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11Eyes : Sin, Damnation, and the Atonement Girl



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Eva

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Is there an answer at the end of this nightmare...?

[video=youtube;dZ7QtE1cwZc]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ7QtE1cwZc[/video]

For the moment, all was quiet. The scary, something's-gonna-get-you kind of quiet you tend to get when home alone, or when watching a scary movie. Why it was quiet was because at the moment, there were only two beings around; myself, and the girl in the crystal. She was fast asleep, though I was sitting before her, staring into the distance. At the moment, we were scattered, and I was left to guard her. It was really boring, but then again, what wasn't in this twisted world?

An unfamiliar sound caught my attention, followed by a small, barely audible cry. Standing up, I turned on my heel to see the girl awake, rubbing tears out of her eyes. Once she caught sight of me, however, she merely stared at me through the crystal. It was an odd, odd sight.


"Good morning." I greeted her cheerfully, slowly walking over to her.

Her expression faltered, and she looked around her curiously. "I...I'm still here." She whispered, closing her eyes, though they opened to look at me. "You're...Superbia."

Clapping my hands together, I smiled sweetly at her, making sure that she heard every clap. "You remembered me! I'm honored~ And of course, I remember you. Lisselotte."

Looking slightly confused, she shook her head slowly at me. "No..." She said quietly, looking at her clasped hands. "My name...is Lisette."

"Right." As I shook my head at her, I put my left hand on the crystal, staring up at the girl. "Alright, Lisette, you noticed you're 'here'. You remembered my name. So you also remembered what happened, right?"

Lisette simply stared in response. After a moment or so, her lower lip quivered, and the girl buried her face in her hands as she let out a sob. "You can't...keep me here forever...You can't...!"

In my reflection, I could see my own smile. "Yes, I can. And I will until we figure out how to get rid of your immortality." I coldly assured her, taking my hand off the crystal and pointing to her. "Keep calling your Fragments, we will destroy each one. Go back to sleep."

As if in a trance, Lisette's eyes drooped and her head fell forward, though not before one more word escaping her lips; "Verard..."

Oh, how cruel irony was. She was calling to her lover, her supposed prince. Little did she know that that man was no more, but fate was funny that way. As she went back to sleep my eyes landed on the black moon in the distance.


Bring forth your Fragments, Lisette. Drag them to this world, as you have before, and the outcome will be the same. Only one slipped our grasp last time, but this time I promise you...

We will end this cycle.​
_______​

"Dismissed!" The teacher spoke as the bell rang, releasing the many students of 11th Academy. As the hallways buzzed with many, many kids talking about what to do after class, one remained standing in the hallway. It was like a beehive of sorts, with about a hundred different conversations going on at the same time.

Only one person was standing still outside, staring up into the sky. That was me.

"What are you looking at, Miss Earnest?"

The sound of the teacher didn't break my gaze, but I replied as honest as I could, even though she wouldn't believe me. "...The moon." I told her, fixing the glasses on my face.

"The moon?" She asked, looking at the sky. "...But there is no moon."

Not for you, there wasn't. "I'm kidding."

"Right...I'll see you tomorrow..."

As she walked away, I kept staring at the sky, at the dreaded black moon hanging over our heads. No one else could see it, but to say I was the only one who could would be a lie. The others that were like me could see it too. Still, this was the first time they would see it. How would they react, I wonder? What would they have as their own power? I sincerely hoped they would prove useful in battle--I couldn't afford to be the only offense.

The most prominent though on my mind was this: Where is the Eye of Aeon?
 

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I awoke around 2:00pm, just about the time school was supposed to be ending. True I had class but today I just didn't feel like being bothered with school work. Dad dying still took it's toll on me and having to pick up his slack to help take care of the house & mom didn't help; besides I was already have half way through my senior year, I could miss a day or two.

I yawned, stretching my arms to get out of bed, pulling the covers back as I put my feet to the floor. I felt a dull nagging pain above my left eye (Eric's left).

"I hate migrane headaches..."

I've been having them after he passed, a side-effect to deal with the situation I suppose, not being a very outwardly emotional guy and all. Muttering to myself i put on my pajama pants and walked to the bathroom to get some tylenol for this pain. Taking the recommended 2 pills and downing a glass of water, I turned on shower head. Since I was little I've been raised to believe in hygene and taking care of yourself, I mean who wants to die with dirty underwear on? As I stepped in the shower I caught a glance of a black moon out my bathroom window; the pain over my left eye started flashing again.

"W..why is the sun black when it's so bright out..?"

Grabbing the left side of my face again I winched a little, looking back towards the window.

"Ugh...maybe I should get this checked out...Negatives were never a side-effect before..."

I thought to myself, getting into the shower to officially start the day.
 
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Tenyas

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Alright, so, I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed.

I can totally deal with that, it's not an anvil being smashed over my head or something.

I know I have issues. Dude, I come into school every frickin' day about ready to pass out. I've done this for years. It doesn't phase me as much anymore. Hell, today, I came in and chugged a Monster, mooched off some espresso from a buddy of mine, finished two quizzes, one reading and one science, passed through lunch without getting trampled to the line, and managed to do thirty six push-ups in PE before collapsing. I'm fairly proud of this.

But, what I'm not proud of is how I seem to hallucinate a lot. I know I should sleep more, everybody and their mother reminds me of this, my mother reminds me of this. But, this. This is ridiculous. I'm used to seeing random color splotches blotting out people's faces and stuff, okay. I can totally deal with that. What I can't deal with is, all of a sudden, seeing a giant frickin' moon in the sky.

What is this?
I don't even...

"Hey, Zizi, whatcha starin' at?"

I turn around, recognizing that distinct teal voice. It's one of my buddies, Marx, known him since I started at this school. He enjoys using me as an arm rest even though the positioning is awkward. I'm not even that small, dammit.

"Nothing." Of course I lie. I lie all the time. Would you tell Joe Average that you see his voice as a rainbow of blinding color or that loud music makes you unable to function properly? No, no you wouldn't.

