaGM> [Understandable.-
[17:53] <@PersonaGM> [Regardless, Ai would find her hunger quite satisfied by the meal, which left the rest of the evening to herself.]
[18:01] * Ai decided to spend the rest of the evening - until she got sleepy - getting on her netbook. Not really good at running games, but maybe she could try to break into the DQ3 speedrunning set. (Haha, fat chance, those people are insane).
[18:05] <Ai> But… soon, she got about as far as past Aliahan, the first continent, before she paused the game to sleep. The slimes will still be there when she wakes up. So, with a bit of messing around to change into a simple pastel-pink nightgown, the girl sidled into her bed, turned off the light, and… turned in.
[18:19] <PersonaGM> […-
[18:19] <PersonaGM> […-
[18:26] <PersonaGM> [Ai felt… Safe.-
[18:28] <PersonaGM> [The blankets are tight and warm around her, the room was quiet and pleasant, and the blue light around her felt welcoming, as strange as it was.-
[18:29] <PersonaGM> [With every second that passed, Ai became more and more awake. The room around her came into more focus: the blue sheets, the blue velvet curtains, the blue velvet carpet, the world outside her window shrouded in rolling fog, and the bright blue light glowing softly from beneath her door.-
[18:46] <PersonaGM> [And one of the things Ai would realise as she awoke was that she wasn't in her bed at all. Oh, she had blankets. But she was sitting in…]
[18:48] <Ai> …a circular bowl of glossy white ceramic, smooth and cool to the touch, and big enough to probably fit an entire Ai curled into a very generous ball. It rises high enough to work as a normal chair, and has little stylized cherry blossom flowers drawn on it, connected by subtle lines of brass that noodle around like very lazy branches or vines. The back is noticeably taller than the front - enough to qualify as a seatback - and at its
[18:48] <Ai> apex, taller than a seated Ai, are little triangular points reminiscent of little fox or cat ears. It has what seems to be a thin pink cushiony padding, but also a larger …blobby… pink pillow. On the front, it has a wide ":3" face printed on it that the flowers and vines don't interrupt, gleaming in some kind of black metal… while. On the inside? Is not quite a cushion per se, but… a giant pink cushy mass that seems to be some
[18:48] <Ai> kind of gel beanbag. It's incredibly soft, if you do more than sit on it you're liable to sink. …In fact, with the linings and that sinking effect, you could totally curl up into a ball and snuggle up to the overwide seatback.
[18:48] <Ai> For the audience at home, Ai was in the world's fanciest kitty beanbag bowl.
[18:56] <Ai> …But all the same, the girl peeked out from the blankets, nestled against that back. "…Muuu…?" Blink blink. Blue again? …Why… Why was weird blue light a thing now? "…Hi? …Are you there, ghosts?"
[19:01] <PersonaGM> [In response, something fluttery caught her eye on the desk.-
[19:01] <PersonaGM> [The sign-in book, its cover a deep blue, was lying open, its pages fluttering in a sudden wind. Next to it, its screen glowing white, was the mysterious smartphone that she'd received earlier that day.]
[19:03] <Ai> Nearly dragging herself to her feet with a whiny "Mrgbrl…", Ai slunk over to the desk, and made an attempt to swipe the phone like a mantis, its prey.
[19:03] <Ai> She was trying to see if she could stay in the bed. It's still a bed, right?
[19:03] <Ai> IT's a bed, Ai. Really.
[19:10] <PersonaGM> [The smartphone resolved to a scrolling screen of text. Ai had seen many an EULA in her time…-
[19:11] <PersonaGM> [This one though, she only remembered a few chunks of it.-
[19:12] <PersonaGM> [Primarily, that the device she was now reading was intended to help her in finding and making choices, but ultimately… She and she alone was responsible for those choices, nobody else's.-
[19:12] <PersonaGM> [And if she agreed… There was that field again. All it'd take was a re-input of her name.]
[19:15] <Ai> As with before, Ai tried to scroll around. Squint. Zoom the screen. Fiddle with it and just… This couldn't be all. What kind of EULA was this? …Was this a dream? …She seemed awful lucid. Or was this place haunted? Why did she have a(n awesome) kitty bed? Briefly, Ai reached up with one hand, pinched her lip… and pulled. "Arrrbblll."
[19:16] <PersonaGM> [It hurt a little. Not as much as it usually would. But more than it would've assuming a dream, maybe.]
[19:20] <Ai> "…" Okay that was super weird. She …picked up the phone, staring at it longer, actually… thinking. Thinking for a while, actually. Getting on the floor. Crawling onto it. …Peeking down into the blue light under the door. "You ghosts are weirdos, is this even real?" …Seeing, probably, nothing, she sighed. "Muu. This EULA looks … …oddly nonbinding." Still on the floor, Ai stared again, made a face at it. Scrunch. Scronch.
