You rest uncomfortably in the back seat of your father’s car as it bumps down an old narrow road, your head propped close to the window, absentmindedly watching the dark green and brown blurs of a forest move past. This was supposed to be a fun trip, papa promised as much when he rushed you out of bed and to the car, but it's been anything but. Watching the farms and forests roll by outside was neat for a few minutes, and playing guessing games with your sister was alright for a while too, but both got old what feels like an eternity ago. There isn’t even a comfortable way to sleep with all the boxes papa loaded into the rear of the car with you, every time you adjust to a new position something is always poking you slightly or just not quite right. The car jolts over a particularly rough patch of road, pulling you out of your sulking. You move over slightly and peer past the intervening boxes to your twin sister, Evelyn. A mess of tousled long black hair partially conceals her face as she notices your movement and looks up. Her back is resting against the door, legs pulled in closely on the red bench seat in a vain attempt to find a comfortable way to rest in the cramped confines. You share a miserable look, understanding one another perfectly. This isn’t a fun way to spend your eighth birthday.“Another game?”, Evelyn asks unenthusiastically, green eyes meeting your own.“No.”, you answer quickly. Evelyn puffs her cheeks out and sighs, blowing some of her dark hair to the side.“Well, what then?...”, she begins to ask before her eyes suddenly widen. Instinctively you twist and look behind, but see nothing through the window except the passing forest.“Did you see something again? I missed it.”, you ask in a whisper. She nods, paler than usual. “In the window. A fire.”, Evelyn answers in a shaky hushed tone, glancing quickly towards papa in the driver's seat and then back to you. Papa always gets upset when either of you mentions seeing odd things.“Is everything alright back there? Be careful moving around.”, papa questions somewhat absently, keeping his focus on the increasingly rough and twisting road.>“We’re okay, papa. May we listen to the radio?”>“...No, papa, I’m feeling a little sick. Are we almost there?”>“Evelyn saw a fire in the window.”>Let Evelyn answer.
>>4350443>Let Evelyn answer.
>>4350443>>“...No, papa, I’m feeling a little sick. Are we almost there?”
>>4350497>>4350477>>4350455>>4350467You wait for Evelyn to respond, and eventually she manages a slightly unsteady answer, “I-it’s alright, papa. We’ll be careful. The ride is just so dull, and the boxes...”“Are you sure you’re alright, Eve?”, papa asks with a hint of concern, the car slowing slightly. He worries so badly for you both, so badly it hurts to even think of at times, and it's gotten so much worse recently. Outside the car the trees are becoming sparser, and far ahead down the road you can make out the start of a bridge.“Yes, papa.”, she affirms, but you can feel her uncertainty. Surely papa can hear it. Evelyn pulls her legs in a bit more tightly and looks past your through the window on your side.Papa keeps a calm voice as he speaks, the car continuing at its slowed pace, “You can always tell me the truth, Eve. Both of you can. You know that, right?” He has said as much many times, and you believe him, but the pain it causes is obvious. Something to do with your mother, but he never speaks much about her either. “Yes, papa.”, Evelyn affirms again, now holding back tears. It must have been a very bad fire. You give the same answer with greater composure, and lean across the boxes so Evelyn can take your hand. She grabs it tightly. If these boxes weren’t in the way you’d hug her. “Both of you just hold on back there, okay? I know this has been rough, but it won’t be much longer now.”After a while Evelyn lets go of your hand, steadied by the support. You give her a small smile, hoping to cheer her up a little, and she returns one. It makes you feel better too, you're always there for each other.The pleasant feeling is ended just seconds afterward as you hear a strange noise from outside the car, a whirring or maybe chuffing noise faint and very far off, almost like an echo. It passes quickly, but Evelyn immediately starts to turn to look out the window for a source. Papa makes no comment, the car picking up speed again.>“Eve, what was that noise?” [whisper]>“Papa, did you hear that? What was that?”>“May we listen to the radio now, papa? You said this would be fun.” You both need some distractions.>Ignore the noise. It will just worry papa more. Maybe look through one of these boxes instead.
>>4350585>>“May we listen to the radio now, papa? You said this would be fun.” You both need some distractions.
>>4350585>>“Eve, what was that noise?” [whisper]
>>4350585>>“Papa, did you hear that? What was that?”
>>4350585>Ignore the noise. It will just worry papa more. Maybe look through one of these boxes instead.
Just as a heads up it'll be a bit until the next post, maybe a few hours.
>>4350585>“Papa, did you hear that? What was that?”
>>4350589>>4350657>>4350722For a moment you consider asking about the whirring noise, either to Evelyn or papa, but it doesn’t seem likely to do any good. Upsetting papa isn’t what you want, and your sister is always so sensitive to odd occurrences - not that you’re much better, but what you both need now more than anything is a distraction from worry and boredom. What could you do about a noise while you’re stuck in the car anyways?“May we listen to the radio now, papa? You said this would be fun.”, you half ask and half complain, hoping he’ll budge from his earlier position on keeping the radio off. “...Only for a few minutes, the roads through here are safer for a while.”, he relents, this being the third time you’ve asked since the ride began so many hours ago. “Really? Thank you, papa!”, you exclaim, not truly having expected that to work. The radio hisses on with a brief wave of static, strange voices and music mixing together as papa tunes it searching for the right channel. As the mix of noises fill the car Evelyn ceases her searching, turning away from the window and settling in again for the ride, for whatever good that will do with all the boxes still cramping things.“Only for a few minutes.”, papa repeats firmly, “Any suggestions?”“American music!”, Evelyn calls out hopefully. Neither of you get to listen to it much, papa doesn’t like it.“What, do you want Elvis or something?”, he asks with a sigh, continuing to search through the channels. “If we can. Please, papa.”, you answer quickly, not knowing the names of much else beyond that. Foreign music is so different, that would be a great way to take your mind off of things. The car is passing over the bridge now, a slight jolt moving though it as it transitions from the poorly maintained old road to the newer surface. You get a clear view of the surrounding mountains for the first time in hours, the trees hugged so closely to the car for so long you’d almost forgotten how impressive they look.Papa is unfazed by the view, continuing to drive steadily while tuning the radio, “Only because you’ve both been good. The channel has to be here somewhere...”Among the shifting static you can make out a few words and bits of music, German and Italian, a clarinet… and eventually American music, but it isn’t Elvis. It’s different but still good, very good even! ‘Johnny B. Goode’. You try to commit it to memory, it’s very catchy. Closing your eyes you attempt to clear your thoughts and enjoy the music, and for a moment you succeed, but between the lyrics of the energetic song you can almost make out another voice... It quickly fades to nothing, the music flooding it out.>Just enjoy the view and music for awhile.>Look through one of the boxes, maybe Evelyn will join your exploration.>Focus your attention on the voice. What was it saying?>“Papa, can you tell us where we’re going now?”
>>4351145>Look through one of the boxes, maybe Evelyn will join your exploration.Do we have a name?
>>4351145>Focus your attention on the voice. What was it saying?
>>4351145>“Papa, can you tell us where we’re going now?”>>4351158our name is anon
>>4351172>>4351207>>4351275...That odd voice, what was it saying? You could almost understand it, just before the music drowned it out. You keep your eyes shut, the fewer distractions the better, and attempt to relax and focus back in on it. The road is smoother now, fewer bumps and dips interrupting your concentration, and ignoring the music isn’t so hard. Just need to listen to what’s between the words, like before. Being cramped in the back seat has grown normal, though still not comfortable, but with some effort it is easy to ignore for a little while. You just need to listen, nothing else is important…“...approaching location…”Ah, there it is, you’ve got a hold of it now. Almost slipped away, like it didn’t want to be heard. The voice is male, distorted by static, speaking quickly. He’s speaking Russian. Papa speaks it for his job, he taught you and Evelyn. Mother asked him too, he always said so. They met through his job as a translator or something, but he never says much about his job.“...recovery team…”But what is the man saying? It’s so broken up. The words hardly mean anything. A lot of them you don’t even know, and he’s speaking more quickly than papa does. Static isn’t helping either, if it was clearer maybe you could hear more.“...both assets prese…” It’s almost just gibberish to you, and hard to concentrate on. Focusing is growing painful, starting to give you a headache.“...clear landing zone…”>Keep listening, even if it hurts a little. This is more interesting than music.>Ow. Ow, ow, ow. Open your eyes and stop listening, it’s getting very unpleasant. The music was much nicer.>“Papa, what do these words mean?” Try to keep listening.>Think loudly at the man.>>4351158>>4351304A name hasn't been chosen yet.
>>4351388>>Ow. Ow, ow, ow. Open your eyes and stop listening, it’s getting very unpleasant. The music was much nicer.
>>4351388>Ow. Ow, ow, ow. Open your eyes and stop listening, it’s getting very unpleasant. The music was much nicer.
>>4351401>>4351403>>4351446>>4351500Pain shoots through your forehead, awful little needles bringing a pressure that hurts to push through. You blink a few times and cease focusing on the voice, letting it slip away. For a moment the sun is painfully bright through the window, causing more blinking. The radio is still playing, onto a different song now, and at some point you shifted your position on the bench seat to something similar to how Evelyn was curled up earlier. You don’t remember doing that. The bridge isn’t anywhere in sight either, the road flanked closely by thick forest again. It’s so easy to lose yourself when you concentrate that hard.Brushing a bit of your long hair out of the way you rub at your temples, and the headache starts to clear. Evelyn is watching, peering over the boxes at you. She makes a small wiping gesture under her nose with one hand, and you mimic it. Blood. You stare for a moment at it, the crimson stark against your pale hand. It isn’t much, thankfully, small enough to hide and not enough to worry you. It isn’t the first time it's happened, and probably won’t be the last. You wave Evelyn off, you’re fine, and she seems to understand. She usually does. Wiping the blood on the bottom of one of the stacked boxes works to hide it, not a great solution but it probably won’t be noticed. Who looks on the bottom of a box anyways? Outside a large black car passes by going in the opposite direction, the first you’ve seen in ages. Another follows about a minute later. Trying to take your mind off things you go back to the old standby of just staring out the window, the music helping keep you distracted. Eventually papa turns the radio off, eliciting an immediate complaint from Evelyn, “Papa, please, just a few more songs.”“It’s already been a few more songs, Eve.”The car is taking a tighter turn than usual now, you can feel yourself slide a bit on the seat at first. The area ahead looks clearer, the trees further away from the road.“But it’s so boring without music, please”, she begs, drawing out the please.
>>4351568“No, dear. It really won’t be much longer no-”, papa starts but never finishes. There’s a horrific crashing noise, the screeching of metal on metal as the world flips upside down. You’re thrown from your seat in a blur, too fast to make any sense of. Pain. Dark.When you finally come to, everything hurts worse than you’ve ever felt before. Somehow you ended up laying on the ground, nearly face down to the rough patched asphalt, the strong smell of petrol filling the air. There’s broken glass all around on the ground, in your forearms, everywhere. An impossibly loud whirring, chuffing noise comes from overhead and it feels like waves of air are pushing you down. Ruined boxes are strewn about, buffeted by the wind from above, photographs and objects you’ve never seen spilled out across the road. You let out a moan of pain, but that only makes the agony worse, uncontrollable tears welling up as each cry just elicits more. Tilting your head what little you can, pushing yourself, you see what’s left of the car. Crushed, twisted metal. The front half is just... gone. Evelyn is laying limp closer to the remains of the car, crumpled up strangely with blood matting her hair. There’s a tiny flickering flame in the wreckage, which begins spreading quickly. Panic grips you.>Try to crawl to Evelyn, pull her away from the wreckage.>Cry, hard. Everything hurts. Cry for help, anything.>Yell for Evelyn to get up. She has to get up.>Close your eyes and reach out for your twin.
>>4351571>>Try to crawl to Evelyn, pull her away from the wreckage.
>>4351580You force yourself into motion, crawling across the road toward Evelyn as the flame continues to spread, the pain almost overwhelming you. One bleeding hand at a time, pushing as best you can with your legs, dragging your body that screams at you to not move. It’s hard to see, to focus on anything through the pain. The loud whirring and buffeting air closes in overhead, the oppressive force of the wind pinning you down as you desperately try to move. Something heavy and mechanical sounding lands behind you with a series of rough thuds, and the sound of metal hitting asphalt follows moments later. There are men shouting, but you can’t make out any of it in the cacophony. It takes a moment but you carry on, slower than before, pain and wind anchoring you. Evelyn stirs slightly, the fire growing very close as she starts to look about in panic. Blood covers her face, her black hair is an awful mess, and she clutches at a large shard of glass impaling her right forearm. It’s everything you can manage to even move, yelling would take too much out of you. You’re close. More shouting from the voices behind you, but that doesn’t matter, only getting to your sister matters. You have to get her away from the fire.A boot falls just in front of your face, and then another. “Hold still, we’re here to help you”, a strong male voice commands in russian, the sound cutting through the horrible whirring noise. The man kneels down as you try to keep moving to Evelyn, and starts to lift you up just slightly. Behind you an unseen person tries to lift and move your legs as well. They’re trying to move you onto something, a stretcher maybe. Past the kneeling man you can see others moving to Evelyn as the fire rapidly approaches her, uniformed men with rifles slung on their backs. A pair of them carry a stretcher.>Try to resist! You do not know these armed men, and Evelyn needs your help.>Hold still, they say they’re here to help. Everything hurts so bad.>Cry out for papa. Where is he? Why did everything go so wrong?
>>4351744>>Try to resist! You do not know these armed men, and Evelyn needs your help.
>>4351744>Try to resist! You do not know these armed men, and Evelyn needs your help.
>>4351750>>4351766>>4351851>>4351891You cry out and struggle against the grip of the men as they attempt to lift you onto the stretcher, twisting and pulling painfully as you try to jerk away from them. Evelyn needs you, not strangers with guns. Immediately their grip becomes firmer, the man who spoke earlier repeating his orders as he tries to calm you, “Hold still. Hold still! We’re here to help, struggling will only worsen your injuries.”You don’t listen, continuing to strain against their grip, but the pain is intense almost beyond belief. It’s hard to keep fighting, they’re just so much stronger, their hold hardly bothered as you fight. Evelyn is crying out now too, responding to your own resistance, kicking weakly against the men trying to pick her up. She’s in agony, just as you are, you can feel it so terribly clearly. You have to get to her, she needs you, you need each other. You bite one man on his gloved hand hard enough to elicit an exclamation, but it doesn’t stop the inevitable as you’re moved away on the stretcher, looking up at the men. Their faces are stern but written with concern, most are wearing helmets.“Hold. Still.”, the first man states again more forcefully, “We’re taking you to safety, we have a doctor with us in the helicopter. You are both going to be alright.”A woman speaks from somewhere you can’t quite see, her soft voice raised to be heard through the deafening sound of the landed helicopter, “Please, lieutenant, have your men be more gentle with them!”Another gruff sounding man repeats the woman’s request as an order, shouting far more loudly. The grip of the soldiers loosens slightly, but still won’t budge. They’re taking you to their enormous grey helicopter, to the loading ramp at its rear. Evelyn is being carried to it as well but she isn’t struggling anymore, simply motionless on her stretcher. Slowly her pain fades from your mind.The woman that spoke moments ago moves in among the soldiers carrying you, blue eyes peering into yours as she looks down from above, long blonde hair making her stand out starkly among the rough looking helmeted soldiers. Something is familiar about her. “My name is Irina. I am here to take you home. You are in pain, but I can take it away if you will let me.”, she moves a black gloved hand closer to you, “Evelyn let me, she is sleeping now. I can give you that peace.”>No! No, no, no! This isn’t good, none of this is good. They did something to Eve and now they’re going to do it to you! Resist any way you can.>Accept, the pain is too terrible. You want to go home. Maybe they do just want to help.>Refuse. You have to stay away to watch over Evelyn, wherever it is you’re being taken.>Write-in.
>>4352342>Accept, the pain is too terrible. You want to go home. Maybe they do just want to help.
>>4352342>Refuse. You have to stay away to watch over Evelyn, wherever it is you’re being taken.
>>4352342>>Refuse. You have to stay away to watch over Evelyn, wherever it is you’re being taken.
>>4352353>>4352428You nod weakly to Irina, tired of fighting, tired of the pain. There’s no point in struggling anymore, and the soldiers did pull Evelyn away from the fire. They can’t be so bad. Irina flashes a dimpled smile and brings her gloved hand gently to your forehead, hovering it just above without making contact. The soldiers stop moving the stretcher for a few seconds as she closes her eyes, and you feel a soothing warmth spread over you. It’s as if she had brought you a warm blanket in the very dead of winter, the pain and discomfort melting away just as the cold would. You could push it away easily, it wouldn’t be hard to reject the kindness. All it would take is a single negative thought, a mere wish to be rid of it, but instead you pull it in more closely and bind it tightly to your thoughts. The comfort it offers is gladly accepted.It’s hard to keep your eyes open now, and after a few moments you let them stay shut, embracing sleep. The last thing you see is Irina looking down at you as the stretcher is fully moved into the helicopter, watching you until the very last moment before you drift off.“Sleep well. We will be home soon.”And sleep does come, a sounder sleep than any you can remember, but not a dreamless one. From the moment you slip away you find yourself standing within a strange hallway, a beautiful cavernous thing like something from a baroque palace, and far longer than any you’ve ever seen. Light filters in through large windows running along one side, filling it with a warm glow. Two girls are running down the hallway, they’re wearing a school uniform of some sort and are perhaps a year or two older than you. One has black hair, the other blonde, the first is being chased by the latter. You can hear their laughter, clear and sweet. It’s so familiar, but it doesn’t feel like a dream, it’s too focused and consistent. More like a very clear memory. A pleasant one, but not quite your own. The girls run past you but you cannot follow, feet anchored by some invisible force. You turn as they move past, getting a clearer look at them. One of them, the dark haired girl, looks almost like Evelyn… or you.
>>4352736Mother. The memory shifts in a blur, changing to a new setting. A small classroom, a strange mix of the decoration of the previous hallway and out of place looking simple wooden furniture, your mother and the blonde girl sitting at desks next to one another among a dozen other school children their age. They’re talking, but you can’t quite make out the words. Mother smiles, laughing at something the other girl said. The memory soon blurs again, to a new one, and then another, and another. One after another, all of them about the two girls. It’s as if you’re being shown parts of mother’s life, pleasant memories of a person you never got to know. Is this what Irina gave to comfort you, memories of mother? ...Eventually it all fades away, leaving you alone in darkness. From here it would be easy to just dream, to let the time slip away.>Just dream a dream, you’re being taken ‘home’. >Look around the darkness, you feel much more focused than when you’re usually asleep.>>4352708>>4352585Apologies to both of you anons, normally I'd do a roll off in case of a tie but I had this basically fully written by the time I saw >>4352708
>>4352739>Look around the darkness, you feel much more focused than when you’re usually asleep.
>>4352739>>Look around the darkness, you feel much more focused than when you’re usually asleep.
>>4352760>>4352761>>4352804Inky blackness looms about you, an endless expanse of nothingness. It’s a warm and cozy sort of darkness, but you’ve never experienced anything like it before. This isn’t a dream, not a normal one, you can feel that immediately. The ground below you, if you could even call it that, is like glass. Smooth, faintly reflective, but not quite perfectly flat. It moves subtly, waves sliding through and disturbing the stillness just under the surface. The most striking thing however is that your hands, or rather your entire body as you notice with a small shock half a moment later, are glowing a faint translucent teal. You can see clearly through your own hands, even your arms, if you focus closely enough. But you aren’t only a pale light, your normal form and color are there as well. Pale skin, the remains of your tattered red dress ruined in the crash, everything is there. Your translucent and normal body exist together, two objects occupying the same space simultaneously. Touching your arm carefully it still feels real, just as solid as ever. How strange.Satisfied with your own state, but feeling curious about what awaits in the darkness, you begin to look around. Walking across the glassy surface is easy enough, you don’t feel at risk of slipping, the glow you emit the only source of light reflecting off of it as you move forward into the void. This goes on for about a minute, just searching blindly in the dark, but the aimless wandering doesn’t last. Far ahead you can faintly see another light, a pale teal like your own, so distant it looks scarcely the size of a candle flame. Soon after you see another light near the first, this one emitting a dark purple glow that almost fades into the void. It’s less distinct, more like the impression of a light that could be rather than one that really is.As you approach the distant lights a chill runs through you, banishing the pleasant warmth the darkness brought at first. Something is watching, something nearby. There’s a faint chittering noise, and the sound of rapid clicking against the glassy ground as the unseen entity rushes by. You can feel the air move as it passes, it was so close! Turning about left and right you search for it but find no one, only a portion of the darkness that doesn't quite match the true black shade of the rest. A dark fog, rapidly shifting in color to match its surroundings.>Be brave. Investigate the fog.>Move toward the two lights.>Call out into the darkness, see if any one responds. >Write-in.
>>4353034>Call out into the darkness, see if any one responds
>>4353034>>Call out into the darkness, see if any one responds.
For a few moments a frightening cold surrounds you, the warmth pulled away by whatever that chittering thing was. You cross your arms tightly against your chest, shivering at the rapid change in temperature. Slowly the chill fades, melted away by the return of comforting heat. Still, that encounter has you on edge and feeling very exposed standing alone. Not sure of how to proceed you call out into the dark, hoping to get a response.“Hello? Hello! Is anyone there?”Silence, not even an echo. You turn about, calling out in every direction. “Anyone at all? Hello?”“I’m here! Over here! Are you okay?”, Evelyn calls out faintly, her voice coming from the direction of the lights. The teal light grows closer, moving toward you quickly. You can see her form more clearly now, alight just as you are and running toward you. Her clothes are a mess like yours, but she doesn’t look injured. The purple light doesn’t move, left behind as your sister approaches. >“Eve, be careful! Something else is here!” That creepy thing might still be around.>“I’m fine, I think! I saw mother! Who is that over there?” If teal is you or Evelyn, what on earth is purple?>Run to meet her half way. She’s safe, that’s what matters. You want to be with her again.>Write-in.