I turn to my friend, adjusting my goggles to better focus. "Hey, what's that?" I notice he's carrying a paper bag.

"Oh, this thing?" He lifts it up, the material crinkling and making little zipping golds. "It's just some leftover stuff from lunch. Hey, I got some raisins, you want 'em?"

For reasons beyond my understanding, at least twice a week Marx will bring raisins with him to school and not eat them at all, instead giving them to me at random times when I'm spacing off. I think he thinks I'm anemic or some shizz like that. Or, maybe, he's just memorized the fact that I love anything that involves grapes. "Sure, thanks man."

He tosses the package of the little treats my way and, of course, I grab them with some zeal. School's over, whoop-dee-doo, we start walking home.

As I'm eating the delicious goodies, I glance up at the sky. It's to make sure I'm not about to pass out any time soon, hallucinations tend to stick around when I'm about to do that. It's happened a couple times, but it's always awkward when I have one of my near-faint moments and end up having to be caught or bash right into the ground.

Well, s#!+.

Stupid moon thing's still there.

"Hey, you wanna head by my place later? Parents just bought some movies, thought you might wanna watch some with us." I like hanging around Marx for the fact that his voice is a color that doesn't completely handicap my vision.

Just because I enjoy hanging around him doesn't mean I don't notice when he's hitting on me though. "Eh, I can't, dude. I got to catch up on some Lit homework. They got us reading some weird European shizz again and I have to get this essay done by tomorrow."

Of course, I do feel a little bit bad when he gives me this kind of hidden but not really crestfallen look. "Oh, okay. Maybe next time. What's the topic? For the essay, I mean."

"To be honest, I haven't even started on even a rough-draft. So, I have no clue, man." Feelin' kind of woozy... Ugh. Maybe eating more raisins will help.

Marx hasn't noticed anything yet, so I keep munching as he keeps talking, trying to keep my attention I guess. "Wow, you really do do everything last minute. It's a wonder how you even manage to keep B's."

I take a deep breath, hoping the fatigue will pass quickly, and continue, "You act like I'm winning Olympics prizes while jogging on one leg. It's not that hard to just turn in something mediocre by barfing all the shizz they ssay to us in cl-class." Frick, I'm slipping. Stop. No. Not now.

"You okay, Zizi?"

I am perfectly fine. I am totally not about to pass out because I haven't slept much at all in the past three days. I am not gradually leaning forward and losing control of my balance, oh no, certainly not. These colors in front of my eyes? They've totally been there the whole time, this is completely normal and-

...

Narcolepsy sucks.
 

Nalin Calhoun

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School's been tough lately. The normal assholes that get off on tormenting as many people as possible have been stepping up their game. They've gotten more violent, more cruel. I found one kid last week with knife wounds on his arms and legs and noone did anything about it; no one could prove that these gangs had anything to do with it. The victim should consider himself lucky that they didn't go for his vitals, 'cause I'm sure they wanted to. Last time those guys got a hold of some kid, I made sure they understood that they were being watched, and that that kind of bullshit wasn't going to be tolerated at this school. Not by me.

I'm walking down the school hallways for what seems the fiftieth time that day, making sure things are okay under a guise of nonchalance, though by now people know better. As I walk, some give me a nod of respect, though I really don't see why. A couple of small time delinquents quickly make their way in the opposite direction that I'm walking. they know what will happen to them if they step out of line. Everyone else, just ignores me, which is how I like it I suppose. Someone like me can't go about having friends.

I turn a corner and freeze, though at first I can't quite tell why I did. Sometimes, I just get these feelings, these pulses when I think somethings wrong. They're not always right and somethimes they come out of nowwhere, but they happen and I've learned to pay attention to them when they do. Moments later, a group of seven guys walk around the next wall and I need to keep tight control over my face to hide my scowl.

The one I have my eye on is Kreig Lambert, the leader, a kid with Conduct Disorder who also happens to have wealthy and influencial parents. Kreig is a budding criminal if there ever was one, though like most people with developing Anti-Social disorder, he's clever and charming. The guy's capable of talking himself out of a fix nine times out of ten, though I happened to be the ten. He tried to pin one of his many excused crimes on me, and this was the one time, he didn't manage to get away with what he did, even if it was minor. Lambert's never forgiven me for that, and I'm sure he'd tried to get rid o' me if he had the chance. I honestly don't doubt he would try to kill me if he could get away with it.

We lock eyes and suddenly the world freezes. Everyone in the gang stops talking, and even movin', just to look at me. In response I felt my muscles tense up in anticipation of the fight that was to come. A couple of the guys began stereotypically cracking their knuckles and I can't help but smile. As much as I hate fighting, I can't say that I hate kicking these guys' asses in retribution for all the shit they normally put people through. Surprise painted my face however, when Lambert waves a hand to calm his two cronies and keeps walking past me and around the next corner. I turn to look back and notice something odd outside. Something that certainly wasn't supposed to be there.

A moon. Black as pitch and hovering there in the sky like a chunk of the abyss. I narrow my eyes at in suspicion as I feel those pulses again, stronger now than I'd ever felt them. I think to myself, "It's like it's callin' to me." and then I laugh, something that I'm not used to doing. I feel rediculous and overdramatic, like one of those japanese manga characters from this paper back this one kid had me read a few days ago. Stil, there was no denyin' that moon, and the feeling it gives me sends chills down my spine.

"Something about this day...is just wrong..."
 
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Hazen Gregory

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Its not as if anything had really changed, and even though I had long grown tired of all the stupid and reckless notions that we as the Sins and Black Knights must maintain from day to day...lost in our own eternity, I questioned the virtue of just what my purpose really was, like why my name wasn’t something like Temperantia Forgerus or whatever, but the breakdown comes up with too much missing for me or anybody else to complain I guess so maybe for awhile I can just relax and merge more of what I want to implicate later on to the others(mainly Gula) until I’m stirred to action.

~~~~

What kind of world was this really?? A broken one it seemed to Forgerus...too far gone from anything that most people ever want to see in their life and for that such a lack of color the moon alone made him want to vomit most of the time, but why complain when nobody really wants to listen and the majority of whatever time everyone was still inside of was spent being nothing more than a fragment that was broken and not implied to be whole at all.

He said nothing, trying harder and harder not to intrude upon the thoughts of others that were nearby as he seemed to be seeping further and further into a lost cause. At best, Socordio didn’t really have much care for any of the others, so once more he refrained from speaking or even really moving as Gula wasn’t around. He knew Ira was there however, unless in the past few minutes he’d lost himself in his own space and Superbia had moved as well, but upon the sparks flying from Forgerus’ eyes opening, all was the same and the moon still hung in the sky ugly as ever...