[19:20] <Ai> Tongue lolled in a circle inside her mouth… "Hmmmmm-" Circle the other way. "-mmmMMMMmmmm-" Lip bite. "-mmmnnnnnnn-" Pause. Then a whiny puff of air. "-NNnnnnfffine whatever, let's do cool stuff and advance the plot." With surprising speed, she takked in her name again, and hit confirm. "Do you have files now, huh?"
[19:20] <Ai> Looks like Ai was making an inference.
[19:27] <PersonaGM> [The sign-in book disappeared so subtly and quietly that Ai didn't realise it had gone. Indeed, she barely remembered it being there. What she did notice was a sound: the sound of a door several floors above her opening.-
[19:28] <PersonaGM> [Her own door swung open, quietly; Ai noticed only when the blue light grew stronger.-
[19:28] <PersonaGM> [With the door open, Ai now realised that the light was coming from the top of the staircase.]
[19:30] <Ai> "…Right." She said, clutching the phone and starting to advance towards the staircase, steadily. Steadily…!
[19:38] <PersonaGM> [And so she climbed.-
[19:38] <PersonaGM> [The fourth floor went by without notice.-
[19:38] <PersonaGM> [And so Ai came to the fifth floor. This one had the usual number of rooms, but most were closed- with one exception.-
[19:40] <PersonaGM> [This room was listed as 5-E. The door was open, letting blue light shine through.]
[19:44] * Ai seemed to be muttering some lyrics. American rock song, not that important. As she made it to the top of the stairs - and shook her head at the door of course being 5-E… "~ghosts are no different than you~" Striding a bit closer, near the door, still sort of, singing. Somehow it felt like the right song. Big bro did college in Boston a while back, MIT. Brought home a bunch of CDs, and it gave the girl a bit of misplaced
[19:44] * Ai nostalgia. Right by the door. "~are you dreaming…?~" …swallowing air. "~dreaming, all riight…~" But, stopped cold. This wasn't the right mood, to peek or be cautious. Gulp. -
[19:44] <Ai> "…Here goes." -
[19:45] <Ai> And then Ai just slid in front of the doorway and stepped in, swallowing her fear.
[19:51] <PersonaGM> [Within was… A room.-
[19:51] <PersonaGM> [It was obviously a room bigger on the inside than on the outside. The walls were lined utterly with bookcases that went right up to the roof… Although as far as Ai could see, the roof was so high as to be shrouded in fog.-
[19:51] <PersonaGM> [There were many things in this room that stood out enough to be worthy of attention. There was a globe that permanently spun at a slow and steady rate, yet was completely blank. At the far end of the room was a giant printing press that worked unceasingly, churning out page after page after page, each joining a stack of pages…-
[19:51] <PersonaGM> [The floor was universally carpeted in a plush blue velvet carpet, with a blue velvet rug sitting in front of the door- a rather homely touch for such a strange place.-
[19:51] <PersonaGM> [Indeed, blue velvet seemed to be the theme. Each book in this place was covered in a blue cover, and the bookcases seemed to be blue as well.-
[19:51] <PersonaGM> [But most unusual was the sight near the back of the room. It was a study desk, large, heavy and ornate, made of wood- a rich red mahogany, rather than blue. It groaned beneath the weight of what must've been hundreds of books, each stacked neatly on top of one another to form huge great and dubious towers.-
[19:51] <PersonaGM> [Yet a space had been cleared, allowing Ai to see the occupant of such a desk.-
[19:51] <PersonaGM> [It…-
[19:51] <PersonaGM> [Well, it was a man, albeit a man whose looks were so bizarre and frightening as to invite comparisons with goblins or fairies. He was short, yet gangly, thin and spindly. He had pale, waxy skin, and silver hair, although most of his head was bald, leaving only a fan of hair near the back. He had huge white eyes, a little bloodshot, his pupils tiny pinpoints. His eyebrows were thick, bushy, wild and set at an aggressive angle- as were his pointed, thin ears. He had a massive grin, showing perfectly square white teeth. All of this served to frame his nose, which was incredibly long and pointed, approaching nearly a foot in length at least.-
[19:51] <PersonaGM> [The man wore a neat black suit, with black leather shoes and white gloves. His seat was a high backed blue velvet desk chair.-
[19:51] <PersonaGM> [The man leaned forward, one hand resting under his chin.-
[19:52] <PersonaGM> ["And yet another guest has arrived at our door." Said the man. "And again by a very long and crooked road."-
[19:52] <PersonaGM> [He gestured at a space in front of the desk, where Ai would see… Her kittybowl chair. "Please, take a seat. My name is Igor, and I am most happy to make your acquaintance."]