>>4353189>>“Eve, be careful! Something else is here!” That creepy thing might still be around.
Taking this to keep things moving.>>4353193“Eve, be careful! Something else is here!”, you warn, looking about to make sure it’s gone. The fog has almost darkened completely to match the void surrounding you.Evelyn slows and then halts, confusion and a hint of fear in her voice as she responds, “Something else? W-where? I don’t see anything!”“I didn’t see it, but something moved behind me!”, you answer while gesturing, “It was fast, I think it went into that fog.” She carries on moving toward you, head on a swivel and arms tucked in more defensively. “I-i don’t see any fog! Where? Why is it col-”, Evelyn begins to question. Behind her the darkness distorts, a mist of not-quite-black pouring forth from a tiny pinprick of crimson light. “Eve, behind you!”, you let out in a panicked scream, watching as a massive carapaced arm tipped with a wicked blade plunges out of the distortion toward her. It glows harsh crimson, the light corroding the dark away instead of diffusing softly into it. Evelyn throws herself to the side awkwardly, hitting the glassy ground hard but avoiding the strike. Delicate beams of teal and white scatter from her form as she impacts, sliding forward a few feet. Behind her the monster continues to emerge, a praying mantis looking beast but with a head and torso covered in distended human faces captured in moments of agony. The faces look to be impaled to it, spikes jutting from them at odd angles. You scream, covering your mouth with both hands. What the hell is that thing!?Evelyn is crying out in terror as she desperately crawls away from the mantis-thing, trying to pick herself up from the ground and run. The monster clatters forth from the fog, burning in crimson light, it’s large legs ending in fine blades that leave scratches and furrows in the glass as it steps forward uncertainly. It shakes for a moment, almost like a dog would after leaving water, and a wave of cold washes over you again.>Rush to help Evelyn and then get the hell away from the mantis-thing. [TN 10]>Swallow your fear and charge the creature, it looks fast enough that Evelyn might not get away. “Get away from her!” [TN 9]>Try to calm yourself, if that’s even possible. This is a dream, or something like it. The monster doesn’t belong here. GET OUT! [TN 8]>Write-in. [TN will be assigned if needed]Do not roll yet, I will ask for rolls when the choice is finalized. This is just an explanation of how things will work: Roll 3d6, equal to the TN is a success and every point lower than it is a greater degree of success. Failure works similarly but in the opposite direction. Critical successes are 3 and 4 for the current options, but that can be a larger range for things you’re better at. Critical failures are 17 and 18. Critical successes and failures cancel one another out. I will take the best of the first three rolls, but criticals override normal results.
>>4353392>Rush to help Evelyn and then get the hell away from the mantis-thing. [TN 10]
>>4353392>>Swallow your fear and charge the creature, it looks fast enough that Evelyn might not get away. “Get away from her!” [TN 9]
>>4353392>Swallow your fear and charge the creature, it looks fast enough that Evelyn might not get away. “Get away from her!” [TN 9]
>>4353410>>4353397Alright, charging it is. Lets see those rolls, 3d6.
Rolled 1, 1, 5 = 7 (3d6)>>4353456
Rolled 3, 1, 4 = 8 (3d6)>>4353456
Rolled 1, 5, 2 = 8 (3d6)>>4353456
>>4353627>>4353584>>4353460Fantastic rolling anons! It'll be a bit until I have time to write the next post.
>>4353460>>4353584>>4353627Evelyn is rising too slowly, the mantis-thing turning its attention fully to her as it begins to gain better footing. Swallowing your fear you charge forward, screaming as loudly as you can to try and draw the monster’s focus, “Get away from her!”The creature turns its gaze toward you, it's alien eyes burning with a malevolence that assails you almost as a physical blow. You stumble for a moment as an instinctive fear leadens your limbs, but shake off the emotional assault and carry onward. You won’t stop, you won’t let it frighten you into inaction no matter how horrifying it appears. Evelyn manages to stagger back on her feet and breaks into a run....You’ve never been in a fight. Not unless you count struggling against the soldiers earlier anyways. Athletics aren't really your thing either, and besides that you’re small and very young. What the smart thing to do in this situation is completely escapes you, the experience simply lacking. The mantis-thing is covered in those awful spiked faces, it’s arms and legs ending in lethal looking blades longer than your arm, but your twin is in danger.So you just tackle it, throwing every tiny bit of strength you have into the blow. For a brief disgusting moment you can feel your hands press into the flesh of the faces covering it and then the firm resistance of the carapace beyond, narrowly avoiding the spikes covering the creature. Overhead it’s bladed arms swing past you, moving just a second too late and crashing into the ground beyond with a screech like metal on glass.Maybe it didn’t expect the direct charge from prey. Maybe it’s footing is bad on the glassy ground, the fine tips of it’s bladed feet providing poor traction. Maybe you’re not as weak as you thought in this strange dream world. Whatever the case is you manage to push the monster to the ground in a sprawl of fumbling razor sharp limbs. You drop with it, narrowly avoid its spiked carapace and flailing legs more by luck than any action of your own. The monster emits an enraged chittering, trying to bend it’s triangular head to face you as it attempts to right itself. It takes an awkward strike with one of it’s legs, missing your neck by about a foot. In the distance the purple light shifts to a pale teal.>Keep attacking and don’t stop! No mercy, no respite, just pummel it with your tiny hands! [TN 6]>Yell for Evelyn to help, and try to keep attacking. “Eve, kick it or something!” [TN 9]>Get off the ground and run! There’s no way you can hurt it, just look at the carapace! [TN 11] >Write-in. [TN will be assigned if needed]
>>4353966>Yell for Evelyn to help, and try to keep attacking. “Eve, kick it or something!” [TN 9]
>>4354112+1Shout motivation to lil sis.
>>4354169>>4354112>>4353975Kicking it. Show me those 3d6 rolls, anons.
Rolled 4, 4, 5 = 13 (3d6)>>4354191
Rolled 2, 4, 4 = 10 (3d6)>>4354191
Rolled 5, 4, 2 = 11 (3d6)>>4354191
>>4354276>>4354279>>4354299(10. Minor failure.)The monster makes another poorly aimed jab as it twists about and tries to scuttle back to its feet, striking out with one of its blade tipped arms almost faster than you can track. It narrowly misses, the impact sending faint spider webbing cracks across the ground next to you. Dragging yourself up you manage to stand first, hurrying to keep behind the red mantis-thing where it seems less able to strike.“Eve, kick it or something!”, you cry out while looking for a place to attack the thing yourself. It doesn’t appear weak anywhere except for its huge bug-like eyes, and you’re nowhere near tall enough to strike at them. Evelyn stops running and turns to look back toward you and the monster, fear written across her face. You step toward the creature and try striking at one of its rear leg joints, hoping to knock it off balance again. The creature makes no effort to avoid the blow. There is a flash as the teal glow of your aura clashes with the unnerving crimson of the monster’s, the light of both distorting and twisting for a moment as your awkward punch lands. The blow has little effect, the mantis-thing continuing to rise. You hit it again, trying harder, but get the same result and an aching hand for your effort. Nobody ever taught you how to throw a proper punch, if that would even matter against a creature like this. “Eve, come on!”, you shout, hitting the beast again. This isn’t working. The creature is turning to keep up with your flanking, twisting its torso to keep its gaze boring into you and taking a few clicking steps across the glassy ground to change facing. It outpaces you, moving with increasing speed every second, and you fail to stay behind it.Evelyn screams as she charges back toward the creature, sounding far more terrified than intimidating. A contemptuous flick from one of the mantis-things blade arms hisses toward you with killing intent. You start to throw yourself away from the blow but aren’t fast enough, the blade raking shallowly across your side in a flash of crimson and scattering white light. Your perception darkens for a moment, the edges of your vision blacking out as the pain of the wound knocks you to the ground. Almost unbearable cold shoots across your body, slowing your panicked scramble to avoid the next blow. You roll to the side instinctively, a bladed arm cleaving through the air just centimetres away, and find yourself staring up at the creature. The tormented faces spiked along its body stare back at you eyelessly.
>>4354582The creature raises its other arm high above you, intending to impale you with the wicked point, and strikes. Evelyn impacts it at the same time, ending her charge in an unbalanced kick to its side and then falling to the ground as she loses her footing. Her attack knocks the monsters aim off just enough to cause it to miss and impact next to you with a loud crack. The mantis looms above you, crimson aura corroding away the darkness surrounding its horrifying form, chittering with malevolent and alien intent. Your reflexes are slowed by the cold and pain spreading from the gash across your side, but you’re thankfully still in one piece. The unknown third teal light grows closer, moving toward the fight rapidly. How do you proceed?>Get back on your feet and just run, this is hopeless! [TN 10]>Try to distract the mantis and hopefully don’t get killed doing it. “Eve, the eyes! Get its eyes!” [TN 8]>Reach within yourself and try to do something to stop it, anything! It’s going to kill you! [TN 8]>Write-in. [TN will be assigned if needed]
>>4354586>>Try to distract the mantis and hopefully don’t get killed doing it. “Eve, the eyes! Get its eyes!” [TN 8]
>>4354586>Try to distract the mantis and hopefully don’t get killed doing it. “Eve, the eyes! Get its eyes!” [TN 8]
>>4354619>>4354594>>4354592More teamwork it is then, lets get some rolls. 3d6.
Rolled 6, 2, 2 = 10 (3d6)>>4354629
Need two more rolls of 3d6.
Rolled 1, 2, 5 = 8 (3d6)>>4354629
Rolled 6, 6, 4 = 16 (3d6)>>4354629
>>4354634>>4354761>>4354781(8. Simple success. Good rolling, close call with that 16 though.)It takes another stab at you from above, catching a few strands of your dark hair as you desperately roll to the side once again. The mantis is getting faster and more aggressive, but it doesn’t seem terribly clever. Laying down as you are you won’t be able to keep this up for more than a few seconds. You need help.“Eve, the eyes! Get its eyes! Help!”, you shout, keeping your focus on the creature’s bladed limbs. Briefly it turns to look back at Evelyn, so you kick upward at its lower body and get its attention back. The wound across your side protests, pain and cold disagreeing with your continued resistance. There’s no time to watch what Evelyn’s doing, hopefully she’ll figure something out while you keep the mantis-thing mad. The kick did the trick for now, the monster’s incessant chittering replaced briefly by an earsplitting enraged screech. It brings both of its arms overhead while rearing up on its back legs, and scrambling to get up you find yourself again diving to the ground to avoid the telegraphed blow. One of the blades grazes you as it crashes into the ground, adding another cut to your ruined dress. You stagger away, glancing back in expectation of an incoming strike but instead finding that the mantis-thing has gotten its arms stuck briefly in the hard glassy ground. The creature is straining, leaning down as it makes a great effort to pull itself loose.Gaining a bit of distance you’ve got a clearer view again, and Evelyn is moving alongside the mantis with a removed black shoe in hand. Is she going to hit it with that? Your question is answered a moment later when she brings the shoe down on the mantis’ left eye with a double handed strike, yelling as she does so. It seems to daze the creature and it lets out another screech.“Keep hitting it!”, you encourage, “It’s working!”Evelyn gives it another smack, and then another, the creature making a clumsy strike with one of its legs and missing. Enraged and in pain from each blow it keeps up that awful screech, and eventually frees one of its arms, and then moments later the other. Raising itself back up fully Evelyn can no longer reach its insectoid face, the monster comparatively towering above her.
>>4354927“Girls, clear away from it! Run and get down!”, a woman shouts from nearby. It’s Irina, translucent and alight with a teal glow just as you and Evelyn are, sprinting toward the fight at full pelt. She has a strange looking electric torch extended forward in her right hand, but it isn’t on currently. In her left she’s wielding a curved saber of brilliant azure, its form lacking the dual nature of everything else you’ve seen in this dreamlike world - It is only light.>Follow her instructions and get down immediately. No time to waste!>Try to get the creature’s attention again so Evelyn can get further away from it, then listen to Irina. [TN 10]>You out number it now and feel a little less scared. Ignore Irina and press the attack! [TN 8]>Write-in. [TN will be assigned if needed]
>>4354930>Follow her instructions and get down immediately. No time to waste!
>>4354930>>Try to get the creature’s attention again so Evelyn can get further away from it, then listen to Irina. [TN 10]
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>4355079>>4355088Rolling off.
>>4355142Actually don't count my vote keep the first vote, the follow her instruction immediately
>>4355079>>4355125>>4355143You drop to the ground, following Irina’s command immediately. Until now you’ve been reacting by instinct, choosing fight over flight out mostly because Evelyn was in danger - But an adult is here now, wherever ‘here’ is, and she sounds confident in her commands. Watching from your prone position you see Evelyn begin fleeing from the mantis, throwing her shoe at it in defiance just before she turns to run. It follows, back to its angry chittering, the razor sharp tips of its feet clicking and clacking as it moves over the smooth hard ground. For a few moments crimson chases teal and your twin looks to be getting away, but soon enough the small gap between them closes and the creature lunges forward with a slash.“Eve, drop!”, you shout, watching in horror as she reacts too slowly. The mantis’ blade bites into her side, sending her into a half spin and tumbling to the ground with a cry of pain. She struggles to get up, the creature rearing again for a killing blow.A beam of nearly blinding white light cuts across the darkness, silhouetting the mantis-things upper body. It’s aura stretches and distorts, pulled back from the it in the direction the beam is traveling. The mantis’ glowing crimson form is stretched into a series of distinct after-images, new colors bleeding between the stratified layers of crimson in electric arcs. The light is pulling its form apart, but it doesn’t seem able to finish the job. The monster screeches in agony, far worse than when the shoe struck it, and stumbles several metres to the side. Irina sprints past you, lit torch and sword in hand, punishing the creature with the relentless beam of light. “Get away from her, you disgusting parasite!”, Irina shouts, voice filled with anger as she closes the final distance. The mantis tries to fight, kicking wildly like a trapped animal, but the light is just too much for it to handle - It isn’t quite pinned by it, but it’s the next closest thing. The light snaps off as Irina steps into sword reach, a quick cut from her saber severing a kicking leg cleanly in a burst of light. She strikes another sending it sailing through the air, and steps into reach of the monster’s neck. A moment later it’s over, the body of the creature consuming itself in crimson light until it vanishes to a mere pinprick and then nothing at all. Irina wastes no time admiring the kill, running to Evelyn as soon as the mantis’ head hit the ground. The glowing saber simply vanishes, and she tucks the odd torch back into her coat as she moves to your fallen sister.
>>4355296“How bad is your injury?”, Irina asks, kneeling near Evelyn. You don’t hear the response. Pulling yourself from the ground you head toward the pair, applying pressure to your own wound with a hand. It already hurts less, and the chill it emitted is completely gone.Irina seems relieved by your sister's answer, inspecting the wound gently as she speaks, “You will be okay, I will not let anything happen to you. Lie still.”“She’s okay?”, you ask hesitantly, moving in closer to see. It doesn’t look good, the cut across her side is much deeper than your own. White light scatters from it, but there is no blood.“I-it’s not so bad, sis.”, Evelyn manages in a pained voice, smiling weakly for your sake and holding her position on the ground as instructed. Irina nods and then suddenly embraces you in a hug, which you return with some surprise. “I… I am sorry, so sorry. I never would have put you in this state if I knew it was lurking here, you are both so young I did not think to check”, she manages after a moment of silence, “She will be fine in a few hours, but this never should have happened.”>“You saved us from it, how could that be bad?” Accept the hug.>“Y-you caused this?! Why? How? We almost died!” Reject the hug.>Don’t answer, just cry. This is the worst day of your life.>Write-in.
>>4355297>Don’t answer, just cry. This is the worst day of your life.
>>4355297>Reject the hug, Cry a bit then ask where are we and that we need to get somewhere safe to help lil sis. Cause all we remember is the car crash and the someone saying they were Originally gonna take us somewhere safe so wtf happened, we woke up in this shitty placeLittle pissed that sis got hurt
I feel like Adults are not gonna be that reliable. so it's all up to us
>>4355297>“Y-you caused this?! Why? How? We almost died!” Reject the hug.
>>4355309>>4355454Cry.>>4355349>>4355310Reject, with some write-in.Need a tie breaker or I'll roll off in half an hour. >>4355316A premonition of a possible future, are you a psychic anon?
>>4355497cry and reject?
>>4355541Sure, crying can be detail for it anyways. Rejection it is then.
>>4355541>>4355349>>4355310Tears well up in your eyes, clouding your vision as the weight of the day's events finally hits you fully. Papa is gone. Evelyn is hurt bad, you’re hurt, and you don’t really know where you are or what this woman has done to you. You’re bawling, speaking but barely coherent, pushing away from Irina’s hug. Evelyn breaks into tears as well, responding to your distress.“Y-you caused this?! Why? How? We almost died!”, you choke out, Irina letting you move back slightly as you pull away from her. She keeps one hand resting on your right shoulder, her eyes watering but otherwise maintaining composure.“This was not supposed to happen,”, she begins to explain, “I put you in this state to rec-”You start hitting her arm ineffectually, pathetically striking with both hands until she pulls her arm back. “Why? Why?! I hate this place! Eve is…”, you’re barely intelligible, “Eve got hurt! You said this would be safe!”The ground rumbles, shaking you all slightly.“It should have been. This...”, Irina motions with a gloved hand to the expansive darkness that surrounds you, “...is your inner mind. I put you here so you could see my memories of your mother. We were friends as girls. Best friends. I wanted to give you something, she was never in your life but I thou-”“Evelyn almost died!”, you shout while stepping further back, “T-that thing, it…” “The parasite.”, Irina states while standing up, “It should not have been here. Failing to check for it was a mistake, one I will always regret. I meant for this to be peaceful, you have been through too much today. If I had known of its presence I would have simply placed you in a dream an-”“You should have! I hate this!”, you interrupt with a scream, stomping your feet. The rumbling intensifies.“Please, forgive me. I never meant to do this to either of you. I only want to help, to take you home to the Union.”>Forgive her, mistakes happen. If she was a friend of your mother she might really want to help.>Do not forgive her, you almost died. Evelyn almost died.>Ask questions, make accusations, etc. (Write-in)
>>4355716>>Ask questions, make accusations, etc. (Write-in)Who is she and what do they want
>>4355716>Ask questions, make accusation, etc.(Write-In)Who is she, who where those guys with gun before,(Likely the group she's affiliated with)What/Where is the Union, Why did you put us in my inner mind, what's a parasite, what was that saber that look like light.Lot of questions, cool if half is answered for now. We need to get help for sis.
Right now, we don't forgive her but with a good rest and time. We'll see if we forgive her
>>4355716>>Forgive her, mistakes happen. If she was a friend of your mother she might really want to help.
>>4355725>>4355830“W-who are you even? Why do you want us?”, you sniffle, getting a hold of yourself a bit but not answering her request for forgiveness.“You should have some answers, after what has happened.”, Irina states after a moment of deliberation. She motions to a patch on the shoulder of her grey coat, turning slightly so you can see it and kneeling once again to be closer to your level. On the patch a pair of outstretched golden hands hold a globe centered on eastern Europe, the landmasses colored a uniform red. In the middle of the globe a golden hammer and sickle are displayed prominently, and above it rests a red star with an opened eye at its center. The entire image rests atop a grey shield, and red banner running under it and up either side - It reads ‘KBB - CCCP’ in cyrillic.“I am Irina Mikhailovna Artemyeva, an agent of the bioenergetics security committee of the Soviet Union.”, she continues very carefully, “Agents are only chosen from those with significant bioenergetic potentials, there are very few of us.”“Bioenerg… what is that?”, you ask, not comprehending the word. Curiosity creeps in to interrupt your tears, the awful reality of your recent experience fading into the background momentarily as you seek answers.“We have a…”, she ponders for a moment and turns to check that Evelyn is listening as well before continuing, “A special gift. The ability to perceive and interact with the world more fully than most people can, and even to visit other worlds or delve within the human mind. You and your sister have this gift, passed to you by your mother. We grew up together, trained from childhood to serve the motherland.”“A-are you taking us there? Who were those soldiers with you?”, you ask, mind racing with possibilities.“Eventually, yes, you will be taken home to Russia under our care. We are headed for Czechoslovakia first though, to get you both to a proper hospital. As for the soldiers, they are special forces used to working with the KBB. More adaptable and trustworthy than others. They are good men.”
>>4355943“So… so then what was that monster?”, you press, wanting to know what it was that wounded you and Evelyn. It felt almost innately evil, like it existed only to cause suffering.“A stray lower K/Z order bioenergetic aberration, er, well…”, she breaks her normally clear speech pattern, struggling to find simpler words to explain it, “A thinking nightmare, essentially a parasite that latches onto a person’s dreams and attacks their mind. Normally we only encounter them in teenagers and adults, or in the wild so to speak. Yours was a nasty surprise, it could not have been in your mind for more than a few weeks.”“What was that sword you killed it with? Where did it go?”“I think I should see further to your sister before I answer anything else, she needs to dream and recover.”“Dream?”, Evelyn asks weakly from where she lays, a hint of fear in her voice.“A normal dream,”, Irina explains softly as she turns to face her, “Not like this. Nothing will harm you within it, you should sleep peacefully until we land.”“T-the… the pain will stop?”, Evelyn winces, and you feel a bolt of sympathetic pain pulse through you as she does so. Your own wound is distracting but clearly not nearly so bad.“It will. All you have to do is let go and search for it within your mind, let it envelo-”, Irina starts to explain but ceases as Evelyn’s eyes close and her aura shifts from teal to a faint purple, “Ah, already done. Good, she needed that.”>“Could you tell me about my mother, what was she like?”>“So this… this is my inner mind? It's, uhm, emptier than I expected. Why was Evelyn here if it's mine?”>Follow the advice yourself and slip into a dream, you just want this awful day to end.>Write-in. Always feel free to add bits of write-in detail to options, I’ll generally try to incorporate them if they don’t clash terribly.