~~~~~

“Damn it, there is just never a time when I can have any bit of fun without there being strings attached,” I spoke aloud to myself, the odd sound of my own voice actually bothering me because normally I use rending force to speak directly into the consciousness of others, much less a form of telepathy in people’s eyes, or rather thoughts. The droning sound nearly made me laugh, but instead of stay focused, I went back to my own thoughts and inwardly let my hatred for those who were basically free build within me. There would be hell to pay soon, very soon.
 

King Wolfe

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No matter how many times I have to look up at that moon it will still bug the hell out of me. Leaning back thoughtfully I tried to think of some poetic epitaph that would prove appropriate for this rather morbid situation but nothing came to mind. Well nothing that was appropriate mind you. I shifted in my comfortable position only to realize that the gargoyle, immortalized in a rather lackluster bronze, was definitely not a new cushion to sit on. Glancing down at the intimidating prospect of a twenty-three story drop to the ground below an idea struck me.

Haikus would be appropriate wouldn't it?! I cleared my throat in such a melodramatic fashion it would bring tears to those that have caught witness and raised my hands as inspiration jolted throughout this creative mind that I have.

Draped in crimson light,
It weeps against the pale night
,
Revolt darkened moon.

Man that was perfect. Oh wait it still wasn't appropriate for the situation. A familiar cruel smile tugged at my cheeks, I couldn't help it after all we're the ones doing the revolting here. A familiar wave of darkness washed over my body and I fell back into the comfortable feeling of being whisked away into the prevailing winds.

My landing wasn't as graceful as it should have been but hey it could have been worse right? The world exploded in my vision as everything seem to digitally repair itself when I to close proximity to Socordio. I grinned in spite of myself and neared the enigma that is Socordio.

As interesting as he would appear it was difficult to perceive some sense of false composure around him. A type of tension thickened the air and atmosphere, it wasn't enough to terrify one - so long as they aren't as weak-minded as the usual - and it certainly wasn't enough to grant me incentive to just walk away. He was interesting and I liked him, 'nuff said.

"Enough about that, why don't we simply just watch the crying moon." I wasn't the type to philosophize or anything like that and it was a bit rude to just interject on one's thoughts and provide some feedback of my own, "That or we can go see Sleeping Beauty again, she is persistent as irritating as it sounds."

Crap, I was beginning to ramble.

"But this place is a bit morbid, wish I can just spruce it up with a little color or something. Not that I don't mind either way." Shrugging I decided to shut up before I dwell into providing architectural little pleasantries to liven up the place. It was going to remain like this no matter what anyone did, a crying moon over a crying world. Beautiful isn't it?

Ah, crap! What was that haiku again?!
 

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"Oh, but the shade of red is just so lovely. It's like blood."

A snap. A crack. A creak. The sickening, popping sound of bones rearranging and reforming, filling the area with a grotesque, horrifying chorus of pain and torture that surpasses the basic comprehension of suffering. Though it was simply music to my ears. And why shouldn't it be? As one who finds a sick pleasure in what others find as pain, the complete wrenching and contorting of my entire body brings me a level of pleasure others would likely find in intercourse, if even there. It's an acquired taste, really--though 'acquired' would certainly be putting it as simple as humanly possible--one that I tend to feed as often as I possibly can.

My body finally unfolded back into my physical shape, a loud 'pop' ringing out as my back snapped back into place. Such a lovely sound. I found myself staring at my feet for no apparent reason. They were so white, or rather I was so white. I had never really thought about it before, or at least I don't think I've ever thought about it before, but my pale skin really did stand out against this blood-stained background, didn't it? It's a bit out of place. I wish I looked at least a little bit more normal. The others do. So why can't I? Why do they get to look normal while I have to look this this? Why? It isn't fair! They should have to look like this too! They should have to be pale! They should have to suffer! They should have to--

"The moon is beautiful, no?" My lips curled upwards, lifting the skeletal tattoo upward into a creepy grin, as I lifted my head toward the over-hanging moon. "The black, unforgiving emptiness of dark, spiraling torment, hanging high overhead like a prisoner set to swing. It gives me chills just thinking about it. How about you two?"
 

Hazen Gregory

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Forgerus wasn’t smiling under his high collar but if he had of been the grin would have been as wide and deep as the swoosh of air that he could hear inside and outside of his head as Ira crashed into the ground near him. He didn’t even bother to look up or question if such a fall had injured Ira, as even if it had he’d already molded reality in some way so that nothing actually happened, so that was good to him.

The thoughts that dripped from Ira that he paid attention to showed that even though they weren’t good friends and it was possible that he knew Forgerus didn’t like him that much; he had cause to come around anyway. They were on the same side and there was no reason to make anything problematic between them at all, so instead of say something rude or the like, a mental pulse of speech infiltrated Ira, but he could have missed it. ‘You really talk a lot eh?? Maybe I should smile and just shift everything here like I know you can, but...”

~~~~~

I looked up and sparks of lightning flickered around my eyes as the noises started. Originally they weren’t too loud but they continued and got more intense and even more morbid. Instantly I knew that it could be none other than Invidia, which to be honest to myself was amusing. The guy was seriously a freak, so sick in the head and thought about the most awkward things that at times I wondered why it made sense to even allow myself to space out what he let out, but then again I feel much too lazy most of the time to do anything about it.

‘Geez, that really does sound rather sickening, but I’m used to most of it by now I guess.’ My mental chirp about the noise was prudent because soon after it stopped and I extended myself through missing space to watch each part of Invidia snapping and squishing himself back into place. He had such a pale skin color and his body was outrageously proportioned, I could only imagine the active conscious outreach he had on women, and apparently men as well.

"The black, unforgiving emptiness of dark, spiraling torment, hanging high overhead like a prisoner set to swing. It gives me chills just thinking about it. How about you two?"