[19:58] <Ai> "O-ph." She had briefly winced, actually, at someone so uh. … …Luridly weirdlooking, being there. Still, the girl shuffled forward with a nervous gait, before just. Apparently giving up on the pretence, making a little "Hwaa~" and flumping down into the chair with her full weight. It deformed instantly. "…So, Igor. Do you know who I am? If not, I'm Ai. Yoshino Ai. …Are you uh. …European? Or. .. Uhm. …Elven???" She blinked
[19:58] <Ai> again, and began to luxuriantly lay down, cradling the phone. "Also this is the weirdest dream. I don't think it's a dream. But it's not ghosts. But it might be a dream? …Look, physics are being weird, Igor. Is this gonna be some isekai plot?"
[20:00] <PersonaGM> [Igor chuckled. "Like our other esteemed guests, you have many questions, but you will receive answers in time. But… You are asleep, yes. For you see, this place exists between dream and reality, mind and matter. To enter here, you must first sign a contract… Which I believe you have."]
[20:01] <Ai> "…Betweeeeeen." She said, nodding. "…It was a really simple contract. I checked it a lot but uh. ……" She blushed a little, before just relenting.
[20:03] <PersonaGM> ["Indeed. The contract's purpose will result in many complex things, but the principle is simple: to ensure you take responsibility for your fate." Said Igor, folding both hands beneath his chin. "Nonetheless, it is our duty to assist our guests- including yourself- in the future to come."]
[20:05] * Ai paused. Eyes flickering back and forth - processing something. "…I see. Complex. …Magical…" That… Her tone was small, distant. Like she was focusing on a series of thoughts that had been running all day.
[20:12] <PersonaGM> [Igor waited patiently in case Ai needed some time.]
[20:14] * Ai had now burrowed into the little nook, hands curled like an accidental cat-pose. "…Er. I thought you were gonna go on while I was internal monologuing. …Y-you can go on, Igor."
[20:16] <PersonaGM> [Igor leaned forward a little.-
[20:16] <PersonaGM> ["Do you believe in divination? Reading the future in cards?"]
[20:17] <Ai> "I hadn't." Ai said. …In a tone that made the tense choice very clearly intended.
[20:22] <PersonaGM> [Igor chuckled.-
[20:25] <PersonaGM> [He stretched out a hand; seven cards appeared, six organised in a cross-like formation, whilst a seventh sat on the side by itself. Four of the cards had already been revealed. With another wave of the hand, an eighth card appeared, just below the seventh card. "This reading stands for all of our guests, yourself included, but each guests brings a little of themselves into it… And by doing so alters the fate of the others."-
[20:27] <PersonaGM> ["By the cards, your current situation is one of Fortune, reversed- a situation in which our guests want for power over their own fates, and seemed trapped by destiny. Most interestingly, the cause of this situation is the Star, reversed- suggesting that our guests now sit in this situation because they have lost a guiding light, a reason to hope, without which they sit adrift, like a sail with no wind."-
[20:28] <PersonaGM> ["Our first guest revealed The Tower for the future. Indicating that, unless your current situation changes, then the future will contain a great calamity for our guests."-
[20:30] <PersonaGM> ["Our second guest revealed The Devil, reversed, as our guests' strength and foundation. The Devil represents rebellion, resisting unworthy and unhealthy bonds, especially those of an oppressive power over you, and strengthing the ones that empower you… It also indicates challenging the world around you and rejecting the simple but wrong perceptions of that world. But as it is reversed, this foundation now stands weakened, corrupted in some way… It would seem that all of you are bound most strongly by bonds that weaken you."]
[20:50] <Ai> "…So we are…" Ai intoned, thinking of all those cards. "Most of these aren't good at all, a… and the ones the others revealed are really bad sounding." She looked up to him now, one hand reaching up at a higher point on the cushion. "Mine's gonna be pretty terrible too, isn't it. …That's. That's what the contract is for, then? …To. Change it?"
[21:01] <PersonaGM> ["If changing your fate is your will, then the contract will aid you on your journey." Said Igor.-
[21:02] <PersonaGM> [He held his hand out over another card. "This card is the one you have brought. Are you ready to see it?"]
[21:02] * Ai nodded firmly. "Yes."