>>4355944>>“So this… this is my inner mind? It's, uhm, emptier than I expected. Why was Evelyn here if it's mine?”
>>4355944So aside from the parasites, there might be other hostiles like a government that wants to Capture us cause of our powers. Oops forgot to ask about dad, welp we'll deal with that later>"So this...this is my inner mind? It's, uhm, emptier than I expected. Why was Eveyln here if it's mine?" Try to make a blanket for Eve, test to see if we can control inner mind.So She went through training, are we gonna get Special Russian Training?
>>4356008Also ask>What do you mean other worlds? Why would you want to Delve in someone mind?
>>4355944>“So this… this is my inner mind? It's, uhm, emptier than I expected. Why was Evelyn here if it's mine?”
>>4356008>>4356009>>4356012>>4356251For a few moments you do nothing but stare at Evelyn’s still form, the purple translucent glow of its dual nature fading into the darkness around you. Is she really just dreaming now? You hope so, after all of this she deserves some peace. You try to imagine a blanket for her, thinking it might be possible in this ‘inner mind’, but nothing happens. With your sister safe and resting, and little reason beyond basic paranoia to believe otherwise, you find it easier to speak and think. Your tears cease flowing entirely, the awful grip of sadness lightening for now. “So this… this is my inner mind?”, you ask cautiously, “It’s, uhm, emptier than I expected. Why was Eve here if it’s mine?”“That is correct, this is your inner mind. I had to place your consciousness here so you could view the memories I gave you.”, Irina explains again patiently, “The appearance of emptiness is normal for a person of your age but only an illusion, you simply lack the training and experience to view or display yourself more fully.”“To view myself? That sounds like it should be easy.”, you ask while turning about to view more of the dark expanse, but nothing new reveals itself, “...Can’t I just look?”She shakes her head, “Very few things in life are easy. It can take months of training to even begin to view…”, she taps the reflective glassy surface and sends a delicate ripple of white light through, “what is beneath the surface. Your mind is anything but empty.”The ripple travels deep into the ground and illuminates dark, unclear shapes far below you. Mountains and valleys, forests and rivers, an expanse of nature dim and fuzzy like an out of focus photograph. The light fades quickly, the surface impenetrable and reflective once again.“Whoa. Show me more!”, you ask enthusiastically, kneeling down and peering closer at the surface hoping to see something. Your own reflection stares back, but nothing else.“No. That is not my place, it would stunt the development of your gift.”, Irina states firmly.“But you just showed me!”, you protest, still searching for any sign of what you briefly glimpsed.“I showed as much as I safely could, knowledge of yourself is something that must be discovered naturally. An outsider forcing it can have disastrous effects. Eventually you will be able to bring it to the surface and explore it yourself, and with great effort even alter parts of it to suit you. It will be your own world, but not today. For now this is only a place of seclusion and rest.”
>>4356338“Oh. Well, if you say so... But then why is Eve here? Or you?”, you question, Irina not having answered earlier. You look back to her, moving your attention away from the inscrutable depths of the glass.“As your twin she has a very special connection to you, an unbreakable mental bond. I am here only because of the memories I gave you, and because in the waking world I am sitting nearby. My connection will fade in a few days, a week at most.”“So it will just be Eve in here with me?”Irina nods, “That is correct. Unfortunately I do not have much time left to answer your questions, I am needed awake to conceal the helicopter and it has already been several minutes.”>“What about that sword you had? You never answered my question about it!”>“Could I… could I see your inner mind? J-just for a little while, I’ll be quick! I want to see one that doesn’t look so empty!”>”You’re hiding the helicopter? From who? Why?”>Write-in.
>>4356340>>”You’re hiding the helicopter? From who? Why?”
>>4356346>>4356434“You’re hiding the helicopter? From who? Why?”, you press, dozens of questions racing through your mind. People don’t hide without a reason, only if they’ve done something wrong or are afraid. Or playing a game, but that doesn’t fit at all.“I am, from German and American radar installations. I’ll need to get back to it soo-”“What's a radar installation?”, you interrupt. The first word sounds familiar, but you have no clue what it means.Irina stops briefly, pondering her answer to the question, “A place where they use machines to detect planes or helicopters from far away. We are overflying southern Germany, something they could possibly see with their radar.”“...So you aren’t supposed to be flying here?”“No, we did not ask for permission, so to say.”, she explains, letting out a small laugh.“Because they don’t like communists?”, you ask, remembering what papa talked about sometimes. A lot of countries don’t like them because of reasons. He never really explained it, saying you’d understand better in a few years.Irina raises an eyebrow slightly, “Yes, actually. More or less that. We do not get along.”“Oh. Why?”She shakes her head, looking almost sad, “That… does not have a simple answer. You will learn though, I promise. I must return to my other duties, the pilot needs me.”>Let her get back to it then, and fade into a dream.>Let her get back to it, but explore your inner mind some more.>“Wait, wait, one more thing!” (Write-in question)>Write-in.
>>4356516>Let her get back to it, but explore your inner mind some more. Thank her for saving usLook for the memory of mom
>>4356516>Let her get back to it, but explore your inner mind some more.
>>4356516>Let her get back to it then, and fade into a dream.
>>4356696>>4356708>>4356902“Thank you for saving us.” You say quickly, taking a step closer to her. Irina smiles briefly and looks relieved but doesn’t respond, and then exhales deeply and closes her eyes. Her aura shifts to the same purple as Evelyn’s, body standing like a statue but lacking the presence it held moments ago. You poke hesitantly at her left arm to see if she is still there, curiosity overtaking you momentarily, but get no response.You’re left alone in the void of your own inner mind. Truly alone this time, surrounded by the endless expanse of dark and without friendly or malevolent presences to disturb you. Not quite ready to settle into a dream you decide to explore, hoping to find something of interest. Preferably something that won’t try to kill you. Irina gave you some of her memories of your mother, which you viewed when she first put you in this state, and part of you wants to see them again. They came so quickly, one after another, that a lot of it began to blur together. You didn’t get a proper sense of many of them, the context of where and when they occurred lacking. ...And it was nice to see them, everything else aside. You search the darkness, walking along for a time in hopes of uncovering where the memories went. After a few minutes without success you try a different tactic, concentrating on them within your thoughts. Focusing your consciousness you will them to come forth. Nothing. You clench your fists and furrow your brow, not giving up so easily, and with shut eyes you attempt it again. When you open your eyes, you find yourself in…>The rear of a canvas covered truck, your mother and Irina looking a few years older than you and wearing pale brown uniforms. Armed soldiers sit with them on wooden benches, looking mirthful and joking around.>A snow covered forest, Irina and your mother wearing heavy wool coats and having a snowball fight with other children. Some of the snowballs are floating in the air around them, hanging near them before suddenly launching on their own.>A stone basement dimly lit by electric lights, your mother and Irina facing across from one another in two parallel lines of children. They look intensely concentrated on one another, eyes locked. A balding and mustachioed middle aged man wearing a military uniform watches from the side with arms crossed.
>>4356999>A snow covered forest, Irina and your mother wearing heavy wool coats and having a snowball fight with other children. Some of the snowballs are floating in the air around them, hanging near them before suddenly launching on their own.
>>4356999>The rear of a canvas covered truck, your mother and Irina looking a few years older than you and wearing pale brown uniforms. Armed soldiers sit with them on wooden benches, looking mirthful and joking around
>>4357008>>4357044You find yourself in a snow covered forest, Irina and your mother wearing heavy wool coats and having a snowball fight with other children. Some of the snowballs are floating in the air around them, hanging near them before suddenly launching on their own. This is occurring on all sides, children running about chaotically and launching the snowballs… somehow. A few make awkward throws with gloved hands, but most are simply moving their frosted projectiles through unseen means. You’ve never seen anything like it.In your ruined dress the weather is frightfully cold, gusts of frigid wind blowing among the trees and straight through you. In their thick winter clothes the children hardly seem bothered by it at all. You shiver, crossing your arms tightly against your chest as you observe the scene. Your mother and Irina are marked with arm bands of red cloth, distinguishing them from the others who are also split into pairs with colored arm bands or no band at all in one case. They’re taking cover behind a tree trunk shorn of its lower branches, laughing as they try to land a hit on the others. Snowballs arc all around the forest but very few seem to land a hit on anyone, puffing harmlessly into clouds of white just before they impact. An unseen barrier is halting them, but as another girl you don’t recognize is struck on her side this seems to not always be the case.“Irina, there! Vasily is by the rock!”your mother says excitedly, pointing a mittened hand toward a boy with a blue arm band taking cover behind a large boulder. Irina doesn’t hesitate, a huge clump of snow launching from the forest floor next to her and impacting the boy in the side of the head. The force and surprise of the hit knocks him to the ground, his partner turning quickly to see what occurred and looking immensely disappointed.Irina grins maniacally and steps out from behind the tree as she taunts the boy, “You’re out Vasily! So much for being the best, you can’t even beat a girl!”Vasily gets up in a fit, narrowing his eyes but saying nothing. He opens a gloved hand palm up, snow gathering from the ground and forming into a sphere. A rock slips in among the snow.“You’re out, idiot! Take your armband off!”, you mother shouts, leaning out from cover just enough to see him. The snowball Vasily gathered launches suddenly and with greater speed than the rest, impacting against Irina’s barrier in a puff. She lets out a cry of pain, and falls to the ground gripping her shoulder. Your mother immediately crouches by Irina, hurrying to check on her, “Are you okay? What did he do?”
>>4357229Bawling in pain Irina doesn’t manage an intelligible answer, just pulling her mitten away to reveal a growing blood stain. Your mother’s attention snaps to Vasily, her face a mask of absolute rage. Without warning the boy slams sideways into the boulder next to him, impacting with tremendous violence and an awful cracking sound. His sobbing joins Irina’s, and the forest grows still as the game abruptly stops. After a few moments of silence someone begins calling for an instructor, running off into the forest and out of sight.Your mother simply kneels by Irina as she cries, cradling her protectively and ignoring the commotion around her as several men emerge from the woods and begin shouting orders.The memory ends, fading away to nothing. It wasn’t really pleasant like the others, but obviously your mother cared a great deal for Irina. They must have been very good friends.>Another memory. The one in the truck.>Another memory. The one in the basement.>Ponder what you’ve seen and slip into a dream.>Write-in.
>>4357230>>Another memory. The one in the truck
>>4357230>>Another memory. The one in the truck.
>>4357230>>Ponder what you’ve seen and slip into a dream.
>>4357258>>4357261>>4357268You close your eyes once again, focusing your mind and reaching out for another memory. Choosing which to view is a strange sensation, like stumbling about a dark room and trying to identify objects by touch alone. Not impossible, but a bit disorienting and slow for somebody unfamiliar with the process. You search like this for quite some time, brushing against several memories and getting a vague sense of the emotions they contain as well as brief flashes of their contents. Eventually you find one that feels right and enter it.You find yourself in the rear of a canvas covered truck, your mother and Irina looking a few years older than you and wearing pale brown uniforms. Armed soldiers sit with them on wooden benches, looking mirthful and joking around. One of them is speaking more loudly than the others, gesticulating and using his helmet as a prop. “And then he jumped in!” The soldier exclaims, the fingers of his free hand mimicking a running and jumping motion into the helmet. The other soldiers burst into laughter, and your mother and Irina try to suppress giggles at the joke whose setup you missed. One of the soldiers looks to your mother and Irina, “Oh come on, just laugh! You remind me of my little sister, always trying to act so serious.”“Aleksi, give them a break.” Another chimes in, “Besides, it’s funnier this way. You can tell it's a good joke by how hard they try to not show it.”“We aren’t, hehe, we aren’t here to joke around.” Irina barely manages, almost losing it. You’re beginning to wish you’d heard the start of the joke, it has them all in stitches. Maybe they’re just very tired, their uniforms are a bit haggard and most have bags under their eyes.“Oh, yes, very serious secret weapons.” Aleksi says while leaning over and ruffling your mother’s dark hair a bit. “How do you do it anyways, the mind stuff? I didn’t believe it when the major put us on babysitting duty.”Your mother and Irina respond in unnervingly perfect unison, “If we told you, then somebody would have to shoot you.”
>>4357811The laughter stops immediately, soldiers staring uncertainly at the two girls as a tension thick enough to cut with a knife fills the air. It holds for a moment, two, and then your mother can’t keep a straight face. She starts to grins, fighting to suppress a giggle, and immediately Aleksi and the other soldiers break into uproarious laughter. The girls crack up a moment later, completely unable to keep it together.“You’re mean little things, you had me going there for a moment!” Aleksi says, leaning back on the bench. “It’s a good thing you’re on our side.”“It is.” They respond in unison again, trying and failing to give him a serious look. “Absolutely frightening!” Another soldier says, “Sometimes I wish we were on the front, the Germans aren’t half as fearsome!”“No you don’t, liar.” Mother giggles and points an accusatory finger at him.“Maybe not. Maybe not.” He responds, grinning....And with that the memory fades to nothing, leaving you standing once again in the dark of your inner mind. Viewing the memories like this is taxing, the experience different from when Irina first gave them to you. It's the searching more than anything, the memories changed automatically the first time but this almost blind fumbling through your thoughts is difficult to keep up. Deciding you’ve had enough for now you lay down and settle in a comfortable position near Evelyn, and let yourself slip into a dream.You awaken in a hospital bed in a plain room, your wounds from the crash stitched and wrapped in white bandages. Judging by the casts your right arm and left leg must have been broken, and absolutely everything hurts… but a lot less than you expected, a pleasant warmth blocking it out. Groggily you locate its source as a drip IV connected to your right left arm. It feels very, very nice, but the pain is still there in the background. Looking around the room you find Evelyn is in a similar state in a bed next to yours, covered in bandages and with two broken legs. She’s asleep, hair a mess but looking very peaceful. Good.The pillow your head is resting on isn’t the best, and the bed could do a lot more in the way of comfort, but that doesn’t bother you too much right now. The IV really is very nice, you like it a lot. A young brunette nurse enters the room, carrying a clipboard. She’s pretty, really pretty, like on a magazine ad.“Hi.” You say slightly slurred, “You’re pretty. I like your hair.”She gives you a small grin, “Why thank you. I’m glad to see you’re finally awake…”>Sophia>Lily>Write-in.Time to actually choose a name.
>>4357814>KatyaWant a russian name
>>4357839English and Russian names are both acceptable.
>>4357839>>4358078Katya it is then.
>>4357839>>4358078“I’m glad to see you’re finally awake Katya, you’ve been sleeping most of the day. I was beginning to think you were part bear, hibernating like that.”You giggle and try to imitate a growling noise.“Oh my, perhaps I was correct. I’m Tanya, your nurse.” She says while walking to your bedside.“I’m Katya.” You say, and then realize a moment later that she already knows that. Oops.She looks a little amused but ignores the mistake, moving closer to inspect your condition, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Katya. So how are you feeling? Good?”You make a pleased sounding “Mhm”, and scrunch up a bit tighter against your pillow. She nods, checking over your bandages and IV. “Good, very good. The other bear is doing well too, she was awake about an hour ago.”“Eve’s okay?” You ask, hoping for good news.Tanya looks at her clipboard for a moment, checking something. “Yes. The doctors believe you’ll both be fully recovered in a month or so. You will likely be up and about before your sister though.”“A month?...” You groan. That sounds awful, absolutely awful. She may as well have said you’d be there forever.“Oh, it won’t be so bad. You won’t be in bed the whole time if that’s what you’re thinking, we’ll have you on crutches very soon.” She says, trying to cheer you up. “You’ve got a radio over there on the table, and Miss Artemyeva left earlier to bring you some books. She was here for most of the day, keeping you both company.”The name takes you a moment to place. “Miss Artem… Irina?”Tanya nods, moving to the other bed to check on Evelyn as she keeps speaking. “Yes. I’ll be keeping you both company too, if you don’t mind it. If you need anything, pillows or another blanket, whatever it is I’ll make sure you get it. Just ring that bell there if there’s ever a problem, especially if you’re hurting or feeling ill. The washroom is over there, past that door.”“Oh. Okay. Where is papa?” You ask, some part of you hoping that everything had just been an awful nightmare.Tanya stops dead, halting what must be almost totally routine actions, and moves back to you with a serious and sorrowful look. She takes your good hand, holding it gently in both of hers. “I’m… I’m sorry, Katya. Miss Artemyeva informed us that he did not survive the crash.”
>>4358635Tears well up in your eyes, and your stomach sinks at her words. “Papa is… gone?” She grips your hand a bit more firmly. “Yes, he is. I’m so sorry Katya. You and Evelyn were lucky to survive, and especially so without permanent injury.”You cry for a long time, for what feels like hours, and Tanya stays by your side and does her best to comfort you. It hurts to have what you suspected in your inner mind confirmed, it hurts so unbelievably bad. How could he just be gone like that? It was so sudden, you didn't even get to say goodbye. You'll never be able to. Eventually you stop crying, having no tears left, but the dull ache of sadness remains long after. A few more hours pass and you begin to settle into hospital life, routine bandage changes and mediocre food your new reality. Evelyn keeps dozing on and off but is woken up again in time for dinner, which you both devour without complaint. You were ravenously hungry, the strangeness of the meal hardly bothering you. About an hour after dark Irina arrives with a satchel bulging with books, just as Tanya promised. Irina looks tired, extremely tired, like she’s just run a marathon and been awake for days to boot. She offers to read to you both. >Speak with Irina, you have a lot on your mind. Reading can wait, maybe for good. >Just let Irina read to you, it’s comforting. Papa would read to you sometimes.>Ask her to not read, and then go to sleep. You just aren’t in the mood for it.>Write-in.
>>4358637>Just let Irina read to you, it’s comforting. Papa would read to you sometimes.
>>4358637>Just let Irina read to you, it’s comforting. Papa would read to you sometimes
>>4358637>>Speak with Irina, you have a lot on your mind. Reading can wait, maybe for good.
>>4358676>>4358754Locked in. Apologies for the slow posting as well, probably only going to be one story post today.
>>4358676>>4358754“Reading sounds nice. What’s the book?” You ask, looking at the large stack of hardcover books as Irina places them one at a time on the room’s small table. They’re larger than the books papa usually read to you from, most are a dull green or red and a few are quite worn from heavy use. Irina takes a seat and sorts through the pile, eventually finding one that is to her liking. “Let us see here… This one should do nicely. Dirk.”“What’s a dirk?” Evelyn asks sleepily from her bed. She’s tucked in under a blanket Tanya brought earlier. Irina shows you both the cover of the book, plain grey with a pointed knife at its center. She taps the image of the knife with one finger. “A type of knife, officers have them in the navy.”You wrinkle your nose at that. “It’s about a knife? Maybe a different book.”“Yeah, that sounds weird.” Evelyn comments, giving a similar look.Irina shakes her head and leans closer, speaking in a hushed tone. “This is not about an ordinary knife, it has a very special secret.” “What is it?” You ask, leaning up a hair in your bed.“I know one way to find out.” Irina says, eyeing the book.“Okay, okay, I’m ready. You win.” You say, interest growing. What could it be?“Me too.” Evelyn adds, sounding more awake. “Very well then.” Irina gets better situated in her chair, which doesn’t look comfortable at all, and begins reading. She has a nice voice but sounds very weary; despite that she manages to do the character voices well, making them feel more real. Occasionally she has to reread a sentence, having mixed up words or misspoken. What was she doing that made her so tired? You put the thought aside for now and instead focusing on the story, quickly becoming invested. As it progresses you find yourself not knowing some of the words, or much about the time period, so Irina has to stop frequently to explain.“Who are the Whites and Reds?”“Why are they fighting?”“What’s the revolution?”“What is a cossack?”“Why are there bandits?”
>>4360162Your questions are relentless, and Evelyn's are almost as frequent. Still, Irina patiently explains each time; often the explanations need explanations of their own, and even then some of it is left very fuzzy. It goes on like that for almost two hours, and eventually Irina is struggling to stay awake, the book slipping from her hands. She blinks in surprise as the book thumps against the table, staring at it for a few seconds. Evelyn fell asleep a few minutes before, so it’s just the two of you.“I… I believe that is enough for tonight, Katya. We will carry on tomorrow.” Irina says unsteadily, using the table as support to rise from her chair.“Mmm. Good night, Irina.” You say, settling in for sleep. “Good night, Katya.” >Sleep soundly and begin the long process of recovery. Don’t rock the boat. [Time skip several weeks]>Ponder over your situation and then eventually fall asleep. [More options, write-in]
>>4360164>Sleep soundly and begin the long process of recovery. Don’t rock the boat. [Time skip several weeks]How old are we now?
>>4360229Katya and Evelyn just turned eight.
>>4360164>Sleep soundly and begin the long process of recovery. Don’t rock the boat. [Time skip several weeks]
>>4360164>>Sleep soundly and begin the long process of recovery. Don’t rock the boat. [Time skip several weeks]I assume we're in the 60s?
>>4360404Very close, 1959. A lot of the quest will likely take place in the 60s.