~~~~~

Socordio fidgeted for a second and turned to face the man whom had made a rather odd inquiry, partially making him think for a moment which was yet another thing he didn’t want to do. As usual he didn’t open his mouth, but responded nonetheless. ‘One such as you gets chills from something like that?? I’m really amazed but maybe you’re not being completely honest or serious with us...’ He poked Invidia with his long finger and lifted his neck above the long collar to show a large smile filled with sharp pointed teeth.

‘You’re seriously a creeper...’
 

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"I'm going to be working late tonight. Thanks, though."

"Oh, but it'll be really fun! It's not like we're all going out to dinner or anything--just a few drinks after work, with all the guys from the office! We can maybe order some appetizers, watch the game--"

"Sorry, I'm not terribly interested in baseball."

"I was talking about football, haha!"

"Oh, yeah, that."

"So as I was saying, everyone will be over at Winchell's--you know where Winchell's is, right? And we'll just get a few drinks, no big dinner or anything. It'll just be casual, informal--just a few drinks with the guys from the office!"

I'm fairly certain that was the fifth time she'd said that, maybe the sixth.
The woman is a broken record...Can't she take a hint? I was doing my damnedest to be polite, but she was just making it as difficult possible. Was it so inconceivable that I didn't want "just a few drinks"? Apparently, that notion was too complex for her--since she had already repeated it six times.

At that point, I wanted to fling my thermos of coffee at her--but chances are, second-degree burns would probably raise her nasally chatter to a high-pitched, nasally siren. That, aside from the time wasted by "just a few drinks", was the last thing I desired. Unless the coffee magically sparked some growth of brain cells inside her head, no good would come of the thermos route, so I instead chose the more subtle option:

"Tanya," I said, "I'm really too busy to make it. If I get finished with this next set of thirty-second spots, then I'll swing by for the second round, okay?" Take the hint, please. It isn't even a hint anymore--it's a thinly-disguised plea. Stop clucking like a chicken in heat, please.

Please.
I mustered up a small prayer, just for the occasion.

"But aren't those only due until next week?" she tittered.
If there was a God, he laughed at my prayers.

"They're the ads for Orkin, aren't they? Oh, I'm sure you can get those in!"
Have you no mercy, woman!? Stop your nasally whining, please...
I was magnanimous enough to throw you a bone--so why won't you take it!?


"We'll be there a while, so you'll have plenty of time!"
You're like a balloon--a fat bag of hot air, squeaking and squealing.
Have you ever actually stopped to listen to yourself talk? It's less than fun!

My thermos beckoned to me like a lighthouse at sea. My last nerve was splitting itself in two.

"I'll be sure to save you a seat--"

"Please, just shut your mouth!"
I regretted the words immediately after saying them--but was also hugely relieved, because Tanya then did exactly as I'd asked. She shot a dirty look at me in passing, to which I nodded as if nothing had happened. She was such an overemotional airhead that no one would honestly believe her if she made a spiel about it. So all was well, and I'd been able to salvage a perfectly good thermos. The evening ahead was looking significantly better--even though it would still be somewhere between depressing and painful.

So, to celebrate my victory over the Nasal Menace (and to prepare for the long night ahead of me), I decided to head over to the lounge for a fresh batch of coffee. I tried to ignore my aching knee joints as I rose from my desk and headed down the hall. Maybe I'll pick up a few Advil while I'm there--

I abruptly stopped in my tracks, then blinked several times to make sure that I was seeing things correctly.

Maybe it's stress...or schizophrenia...or....something.
Whatever the cause, I suddenly found myself looking at an enormous black splotch in the sky. It looked almost like a solar eclipse, except for the fact that daylight still glinted off the cars parked below. No, everything was almost exactly as it should have been--minus the enormous black moon hovering over Times' Square. I had absolutely no idea what was causing it, but whatever it was, it was the last thing I needed. Psych evaluations cost a damned fortune, I'm willing to bet.
 

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The bus was taking a really long time to get to 42nd street. Even more strange was the sun . . . or the moon I really couldn't tell at the time but let me back track a little.


End of the year was a just a few days away, the beginning of the rest of my life and ofcourse I couldn't sleep at all, ofcourse it was a friday night so no big deal. Every hour I'd wake up to the sound of my neighbors dog barking, "lord ever heard of a mute!" Around 4am I decided to finally just stay awake; it was the worst idea ever. I looked outside my window and saw the dog barking but no sound. My eyes raced looking around all over and up in the sky was the moon, except it was black as night ("haha I get it don't patronize me.")

Anyways when I finally left my house I was able to get on to Express Bus to the city fairly quickly. "My dear boy may I sit beside you?" some lady said whiling getting on the bus. Some time passed before I had wokenup from an unexpected nap to find I was already in Manhatten but nowhere near my destination. Thats when I looked outside and thought it was still 4am.

Jump ahead to now and you understand my confusion. The sun was as black as the moon was the night before. "Excuse me ma'am but was their an eclipse today?" the lady looked at me and then made room to look at the sun. She gave this weird face like i just asked if God knocked on her door selling cookies. "Well if there was it'd be on the other side of the planet but from where I am the sun is as bright and yellow as ever." Figures I'd be the demon seed to see a black sun. I put my put my hat from the college I would be attending over my face and tried to go back to sleep.

After about 30min of unwanted traffic the bus finally stopped at 42nd street. As i got off I felt a strong but malicious aura around me. I looked up as the Black Sun loomed over Time Square. "Que mala suerte yo tengo."
 