[21:07] <PersonaGM> [Igor turned his hand, and the fifth card- the one at the top of the cross- turned over of its own volition. It was a pair of scales, hanging from the hilt of a sword; one half of the card was red, the other white. The card, like most of the others, was reversed.-
[21:11] <PersonaGM> ["Justice, reversed, sitting in the 'high aspirations' space." Said Igor. "Justice is a card of perception and truth. It is concerned with bringing about an ideal world, protecting and preserving the good, and uncovering falsehood, mystery and secrecy. Its position suggests that our guests seek balance with the world around them, to reach an attunement with that world, and to make it a place where they can ideally live."-
[21:14] <PersonaGM> ["But its reversal suggests… Discord. Yes, there are many lies and mysteries awaiting our guests, and at the moment those mysteries are greater than your ability to solve them. Most dangerously of all, its reversal suggests a grave dissonance between our guests' ideals, dissonances that may lead to irreconcilable division in the name of those high aspirations… Perhaps as a result of those lies and lack of understanding."]
[21:21] * Ai sat in silence for a long time - or, what felt like a long time. "…" She actually squeaked a little, before words came. "…We might not agree… Or… We…" She thought again, furrowing her brow. "…I-I-I'm already trying to find the truth! I. …It was… Today was really weird. And …uhm. After so little. So… Just a…" She didn't know how to put it, but it was like there was. A culmination of pressure inside. "…But.
[21:21] * Ai …I w-won't let it happen. Not… a-af…" Then she just stopped, as if ashamed. "Uh. Sorry."
[21:22] <PersonaGM> ["I'm sure this all seems like a lot to take in. But this fate isn't beyond changing. Indeed, it is our duty to assist our guests." Said Igor.]
[21:23] <Ai> "I know. I know, I know, I…" She shook her head. It seemed like Ai was taking this seriously enough to think of her problems, now. Or, maybe even, the problems she WILL have?
[21:29] <PersonaGM> [Igor didn't rush Ai, but when the moment was right he would lean forward and fold his hands. "It is time that I introduce you to one of my assistants, who will assist you in the events of your future."-
[21:30] <PersonaGM> [He gestured to his left.-
[21:31] <PersonaGM> [Sitting at an incongruously high-tech computer desk was a rather short young woman with tanned skin and silvery, maybe silvery-blonde hair. She hesitated for a few seconds before she finally turned around in her wheeled spinning chair to look at Ai with bright yellow eyes. She tapped the desk a few times, when openly eyed Ai up and down with a curious, if clinical expression.-
[21:31] <PersonaGM> [She wore a buttoned up blue leather jacket, worn over what appeared to be jean suspenders. She had a tablet tucked under an arm.-
[21:32] <PersonaGM> ["This is Eliana." Said Igor. "As a fellow resident, it is her duty, as mine, to assist our guests in their upcoming challenges."-
[21:32] <PersonaGM> ["Hey." Said Eliana, her voice crisp and short. "You kinda look like you need it."]
[21:37] <Ai> "W-well. Yes?" Ai said, starting to relax. …Relax and even smile surprisingly brightly for the prior …vaguely despair-like emotion. "I guess I'll find out what it is you do with us soon enough, then…? Er. For us. Your personal job in the magic blue fairy lounge." She scrunched her face. …That sounded dumb. "… Uh. …Annwyn? …Tir na Nog? … …uh. Uh…." Think, think.
[21:38] <PersonaGM> [Igor chuckled. "Indeed, soon enough. The next time you come here, it will be when you choose to of your own will. When that happens, we will discuss the purpose of this room a little more. Until then…"-
[21:39] <PersonaGM> ["Farewell."-
[21:39] <PersonaGM> [When Ai woke, it would be many hours later, the first few fingers of the sun starting to press against her curtains, not that she could really see it.-
[21:40] <PersonaGM> [Her dream was… Odd. Frustratingly, she couldn't remember most of it, with only a few details really sticking out- the emotions she'd felt, the sense of dread and worry, the reversed justice, and the vague outline of a rather impish man.]
[21:45] * Ai …Let's add the sense that reality was weird. That probably stood out for her a whole lot, no doubt, and… while she didn't quite know what to do with it - now in the waking world it was mostly just 'that dream was peak weird' (she's overusing that word) - She nonetheless peeked up, eyes peeping out from under covers she had sort of buried herself under. Mop of unruly brown hair with it. Tiny little pricks of light around the
[21:45] * Ai DEATH CURTAINS OF ABSOLUTE DARKNESS (this is what Ai actually thinks of them, she clearly hasn't seen blackout curtains before) were registering to her, and she muttered. "S… stupid elves…" Covers back up, where she just sort of. Laid there for maybe a whole 15 minutes, groggy and upset. -
[21:46] <Ai> In time, it would pass. She'd record a short memo on her phone about 'weird dream, scary, elves, big nose, tarot cards, justice'… and attempt to go about her day, unable to shake the feeling that reality wasn't quite as real as it was on Friday.

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