>>4360164>Sleep soundly and begin the long process of recovery. Don’t rock the boat. [Time skip several weeks]>>4360277Hope we get older quick
>>4360229>>4360342>>4360404>>4360655You watch Irina leave, and then fall asleep soon afterward, feeling almost as tired as she looked; only the fascinating story and your own curiosity had been keeping you awake, just a few minutes longer and you’d have slipped away as surely as Evelyn did. ...Sleep was supposed to be a relief, but is anything but; you experience the first of what will become many, many nightmares. You’re trapped within a burning car, twisted steel wrapped about you as the flames close in. Evelyn is unconscious next to you and soaked in blood, unmoving in the rapidly growing inferno. Noxious black smoke billows from the fire, stinging your eyes and suffocating you as surely as if you’d been forcibly submerged; you cough painfully and gasp for air but only earn worse of the same for your efforts. Panic sets in as visibility rapidly lowers, and flames start to lick at you. You scream, and awaken with a jolt.You’re awake, back in bed at the hospital. Light filters through the window casting harsh shadows across the room, and a glance at the clock on the wall tells you it’s morning. The nightmare wasn’t real, this is real. You repeat that to yourself over and over, eventually settling your nerves without shedding too many tears. After a while awake by yourself Evelyn stirs, yawning and carefully stretching her arms as she leans up in her bed. She greets you cheerfully, oblivious of your harrowing nightmare.The rest of the day passes uneventfully, the routine you glimpsed the previous evening rapidly proving to be exactly that - Routine. Tanya takes care of you with the help of a few other older nurses you like a lot less, and a fat grumpy doctor you quickly forget the name of checks in on you briefly. You spend a lot of time just talking with Evelyn, and listen to the radio long enough that you actually start to get sick of it. Irina visits during the day for a few hours, looking marginally less sleep deprived, and returns later that night to continue reading to you. The next day is much the same, and the next, and the one after that. Weeks pass, the only notable changes being your ability to move about the hospital on your crutches and the books Irina reads. There isn’t much to see, and you’re only allowed to go to a few areas near your room. You follow the rule, mostly, a few forays to other areas yielding little of note except a nurse shooing you away whenever you’re caught.
>>4360930Eventually you’ve recovered from your injuries, and soon after so has Evelyn. You’re going to have faint scars from them for the rest of your life, most prominently a mess of lines across your arms and a single diagonal one that follows along the cheekbone on the left side of your face. Evelyn is a similar story, though with a nastier scar on her right arm where it had been impaled. Saying your farewells to Tanya you leave the hospital with Irina and Evelyn in the early morning, wearing a boring grey dress Irina provided you; It’s itchy but fits decently, though you still find yourself scratching at it with some frequency. Evelyn wears the same, while Irina is in a dark blue dress and has a patterned head scarf and sunglasses on. She looks very different in it, almost unrecognizable.The buildings of the city are old but pretty, only a few stories high, and the hospital stands out as a rather ugly addition to the area - Essentially a giant concrete rectangle with windows. The streets aren’t particularly busy, a few people walking past toward the hospital or just passing by on their way to work. A black car is waiting for you at the edge of the street, its design standing out starkly from the few others there, and a tall man in a grey suit leans against it and watches as your group approaches. He has short well kept brown hair, and an athletic build; he’s handsome in a rough sort of way but not remarkably so. He smirks, looking mildly amused. “I thought you hated those things, Irina.” He says, eyeing her headscarf. She purses her lips, and gives him an annoyed look. “I do, but unlike some people I have a sense of inconspicuity. Nice car.”“Isn’t it?” He says, sounding very pleased with himself, tapping the hood a couple of times with one hand. “May as well have just worn the uniform and waved a party banner, Viktor.” Irina says, shaking her head in disappointment.Viktor opens the front passenger door for Irina as he speaks. “Irina, come on. This isn’t west Berlin, the Czechs are comrades, you don’t have to be so on edge. Do you see any Americans hiding in the bushes? Enjoy something nice for once.”“Viktor, you know that is not what… Nevermind. It is already done.” Irina sighs, getting into the car.Viktor’s attention turns to you and Evelyn, and he wrinkles his brow as he looks you both over. “These are Yelena’s girls?”“Yes.” Irina answers from the car.
>>4360941Viktor crouches slightly and gives you a toothy smile. “It’s a pleasure to meet the both of you, I’m Viktor. I was friends with your mother. She was like a sister to me.”“Hi, I’m Katya.” You say, returning the smile.“I’m Evelyn. It’s nice to meet you too.” Your sister says.“Those are very pretty names. You both look very much like your mother, it’s… striking actually.” He turns to look at Irina, concern written on his face.Irina shakes her head. “Coincidence, Viktor. Just normal twins with a strong resemblance to her.”“Good, good, I didn’t need another Argentina.” He says, sounding relieved. He shuts Irina’s door and then opens the rear door for you and Evelyn.“Argentina?”, you ask curiously while getting into the back seat of the car. A pang of fear hits you at the thought of being in a car again, but you push past it. It leaves you a bit on edge regardless, it’s hard to not think of the crash.“It’s a country, kid. Nothing to worry about. Come on, get in both of you, the train won’t wait forever.” He says, making a waving motion with his hand to encourage Evelyn to get in more quickly.“Actually it will.” Irina states from the front.Viktor walks around the car and gets in, “...I suppose it would, but I’m not sure the army would take it well.”“Do they take anything well?” Irina asks, not sounding terribly bothered.“Germany?” Viktor says a bit wryly, and Irina lets out a laugh.“So we’re going to a train?” You ask as the car starts, the rumble of its engine filling the air briefly.“Yes. It isn’t a long drive, the army has their own rail line about ten minutes from here. They just built it.”“Our army? The red one?” Evelyn questions.“Ours? Uh, yes, ours.” Viktor answers, the car pulling out and away from the hospital. “Well, I see you did a good job with them already, Irina.”“I try.” She states simply, sounding pleased.The car passes through the streets of the city, little vehicle traffic in the way, and it will not be long until you arrive.>“Viktor, how did you know mother? Are you a bioenerg… uhm, an agent too?”>“Is the train nice? What’s it like? ...Where are we going on it?”>Search around the back of the car for a bit, there are some bags on the floor.>Write-in.>>4360655There will be more time skips, though when and for how long is largely player decision.
>>4360949>>“Viktor, how did you know mother? Are you a bioenerg… uhm, an agent too?”
>>4360949>>“Is the train nice? What’s it like? ...Where are we going on it?”
>>4360949>“Is the train nice? What’s it like? ...Where are we going on it?”
>>4360993>>4361112“Is the train nice? What’s it like? ...Where are we going on it?” You ask, finding the idea exciting.Viktor speaks as he drives, the car now travelling at a decent speed, “It’s an armoured train, a very new and advanced one. Have you ever been on a train?”“Yes, a few times. We went to Vienna last year for a few days. Why is it armoured?” Evelyn responds for you, just as you were about to say the same thing.Viktor gives an exaggerated shrug, momentarily letting go of the wheel. “So people don’t break it. It, uh, it isn’t so important why really, just that it is very safe; and it is quite nice, the army had it made as a mobile command center and also to move very important people across the union. Upper party officials, generals, that sort. We’ll be taking it back to Russia, well past Moscow. You understand, yes?”You scratch at a bit of your dress that itches, and fidget in the seat. “I think so, but why? We aren’t army people, or important… at all, really. Not like that.”Viktor holds a hand to his chest, feigning pain. “Oh, she stings me and doesn’t even mean to. She really is Yelena’s, Irina.”“But really, why?”, Evelyn asks.Irina speaks before Viktor can start to answer. “Katya, Evelyn, the gift that your mother passed to you is extremely rare. Those who possess it have a sacred duty to duty to use it to serve the motherland, particularly in times such as these. The train waits for us because you are important.”“Potentially important, don’t get ahead of yourself. Potentially very important though, that is true.” Viktor corrects. The car comes to a stop briefly as he waits for pedestrians to clear the road.“They are important to me, Viktor, and I have no doubts as to what results the tests will come back with. I have seen their minds, they are capable.” Irina states firmly.Viktor sounds a little defensive as he responds. “Hey, I don’t doubt either, Yelena was very capable. Don’t doubt them for a minute, especially if you’ve seen them at work; tests need to be done either way though. So, girls, you see and hear things others don’t, yes?”“We fought a parasite thing in my inner mind!” You respond, jumping right to the weirdest thing you’ve done.“I hit it in the eye with my shoe!” Evelyn adds with some enthusiasm.“We hear and see stuff too.” You say.“Yeah, lots of stuff. All the time, in mirrors and windows, and the radio...” Evelyn lists a few more things, counting them off on her fingers.Viktor keeps the car halted in the road, and turns and leans to face you in the back. He sounds a mix of amused and impressed. “Pffff, alright then, definitely capable. I was just expecting latent signs but fighting a parasite… that’s a new one. I’m sorry you had to do that though, it's an awful business at such an age. Irina, how did that happen?”
>>4361371“I made a stupid mistake.” She replies bitterly.“You made a mistake? With Yelena’s…” He trails off, going silent for a moment. “I’m sorry, Irina. I understand. Girls, I take it you were both fine? You’re still feeling fine?”“Mhm. Much better, mostly.” You say, scratching at your dress again. It’s going to take a long time to get used to these clothes.“I-i don’t ever want to see it again.” Evelyn says, a little unsteadily. You reach out and hold her hand, which she grips tightly.“Yes, I understand the feeling. Hit it harder with your shoe if you see one again, you had the right idea.” Viktor says, the car lurching slightly as he resumes driving.“Brutish.” Irina comments.“How did you kill it then?” Viktor asks idly as he takes a corner. “My saber.”“And that isn’t?” Viktor scoffs.“I never said I cannot be brutish too.” >“I thought it was brave, not brutish. Where did you get the sword? I want one, it seemed a lot better than a shoe. No offence though Eve, you were amazing.”>“Uhm, what are these tests you’re talking about? Is it a school thing or a doctor thing?”>Skip to the train.>Write-in.>>4361237Gah, it happened again. Just finished writing a few minutes ago. I really need to start locking choices in earlier instead of assuming slow posting means there won't be more votes when I write, apologies anon.
>>4361375>"I thought it was brave, not brutish. Where did you get the sword? I want one,it seems a lot better than a shoe. No offense though Eve, you were amazing."
>>4361375>>“Uhm, what are these tests you’re talking about? Is it a school thing or a doctor thing?”
>>4361375>“Uhm, what are these tests you’re talking about? Is it a school thing or a doctor thing?”
>>4361962>>4362033>>4362051“Uhm, what are these tests you’re talking about? Is it a school thing or a doctor thing?” You ask, worried that you might not be prepared for a test. “Not quite either, but I suppose it is closest to a medical exam. Irina, have they changed it much?” Viktor explains, maneuvering around another car that is crawling along too slowly.“No, not for a few years. The last change was the probability section becoming more automated.” Irina says, sorting through a few papers she brought with her as she speaks.Viktor nods, satisfied with the answer. “Ah, nothing important then. So, Katya, these tests are nothing to be afraid of; the examiner and their assistant will hook you up to an electroencephalogram and dra-”“What's an electro… electroelephant… what is that?” You interrupt him, not recognizing the strange word.“A device that monitors your brain activity, they attach electrodes… Er, well, these sort of metal circles on the end of wires. Anyways, they attach them to your scalp and the machine detects your brain activity.” Viktor says, motioning with one hand to his head as he talks.“Whoa, it reads our minds? Futuristic.” Evelyn says. “No, it can’t do that, not the way you’re thinking anyways. So as I was saying, they hook you up to it and also draw some blood, and then ask you to do some basic tasks. Have you ever had blood drawn?”You shake your head, trying to remember the doctors visits you’ve had. “I… don’t think so? Maybe when I was smaller.”“Me neither. They use a needle, right? Does it hurt?” Evelyn says, sounding more curious than afraid. “Yes, a needle. It only stings little, like a pinch, it doesn’t last long. So the tasks though, those are the actual test. They’re very simple, you don’t need to know anything special to try them, all you have to do is concentrate on what the examiner asks you to do. It should all take twenty minutes or so.”“Oh. So that’s it?” You say, having expected more.“That’s it.” Viktor confirms.“What if we don’t do things right?” Evelyn asks.“Do not fret, the tasks are simple. You are both very gifted, they only wish to see how well you perform, not if you can do so at all.” Irina says, having finished sorting her papers. She puts a few of them back in her bag but keeps several in hand.“We’re going to ace it.” You say to Evelyn, and settle in for the rest of the short ride.
>>4362459The car comes to a stop at a checkpoint outside of a military zone, a soldier asking Viktor and Irina for papers. Two other soldiers move around the car and inspect it with the help of a large black and tan german shepherd and a small mirror on a pole. You watch the dog closely as it sniffs past your side of the car, wishing you could pet it. Eventually you’re waved through the checkpoint, the car passing by squat concrete barracks and equally depressing looking military offices. A few soldiers stand near a large tank with a rounded turret, smoking cigarettes. You give a small wave at one, but he just watches disinterestedly as the car passes by.Rumbling down a gravel path the car is soon flanked on either side by rows of warehouses, and not long after that it is pulling to a stop among several large cargo trucks in a small lot near the edge of a rail yard. Soldiers are busy at work offloading armoured vehicles from a train, but that doesn’t keep your attention for long once you notice the armoured train a bit further off in the yard. It stands out like a sore thumb among the others, an absolute behemoth, its steel plated cars bristling with multi-barreled anti-aircraft guns. Some are long modified flat cars, massive white missiles with two sets of fins mounted on them, and every so often an entire section seems to be given away to radio antennae, dishes, and all sorts of other military contraptions you can’t even begin to recognize. Among this veritable moving wall of guns and armour a few more normal looking passenger cars are mixed in, but even these look bulky and only have a few very small windows.Viktor looks back to you and Irina. “This is it, and also where we say our farewells. It was good meeting you both, girls.”“I thought you were coming with us?” Irina asks, getting her things together."Sadly no, I was contacted during the drive with new orders." He explains. You're confused, but assume it must be a bioenergy-whatever thing since he hasn't talked on a radio.Irina nods, understanding. "I see, what a shame though. It was nice seeing you again, Viktor."“I’m sure it was.” He responds.“Why must you always be like that? It's been years.” Irina says, pushing his shoulder lightly with one hand.“Barely two.” He says, grinning and giving her a light push back. “It was good to see you again as well, Irina.”“Bye, Viktor.” You and Evelyn say almost simultaneously, and then exit the car with Irina. Viktor pulls away once you’re clear, his black car crunching across the gravel lot as it leaves. You head to the armoured train, Irina shows a guard some papers and exchanges a few words, and soon enough you’re entering one of the massive machine’s passenger cars through a surprisingly thick steel door - These cars don’t seem any less armoured than the one with weapons.
>>4362466The interior is lavishly decorated and well lit by electric lights, and fit with finely upholstered dark red leather seats and beautifully patterned wooden paneling across the walls which give it the feeling of being the office of someone very powerful. There are a few oil paintings on the walls of men you don’t recognize, some in military uniforms, and a small bronze bust of Lenin rests on a desk that is unfolded from one of the walls. The windows are very small and spaced far apart, and they look extremely thick but the glass is still quite clear. The whole thing seems new, everything fresh and only lightly used if at all. You feel more important just being in it.A dark haired young turkic woman greets you all as you enter, she’s wearing a uniform similar to the one Irina had one when she rescued you from the crash. She’s accompanied by a short and grey haired middle aged man in a dark suit, his face is sharp and well defined but badly cratered and scarred on its left side, and the gaze of his icy blue eyes is intense; All of which combined gives him a frightening and almost predatory aspect. He smiles wolfishly, and speaks directly to you and Evelyn while Irina talks with the woman.“I am Karl, I will be your examiner today. You are Evelyn and Katya, yes?” He says in a strange accent, one that you can’t quite place. You nod, and Evelyn holds your hand tightly.“Excellent, you understand russian then. Everything is in order. Evelyn is first, we’ll be going just through that door into the next car for the tests. Which of you is Evelyn?”>“I’m Evelyn.” Lie and go first, Evelyn is obviously more nervous and maybe you can tell her how it goes before her turn. What’s the harm anyway? They can just switch the results when they find out.>Let Evelyn go first, instructions are meant to be followed. They might get angry if you switch.>Write-in.
>>4362468>"I'll go first."
>>4362468>"I'm Katya and I'll go first"
>>4362635>>4362616>>4362536Leading the way.
>>4362536>>4362616>>4362635“I’m Katya and I’ll go first.” You say, letting go of Evelyn’s hand and stepping slightly in front of her. Karl’s smile fades, a flash of annoyance crossing his face. He looks down at you, narrowing his eyes. “That is not the order, Katya. You will wai-”“I’m going first.” You state again more firmly, interrupting him while maintaining eye contact and crossing your arms.His gaze stays locked with yours, tone stiffening. “You are not. The test materials have already been prepared and labelled for your sister.”“Then just cross out Eve’s name and write mine on them.” You suggest slightly less than civilly. Karl’s expression turns steely. He begins to step forward toward you, raising a hand. For half a moment you fear he might strike you, but he instead runs the hand through his hair. Perhaps he thought better of it.“Doctor, upsetting them badly will muddle the tests. We’d have to wait for hours.” The dark haired woman says, turning from Irina and choosing her words carefully. Karl stops, considers the notion, and then gives her a curt nod. She heads through the door he indicated earlier, disappearing into the next train car. Irina remains silent, but eyes Karl warily.He turns back to you, his face softening slightly. “Follow me, little rebel. You will obey every instruction exactly as it is given, do you understand? There will be no more irregularities permitted.”“I understand, sir.” You say, uncrossing your arms and trying to sound more respectful. The goal was to go first, not make him angry. He isn’t a large man, but there is just something off about him, a little voice in the back of your mind screaming at you that he is dangerous. Or maybe it’s just his awful facial scar and you’re imagining things that aren’t there.“Thank you.” Evelyn says quietly as you start to follow Karl to the door.“I’ll tell you how it goes, sis.” You say, turning to look back to her over your shoulder but not breaking stride. Passing through the door you step across and into the next car, and find it to be similar to the last in decoration but arranged as a dining area instead of an office. A small bar dominates the left side, and there are a few wooden tables and fancy comfortable looking chairs along the right. The windows are slightly larger and more numerous as well, giving the impression of greater space than the office car. Some of the chairs along the right side have been moved into a corner, a large machine taking up the space they normally would. It has a few tiny screens on it and more switches and lights than you care to count, a paper readout and a metal box with a couple dozen dangling wires standing out among the rest of the technological jumble. The dark haired uniformed woman is sitting at the bar and busy relabeling bits of paperwork with a pen.
>>4363470“Take a seat by the machine.” Karl orders, moving alongside it and checking a few of the switches. You sit down in one of the chairs, and look more closely at the dangling wires coming from the box on it’s side. They end in little metal discs, just like Viktor described them. A jar of… something, some kind of clear jelly it looks like, sits on the table. What is that for? You ponder the possibilities for a few minutes, until the woman finishes her work. She retrieves a syringe from a small case of medical supplies and approaches you.“I’m going to draw some blood, Katya. This will sting a little, please hold still and it will be over quickly.” She says, resting one hand on your shoulder and - Ow! In a moment it’s over, and she quickly follows by swabbing the site and applying a small adhesive bandage.“All done. That wasn’t so bad, right?” She asks, getting up and moving behind the bar. She crouches down and out of sight briefly, presumably storing the sample somewhere.“Not bad at all.” You answer. It actually stung a little more than you’d expected, but after your recovery dealing with a single tiny pinch isn’t much of a bother anymore.“Good. Now it’s time for the electrodes. This will take a few minutes…” She explains the rest of the process, and sure enough she was correct about the time. She applies the electrodes to your scalp with the aid of that weird jelly stuff and takes far longer than you would’ve liked, the strange mix of massaging and slight tugging at hair just feels weird. Really, really weird. When it finally ends you feel silly looking, dozens of wires running from your head back to the machine.“Everything is ready, doctor.” The woman says before moving to the bar’s sink and washing her hands. She still hasn’t introduced herself and you didn’t hear her name when Irina spoke with her. Was that deliberate or is she just really that unfriendly? She doesn't seem particularly mean.“It will take several minutes to establish a baseline.” Karl states as he retrieves a briefcase from the ground and opens it, sorting through its contents carefully. “Sit still and clear your mind.”You do so, the minutes passing achingly slowly. “That should be serviceable.” He states, inspecting the readout briefly and then taking a seat. He sets a deck of cards on the table in front of him, and then selects five. He shows them to you, each has a blank side and one with one of five different symbols.
>>4363479“You are to guess the symbol on the reverse side of each card I draw, you will have five seconds to guess for each card. They will not be shown to you afterward, and you will not be informed of correct or incorrect guesses. Focus on them as clearly as can. Do you understand?” He explains, shuffling the deck.“I do.” You say, preparing yourself. The preparation amounts to little more than just staring intently at the deck, but it’s at least something.“Then we will begin now.” He says, and draws the first card.Picturing the other facing of the card in your mind’s eye you blurt out the first symbol you think of, “Square.”The woman checks something off on a notepad she’s holding. Karl sets the card down, and draws the next. You guess again. The process repeats until all twenty five cards are expended and the test is over. Karl stores the cards back in the briefcase.“Now for the next test. Choose a three digit number. What is it?” Karl asks. Behind him the woman manipulates some controls on the machine, which you’re beginning to suspect is actually several different devices bolted together in the same casing.“238.” You answer, just picking randomly.“Focus on it intently. You have thirty seconds.”Again you do as you’re asked, but feel a bit confused. How is this a test? It’s over quickly, but you’re ordered to repeat it with no explanation as to why forthcoming. The next test is almost as strange, you’re asked to imagine the needle of one of the machine’s gauges moving either clockwise or counter clockwise, and to intently focus on your desire for it to move in that direction for an entire minute while you’re facing away from the machine.-------How did you do on the first three out of nine ‘tests’? Order the following from one to three, one being the best and three the worst. You are capable of all of them to some degree, this is only a measure of aptitude.>Remote sensing.>Probability alteration.>Psychokinesis.