Eva

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I won't lie, I definitely dozed off, but Lisette's scream jerked me back awake. In a bit of a daze, I spun around, expecting an enemy or something to pop out, but after a moment of panicking, I realized that the scream wasn't even a scream. In fact, it wasn't even that loud, it was actually a little quiet and more like a cry than anything. Truth be told, I didn't know I was such a light sleeper; normally it'd take a volcano's eruption or some loud music to wake me up, but this?

Stifiling a yawn, I crawled over to the little girl, wondering what exactly was making her so upset. Despite my eternal hatred of her, I needed to make sure we were the ones to kill her. Maybe Invidia was messing with her again? But as I stood up, she was clutching her heart, as if she had been stabbed there.

"What is it, Lisette?" I asked as I rubbed my left eye.

She opened her eyes, looking rather alarmed at something as she looked around desperately. "...I got them." She replied, managing a painful smile, though she was still clearly in pain. "They'll come...they'll free me..."

Letting out a low whistle, my head seemed to shake itself at her. "Really? Okay, drag the poor bastards here, I know for a fact the others have been itchin' to get a go at them." I shrugged. To be honest, the Fragments were no match; but the poor things would surely give a fight back. Grinning from ear to ear, rather than let the others know, I decided to stay put.

They'd figure it out when the Larvae started attacking the Fragments.
_____​
A searing, almost unbearable pain struck through my chest. Having been so unexpected, I dropped onto my knees, gasping in pain. To say that I thought I'd pass out from the pain wouldn't be an inaccurate statement, and as I looked up at the black moon, it seemed like the entire sky cracked, and then shattered, revealing a red sky.

The Red Night.

The pain ceased, and everyone around me had dissapeared; quite a shock, considering I had been at the school of all places, but it wasn't the first time for me. After getting to my feet, I looked around. It was eeriely quiet, though I was almost sure something would pop up. Unsurprisingly, the black moon still hung overhead, but the most striking scene would've been at Times Square.

Smack in the middle were six crystal pillars, each easily overtowering the buildings (which is really saying something...) as well as one smaller crystal at the center, though it was too far to see if anything else was there. With a small sigh, I wandered over to a nearby bush, stowing away my school bag. Afterwards, I began running towards the center.

We were called to this world again, but things are different this time. A new set of Fragments, another set fighting against the Black Knights. I prayed I'd be able to at least make it to the crystals, though as I ran, a group of shadows appeared around me. Coming to a halt, I watched as they surfaced themselves. They were damn ugly, grotesque creatures, and just the sight of them made me wrinkle my nose in disgust. Not wanting to waste any time, I weaved past them and kept running.

Maybe this time we can set her free.
 

Nalin Calhoun

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I walk home from school, and all the while I'm feeling completely spooked for a dozen different reasons. The most obvious reason was the damn black moon hovering above my head, which was bizarre enough on its own. The other was the encounter I had with Lambert in the hallway. Something about it didn't seem right. That look he gave me right before walking off was more threatening than any words could have been and that's saying something in his case. That boy was out for blood that night, my blood. I needed to be extra careful as I made my way to the condo my parents bought out when we first moved here. Unfortunately it's a bit of a walk between the school and my home, so pretty soon I'm feeling a little jittery with paranoia especially whenever I pass any of the more shady alleyways. Though I was vigilant and anticipating an attack, I made a point to show no outward expectation of an ambush. If they engaged me while trying to catch me by surprise, I'd be able to take their perceived advantage and turn it on its head.

I was not anticipating what happened next however. As I walked by the boarded up door of some abandoned shop, it opened and I felt something hard slam into my head. I blacked out, and floated for some time in a pained stupor, probably twenty minutes or so. I woke up handcuffed to a pole, surrounded by none other then Lambert and eight other boys. Though most other people would be scared shitless in my shoes, all I could feel was hatred. I was more pissed than I'd ever been in my life, and suddenly the pain of my head wound vanished. My mind became clear and I looked at Lambert. If looks could freeze, mine could have brought hell into an ice age. Even though they knew I was handcuffed, some of the guys were too scared to hold my gaze, and I couldn't help but put on a satisfied sneer.

Lambert drew back a hand a smacked me across the face so hard I saw stars, but like with the head wound, the pain vanished and I looked back at him smiling. Lambert's face was a mask of stone as he drove a fist into my stomach, and I vomitted out the air from my lungs. The boys pounded on me until I was bloody, and all I could do was laugh. I felt no pain, and I felt like I could sit there and take their beatings all day if I had to. Though I didn't know it at the time, I was no longer bleeding after that point. Most of the smallest cuts I'd gotten were already scabbed over. My head wound was already almost completely healed. I felt invincible for a moment, and then Lambert took out his knife. It was a large, sharpened cooking knife, like the kind used to carve into meat at dinner time. The asshole held it up to my face and began to drag it down along my cheek. My fury grew from an ice storm into a blizzard, and I think that made something snap in me back then.

As a massive amount of pain began to pulse through my body, the air began to shift and convulse. I was surrounded by sort of distortion, like a heavy heat haze. I pulled on my cuffs as the pain grew unbearable, and suddenly they pulled apart with a resounding clang. The boys looked at me in horror and right before they began to disappear before my eyes, I pulled back a fist and drove it straight into Lambert's face. I'm not totally sure what happened next, except that the dude went flying into the far wall of the alleyway in which I was being held and crumpled to the ground before vanishing completely. The pain that I felt back then was worse by far than any I'd felt in my life before that point. By sheer force of will I stayed standing, though I don't know why I did. I guess I just felt too wired to just set down somewhere. I made a point to walk out of the alleyway, and after a few more agonizing moments, I found the main street. At that time, I let myself fall to the ground panting with exhaustion.

I must have lain there for a whole ten minutes before a strange noise startled me to my feet. Heavy breathing and fast footsteps were echoing from everywhere and nowhere, and as energy slowly surged back into my limbs I began to run towards my house. It was on the way to times square, and if there was anyone else still around they would likely be there. Also, there was a strong pull coming from that direction, like an invisible hand pulling my brain. As I ran, I finally began to let what had happened sink in. Everyone had disappeared and the sky was blood red save for the abyssal moon that looked like a hole in the sky. My mind cycled through ideas and concepts, trying to figure out what exactly had occured, and I began to realize that this place wasn't my home.