>>43634821. Remote sensing.2. Psychokinesis.3. Probability alteration.
>>43634821. Psychokinesis.2. Probability alteration.3. Remote sensing.
>>43634822 Remote sensing.1 Probability alteration.3 Psychokinesis
>>4363503>>4363728>>4363736A perfectly split vote between every option, what are the chances? Going to need some type of consensus, I'd prefer to not roll entirely randomly.
>>43634821. Psychokinesis.2. Remote sensing.3. Probability alteration.
>>4363503>>4363728>>4363736>>4363981So it looks like Psychokinesis for 1, remote sensing for 2, and probability alteration for 3. Remote sensing barely edged out probability alteration (1,2,2,3 vs. 1,2,3,3).
Karl motions for the woman to hand him her notes, he looks over them briefly and raises an eyebrow slightly, and then hands them back to her. “Interesting results. The next test requires you to concentrate on the feeling of cold, the worst cold you have ever experienced.”“Like a snowstorm?” You ask.“That is satisfactory. Focus on how it felt, its chill, not the snowstorm itself. You have thirty seconds.”You think of the memory of your Mother and Irina’s forest snowball fight - The cold was awful without a coat, you’d never been out in the winter for that long without one. Papa always made you wear one even if you only went out briefly to play, and memory or not being in that windy snow covered forest with just a tattered dress was terrible.“Excellent, now do the same but imagine the opposite. The hottest thing you’ve ever felt, a fire or open oven perhaps. You have thirty seconds.”You try to think of an open oven, the wash of heat coming from it as you helped Papa cook, but it’s hard to keep focused on the feeling of it. Fire comes to mind instead, burning itself into your thoughts. The car. Your nightmares. You have no trouble imagining its feeling, the suffocating smothering overwhelming heat that soon sears into pai-“...And time.” Karl interrupts your spiraling thoughts, “Are you ready to proceed?”You steady your breathing for a few moments and then reply, “I am now.”“Good. This next test will require my assistant’s participation. I will read from this list,” He shows you a small paper with a few neat rows of handwriting, “and she will imagine each entry as clearly as she can. You must guess what she is imagining or a detail of it, and will have ten seconds for each entry before I move onto the next. Only one guess is allowed. Do you understand?”“I do.” You say, and look up to the dark haired woman and meet her strange narrow brown eyes. She smiles at you and nods encouragingly.“What color is her pet cat?”You try to think of it, gazing into her eyes as you focus… It just feels right to do so, like you’re supposed to. An image flashing in your mind briefly. “White, with black spots.”“What is her favorite food?”“Uhm, it’s a rice dish with bits of meat and little fine carrot strip things… I don’t know what to call it.” You say, trying to describe what flashes through your mind’s eye as best you can. The woman’s expression is unreadable. Did you guess wrong?“What is her favorite color?”“Green.” You answer without hesitation, completely sure of what you say but not understanding why. It was intuitive, instant understanding.“What is her name?”“Something with an A… Aila?” You answer uncertainly, having heard a brief whisper in the back of your thoughts. It was difficult to discern, there and then gone without warning.
>>4364189“What is her birth date?”“15th of... June? ...1930?” You answer hesitantly, the image of a calendar filling your mind for several seconds. It has a red circle drawn around the 15th, but the month and year are heavily blurred and difficult to make out. “That should be enough of these.” Karl says, putting the list away and retrieving a light bulb from the case, for some reason. “This next one will be obvious if you succeed, but do not let failure discourage you. Hold this, and focus intently on turning it on. You will have thirty seconds.”“...What? How?” You ask incredulously, but do as you’re told and take the glass bulb. “Focus intently.” Karl repeats, “Do you understand the instruction?”“...I do, I guess.” You sigh and focus on the idea of electricity, not sure of what it's suppo- And the bulb starts glowing almost immediately! You drop it in surprise, and it clinks on the table and goes dead. Picking it back up you find it illuminates once more, a little more brightly each passing moment.Karl calls the time, ending this set of tests.-------Order the following from one to three, one being the best and three the worst. You are capable of all of them to some degree, this is only a measure of aptitude.>Pyro/Cryokinesis >Telepathy>Ergokinesis
>>43641901. Ergokinesis2. Pyro/Cryokinesis 3. Telepathy
>>43641901. Telepathy2. Pyro/Cryokinesis3. Ergokinesis
>>4364190 1. Telepathy2. Ergokinesis3. Pyro/Cryokinesis
>>43641901. Ergokinesis2. Telepathy3. Pyro/Cryokinesis
>>4364266>>4364242>>4364218>>4364211>>4364194Looks like Ergo for 1, Telepathy for 2, and then Pyro/Cryo for 3.
“The examination is almost complete. Are you feeling tired?” He asks, but it’s a clinical question and not one of real concern. He may as well have been asking if a tool was worn out.“A little.” You answer honestly, the need to focus so hard having drained you slightly. These tests are exhausting mentally, like sudden sprints.“Are you still able to focus?”“Yes.” You say, pinching your own arm slightly to regain a bit of focus.“Good, we will continue without a break then. The next test…” He pulls a metal cylinder from the briefcase, twists the cap on it a few times, and hands it to you. “Requires you to hold this. Some time in the next minute it will emit an electric charge which will badly sting you if you do not let go. Focus clearly on the sense of danger it poses. When you feel that it is about to sting, let go immediately.”“It will hurt?” You ask, staring at the device. It has little ridges all over its body, slight bumps in the steel surface.“It is very unpleasant.” Karl answers flatly.Anxiety builds as you grip the device, knowing that at any moment it might badly shock you. The timer was already going when he explained the device, so it has to be less than a minute. How much long now? You don’t feel anything except your own nervousness, but it has to be getting more likely to go off every moment. You furrow your brow and try to focus harder, but still nothing. Closing your eyes doesn’t help either. Are you doing it wrong? You have to figure it out, any second now and it’s going to-You almost hurl the device at the doctor, letting go of it with a vigorous motion and darting your arm away as quickly as you can. The device lets out a crackling sound almost simultaneously, discharging harmlessly as it impacts near the opposite table edge. The reaction was almost entirely instinctual, you let go long before you’d properly processed the feeling of impending danger. It was like a spike into your nerves, a jolt of fear triggering almost involuntary action. You let out a sigh of relief, that was too close.
>>4365028“I don’t like that test, I don’t like it at all.”Karl looks annoyed by the comment. “That is irrelevant. Are you ready to proceed to the next test?”“Are you going to try and shock me again?” You ask, a bit of anger in your voice.“No, there is no danger. The next test requires you to hold onto this…” He hands you a small enamel pin, a simple red star. “And clearly focus on its past. It has an extremely strong connection to a specific emotion and event. You will have thirty seco-”You interrupt him as a feeling of immense loss fills you, blurred flashes of another person’s life playing through your mind. A woman lies dying in a bed, staring into the distance barely aware. The room is dreary and dirt floored, dimly lit by candles, barely fit to live in let alone recover from an illness. She’s too young for such a death, face gaunt and pale and her eyes sunken. Her hand is being held by a teenage girl who is weeping uncontrollably. The girl is apologizing for something, over and over again, but you can’t distinguish anything else of what she’s saying. She’s wearing the red pin on her white blouse, both look brand new.“She… She died. The mother, I mean. Her daughter was left alone, and she never… s-she never...”, You choke up, hardly able to stop yourself from breaking into tears as you drop the pin. It’s awful, too familiar in too many ways.“She was like me, wasn’t she?” You say, sniffling as you try to reason through how that felt so strong. “Not quite. Take a moment to recover. The next test does not require any effort on your part, simply hold still.”The woman moves behind the bar and retrieves a strange looking bulky black camera with four large flashguns, one jutting from each corner. She takes several minutes to prepare it, opening a panel on its rear and fiddling with something. Eventually she checks the bulbs and lens and seems satisfied with their state. The entire thing seems vaguely familiar, especially the bulbs themselves; something you saw within your inner mind. The electric torch Irina used.
>>4365034You make the revelation just as the camera goes off, and you feel suddenly and violently dislocated. For a single moment you aren’t in your body, not entirely at least, it’s like having your hair tugged back tightly without warning but across the entirety of your consciousness. You feel strained, pulled apart. Almost as soon as it hits you it’s over, a wave of nausea and an awful headache following. The woman (Aila?) gives you an apologetic look but says nothing.“What was that?” You ask while wincing and rubbing at your temples, too disoriented and confused to even begin to grow angry or fearful.“The final test.” Karl answers, writing down a few more notes. He takes a minute to collect the notes from the various tests, checks the readouts on the machine, and then jots down a few things on a card. You glare daggers as he works, feeling terrible. He hands you the card, which you glance at briefly. It’s a scoring grid of some kind.“We are done here, wash up and return to the other car. Give that card to Irina.” Karl orders as he stands and begins to reset various switches on the machine. He motions for his assistant to approach you, and she begins removing the electrodes. She then guides you to the bar’s sink and helps you wash your hair, removing the weird jelly from it, and gives you a towel to dry off. “Do not speak.” A voice says in your head. It’s the assistant. “You did extremely well, your mother would be very proud from what I have been told of her. Irina certainly will be. I'm sorry about Doctor Felgenhauer, he is a cruel and petty man but very skilled at what he does.”There is real venom in her voice, you can quite literally feel the hatred through her projected thoughts. She absolutely despises the doctor.“Why do you work with him?” You think, unsure if she can hear your own thoughts in return. You hold still for a moment as you focus your mind, the headache still not having faded.She answers quickly, the words simply bleeding into your thoughts. “To prevent his worst excesses. I will do all I can for your sister without ruining the test results. Keep moving. Now, before he notices.”You start walking, trying to look miserable instead of conspiratorial. It isn’t hard. “Is your name really Aila?” You think.“Yes, but my cat has brown spots. Go, and do not frighten your sister. It will only make it worse for her.”You do as you’re told, heading to the door back to the officer car. Aila opens it for you, and you step through. Irina and Evelyn are sitting in two of the chairs, it looks like they must have been talking for awhile. Irina looks happy, but her expression shifts briefly as she sees you. Regret?Evelyn looks surprised as you walk in, standing up quickly and moving to you. “Whoa, Katya you look terrible. Was it that bad?”You hug her.
>>4365035>“You’ll get through it, Eve. I just have a headache.” Try to play it off.>“It was simple but hard. All the bad stuff is at the very end. Be brave.” Honesty is the best policy.>“I did really well apparently.” Show her the card briefly.>Write-in.------Order the following from one to three, one being the best and three the worst. You are capable of all of them to some degree, this is only a measure of aptitude.>Precognition>Psychometry>Astral Projection
>>4365038>“It was simple but hard. All the bad stuff is at the very end. Be brave.” Honesty is the best policy.1 Precognition2 Psychometry3 Astral Projection
>>4365038>“It was simple but hard. All the bad stuff is at the very end. Be brave.” Honesty is the best policy.1 Precognition2 Astral Projection3 Psychometry
>>4365038>>“You’ll get through it, Eve. I just have a headache.” Try to play it off.1 Precognition2 Psychometry3 Astral Projection
“It was simple but hard. All the bad stuff is at the very end. Be brave.” You say, hugging Evelyn a bit more tightly before letting go. “Gah, Katya, your hair is wet. What's the bad stuff?” Evelyn asks, pulling back from your mess of wet hair pressing against the side of her face. It would have been nice to dry if for longer, or at least be left with a towel. Oh well, too late now.You start to answer, “Most of it was fine, but the last fe-”“That’s enough, Katya. Evelyn, if you would please follow me.” Aila interrupts from the door, motioning with one hand for Evelyn to come through. She complies, but looks at you questioningly as she walks off.“Good luck, Eve. You’ll do great.” You say, trying to be encouraging. She doesn’t seem too nervous now, which relieves you, but it would have been nicer to get to tell her more. You promised before you went in, and you keep promises with your sister. At least you tried.“Thanks.” Evelyn says, moving into the next car with Aila. The door is shut, leaving you in the fancy office car with Irina. She’s sitting cross legged in one of the comfortable looking chairs, her blue dress standing out against the red of it’s leather. Her headscarf and sunglasses have been removed and set on one of the desks nearby, and with her blonde hair free again she looks much more like the Irina you’ve grown used to over the past few weeks.“It was not too bad, I hope?” She says kindly, gesturing slightly to the seat Evelyn was just in.“It wasn’t good, I hate that stupid camera.” You answer simply, sitting down and carefully placing the card you were given in your lap. The chair feels even better than you’d expected, but that might just be the fatigue from the tests speaking. You start running your hands through your thick black hair, trying to get out tangles from the wash and mediocre drying. “The final tests are always rough, but we can discuss that in a moment.” She says, standing up. “The next car has sleeping quarters and a washroom, I will get you a towel.”“Thank you, Aila just rushed me out before I could finish drying.” You say, grateful that you aren’t going to have to just sit here like this.Irina raises an eyebrow slightly, “I take it you did well if you know her name, that is very good to hear. I will be back shortly.” She heads through a door and disappears, returning about a minute later with a white towel. You take it and get to work drying, the familiarity of the process helping settle your nerves.“Oh,” You say, picking up the card and handing it to Irina, “I was supposed to give you this.”She looks it over carefully, smiling as she reads through the results. “I am proud of you, Katya. Your mother would be as well, you did excellently.” The smile is infectious, you can’t help but return a small grin.
>>4365952>“So what does it say? It didn’t make much sense to me, just numbers and stuff.”>“Did you have to take the test? When you were my age, I mean?”>“The tests were weird, I didn’t know I could do half of that stuff… Can everybody like us do that?”>Write-in
>>4365197>>4365076>>4365283Clearly won, no need to mix results for this one.
>>4365953>>“So what does it say? It didn’t make much sense to me, just numbers and stuff.”
>>4365953>“So what does it say? It didn’t make much sense to me, just numbers and stuff.”
“So what does it say? It didn’t make much sense to me, just numbers and stuff.” You ask, still working to dry your hair. It’s going to take awhile.She holds the card out and explains the scoring, moving a finger across various parts of the card and tapping at areas to illustrate her explanations. “It is an aptitude assessment for nine different facets of your bioenergetic ability, the numbers are scores that compare to a baseline for each test from zero to ten. All zeros across the board are the human standard, they have very little bioenergetic potential outside of large groups and are essentially mundane. A person with all ones is a low level latent, they might on occasion get vague feelings about another person’s emotions or hazy visions in their dreams. They still don’t have enough potential for useful training and it is difficult to tell if their senses are merely mental delusion; they are significantly less common than a zero as well. Each step up has an even greater potential, and is correspondingly much rarer. Do you follow?”You nod, and read over the card slowly. “Yes. So I did… at least fives on everything, some sevens, two nines and a… What is a ten? That must be really good!”“It is outstanding, Katya. There has only been a handful of tens in the last few years, three I believe.”“Did you get a ten when you took it?” You ask, wondering how you compare. Irina hid a helicopter somehow, so she has to be good right?She shakes her head. “The testing was different then, rougher and less refined. The scoring does not translate well.”“What if you took it now?” You ask.“It isn’t scaled usefully for a person with as much training and experience as I have. Everything would read as higher than ten. We have other tests for people with more developed gifts.”“Oh, sure, but if you have a ten and you still work hard…” You start to say, trailing off as you think through the obvious implications.“You understand then,” Irina says solemnly, “The importance you have to the union. You have an immense talent for precognition and two of the major kinesis groups.”“I… I think I get it. But what does that mean? I don’t know these words.” You ask pointing at the category labels, ‘psychometry’ and other words that sound almost like gibberish to you as you sound them out in your head.
>>4366365“I can do better than an explanation for some, I will show you.” Irina says, lifting a hand toward the desk. The headscarf leaps from its surface, right into her open palm. “Psychokinesis. Moving objects with a thought.”“Like snowballs.” You say, the memory suddenly making far more sense.She stops, silent for a moment and looking contemplative. “Yes, like snowballs. Useful for stopping them too.”The headscarf catches on fire without warning, causing you to jump slightly in your seat and gasp in alarm. “Pyrokinesis, the manipulation and control of heat.” The flames engulfing the headscarf suddenly vanish, a gust of cold air blowing over it and throughout the room. Crystals of ice form on the scorched cloth. “And its mirror, Cryokinesis. They’re the same ability, and related to psychokinesis.”“Whoa, awesome! What about ergokinesis?” You ask, looking at the next ‘kinesis’ entry on the card.“The generation and control of electric and magnetic fields. You turned on a bulb in one of the tests, correct?” Irina says.“Yeah, it got really bright.” You answer enthusiastically.“It can do much more than that.” She says, the frozen headscarf suddenly disappearing. Irina’s hand looks blurred like an out of focus picture, but completely empty. Suddenly it snaps back into clarity, the cloth resting where it was moments before. She flicks the ruined cloth back onto the desk a bit contemptuously.“So that’s how you hid the helicopter?” You say, suddenly understanding.Her voice enters your mind, resounding within it. “It was difficult to do for so long.”“Gah, a little loud.” You complain, startled again by the sudden display. “Telepathy!” Her voice announces, sounding more playful than her usual serious and crystal clear speech. Is that her inner voice?
>>4366371“Okay, so I think I get most of these. What about the others?”“You’ve already seen a form of astral projection when I placed you within your inner mind. It’s a variation of it, normally you exit your body instead of exploring inward. Telepathy is closely linked. Remote sensing is exactly what it sounds like, perceiving events out of the range or capabilities of your normal senses; even at very great distances. Psychometry is the ability to read the emotional history of an object, and peering into the past more generally. Precognition is its mirror, allowing you to sense and react to imminent danger or glimpse likely future events.”“Likely future… I can see the future?” You ask, looking at the very high score on the card for precognition. “Yes, likely futures. Visions are never perfectly accurate, and context is difficult to grasp without great practice. Even then, nothing is certain. It is most accurate moment to moment, such as when playing a sport or…”“Or when fighting.” You conclude, thinking of how you avoided the mantis-thing’s strikes within your mind. Or would that just be astral projection of some sort? You’re still unclear on the specifics.“Yes, though that is a very specific and thankfully uncommon use in peacetime. The ability works best when you’re already alerted to the presence of danger, or have a very clear and specific event you wish to glimpse in the future; The rough mass of a crop yield perhaps, or if a rocket test will end in failure the next day.”You point to the last category, “What about probability alteration?”“It is luck, essentially. It is also the least understood of the common abilities, and difficult to test for. Most methods can be spoiled by the accidental use of the other abilities, ”>“So will Eve have the same scores since we’re twins?”>“Oh, oh, I want to try moving something. Please? I’ll be careful!”>“Why would I want to predict something boring like crop yields? Rockets sound fun though.”>Write-in.----------Additionally: Which of Psychokinesis, Ergokinesis, or Precognition is your ten?
>>4366377>“Why would I want to predict something boring like crop yields? Rockets sound fun though.”Additionally: Which of Psychokinesis, Ergokinesis, or Precognition is your ten?>Precognition
>>4366377>“Why would I want to predict something boring like crop yields? Rockets sound fun though.”Ergokinesis
>>4366487>>4366685Asking about predictions it is. I'd prefer to have some more votes as to what the ten is though.
>>4366377>>“Oh, oh, I want to try moving something. Please? I’ll be careful!”Ergokinesis
>>4366981>>4366877>>4366685Looks like Ergokinesis wins by one.
>>4366487>>4366877>>4366685>>4366877“Why would I want to predict something boring like crop yields? Rockets sound fun though.” You say, hoping that you aren’t doomed to a life of focusing on corn growth in Siberia or something equally awful.Irina almost laughs at your comment but manages to limit it to a simple grin, “Crop prediction is not exactly thrilling, I admit, but it helps the union immensely; it was mostly an example though. Knowledge of likely futures aids the creation of economic plans, speeds scientific advancement, guides military deployments and maneuvers… When done correctly, and well interpreted, it can help with almost anything. Rockets included."You run a hand through your hair, finding that it’s much closer to being dry; The towel is surprisingly absorbent. “That all sounds really, uhm, big. Neat, but… big. So I can do that?”“With years of training and hard work. I believe you are capable of it, Katya, and likely your sister is as well. Evelyn has already spoken with me about her visions, and that you receive them too.”You shrug slightly. “We see things sometimes, in mirrors or dreams, and they come true. I never really thought about how far it could go though, or trying to do it… Papa always got upset if we talked about it.”“Fear and concern are natural when dealing with the unknown, understandable even. He likely only wished to protect you.” Irina says, but it sounds more like an empty platitude than real acceptance. She looks sincere though, sorrowful even.“He would say that sometimes, and that he wanted us to forget about it. That we’d be safer. He never got angry about it or anything, just… sad.” You say, feeling a profound emptiness within you. Bursting into tears when you think about Papa is rarer now, but it still hurts to think about him. You think about him everyday. “There will be no need to avoid your abilities any longer, Katya. I will ensure your safety, as will the others. Someday you and Evelyn will do great things.”>“So my ten is in ergokinesis… Can I try it? I want to try it!” Keep on the topic of powers.>“What exactly do you do? With your gift I mean, for the KBB.” You know little about what it actually is that Irina does.>“Was it… was it a prediction that let you be at the crash so fast?” Keep on the topic of Papa.>Write-in.
>>4367811>>“What exactly do you do? With your gift I mean, for the KBB.” You know little about what it actually is that Irina does.