Meanwhile, the sounds of approaching entities grew louder, and shadows were moving swiftly in the alleys. Within seconds I was surrounded, but by what I didn't know. They were hideous foreign organisms, nothing native to the world as far as I knew. Four of them were slinking towards me manacingly. I wasn't sure how dangerous these things were, but at this point, I had no point but to fight, and as far as I was concerned, there was no difference between these meatbags and those bastards who mugged me. Both were bullies to be exterminated.
 

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As I left the Dr's Office I couldn't help but feel he missed something. This pain was unbelievable, it felt unlike any other headache I've ever had; like my head was about to explode from the pressure.

"I'm not crazy. This can't all be in my head!"

Shouting in my own mind, unlocking the car door as I exited the clinic.
I looked back up towards the sky.

"It's still there..."

Suddenly the sky began to crack away and shatter like broken glass, revealing a crimson red sky. The moon was as black as it was before the first time I saw it earlier in the day. A surge of pain shot up into my eye, sending me to my knees as intensified. I put my hands to my face in an effort to relieve the pressure but to no avail. Feeling a warm trickle drop from my check to my hands, I removed my hands from my face. I had started bleeding from my left eye.

"Just what the hell is going on here...Am I losing my mind...?"

I questioned, picking myself up from the ground. Staggering against the car, opening the door just enough to slink inside to turn the car on. I slammed the door behind me, taking in deep breaths.

"If I can just make it home...I can sleep and maybe...just maybe all of this will go away..."

Putting the car in drive and stepping on the gas to head home, the pain struck again. My foot slipped and sent the car sailing into a nearby wall.
Whether it was the pain in my head or the impact of the crash, I fell unconscious, blood continuing to flow. I lay motionless with my head pressed against the steering wheel, causing the horn to blow.
 
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Tenyas

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Eff this.
Oh god.

Oh god oh god oh god.

Headache.

What did I do?
Did I, like, smash my face into the frickin' pavement or something?

Really, this shizz hurts.

I can kind of feel my eyes open. Or try to. My goggles are intact, I know that much, since they're pretty much stabbing the bridge of my nose. My hands are in contact with ground, that's good. I can't quite open my eyes yet, though, everything's frickin' burning.

I wonder if I struck like sixteen nerves all at once during that fall to do this. Maybe I did. Or, maybe it's just sleep fatigue at a new extreme thanks to too much caffeine and sugar and snacks. Whatever the cause of the pain, it just slips away as if it were a blanket ripped off of me. Like any other form of pain, my head still throbs like hell as I finally manage to open my eyes.

"Goddammit, Marx, could you at least try to be chivalrous?..." Why is there nobody there? "Marx? Dammit, Marx, where did you go!?" It looks like night-time almost. Only, everything is distinctly red. Pain-haze? Headache/migraine side-effect? "Sheesh, a girl passes out and a guy doesn't even stick around to help. What is the world coming to?" I think it must be evening time. It would be the only way to explain why there aren't throngs of people passing by. Still, this is kind of eerie.

I adjust my goggles, thinking it will help me focus. It doesn't help at all. So, I take the goggles off and rub at my eyes. That does nothing. So, I drum the sides of my skull with my hands hoping to wash out whatever whacky sound might be causing me to hallucinate. Utterly pointless.

"Okay, this red-filter shizz is just annoying me now. I need to get some sleep..." To my annoyance, I can't seem to walk very straight. Everything's a haze of color. Like, I see where I stepped as a white blur. This is not normal.

I know hallucinations are not normal.
But this is not like my normal hallucinations.
So doubly not normal.

"Frick is this shizz?" I try to squint my eyes, hoping that might help me focus, but like everything else I'd tried it does absolutely nothing useful to me at all.

This is just annoying.

So, I start walking, hoping I might find somebody. Marx isn't the type to drug me. Or... Maybe he did. What the hell was in those raisins!? Had he been planning this?! OH GOD. HE DIDN'T TOUCH ME, DID H-...

What was that noise?

I can tell there was a sound because a blob of dark red popped up on my visual. Normally, my mind just ignores whatever sounds I make so this is abnormal. Is somebody there?

"Hello?"

Another odd splotching sound, a blur of dark red.

Okay, this shizz is freaking me out now.

"Whoever the hell you are, just come out. I'm a girl, I weigh around 118 pounds, and I'm not afraid to deck you." Okay, I'm totally bluffing, but my daddy did teach me how to fight and-ohsh!twhatisthatblackthingohmygodit'sdisgustinggetitAWAYOHMYGOD.
 

Dari

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Isolation.

I titilated in this vacuum of mine, Superbia saw this once before when I was seen as a foe as opposed to ally. I sit here, within my immovable block, forever small. I'm the size of an atom, i can become subatomic as the attributes of space inside are conscious of my whim. Displaced from all but my own sense of perspective, I'm here.

Reading is the only other joy that wishfully keeps me at peace here, for some reason this constant look over of whats felt like a myriad of times, I never grew bored. It was a seventeenth edition of some 5k encyclopedia digressed down to every natural law, and physical insight yet talked about physics, anatomy, biology, chemistry, ecologry and geography.

'Maybe I should return now, we do periodic shift changes.' I thought to myself. A yawn and stroke of the page was the indication of it being the time to appropriate myself elsewhere. A loud thud, as I watched the electrons bounce around just barely missing and grazing the side of a block that wouldn't come anywhere near shattering given its size with me inside it no less.

Expand. Something I would say to myself, the space around me began to grow, spatially contorting my density in direct correlation to my mass and volume. I felt larger, taking on more weight as I was beginning to grow like a beanstalk in that one fairy-tail. A suitable allusion, but I was high-airborne in the rough. As if I curled like a baby in the womb, I cupped my book as I was beginning to see what the open looked like. Crimson light from left to right, and my block refracting the dreary cascade of this reality into several different shades of red. High above, it looked like a strobe light as i was no longer visible from the now six by size block, myself hovering in the middle.