>>4367811>“What exactly do you do? With your gift I mean, for the KBB.” You know little about what it actually is that Irina does.
>>4367868+1I wonder what was father occupation
>>4367811>“What exactly do you do? With your gift I mean, for the KBB.” You know little about what it actually is that Irina does.KGB?
>>4367859>>4367868>>4368018>>4368101“What exactly do you do? With your gift I mean, for the KBB.” You ask, setting the towel down and scratching at a bit of your uncomfortable grey dress. It’s still itchy, and you try to adjust your position in the chair a bit to keep it from pressing so closely.“I do whatever is asked of me, it is quite a varied job.” Irina responds cryptically.“Yeah, but what though?” You push, the vague answer hardly satisfying you.Irina sits up a bit straighter, her face turning serious. More serious at least, she’s usually a little stiff. “Military espionage and special operations. Occasionally I aid in scientific research where my abilities are useful.”“Espionage?” You ask, unfamiliar with the word.“I’m a spy, of a sort.” She clarifies.Your eyes widen. “Whoa, that’s awesome! ...And dangerous, I guess. Who do you spy on?”“Enemies of our nation. I cannot say much more.”“It’s a secret?” You say in a hushed voice. Irina gives a small nod. “Yes. And there is no need to be quiet, Katya. No one is listening in.”You feel a bit silly, why were you whispering? “Oh… Well, can’t you say then? I promise I won’t tell.”She shakes her head, “I try to be honest with you, Katya, but I simply cannot speak about it further. Perhaps in a few more years, once you have begun work of your own.”The mere suggestion floods you with a mix of apprehension and excitement. “In a few more years? I… I don’t know about that, won’t I be sort of young for it?” “For most work, yes. It will only be simple tasks, part of training to use your gift. Only a crisis would push it further than that.”A worrying thought crosses your mind as soon as she finishes speaking. “But if there is a crisis?”“All must serve, however they can.” She answers flatly, her expression turning unusually intense. The memory of your mother and Irina in the military truck flashes through your thoughts, they must have only been eleven or twelve. “You... fought, right? In the war.” You ask carefully, unsure of how Irina might react.She closes her eyes, her expression softening as she sighs. “Yes, we did our duty.”>“What was it like? Did you kill Germans?”>“Maybe we should talk about something else… how long until Eve is done? I lost track of time.”>“Is it okay to talk about the research? Or is that not allowed either?”>Write-in.>>4368101KBB is not a typo, see >>4355943
>>4368114>>“Maybe we should talk about something else… how long until Eve is done? I lost track of time.”
>>4368114>>“Is it okay to talk about the research? Or is that not allowed either?”
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>4368117>>4368126
>>4368117“Maybe we should talk about something else… how long until Eve is done? I lost track of time.” You say trying to change the subject quickly, but also because you’ve genuinely not been keeping track. A quick glance at a clock on the wall tells you absolutely nothing either, you’d forgotten to check the time when Evelyn started her tests. Whoops.Irina releases a bit of the tension from her posture as she opens her eyes and answers, “She should not be much longer now, six or seven minutes perhaps. Are you finished with that?”Distracted by thoughts about how Evelyn might be doing it takes you a half a moment to process that Irina’s pointing at your towel, “Huh? Oh, yeah, I don’t think I can do much more. How bad is my hair?”“Absolutely dreadful. Hold still for a moment and relax, I will fix it.” Irina says with mild amusement, lifting one hand slightly and making a few small motions.“Hey, I tried my - Ah! What’s happen- Oh!” You start to protest as your hair is suddenly but gently tugged in multiple directions, feeling as if it’s being combed and lightly heated simultaneously. “Wow, I hadn’t thought of using it for that. Why’d you make me dry it with a towel if you can do this?”Irina speaks but maintains her concentration, making a few more subtle movements with her hand. “Even with a gift it is important to still live normally, relying on powers to the point that they even define how you do small tasks like drying hair is a poor habit.”You furrow your brow, not liking the answer. “Uh, I guess so, but... why? Using whateverkinesis seems way better. Is it hard to learn to do this? What does it take?”“A few weeks of practice, and a lot of missing and burnt hair. What can I say? It is easier if you dry it a bit normally first.” She shrugs and gives you a small grin while she finishes the process, and then stands up. “Hand me your towel, I am going to get another for when Evelyn is done.”Your hair falls down all at once, dry and styled simply. It’s a bizarre if brief feeling, and it’s nice to no longer have a half dry mop on your head. “Why not just pyrokinesis my towel dry?”Irina wrinkles her nose and shakes her head. “It still has bits of the electrolyte paste in it, you missed some in the wash. Easier to just get another than sift it out as well.”“It doesn't seem hard.” You say, watching as Irina continues to the door.“Neither is walking into the next car. I will be back in just a moment.”>Time skip to Evelyn finishing her test.>Speak further with Irina when she returns (Write-in).>Write-in.
>>4368376>Time skip to Evelyn finishing her test.
>>4368376>>Speak further with Irina when she returns (Write-in).Research? Whatever she's allowed to divulge
>>4368853>>4368787Asking about research.
>>4368853>>4368787It doesn’t take long for Irina to return and settle back into her chair, and you’re quickly back to talking. “So you do science stuff?”“Yes, when asked to.” She answers, looking over your score card again idly. She makes no comment as she does so, eventually setting it back on the table by the remnants of her headscarf.“So you’re a scientist… and a spy. A spyentist.” You say in english, unsure of how to make the joke work in Russian. “That is terrible, Katya,” Irina responds in perfect received pronunciation, “But no, I am not much of a scientist. Mostly I help with research where bioenergetic talents are required, or where they can stand in for advanced test equipment that does not yet exist.”“Your english is really good. Really, really good!” You compliment, genuinely impressed. She’d mentioned understanding it once before at the hospital, when she interjected in what you had thought was a private conversation with Evelyn, but she had still only spoken russian then.“Spy.” Irina states simply, tapping her chest twice.“Oh, right. You just hadn’t used it before.”“There was no need, and you needed practice in russian. Your usage was… strange.” She says, “Oh? Is it bad?” You ask, slightly worried that you might sound silly. Has just nobody mentioned it? Are they all too polite or something?She switches back to russian. “You have improved greatly in just a few weeks, do not worry about it.”You follow suit and let the comment pass, but it was nice to converse in english even if very briefly. “Thanks, I think. So what type of science stuff do you do? Space things?”Irina shakes her head. “No, not much with space currently. I aid in psychotronics and aviation research mostly, and have worked in a few weapons programs.”“Can you talk about it or is it more secret stuff?” You ask.“I can talk about the psychotronics research with you, but not the rest. You will be using much of it yourself in a few years, and will see it far sooner than that.” She shrugs, not seeming bothered by the subject in the slightest. “So it’s psychic electronic things?” You guess, hoping you understood the word correctly.“Mostly, but it extends to any device that utilizes a bioenergetic ability or theory in its operation.” Irina explains.“Like that camera they use in the test?” “Yes, exactly like that, or the torch I used to disable the parasite. You are a fast learner, Katya.” She answers, sounding pleased.
>>4369047“What was that torch really though?” You ask, remembered how it seemed to pull the creature apart and pin it in place.“A kirlian pressor torch, it forcefully stratifies an entity’s astral form. It is very disorienting to be illuminated within the beam, but the effects only last as long as the beam remains in direct contact.”You sort of understood the explanation as a whole, if not all the words, the context being quite clear. “So are there other psychotronic things too?”“Many. Batteries that you can draw on to fuel your abilities even when you’re fatigued, sensory deprivation equipment that aids mental focus, amplification nodes, bodyshields, psi-alloys… It is a rather long list. Evelyn will be back with us long before I could describe everything.”“Maybe just one then?”“I can probably fit one into…” She checks the time, “three minutes or so. Go ahead.”>Ask about the batteries.>Ask about the sensory deprivation equipment.>Ask what amplification nodes are.>Ask what a ‘bodyshield’ is.>Ask about ‘psi-alloys’.
>>4369048>Ask what a ‘bodyshield’ is.Protection seems like it could be somewhat important.
>>4369048>Ask what a ‘bodyshield’ is.
>>4369048>>Ask what a ‘bodyshield’ is.
>>4369049>>4369084>>4369281“Okay, fine, just one then. What is a bodyshield? It sounds like armor, and I…” You idly rub at the thin lines of the scars on your left arm, “I've gotten sick of being in the hospital.”“Hopefully that will be the last stay for a long time, Katya, and you are correct about bodyshields. They are usually a full bodysuit made from a few…” Irina stops and carefully selects her next few words, “special polymers and thin internal metal meshes that help the wearer focus defensive barriers with immensely greater efficiency and reliability. Put even more simply it looks like a wetsuit and works as active armor, making kinesis barriers easier to use.”“Wetsuit? Active armor?” You ask, unfamiliar with either term.“Close your eyes, I will show you.” Irina says, and you comply. An image of a fit man wearing a bodyshield enters the edge of your thoughts briefly, crisp and clear but somehow distant as if still being held back from you in some way. The suit is quite form fitting, covering him from the neck down and made from a strange dull black material and hugging quite closely to the man’s form. It looks flexible, especially around the joints, but stiffens somewhat in small sections across the limbs and torso where movement wouldn’t be impaired. You figure that must be the metal meshes.She continues speaking after you’ve had a moment to look at the image, answering your second question. “The bodyshield being ‘active armor’ simply means it is useless if the wearer is unconscious or has no bioenergetic ability, or if for some reason they choose to not have a barrier ready.”“A psychokinetic barrier.” You say, growing more used to the concepts behind the various powers. “Like for stopping snowballs.”“Precisely. Any of the types of kinesis can be used to form a barrier, with varying degrees of effectiveness. Generally psychokinetic and ergokinetic barriers are the most effective, but everything has its use.”“Psycho and ergo… Those are the ones I got really good scores on. So if I don’t want something to hurt me it… can’t, can it?”
>>4370021Irina stops to consider the idea, and for a few seconds it feels like she’s staring through you to something far beyond. “When you are trained and wearing a bodyshield? It would be very difficult for anything to harm you. Barriers are not a perfect defense though, they can be overwhelmed or worn down, and surprise can bypass them entirely.”“So what can the barriers stop then? Bullets?” You ask.“It depends on the aptitude, skill, and focus of the user. Bullets are relatively easy to defend against if you’re ready for them, especially once you get used to deflecting them instead of stopping them outright.”“You push them to the side and they miss.” You say, grasping the concept immediately. “Like tripping a runner instead of tackling them.”Irina gives a small nod. “...An oddly specific example but yes, exactly that. Bodyshields make every step of the process require less focus and energy, and when combined with proper technique they can become almost unassailable.”“So do all agents get them?”“No, there are only a few experimental models currently. They are very resource and labor intensive to create, the meshes have to be attuned to a specific user. Each suit must be unique, which is currently the main issue we are attempting to solve.”The door to the car with the testing equipment opens, and Evelyn and Aila step through. Evelyn looks terrible, her hair is damp and tangled and she’s shaking slightly. She gives you a weak smile, but her eyes look pained. You immediately get up from your seat and move to meet her half way as she enters the car, embracing her in a hug. “You okay, Eve?” You ask quietly.“No.” She answers in a small groan, hugging you tighter. There are times where you can feel what Evelyn does, experiencing her emotions just as you would your own. Usually they’re times of pain or joy, it’s almost always intense emotion. This is one of those times, and she’s absolutely miserable. You maintain the hug in silence for several moments before pulling away, needing to blink a few times to clear the phantom headache your empathic connection briefly gave you.“Come on and sit down, Eve. We’ll get you cleaned up. You’ll feel better, the headache goes away quickly.” You comfort her. As you start walking Aila steps back into the other car, shutting the door.“I hate that… that stupid camera.” Evelyn grumbles, moving with you to the fancy red leather chair. “It’s bad, yeah.” You agree, remaining standing next to her as she sits. Irina hands her the fresh towel, which Eve gets to work using after staring at it blankly for a few moments. She must be really out of it. You and Irina give Evelyn a bit to clear her head.“I think I did well.” She finally says, handing Irina her card. Irina looks it over with an approving look, clearly pleased with what she sees.
>>4370022Irina smiles and hands you the card. “You did very well, Evelyn. Here, Katya, look for yourself.”“You can read it?” Evelyn asks, attempting to peer at the card as you read it. You move it to a better angle so she can see it clearly.“Irina showed me what it means, I can explain it to you.” You answer, and then spend the next several minutes doing so. Irina speaks up occasionally to clarify or correct a few points, and provides displays of some of the abilities just as she did for you. Evelyn’s hair is fixed up as well, and combined with rest and conversation she’s soon in a much cheerier mood. >Spend some more time on the train, maybe see if Irina will teach you Evelyn how to use an ability.>Time skip to your destination in the USSR, the train ride is a bit strange and long but largely uneventful.--------Additionally, what are Evelyn’s aptitudes?>Identical to your own, making you a terrifying pair.>Almost a mirror of yours, your weaknesses are her strengths.>Potent but different, she’s a powerful telepath and adept at remote sensing and psychometry.>Write-in.
>>4370025>>Time skip to your destination in the USSR, the train ride is a bit strange and long but largely uneventful.>Almost a mirror of yours, your weaknesses are her strengths.
>>4370025>Spend some more time on the train, maybe see if Irina will teach you Evelyn how to use an ability.>Potent but different, she’s a powerful telepath and adept at remote sensing and psychometry.
>>4370025>>Spend some more time on the train, maybe see if Irina will teach you Evelyn how to use an ability.>Potent but different, she’s a powerful telepath and adept at remote sensing and psychometry.
>>4370025>Time skip to your destination in the USSR, the train ride is a bit strange and long but largely uneventful.>Potent but different, she’s a powerful telepath and adept at remote sensing and psychometry.
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>4370080>>4370146>>4370194Powerful telepath wins.>>4370033>>4370194>>4370080>>4370146Rolling between time skip and train stuff.
>>4370194>>4370146>>4370080By the time you’ve finished explaining her scores Evelyn is really quite excited, “So I can read people’s minds?”“Eventually, yes.” Irina answers.“Oh? Eventually? Why not… Now!” Evelyn declares suddenly. She turns and begins staring at you intently while furrowing her brow, jaw clenching in concentration. You react immediately, locking eyes with her and focusing your thoughts to . Both of you clench your fists, trying as hard as you can to peer into the other’s mind first. You lock into a battle of wills, sister against sister, minds struggling to overcome the other in a contest of raw psychic might.Or at least that was the idea, mostly you just end up looking a mix of angry and annoyed at one another as nothing happens. After about thirty seconds you break into a giggle when a lock of dark hair falls across Evelyn’s face, and while she manages to hold her gaze for a moment longer she’s soon laughing along with you.“What was that? I thought you had a ten in telepathy!” You barely manage to say between fits of laughter.“I do, I could feel it. I was so close!” Evelyn responds, not sounding terribly convincing.“Uh huh.” You cross your arms, egging her on. “You didn’t do any better!” She protests, grinning the whole time.“Well I’m not a ten, I hardly compare to your telepathic might.” You raise your hands to your temples in emphasis, feigning the use of the power.“Oh go turn on a light bulb, Katya. Shouldn’t you have seen this coming?” Evelyn mocks right back.“Huh? I guess I should have…” You say, breaking into another bout of laughter. “Are you done yet, girls?” Irina asks. “If you would like I could teach you a few things instead of sitting here watching you make faces at one another.”“Really?” You and Evelyn ask simultaneously.“Yes, but first we get something to eat, or at least some coffee.” She answers, standing up moving to the door to the car with the bar and test equipment. “Come on.”----------------You have a little over a day and a half on the train, what do you ask Irina to begin teaching you?>Choose an ability.Additionally, what else would you like to do?
>>4370935>>4370966>>4371095The armoured train eventually rumbles to life and begins the long journey to the USSR, and you’re left with close to a day and a half with nothing much to do. The accommodations are excellent, and other than the occasional presence of doctor Felgenhauer there isn’t much to ruin your feelings of optimism. This last month has been rough, the shift from your old life to a new one unpleasant and painful, but in a strange way things are really beginning to look up again. You have a purpose, a special role in the world that seems very important from the way everyone keeps speaking of it, and soon enough you’ll have a new home as well. A large part of you remains nervous, and another stills mourns for your father, but the motherland calls. During the journey Irina begins what will be years of training in how to control your abilities, giving you the choice to practice any of the nine that were tested for during the journey. After a bit of deliberation with Evelyn you settle on probability alternation, which seems to slightly dismay Irina. Probability alteration is perhaps the most difficult ability to purposefully develop, its subtle reality warping effect difficult to understand or control outside of very sterile and simple test parameters. Expecting some sort of complex test requiring immense mental focus you’re surprised when it turns out you’ll just be learning a card game: Preferans. Apparently it also serves as a good learning method for telepathy and precognition, but you’re forbidden from trying to use either and told to simply “hope you are lucky”. The rules are baffling and more complex than you’d anticipated but Irina is an excellent teacher, and soon enough you’re only slightly confused as to what you’re doing. Aila offers to help and Irina has her “monitor for bioenergetic fluctuations in the environment”, whatever that means.You’re occupied with the game but occasionally take notice as the train passes through towns and cities, eventually entering and then slowly making its way across the vast territory of the union. Time passes quickly, day turning to night as the shifting landscape rolls by outside of the train's small armored window. You continue playing the next day, finding it enjoyable but not having terribly great success in altering much of anything. Apparently you managed it once, probably, and Evelyn might have done it twice, but by its nature it is hard to know for sure even with Aila monitoring actively. According to Irina it takes years of this and similar activities to get even the vaguest sense of real control, and even then the ability is still more passive and involuntary than any other. Progress in other areas should be much clearer and faster.
>>4371785The train eventually stops as it arrives at its destination - Another military facility. You’re guided off of the train and to a nearby airfield where you board a large propeller driven cargo plane. The flight lasts several hours, but despite the racket of the engines you manage to fall asleep and lose track of time. Eventually Evelyn wakes you, informing you that the plane is about to land. It’s bumpy, but you’re back on the ground in no time at yet another military base…This one isn’t like the others. Massive concrete pyramids jut from the ground, each large enough to swallow a fair sized office building, armored hangar doors standing out prominently at their base and recessed slightly into protective cubbies. The airstrip you’ve landed on is gargantuan, just one of many, and dozens of strange military jets are lined up in rows near the many pyramid structures. The area is busy with construction, several more of the pyramids being worked on by massive cranes and huge numbers of laborers, and cargo trucks move about like ants along side paths. It’s difficult to get a sense of scale or even a basic sense of the facilities layout, every time you start to think you understand what you’re viewing some new surprising detail is found. The massive pits for instance, roughly the size of the pyramid’s bases, and the impressive looking excavation and drilling machines parked near them. There aren’t any permanent smaller structures nearby, nothing on the surface except the pyramids and a few clusters of simple sheet metal structures housing workers, construction vehicles, and materials. You spot a few missile and radar emplacements among the organized chaos, and many anti-aircraft guns, as well as a few tanks. The entire base occupies a clearing in a massive forest, and in the distance the Ural mountains loom large.“They have made some progress it seems.” Irina notes as she steps off the plane’s cargo ramp and surveys the area, wearing her grey KBB coat and uniform once again. You and Evelyn have been given similar but smaller versions with different markings, and you feel a little ridiculous wearing them. The air has a slight chill to it though, and you’re thankful for the protection.Overhead a flight of jets roar by in fingertip formation, flying low enough that you can almost feel it in the air as they pass. The noise of it is tremendous, adding to the general cacophony of the base. >“Bit loud, isn’t it? What's all this for?” Pester Irina.>“I thought this was Russia, not Egypt.” Joke with Evelyn, she looks nervous.>Remain silent and just follow Irina.>Write-in.
>>4371791>>“I thought this was Russia, not Egypt.” Joke with Evelyn, she looks nervous.
>>4371791>Remain silent and just follow Irina.
>>4371791>>“Bit loud, isn’t it? What's all this for?” Pester Irina.
>>4371827>>4371875>>4371996“I thought this was Russia, not Egypt.” You joke, taking half a step closer to Evelyn as Irina motions for you both to stay close behind her. You move off the ramp together with Evelyn, glad to be back on the ground. Evelyn giggles, some of the tension leaving her.“Not enough sand, no Nile either.” She remarks, sounding amused as she observes the area. If you ignore the trees and mountains in the distance it really does resemble a sort of desert, but of grey concrete instead of sand.“And those are weird looking chariots.” You note, pointing to the rows of jets.“A little cold for Egypt too.” Evelyn says, rubbing her hands together for warmth as she follows Irina.“Somebody should tell them the trees don’t fit in either.” You say.“...And aren’t pyramids only supposed to have dead people in them?” Evelyn asks quietly, her face changing to one of intense worry. You remain silent, considering the unsettling observation.Irina stops suddenly, observing a group of black staff cars approaching your position down one of the taxiways. “What are you both talking about? The cars are almost here with the… Oh, that is not good. They are almost here with the Chief Marshal, please behave.”“The Chief Marshal?” You ask, unfamiliar with the rank.“Yes, the Chief Marshal of the Artillery. He is touring the base today apparently. He oversees one of the programs under development here, a joint project with the KBB.”“What project?” Evelyn questions.“It…” She pauses briefly, “involves serious matters of defence. Please behave, it is critical that you act calmly, I was not aware this was happening today. If he speaks to you, be polite and answer any questions he asks. This should be very brief.”“You didn’t see this coming?” You ask seriously, though it ends up sounding like another precognition joke. Evelyn has been making too many of them over the last day.Irina flashes an annoyed look at you. “No, I had no premonitions and did not think to… Never mind, here they are.”The line of black staff cars pulls up and comes to a stop. Several important looking older officers step out, quickly shadowed by a cadre of younger officers of lesser rank. Irina and the men exchange formal greetings and brief pleasantries, and then turn to the topic of their joint project. The Chief Marshall, Nedelin, asks Irina several questions that seem to put her on edge. You don’t understand most of the terms they use or their context, but ‘missile defence’ is briefly mentioned.
>>4372539Nedelin turns his gaze toward you and Evelyn, “These two, they are second generation?”“Third, and the first twins. An ergokinetic and a telepath, both will be capable of peak second generation use with several other abilities.” Irina answers, sounding a little stiff.The Chief Marshall seems satisfied by the answer. “They are useful then, but young. How long do they need to be effective?”“Six to eight years. Three for simple duties.” Irina states with certainty, reiterating what she has told you and Evelyn several times.“See that it is done faster.” Nedelin orders, glancing back toward you.>“Effective at what?”>“We’ll be ready.”>Stay silent.>Write-in.
>>4372544>Stay silent.We can ask questions later, once the Marshal leaves.
>>4372558>>4372647>>4372673>>4372742>>4372803Irina bristles at the suggestion, but maintains an even voice. “You are not my commander. Training cannot be expedited, the reduction in quality is-”“Acceptable. We are working on an accelerated timetable, and I have already spoken with chairman Ustrashkin at length. He will have to face the facts, and soon.” Nedelin interjects, disregarding her response. “Then it is your business with him.” Irina says, a note of finality to it. For a moment a tension fills the air, the two staring each other down. Nedelin breaks the silence.“Indeed. Simply consider this an early warning, a thanks for your past help.” Nedelin says with a deep chuckle. “There is much left to see though, and I believe my interests with these assets have been satisfied. It was good to see you again, Major Artemyeva, do stay safe.”“And you as well, Chief Marshal.” She replies. Nedelin and the other officers enter their staff cars, and the group soon drives off toward one of the large concrete pyramids. A single black car is left idling nearby, its doors popping open and swinging out on their own. A scrawny brown haired young man is in the driver's seat, he’s wearing a KBB uniform and looks deeply unhappy. Irina leads you and Evelyn into the car, and the doors shut on their own once you’re all inside.“Jackals, fucking jackals that is what they are!” Irina almost shouts as soon as the doors are shut, the sudden outburst causing you to flinch. You’ve never heard her worked up like this before. Evelyn shrinks back into her seat, and you find yourself doing the same.“I’m sorry Irina, they had a telepath of thei-'' The driver starts to say, sounding genuinely distressed. The car starts moving, the drive on the paved surface of the taxiway quite smooth.Irina doesn’t let him speak, her voice growing louder. “I know! You think I did not notice? That bastard has found his own somewhere, and he is pointing it at us like a dagger.”“I should have been able to burn through their jamming, I'm sorry I failed.” The driver says, looking even more downcast. He still pays enough attention to drive, the car moving past several cargo trucks and the perimeter of one of the pyramid construction sites. You look to Evelyn in confusion, and find her with a similar expression to your own. If there was a telepathic struggle of some sort you felt nothing of it, not even a hint that something had been happening.Irina breathes in deeply, calming herself somewhat. “...It is alright, Sacha. I could feel your effort, you almost got through a few times. Where in the hell has he gotten such a strong psi? I could not figure out which one it was.”“They were projecting in, chaining through one of the younger officers. I could not locate the source.” Sacha says. The car is heading down a long road toward a heavily guarded gate now, part of a perimeter wall near the edge of the forest.
>>4373410Sacha’s explanation seems to drive Irina irate once again. “Then they are strong and familiar with advanced techniques. Nedelin wants us to rush our training of psis. He only met us to make a threat with this new toy of his, ‘speed up or be replaced’.”“It isn’t… it isn’t that bad, right? It’s just one, maybe a German mercenary or… or something.” Sacha stumbles over his words, glancing worriedly between the road and Irina.Irina shakes her head. “One is just the start. Once the other branches or the KGB hear of this they will clamber for their own psis, even more than they already do. It will undermine us.”“Irina, come on, they’ve had psis of their own before. This isn’t apocalyptic, just quite bad...” Sacha says, trailing off as he considers the situation. The gate is growing closer as the car speeds along, and a truck filled with soldiers drives past heading in the opposite direction.“Those were half trained amateurs, they had not even known of their gift until adulthood. We must act, and soon. Drive faster.” Irina says, encouraging Sacha with a small wave of her hand.“We have to stop at the gate, Irina.”Irina exhales, trying to calm herself again. “After that I mean. We must get home, and quickly. I need to speak with Ustrashkin.”Sacha motions with one hand toward you and Evelyn in the backseat. “...Should we really be discussing all of this with them here?”“It concerns them directly, Sacha. Evelyn and Katya will be dealing with whatever chaos comes of this in a few years, just as we are.”>Talk, ask questions, etc. (Write-in)>Stay silent for the rest of the ride.
>>4373411>Are the people from earlier, not allies?Who do we trust?Are they competing against each other?
You speak up uncertainly, the emotion of the conversation causing great trepidation as you enter it. “Are the people from earlier not allies? ...Are you just competing with them?”Irina turns and twists slightly in her seat so she can face you and Evelyn clearly, and she takes a few moments to calm herself and gather her thoughts before responding. “They are comrades, and I do not doubt their general loyalty to the union, but… they are very misguided and ignorant when it comes to the more complex issues of bioenergetics and the handling of psis. It is common for psis to be viewed as tools by others, Katya. The capabilities our gifts grant are lusted for blindly by those who seek power, even if they seek it only for noble reasons; they want results and care little for matters of safety or abuse. When isolated it is easy for a psi to be corrupted by others, or to corrupt them themselves. Only psis can truly regulate and understand other psis, all other attempts have ended in tragedy even when draconian or novel methods were employed. We do not truly compete with anyone, we protect them from forces that can scarcely comprehend even if they wish us not to.”“Who can we trust then?” You ask, letting the information sink in. Thoughts of Felgenhauer’s scarred face flash across your mind, a foul man kept on a sort of leash and tolerated for his abilities alone. If men like him had free reign it is not hard to imagine the cruelty they might commit.“In simple absolute terms? Trust no one except those within the KBB, and first secretary Khrushchev. In reality though it is much more complex, there are others in positions of great power who agree with our view that bioenergetics is best kept as under the control of its own committee. Some have the foresight and mental flexibility to understand the threat of psis spread piecemeal throughout the union, the damage that could be wrought by ill conceived projects and abused or corrupt individuals. Others, like Nedelin, do not possess such an ability it would seem.”The car briefly comes to a stop at the steel perimeter gate, and Sacha hands one of the heavily armed guards some papers. They’re inspected and quickly handed back, and the vehicle is waved through. The gate opens slowly, and on the other side there are pair of tanks and several machinegun positions guarding the entrance. They do not hold your attention for long though as you’re growing used to the sight of heavy military vehicles and equipment, and the previous conversation resumes soon enough.
>>4373767“Are we… are we really so dangerous?” Evelyn asks, looking quite fearful. You hold her hand to comfort her, which helps a little. The information is frightening, the delicate nature of your new life becoming clear to you even as young as you are.Irina answers, “Yes, extremely dangerous once trained, which is why it is vital that psis be well treated and supported by others who understand them. Stability is vital, a sense of home and purpose; Without that a person is easily lost. We can serve the motherland with our abilities, but it must be done with care and deliberation. We have learned many painful lessons by experience and put them into practice over the years, to undermine the committee would be to rip apart that tradition; at best the clock would be rolled back decades in regards to bioenergetic security, at worst it could mean… almost unspeakable changes to the world.”>Talk, ask more questions, etc. (Write-in)>Time skip through the rest of the ride.
>>4373771>Why do we have serve/listen to the union/Mother land? We where taken! What if we want to live a normal life. What if we don't want to fight for Motherland or anyone else
This was kind of bothering me, the fact that we where taken from the "accident" and were identified to have special powers but now they expect us to behave and listen to them and learn to fight for their MotherlandBlasphemy
>>4373771Sigh just ask>Why do we have to fight? Is it cause we have powers, is that it?
>>4373888>>4373897Why Katya should serve is a very important question. The circumstances of her rescue are also odd and haven't been asked about much, yes. Your objections are completely reasonable, though I will point out that Irina has spoken about "serving" the union and not specifically fighting. Fighting was mentioned as being "thankfully uncommon in peacetime" in >>4366377 , though the discussion of crises in >>4368114 "All must serve" certainly implies it might be required in war conditions. Discussion of bodyshields and kinesis might have given things a more martial feeling as well, but that was just discussion of how stuff works. The constant language of "serve the motherland" is Irina speaking as a probably true believer in the cause, but that does not actually mean the cause itself is necessarily good or true. All that being said I could easily see Katya interpreting service as meaning fighting, it's an understandable conclusion to draw.
>>4373771>>Time skip through the rest of the ride.
>Talk, ask more questions, etc. (Write-in)Ask about the Time table that Nedelin was talking about, he obviously needs psionic talents for something.>>4374182 Depending on how the training goes, how they are treated, what the twins end up being used for and experiencing in the line of duty. I could see an attempted defection to the West happening if the situation had degraded sufficiently and an opportunity presented itself.
>>4374219>>4373771Fixing the missing link.
>>4373888>>4374124>>4374174>>4374219“So why is Nedelin in such a hurry? He’s making you mad… and you work on the project. It seems weird to do that. Why does he need psis and so fast?” You ask, still holding Evelyn’s hand.Irina doesn’t answer for a while, leaving the question hanging in the air, but after deliberating on it she finally speaks. “He needs our talents for detecting and destroying long range missiles in mid-flight, a difficult job which requires relatively large numbers of psis to achieve coverage of the union and our allies. Clearly he thinks he can rush things, perhaps the Americans have some new weapon that has pushed him to try and hasten development, though I cannot say exactly why without more information. Nedelin has never cared much for bioenergetic safety even with my advisement, but… but bringing in outside psis, demanding that training be rushed, forcing his will on the KBB… This is completely unacceptable. He has no idea what he is doing here, what damage it will cause well beyond the scope of a single project, what it can lead to.”There is a silence in the car for several more moments as you consider what Irina has said, thoughts of missiles and military bases filling your mind. The tanks, the armoured train, the jets, and the memories given to you of your mother during war time… You consider everything you have seen, and a single question gnaws at you. “...It’s been bothering me for awhile, but why do we have to fight? Is it just because we have powers? What if we want a normal life?”Irina’s eyes widen slightly and her expression softens a touch, “Oh, Katya, I am sorry, all these military bases and the talk of defence and service must have made you… Well, do not worry, I will not let you be wielded as a weapon by others. You as well, Evelyn. You will both hopefully never have to fight unless you choose to do so, there are hundreds of ways to serve the union with your abilities that do not involve bloodshed. I have chosen a path that means I still must fight on occasion, and I have fought since I was very young, but my life is not yours. Outside of a war or national emergency you will never be required to fight, but defending the motherland is the duty of all citizens in such a crisis. A fairly normal if secretive life is possible. Sacha here for instance wishes to be a teacher for the next generation of psis; That would be the both of you.”
>>4374793Sacha doesn’t turn around, maintaining his attention on the road as he speaks cheerfully though a bit uncertainly, “It is true, though I, uhm, have another year of my advanced training to finish still. I’ve been looking forward to being an instructor for years, we have so few with all the other needs for our abilities throughout the union. I’m sure you’ll both be good students, I just hope to be a good teacher.”“It will not be much longer now Sacha, assuming this current catastrophe with Nedelin can be sorted out.” Irina says, turning back from you to look down the forest flanked road that stretches ahead of the car.“Stop calling it a catastrophe, it isn’t one yet.” Sacha complains.“Perhaps it is not, but I can feel the possible futures even if I cannot yet see them clearly. This is no small matter.”>Talk, ask more questions, etc. (Write-in)>Time skip through the rest of the ride.
>>4374795>Time skip through the rest of the ride
>>4374795>>Time skip through the rest of the ride.
A tense moment follows Irina’s statement, only the noise of the car filling the silence. Outside the vehicle’s windows the trees roll past, each section of forest almost indistinguishable from the last. It reminds you of the hours before the crash, the trees are slightly different but everything else is so familiar. You close your eyes and try to banish the thought, but have little success. Evelyn eventually breaks the silence, asking Sacha about where you’re going and what life is like there.“We’re headed home to Khilkov, the main KBB headquarters.” Sacha says.“Is that a town?” Evelyn asks, leaving you to your thoughts.“No, it’s a manor from before the revolution, a noble family owned it. It is very large, very extravagant, a relic of those times. During the civil war it was used as a barracks and military command center, being one of the largest structures this far east. We use it as a school, research facility, and main office now.” Sacha explains, sounding very much like a teacher as he does so. “A more fitting role for it.” Irina comments.Sacha agrees with a cheerful tone. “Indeed! It is very beautiful, I’m sure you’ll both love it. You’ll be spending most of the next ten years there.”“Ten years?” Evelyn asks in surprise.“Well yes, when not on a vacation or assignment elsewhere. Three years for basic training, another three to five to finish, and then likely advanced training for another few; really it depends on what you choose to pursue professionally. You have a very long time to make that sort of decision though, I only figured it out about a year before I had to pick.” Sacha explains.“How old are you?” Evelyn asks.“Nineteen.” Sacha says, slowing the car briefly as several deer emerge from the forest and start to cross the road up ahead.“Oh... I thought you were older. And you’ll be an instructor forever?” Evelyn says, sitting up and moving over a bit to get a better look at the deer. A few fawns are among them, the absolutely adorable little creatures following closely behind some does, and you feel a little better as you watch the animals move by.Sacha slows the car almost to a stop, the number of deer larger than he first anticipated. “Possibly, but it will be at least three years. We have more choices than most people, but even with as few psis as there are it would be chaos to let people switch professions whenever they felt like it. I’ll still have temporary assignments, there are lots of one off jobs that need doing.”
>>4376401“Sounds kinda restrictive. How many of us, uhm, psis I guess, are there?” Evelyn says, watching as the last of the deer cross.“...Three hundred or so?” Sacha says, looking briefly to Irina for confirmation.“Close to that.” Irina says, nodding slightly. “Wow, that's a lot more than you made it sound like.” Evelyn says.“It isn’t much for the size of the union. We only get another ten or so each year, though sometimes it has been higher. Your class only has three others in it currently.” Sacha explains, the car picking up speed again.“Other kids?” You ask, joining the conversation.“Yes, two boys and a girl close to your age. You’ll meet them when we arrive.” Sacha answers.“What are they like?” Evelyn asks excitedly. Sacha shrugs. “I couldn’t say really, my training has kept me fairly busy and they’ve only arrived in the last month.”“...But you have time to drive.” You note, very mildly annoyed. “Hey, somebody needed to... and I wanted to see Irina.” Sacha says defensively.“That’s sweet, Sacha. I missed you too. My missions are so long these days.” Irina says.“It’s just the times we’re in, senior agents stay busy or business finds them.” Sacha says gloomily.“Maybe, but I.... I should really try to be back more. I had not seen Viktor in two years, and hardly had thought of it until I saw him a few days ago. Two years. We used to be inseparable… and now this Nedelin issue rears its head...” Irina says, struggling to get the words out.“Irina, this should be a happy day. You aren’t acting like yourself.” Sacha says, glancing very briefly between Irina and back to you and Evelyn before returning his attention to the road.“I had hoped to stay with Katya and Evelyn for the start of their training, Yelena would have wanted that. It’s just… getting to me is all, and I’ll have to deal with this Nedelin mess personally since I’m part of his project.” Irina says, regaining her composure. “Look on the bright side, you’ll probably need help so you’ll at least get to see some people again, maybe Viktor even. We’ll figure it out, the KBB has weathered worse.”“That all depends on how chairman Ustrashkin reacts.” Irina says. Sacha doesn’t answer, leaving the statement hanging.
>>4376403The conversation dies down again, and doesn’t pick up for the rest of the ride. Eventually the car passes through a gated checkpoint and enters a large clearing, the road now flanked on either side by well kept and landscaped grounds. Ahead of you a massive manor, Khilkov as Sacha called it, dominates the grounds and is surrounded by several other newer looking buildings. The manor looks to be at least three stories tall, built from a slightly off white stone in a chateauesque style, a spiraling tower and large glass conservatory roof prominent near its center and another slightly shorter tower to the east side. Large windows are prominent on each floor, as well as a few impressive balconies on the higher levels, and the roof is a faded green. The entire manor is elevated slightly from the rest of the grounds, a curved cobble drive and a few sets of stairs leading over the raised ground’s stone retaining wall to grant access to it. The grounds themselves are landscaped pleasantly but in a simple and almost utilitarian fashion, a large dirt firing range standing out like a scar across the otherwise aesthetically pleasing area. The buildings around the manor are less complicated, mimicking its style to a basic extent but obviously built later and with much lesser expense, and one of them is quite clearly a communications building of some kind - A radio towers juts the ground near it and stands taller than all else in the area.The car moves up the drive to the front of the manor and then around its east side on a small stone path, a set of large double doors opening and allowing it to pull into an attached motor house. The interior is dim but as the doors to the car open themselves, probably through psychokinesis, several electric lights inside also turn on. Everyone exits the car, and you find yourself surrounded by dusty but well organized shelves of tools and other sundries. Two other cars are in the sizable motor house, both black and of similar make to the one Sacha drove.Irina waits for you and Evelyn to group together once again and then speaks, “Welcome to Khilkov, girls. This is your new home, and one you will always be welcome in. I had hoped to show you it myself but I must speak with the chairman at once.”“That’s okay, Irina. I hope it doesn’t all look like this though.” Evelyn answers.“Yes, the entire manor is tool shelves.” Sacha laughs, “Come on, follow me. I’ll show you both around. Would you like to see your assigned room first or something else?”
>>4376404“What else is there? It looked huge from outside.” You ask, walking behind Sacha as he heads through a door and into the next room. It’s a rather fancy domed vestibule, the rich brown of its detailed wall paneling and the beautiful lattice of wood support beams above you reminding you of what you saw in Irina’s memories of your mother. A trio of closed doors spread equidistant along the curving wall lead further into the building. Irina goes through the one directly ahead, off to see Ustrashkin you presume.Sacha lists a few other options.>Check out your room.>Tour the library and instruction areas.>”Tour” one of the dining rooms, you’re famished.>Ask to meet the other kids, wherever they are.>Write-in.
>>4376407>>Check out your room.
>>4376407>”Tour” one of the dining rooms, you’re famished.
>>4376407>Check out your room.
>>4376407>Check out your room
>>4376407>>”Tour” one of the dining rooms, you’re famished.
>>4376571>>4376496>>4376414Checking out the room.
>>4376414>>4376496>>4376571“The room first, please.” You say, glancing toward Evelyn. She nods in agreement.“Alright, it’s on the third level and a bit of a maze to get there, but you’ll get used to the layout after a couple of weeks.” Sacha says as he leads the way, opening the large door that Irina passed through not long ago. You catch a brief glimpse of her turning off down a hallway up ahead but she vanishes into the labyrinthine maze of Khilkov soon after. Following Sacha down several long hallways you quickly begin to get a sense of what the rest of the interior of the building is going to be like - Beautiful rich wood almost baroque in its level of detailing, high ceilings either molded or pleasantly latticed, and plenty of paintings. The paintings look slightly out of place, the images of socialist figures surrounded by the casually displayed wealth of a previous era. “...Weeks? How big is this place?” You ask, having passed by at least a dozen doors and two hallway intersections. Sacha talks as he walks, leading you up several flights of stairs as he does so. “There are four levels, six if you include the basement and sub-basement, or seven if you also include the old servant’s half level between two and three. Then there’s the towers which run higher, and the attic and crawl spaces between most levels although you shouldn’t ever need to go in those, as well as the tunnels that run to the other buildings, and th-”“Okay, we get it! It's big.” Evelyn says as you both move up the stairs, getting brief glimpses of the other levels. The look of each level is slightly different from the last, but all share the same common aesthetic. “Hey, Katya asked and I answered.” Sacha says feigning defensiveness, “The room isn’t much further now.”“So is everything here this pretty?” You ask, following him down yet another hallway - This one is wider than most and has large windows along one side that look very familiar.He shakes his head. “No, not at all, the old servants quarters are much less decorated and the basements are actually quite bare. As you’d expect of the time.”“...Are we staying in those?” Evelyn asks hesitantly.“No, you have one of the larger rooms.” Sacha answers, turning a final corner and then quickly coming to a stop next to a large door. “We do?” You ask.“Relatively. It’s through this door.” He says, waiting a moment before turning the old brass knob and opening the door. He lets you and Evelyn enter first, then steps in behind.