"Oh If I could eclipse the night, the moon! Aha~"

Like a brick, i dropped under the weight of gravity as it's captive. For how long i'd allow the damnable phenomenon Newton proclaimed centuries before, no I wouldn't. A tiny cube was my window. Tucked into a back and shaped another around me, it was here I levitated inside it and hovered down, shattering it as Socordio shattered redemption. Speaking of my chum, and practically the only other amongst our group with an active sleight of both humor in spades, I took me place near him down below.

"You look like something man could only describe as three kinds of 'reckless' in terms of appearance." i said this expecting only Forgerus to understand I said he was attractive and appealing, the usual foreign language we spoke. Gotta love being indirect right? Aww yeah.

For having something of an attention span, short when I wasn't focused, it quickly picked up. The scent of the air, the dim crimson lit sky, it all seemed the same to me. Beyond this, preparing and guarding most all the time is why I read as much as I consume. Makes the time go by a lot quicker to be honest.
 

El Coqu?

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Ok so I can now tell you the sun was actually the black moon from the night before. How did I come to this? Oh it started getting bigger and coming closer as I walked through the dead, lifeless streets of Manhatten. After looking at what I thought was a black sun I began walking down 5th ave and noticed I wasn't bumping into people. In New York City it's only natural to bump into people as you walk. That's when I saw what was going on.

A huge shadow was creeping through the building windows. "Seriously what is going on!?" Noone was moving. Or rather it was like the shadow was moving people away from Downtown Manhatten. "Well whatever it is it's not going to get me!" I said as I smiled and started running towards Times Square. . .yeah I thought this was God's way of giving me a challenge or a game. (well hey at least someone does find this as a game eventually)

That's when I finally saw someone or someone in something. Right in the middle of Time Square under the CocaCola sign and New Years' ball was a huge reflecting crystal structure. "Okay so either Bloomberg has been busy or God loses messing with me." I took a detour not to get to close and walked into the M&M Store only 2 blocks away from the crystal pillers. I walked up to the second floor and looked out the window while snacking on some dark chocolates (...oh please you would too!). There was a girl inside the crystals.

"And what is tha.." I didn't bother to finish my sentence. I ran towards a girl who was being chased by some shadow creatures. "Who is!? Crystal. . .girl. . .black kn. . .Red Night" All these things just started to flow into my head. As I ran I looked at the shadows and one word came to mind, "Larvea"
 

Nalin Calhoun

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The four ugly bastards circled around me, making sure I couldn't escape. They were armored, almost mechanical in nature. Their maws were filled with razor sharp teeth, and a purtrid scent wafted from them in noxious waves. I was having a hard time keeping my head, but I knew I had to, or else be eaten alive by these hell spawn. I used the breathing excercizes that I learned in my self defense class and slowly, I began to recall the forms. Though biologically nothing changed, my reflexes sharpened, my muscles began to support each movement with graceful perfection. I could feel the anxiety bleed out of me, even as the creatures hissed and growled. I closed my eyes and waited. That sense that was formerly so elusive and inconsistant flooded my mind, and oddly enough I could "see" the creatures with my eyes closed. The world was outlined in power. Everything, even some of the buildings were outlined in brilliant, colorless luminescence. Looking down, I was disoriented by a massive surge of force. Just gazing at the vitality at of the planet back then was enough to give me a headache. The lifeblood of the earth was like a one thousand times refined version of the power I was only just beginning to taste.

Suddenly, I felt a sensation and looked up to see one of the creatures preparing to move. Turning towards it, as if I had all the time in the world, I watched it move through this other perception as if in slow motion. Okay, so that really doesn't describe the way it looks to me at all, but it gives you the right kind of idea. I could have dodged that thing no matter what it did. In fact, I ran forward faster than I could ever have dreamed and drove a palm into it's...abdomen? Anyways, I felt the power from within this creature surge into me, as if I'd just drained a battery. The thing turned a weird shade of grey and just died. At the same time, I felt even faster, and stronger than I did before. I was high off of...whatever this stuff was. The other three charged me all at once, and I jumped into the air landing on one of their backs. I put a hand onto its head and again, it turned grey and fell to the ground, lifeless.

With a great leap, I zoomed into the air. The combat forms I knew were even more effective with this recent surge in strength. I spun in the air and planted a massive kick into one of the ugly sons of bitches. I heard something crack as it crashed into the pavement so hard that bits of it crumbled. The thing didn't move again. On instinct, I began to subconsciously gather the power in the air surrounding me. Life force is everywhere, in the air, in inanimate objects, pretty much anywhere you can think of. Most of the time it's dormant. In living organisms it's active, but foggy, like watered down milk. The more intune you are with the universe, the more raw your life force becomes. Why do you think trees live so long? And as for the planet itself...damn don't even get me started. If I touched that power even for a second I could burn myself out, though I have honestly never tried it.

With a wave of my hand, the creature zoomed away from me as if hit by a freight train. It slammed into the wall of a building and it almost crumbled through. Taking a deep breath, I forced myself to let the power go, though I couldn't seem to release all of it. I opened my eyes a took a moment to watch the distruction with my normal vision. I couldn't believe that this was my handywork. I just took down those ugly ass lizard things without even breaking a sweat and yet, I couldn't enjoy my victory. I heard something in the distance. It was a loud consistant note in the air.

I followed it and suddenly realized that it was a car horn. Moving quickly, I found some poor guy completely out of it with his face planted hard onto the steering wheel. Cursing to myself, I pushed the guy back into his seat and looked him over. He was older than me, probably by a year maybe two. He wasn't hurt, so it wasn't a car accident thank god. Gently, I place my hand on his face and send a small shock of energy into his body to wake him up. Maybe, now I was going to get some answers.
 
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This place...it felt so dense yet weightless. I opened my eyes to nothing but darkness around me, feeling myself hover.

"Am..Am I dead...?"

I questioned, looking down into a seemingly endless abyss.