>>4377986It’s a rectangular and very spacious corner room, one large window along the short exterior side and two on the long side, with a high ceiling and hardwood flooring of a lighter hue than much of the rest of the manor. The walls are covered in old fashioned looking white and green damask wallpaper, a few small bits of which appear to be patched over, and one wall is dominated by a fireplace with a white mantel. A large but somewhat faded and subdued red and green patterned rug is spread across most of the floor, and the furniture is made mostly of a dark wood of some kind - The upholstering of some of the chairs mimics the wallpaper while others are simply a plain white and look out of place. Two beds, a pair of wardrobes and chests, a table with accompanying chairs, and a few other small pieces such as nightstands complete the room. “Wow.’ Evelyn says as she walks in, “This is ours?”“Yes, nice isn’t it? It will likely be shared with others if your class grows larger, but that’s seeming less likely each week. I believe the other children stay in the next two rooms in this section, usually classes are kept together.”“What’s all this stuff? It looks like a maid's outfit.” You ask, moving toward one of the beds and examining some clothes that have been laid out on it.“Your school uniforms, the standard for the union. Most of your education will follow standard regulations as well, with some... obvious exceptions.” Sacha answers.“Our powers.” Evelyn says, stating the obvious. “Yes, that.” He chuckles and moves to open one of the chests, pulling a small latched wooden case from within it, “And speaking of which, here are the items you’ll need to practice with to begin developing them. I had a similar set for my first two years.”He sets it on the bed and opens it where you can both see the contents clearly, each item fitted into distinct slots within the case. A pair of metallic marbles, a thick black piece of cloth, a set of dice, a deck of cards, and a small hand mirror rest inside.“Each item serves a purpose to aid in developing your powers, which takes lots of practice - Although I’m sure Irina’s talked your ear off about that already, she did for me at least. It’s like developing muscle, you need to train or it will remain weak forever.” Sacha says, levitating the pair of metallic marbles briefly and spinning them in a few quick patterns before setting them gently back in place.“She was your instructor?” Evelyn asks, familiar with psychokinesis enough by now to not be all that distracted by the display.“Off and on for a couple of years. She’s been busy since before she was born, I swear. Always something, even if she doesn’t show it.” Sacha says, shaking his head. Irina has always seemed busy, showing up to the hospital looking dead tired several times.
>>4377995>Ask what the training items are for specifically.>“Tour” one of the dining rooms.>Try to find the other kids in your class.>Tour the library and instruction areas.>Write-in.Feel free to write-in questions and such with any option.
>>4378001>>Ask what the training items are for specifically.
>>4378001>>“Tour” one of the dining rooms.
>>4378001>Ask what the training items are for specifically.
>>4378010>>4378127>>4378173Asking about the items.
“So which abilities do we actually use these for? The cards and dice are for luck, and the marbles make some sense, but… a piece of cloth?” You ask, examining the open box of items and picking up the black cloth. It unfolds into a long strip, fully opaque but soft to the touch. Some type of silk perhaps.Sacha motions to the cloth as you pull it out to its full length, and explains its purpose. “It’s a blindfold, the simplest form of sensory deprivation after just closing your eyes. The less you perceive physically of the world around you the more focused your mind can become. It helps every ability; telepathy, short term precognition, and remote sensing benefit the most.”“I closed my eyes during a lot of the tests, it just felt right.” You say, the idea of deprivation making sense immediately. “So did I, it made it easier to focus.” Evelyn says, apparently sharing the thought.Sacha seems pleased by the quick comments. “For some psis it’s a natural instinct, usually that’s a sign of high natural aptitude. What scores did you get?”You both tell him, and he crosses his arms and lets out an impressed whistle. “You’ll both make quite something of yourselves if those scores are accurate.”You smile, enjoying the compliment but turning back to look at the other items. “Thanks, Irina said the same thing. So... how do I practice ergokinesis?”Sacha levitates the marbles once again, and you watch as they heat to a bright red and then rapidly cool until water begins to condense on their surface - Eventually arcs of electricity bounces between them and they snap together suddenly and drop back into the case. “All the forms of kinesis use the marbles, they’re easier to manipulate due to the psi-alloy they’re made of. You can grip them more readily with your thoughts, though the why of it is rather complex. Moving them with magnetic fields and arcing electricity between them in patterns is the simplest form of ergokinetic practice outside of powering devices.”“And the mirror?” Evelyn asks, picking it up by its handle and peering into it curiously.“Precognition, psychometry, and astral projection. You can catch glimpses of future and past events in it if you focus your thoughts properly, and looking at your own reflection aids in both exiting your body and entering your inner mind. At first you’ll just use the mirror to view the astral plane though, it’s much easier.” Sacha explains, opening more questions than he answers.
>>4378336“The astral plane?” You and Evelyn ask almost simultaneously.Sacha nods, and gives an explanation that almost sounds practiced. “The world of thought which all bioenergetic abilities draw their power from. Think of it as an invisible and intangible world that mirrors our own, existing simultaneously in the same space and shaped by human thought. Almost everything that exists has a representation in the astral plane, even lifeless objects like rocks or a piece of clothing. It isn’t perfectly identical to the physical world though, deeper areas have no relation whatsoever and get very… alien.”“Like little green men?” You ask, having seen such things on the covers of some of Papa’s magazines before.Sacha laughs. “No, not like that, it’s difficult to describe in words. You’ll see for yourselves eventually, hopefully guided by someone more experienced that can protect you.”“We fought a parasite mantis thing already.” You say, guessing at what Sacha means.“Wait, really?” He says, very surprised.“Yeah, I don’t want to do it again anytime soon.” Evelyn says, not explaining it further. Sacha doesn’t press for an explanation either, carrying on with the impromptu lesson. “Then you understand a little, but there are far more and far worse things than that out there. I don’t mean to frighten you though, generally astral projection is peaceful and fascinating.”“Why do it if it can be so dangerous?” You question, wondering what the purpose of the power even is. It seems much less useful than something like precognition or telepathy.“To clear aberrations from important areas or people, the simple joy of exploration, and because it can sometimes lead to other worlds.” Sacha says, emphasizing the last part.“What, more weird mind stuff?” Evelyn asks.Sacha shakes his head. “No, other physical worlds. It’s a very new area of interest for the committee, it wasn’t until last year that we found ways to do it even slightly consistently. It’s actually what I’ve been learning how to do most recently, so I can teach it to others when I’m an instructor.”“...Irina did say something about that, I think...” Evelyn says, furrowing her brow.You nod, not having thought about it much since but remembering it clearly. “Yeah, right after she killed the mantis thing. What are the other worlds like Sacha, what’s in them?”He takes a few seconds to consider his words before answering. “...It varies a lot. Some are fantastical, almost like something from a story book, while others are very similar to our own. Honestly I could talk about it for hours, but we might want to get on with the rest of the tour.”>“Wait, like a story book? What kind? You can’t just say stuff like that and leave it there, Sacha!”>Tour the library and instruction areas.>Try to find the other kids in your class.>Dining room “tour”. Food. Fooooood!>Write-in.
>>4378338>Dining room “tour”. Food. Fooooood!
“Yeah, let's keep going. Could we get some food?” You ask, belly rumbling slightly. It’s been hours and hours since you last ate, and you’re really starting to feel it. You look up to Sacha hopefully, continuing a walking tour with this many stairs sounds dreadful without a bite to eat first.“We’re actually closer to the library…” Sacha says before noticing your pathetic look, “but maybe. How long has it been since you’ve eaten?“Since before the flight.” Evelyn answers, giving Sacha an even more pathetic look than your own. You would have scarcely believed it possible, as similar looking as you are, but she pulls it off somehow.Sacha sighs and resigns himself to his fate. “Then it’s settled. Follow me, the canteen should have something good. Probably.”“Canteen?” You ask, following Sacha as he leads you back almost on an identical path to how you reached the room - The dining is all the way on the other side of Khilkov. Oof.“The kitchen.” Sacha clarifies, “With the strange hours people work here they usually have something ready at all times. Meals are mostly when you’d expect though.”“I hope the food is good. One of the soldiers on the plane let me try a ration and it… wasn’t.”“Really? I’ve never found them to be that bad.” Sacha says, sounds slightly surprised. “Maybe it was old?” You offer out as a lazy explanation. Evelyn shrugs and Sacha gives some more information as you make it to a lift. “Well, it shouldn’t be an issue either way. The canteen serves soviet cuisine, so it’s usually quite varied and mostly good.”“...Shouldn’t all food here be soviet cuisine?” You say, tapping a foot on the floor of the lift for emphasis as you get in. It's an old cage type, and you’ve never been in one before. It doesn’t bother you terribly much though, distracted by hunger and conversation as you are, and Sacha soon has the contraption heading down several levels.Sacha chuckles at the joke. “Ha, you’d think so but no, apparently not. It just means the dishes come from many of the SSRs, not just Russia.”“So it’s weird food, got it.” You say, crossing your arms.“No, really, it’s very good. Usually.” Sacha says, giving you a look.“You keep saying usually and mostly.” Evelyn points out.“It’s usually mostly good. Are you hungry or not?” Sacha says jokingly, leading you off the lift as it reaches the ground floor.
>>4378777Passing through a few hallways it isn’t long until you’re in an enormous dining hall, but instead of the single massively long table you’d expect in such a room it’s filled with numerous quite plain smaller tables and rather mundane looking chairs. It’s an odd looking place, the lavish beauty of the manor contrasting sharply with the area's new more utilitarian use. A few people sit at some of the tables, eating various dishes. Several uniformed teenagers a few years younger than Sacha sit together at one table, a few soldiers at another, and a trio of children close to your own age at the last occupied table. Those must be your class!Sacha observes the meals the others are eating and seems satisfied with his findings after a few seconds. “Looks like central asian is what they’ve got going right now, you’re lucky. Find a place to sit. I’ll be back with food from the kitchen in a few minutes.”Sacha heads off, leaving you with the choice of where to sit.>Take one of the empty tables, you don’t feel much like conversation with strangers after all this talking.>Sit with what are probably your classmates. Comrades? Whatever, the kids your age.>Try to get some food from the soldiers. You and Evelyn are both adorable, they’ll probably give something up before Sacha is back.>Write-in.Deleted previous posts and re-posted due to awful editing errors.
>>4378779>Take one of the empty tables, you don’t feel much like conversation with strangers after all this talking.Introductions will likely be made soon anyway, so focusing on eating is probably the better idea.
>>4378779>>Sit with what are probably your classmates. Comrades? Whatever, the kids your age.
>>4378779>>>Take one of the empty tables, you don’t feel much like conversation with strangers after all this talking.
>>4378779>>Take one of the empty tables, you don’t feel much like conversation with strangers after all this talking.
>>4378786>>4378946>>4378980You lead Evelyn to an empty table and take a seat, finding the chairs to be comfortable if rather bland looking. Good enough for eating anyways, it isn’t like you plan on staring at the chairs the entire time. Of course you don’t have any food yet, so there isn’t much to do but look at things or talk. The dining hall itself really is quite beautiful, especially the impressively large fireplace on one end, and the arched ceiling must be several levels high. Still, it can’t hold your attention forever, so you turn to Evelyn and start to propose a game to pass the time.“Slaps?” Evelyn says, before you can speak.“You read my mind.” You say, extending your hands out palms down.“Wait, really?” She asks in surprise, placing her hands under yours.“No!” You declare, your hands darting away just in time as she attempts to slap you. Evelyn makes a small annoyed noise as you both reset, and you can’t help but feel that this should be easy with the precognition score you go-And your hands have already been slapped. You furrow your brow and get serious, or at least you try to look serious which is almost the same thing. You miss Evelyn’s hands on the next round, but get her on the second go, and then avoid her a few times.“I thought you were better than this.” You gloat, avoiding her once again.“Telepathy is harder than precognition.” She complains, failing again.“Says who?” You ask, looking up to her just a touch annoyed.“Me, ha!” She announces just after landing her slaps. You groan, it was an obvious ploy.The game continues for a while, and eventually Sacha returns with a tray and a few plates of pilaf. You devour it greedily, happy that the food landed on the good side of mostly good today. By the time you and Evelyn have finished the dining hall is mostly empty, only the soldiers remain and even they look like they’re ready to depart. You feel much better though, you hadn’t realized just how hungry you really were until the smell of the food had gotten to you.Sacha wants to continue the tour almost as soon as you finish eating, having cleared his plate well before either you or Evelyn did.>“What's the rush? Trying to get rid of us?”>“So is there a map we could use? This place is a maze.”>Library and instruction areas.>Try to find your classmates, they were just here.>Write-in.
>>4379212>>Library and instruction areas.
>>4379212>Library and instruction areas.and>“So is there a map we could use? This place is a maze.”Since getting a map would probably be a good idea, so Sacha can actually get some time in with Irina before she heads off again.
>>4379212>>“So is there a map we could use? This place is a maze.”>>Library and instruction areas.
>>4379215>>4379230>>4379273“Let’s go see the library then, it’s back on the other side isn’t it?” You say, getting up and following Sacha to one of the room’s many doors. Evelyn is close behind, your ever present shadow.Sacha opens the door and steps through into the hallway. “Yes, it is. You’ve been paying attention.”“I usually mostly pay attention.” You tease, “But is there a map we could use? This place is a maze.”“I keep expecting to turn a corner and find the walls are hedges.” Evelyn says.Sacha considers the idea for a few moments, a group of KBB uniformed men passing by in the hallway as he does so. “A map?... I’m not sure we have anything like that beyond the manor’s original design plans in the library, but you couldn’t exactly take those with you.”“Well, if we do get a map I’m sure Evelyn and I can find our way around. Probably.” You say, brushing a bit of your dark hair back, “You could go spend some time with Irina before she runs off again.”“...That’s very kind of you to offer, and she may need some help... Are you sure you’d be alright?” Sacha asks while guiding you through a... conservatory? It’s a huge glass roofed chamber filled with lush flora, the entire area vaguely octagonal in shape with four sets of steps lowering down to a central circular stone floor. “Mhm, it’ll be fun to explore.” Evelyn answers for you, though you hardly disagree. If there are more areas like this then it’s going to be the most fun you’ve had in ages. This chamber must be near the front and center of the manor, you saw it from the outside earlier when the car approached. Looking out the one primarily glass wall you can see the grounds, confirming your suspicion. You don’t have long to gawk at the colorful flowers and exotic plants though, Sacha keeping a quick pace.“Well, if we can get a map then... perhaps.” Sacha says, “I believe our librarian, Kiril, was formerly a draftsman. He could probably sketch a quick copy of the plans."“That could work!” You say excitedly, “If we get lost we’ll just ask somebody for directions, it isn’t that hard to find people here.”“No, it isn’t hard at all. Just don’t bother anyone working, or poke around the basements too much. There is delicate psychotronic equipment down there, and usually some kind of experiment going on. Walking in suddenly wouldn’t be taken well.” Sacha warns.“Okay, be careful in the basements. Got it.” You say, suddenly finding the basements far more interesting.
>>4379436Eventually you reach the library, entering through a door that almost blends into one of the walls except for a brass handle and faint outline in the paneling - An old servant’s door, Sacha explains. The interior of the library is every bit as impressive as the rest of the manor, if not more so. It’s rectangular and about half the size of the gargantuan dining hall, sporting a second level and a pair of tightly constructed spiraling staircases leading to the higher floor. Aside from a few tall windows on the west side there is hardly a bare spot of wall, the room almost resembling a cave made of books with how the towering shelves loom over everything. Everything is constructed from the same rich dark wood found throughout the ground floor of the manor, the darkest hued level, but the ceiling is of white molding resembling carved marble, and sports a number of large paintings of angelic scenes. It’s surprising to see those, all of the other paintings in the manor replaced as they are, but perhaps it’s just too much of a hassle to have ever been changed. A large fireplace, something that feels very wrong to have in a room filled with books, takes up a fair chunk of the east wall. Tables with a few chairs around them are scattered throughout the room, none currently in use. A small door in the north wall leads off to an office, presumably Kiril’s.Sacha leaves you to look around the library while he explains the need for a map to Kiril, who you briefly glimpse. He’s a grey haired and bearded older man, both well kept, and slightly taller and bulkier than Sacha, but you didn’t get a better look than that. After a few minutes Sacha returns, informing you that Kiril will need a while to draw the map. You’re to stay here, or look at the instruction areas immediately adjacent to the library. With that done Sacha exits through the library’s much grander main entrance near to the fireplace.>Just wait, it can’t take that long to sketch a map. Right?>Check out some of the books, and just poke around the library in general.>Pop over to the instruction areas and look around them a bit, you should be back in time for the map.>Go watch Kiril draw, and introduce yourself properly.>Write-in.
>>4379438>>Check out some of the books, and just poke around the library in general.
>>4379438>Check out some of the books, and just poke around the library in general.
>>4379456>>4379479>>4379564>>4379580You and Evelyn poke around the library for the next half hour or so, pulling out books all over to examine them, and generally getting a feeling for the huge room's layout and contents. Most of the books are in russian which is of little surprise, but there are also substantial sections in foreign languages - Mostly english, french, and german but also a few you don’t recognize at all. You find yourself simply walking along the shelves, reading titles on the spine of books and pulling out any that piques your interest; Most don’t though, bulky treatises on the sciences or history seem like better doorstops than reads. You put some of them back on the shelves, a few even returning to their correct spot, but more than a few are simply left on nearby tables or propped sideways on the edge of the shelf. Eventually you begin to find works of fiction and collections of poetry, both of which sound far more appealing… but they’re also a bit advanced. In fact there are essentially no simple books at all, everything is clearly meant for older readers.Evelyn finds another servant's door on the second level of the library and shouts to you when she does so, the door once again looking like somebody attempted to hide it and then just gave up halfway through - A faint but still hard to miss outline and a door knob just jutting from a random piece of wall makes it look rather strange. You run up the stairs to see the interesting find, but it just leads out into another hallway. How boring.You’re sitting around spinning an old globe in its stand when Kiril finally finishes drawing the map, finding you watching the surface of the world blur as you torture the poor contraption. “Don’t spin it so quickly, it’ll wobble loose.” Kiril growls out, rolled up papers clutched in a wrinkled but strong looking hand. “Wha-? Oh! S-sorry!”, you stammer, not having expected him to be done yet. You pull your hands away from the globe and to your sides, and generally attempt to look innocent.“Don’t do it again, it’s delicate work, that.” He says, pointing at the globe before turning back to you with a foul look, “Here’s yer map, girl.”“I’m Katya.” You snap back, a little more aggressively than you’d meant to. “I know. Where’s the other one?” He says dismissively, rolling the map out on a nearby table. “My sister is… somewhere. Evelyn?” You say, suddenly finding she disappeared without your notice.“Up here!” She calls from the second level, leaning against the carved wooden railing and peering between it as she looks down to you.
>>4380626“You’d best get down here, girl. The maps done…” Kiril says while surveying the library, taking in its details carefully as his gaze lingers on the loose and misplaced books. “And so are both of you in my library. Did no one ever teach you how to behave? Stomping around shouting and leaving books unsorted, you should be ashamed.”“We put most of them back.” You protest but then shrink back away from Kiril as he glowers and takes a step forward… to a book, which he picks up delicately despite his obvious disgruntlement.“Did I ask for excuses, girl? Go, get gone! I’ve got a lot of cleaning up thanks to the both of you.” He shoos you away as he starts to gather up the books closest by.>Apologize and offer to help clean up, though you’re not really sure how the place is organized.>Apologize and leave.>Just take the map and leave, he seems like that sort to always be grumpy about something.>Ask for help reading the map, it looks complicated.>Write-in.
>>4380628>apologize and take the map
>>4380628>>Ask for help reading the map, it looks complicated.
>>4380674+1QM please don't leave us
>>4382646>>4381264>>4380674Apologizing and leaving with the map. >>4382646Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere.
>>4380674>>4381264>>4382646“I’m sorry, we didn’t mean to cause problems.” You say, gathering up the map and trying to skirt past Kiril as he continues cleaning up. He grumbles something in response, though you can’t quite make out what he said - Clearly nothing nice. You quickly glance over the hand drawn map as you roll the multiple sheets back up for easier carrying, finding that each sheet details a different floor of the manor. A bit unwieldy to read quickly, and labelled rather sparsely, but it looks useful… assuming you can make sense of some of the more complicated part. Evelyn hurries down one of the spiraling staircases to the lower floor and joins you, and together you leave through the library’s main entrance.“Did we really make that bad of a mess?” Evelyn asks, looking back to the closed library door.You shake your head, “I guess so… I tried to put most of it back.”“Maybe he’s just like that.” Evelyn mutters, crossing her arms, “Is the map any good?”“I think so, it looked really complicated. Here, look.” You say, handing her the map. “That’s… probably a good sign?” She says, looking it over. “Wow, there are way more rooms than I thought. The floors are huge!”“Yeah, I knew it was big but this is…” You start to count out the individual rooms just on the ground floor and give up after the first couple dozen, “A lot. There are two lifts”“Four.” Evelyn corrects you, pointing a slender finger at a pair of cargo lifts in the kitchen and boiler room.“Huh, so there are. So where to?” You ask, looking over the possibilities.“The instruction rooms are right here.” Evelyn says, moving toward a closed door nearby. She places her ear against it for a moment and then seems satisfied with her findings. “Sounds empty.”Seeing no issue with starting at the closest area you follow alongside her, “Sacha did say to not bother people, but I think we might have messed that up already.”Evelyn shrugs and opens the door, walking into a room filled with desks and a large chalkboard. It looks like a quite mundane classroom, other than the contrast between the plain furniture and the lavish walls. “I was expecting something a little… ooh, what do we have here?” Evelyn says, moving to the largest desk and examining a strange looking black helmet resting on it. The helmet is sharply angular but entirely lacking an open front, the entire thing looking like a bizarre sealed motorbike helmet. A few small electrical ports of some kind are on the back, a flat rectangular device slotted almost flush into one, but otherwise its surface is smooth and metallic.
>>4382835“What’s this thing for?” Evelyn says, lifting the helmet up and examining its interior, “You couldn’t see anything in it!”“Or hear anything…” You say, watching as Evelyn examines the helmet. It’s a bit too large for either of you, probably meant for slightly older children. A metallic halo runs along the interior, visible between layers of dark padding.>Try on the helmet, it couldn’t hurt.>Poke around the other instruction rooms, maybe there are more devices.>Leave and find your classmates.>Leave and check out any part of the manor. (write-in)>Write-in.
>>4382838>>Leave and find your classmates.
>>4382838>Leave and find your classmates.
>>4382838>>Poke around the other instruction rooms, maybe there are more devices.
F>tfw no cold war psychic shenanigans