"Not yet"

I whipped my head around to see a man dark skinned man with salt & pepper hair sitting sitting at a table with his legs crossed. This man...he..he was my father...I tried to find the words to call out to him but the excitement within me was too great and I struggled to respond. I managed to finally call back to him.

"Dad!"

I shouted, the once black void morphed into a white room in an instant. He wore a light blue button up shirt with the first 2 buttons undone, black pants and sneakers. Shock encompassed my body, feeling it hard to move closer to him even though in my mind that's all I wanted was to be closer. He'd died several months earlier but here he was, right in front of me.

"It's been a while son..."

He smiled as he said it, getting up from his chair he started to walk towards me. My feet slowly dropped to the floor as he stretched out his massive arms and hugged me. He'd always been larger than life to me but he somehow felt much bigger this time as if time away from me had some how magnified his appearance even more so than was before. He patted my head as tears began to streaming down my face; pulling back he smiled then laughed a bit.

"Don't worry junior, everything'll be just fine. You just gotta remember..."

I looked up at him confused as he raised his hand, which seemed about two times bigger than my head, sending a slight shock wave through my body. You know that feeling you get when you have the falling dream? That's what this particular spark felt like as I took a deep breathe in opening my eyes only to see a blurry image of the steering wheel. I quickly turned to my left only to see slightly exhausted looking guy with short wavy brown hair and blue eyes staring me in the face. Got out of the car, staggering out of my seat, nearly tripping over myself. I turned to him in a fit of anger having just realized what I'd just experienced and pushed him against the car door.

"Why did you have to wake me up!?"

I shouted as I slammed my palm against the hood of the car, trying to hold back my emotions.
 

Nalin Calhoun

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The guy who'd been previously using the steering wheel as a pillow was suddenly pinning him against the car, or rather, he let the guy pin him against the car. It's not like he didn't have reason to be freaked out. At the moment however, there wasn't anytime for emotional outbursts. The creatures that he'd seen before were probably attracted to this spot by the resounding car horn, and I could feel several of them just of a few blocks away and approaching quickly. Gently, I pushed the guy back from me and looked around.

"You need to calm down." I said reassuringly. "I woke you up because we are in danger." I waited a moment, but didn't sense any of them turning down this particular street, which was quite lucky. "Take a look around. Look at where you are! This may look like New York, but it's not. It's...some place else." I move away from the car a bit and look into its window, checking out my reflection. I could see that I was still covered in my own blood, though most of it was dry. My hair was messier than usual and my black jacket was ripped in three different places. Removing it, I looked down at my shirt. Thankfully it wasn't damaged or even dirty because of the jacket's protection. Using a clean area of the jacket, I wiped my face as clean as I could and I pulled the comb from my pocket to fix my hair. My ma told me to keep a comb with me because of my wild hair. After a moment of fixing my hair, I looked at my reflection again and smiled.

"We need to get moving. I have a feeling that we won't be safe just standing around here." I put my comb away and looked at the man. I felt a little bit odd interacting with someone so closely, but I wasn't just going to let this guy walk around alone in this Bizzaro New York.

"I'm Nalin Esperanza, who are you?"
 

King Wolfe

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I couldn't help but smile, these guys were so interesting it was scary! With such personalities around radiating off of their respective bodies I couldn't fathom how reality was able to remain stable. But then again things are liable to change. "Such ambiguity isn't healthy, so I've heard at least." Shrugging I turned towards Gula and grin childishly. I had a habit of doing that I'll admit. Then inspiration struck me, I raised my hands dramatically to demand silence as the inspiration forms into the coolest haiku ever.

"Forever engulfed,
We shall never see the end,
The shadows ensue."

As I finished I grinned at everyone expecting heavy applause naturally since my talent was unprecedented. Then a familiar sensation tugged at my neck, ah I suppose now is better than later. Seems the little insects decided to drop in, what fun!

"Hey.. I think I'm going to uh.. go tend to the flowers." Darkness engulfed me making the world disappear right in front of me. Early bird gets the worm as I never say.

~---~

It was difficult to ascertain time and direction mid-teleportation. A rather quirky side-affect that was induced by the act. Quite honestly it wasn't like Ira could ever change that sort of deal with a simple thought, it seems he is bound to remain confuse in motion. This is the normalcy of reality wouldn't you agree? Those little details never matter and why change them? They were interesting and almost fun to see occur right before your very eyes! Oh, if you ever have the chance to indulge in the act of instantaneous teleportation you will simply adore that feeling.

The feeling of uncertainty. The feeling of self-doubt, of second-hand guesses, of confusion and most of all the feeling of knowing the outcome every single time. It was addictive even. Uncertainty makes the world what it was and if it is as simple as not knowing if up is down and vice-versa was enough to keep Ira amused so be it.

Reality tore itself apart and the shadows bent so it formed a thin outline of a young man. The gait was made obvious. He was rather lankly and small in appearance, nonthreatening even. The shadows broke apart and revealed Ira's smiling face; tainted innocence was something he was once referred to. He didn't remember who called him that or even why he was called that. It was baffling, he certainly wasn't innocent now was he?

"Lovely day right?" Ira gestured towards the sky to point out the glowering moon. This situation was certainly cool enough to jump in, the dude - after being pinned down on the car - decided his hair was of the utmost importance and took the time to fix it. Ira couldn't understand why he doesn't just will his hair fixed. Ira did it all the time.

"Nanin right? It's so hard to keep up with your names, I think I'll just call you Thing 1 anddd," he looked at Eric, "You're Thing 2."

Satisfied Ira smiled and leaned in closer to Eric - despite the obvious length difference between the two - and cupped his hand around his mouth to whisper.

"Don't worry about the pecking order," Ira tried to whisper but it was so loud it wouldn't have mattered either way, "Thing 1 over here is only Thing 1 because no one else wanted the job."

He leaned back again and with a quick wink disappeared from sight to materialize directly behind Nalin. Ira was sitting crossed-leg causally adjusting the cuffs of his sleeves.

"You need any help around here? I would be more than happy to help!"
 
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